Books·The First Page

20 students from across Canada shortlisted for The First Page student writing challenge

Thousands of students wrote about topics ranging from the climate crisis to artificial intelligence and gene manipulation.

Thousands of students wrote about topics ranging from the climate crisis to A.I. and gene manipulation

Here are the 20 finalists for The First Page student writing challenge. (Submitted by finalists)

Twenty young writers from across Canada have been chosen as the finalists for The First Page student writing challenge, which asked students in Grades 7 to 12 to write the first page of a novel set 150 years in the future.

Students imagined how present-day trends — from climate change to artificial intelligence and gene manipulation — have played out in the year 2170.

The 20 finalists were chosen from over 2,000 entries submitted in the fall of 2020 — 1,601 entries were collected from the Grades 7 to 9 category and 403 entries from the Grades 10 to 12 category. 

A team of readers at CBC Books chose the finalists.

You can read the shortlisted entries below.

Grades 7 to 9 category finalists

Grades 10 to 12 category finalists

David A. Robertson is a Governor General's Literary Award-winning author and judge of the 2020 First Page student writing challenge. (Amber Green)

Award-winning YA and children's author David A. Robertson will pick a winner in each of the categories. 

Robertson is a Cree writer from Winnipeg who writes books for readers of all ages — including the Governor General's Literary Award-winning picture book, When We Were Alone and the Reckoner YA series. He also won the 2021 Freedom to Read Award.

Both winners will receive a one-year subscription to OwlCrate, which sends fresh boxes of books to young readers across Canada on a monthly basis, plus an additional 50 books for their school libraries.

The winners will be announced on Tuesday, April 13, 2021.

The First Page student writing challenge will return in the fall of 2021.

If you're interested in other writing competitions, check out the CBC Literary Prizes.

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