21 students, 24 dystopic futures: finalists for The First Page speculative fiction challenge revealed
Grades 7 to 12 Canadian students wrote about topics ranging from the ethics of technology to climate change
Twenty-one young writers from across Canada have been chosen as finalists for The First Page student writing challenge, which asked Grade 7 to 12 students to write the first page of a novel set 150 years in the future.
Students imagined how current affairs events and trends — from the ethics of advanced technology to climate change — have played out in the year 2172.
The 21 finalists were chosen from over 1,800 entries submitted in the winter of 2022 — 1,309 entries were collected from the Grades 7 to 9 category and 530 entries from the Grades 10 to 12 category.
See this year's finalists and read their entries below.
Grades 7 to 9 category finalists
- The Lost Boy of Niihau by Jasjeet Bacheer, 13, from Milton, Ont.
- Farmed by Glen Chen, 14, from Thornhill, Ont.
- Death of a Tree by Denise Howatt, 13, from Manitou, Man.
- A Postcard from the Past by Esmé La Lusis, 13, from Toronto
- Filtered by Ashley Levine, 14, from Whitby, Ont.
- Life After the End by Ashley Levine, 14, from Whitby, Ont.
- The Collector by Ashley Levine, 14, from Whitby, Ont.
- My Fault by Ariadni Lianidaki, 15, from Brossard, Que.
- The Concluder's Apprentice by Esmé Mac, 13, from Vancouver
- Grayscale by Anna Pan, 14, from Richmond Hill, Ont.
- Engineer 294 by Anna Ryde, 14, from Toronto
- Embers by Tracy Wang, 15, from Vancouver
- Fugees by Joshua Zhuang, 15, from Toronto
Grades 10 to 12 category finalists
- Milk by Lillian Snell, 17, from Toronto
- Bottom Feeders by Victor Li, 15, from Mississauga, Ont.
- Still Water by Victor Li, 15, from Mississauga, Ont.
- An Arm And A Leg by Mya Metivier, 16, from Charlottetown
- Reminder: You Are Dreaming by Mira Peregud, 18, from Vancouver
- Solastalgia by Sofiyah Shariff, 16, from Edmonton
- The Deciding by Linden Shi, 14, from Vancouver
- Tegenaria Incorporated by Amelie Snowdon, 16, from Edmonton
- Red-Brick by Jack Trott-McDermott, 15, from London, Ont.
- Survival of the Efficient by Asher Vanden Enden, 17, from Toronto
- A Modern Failing Romance by Vivian Zhi, 17, from Markham, Ont.
The winners will be announced on May 31, 2022. Each will receive a donation of 50 books for their school libraries and a year of OwlCrate, a Canadian book subscription service.
Special thanks to publishers Penguin Random House, Raincoast Books, Scholastic Canada, Annick Press, KidsCan Press, Groundwood Books, Orca Books and Simon & Schuster for donating books for the prize.
Meet the readers
Thank you to all the readers who participated in narrowing down over 1,800 entries to 24:
- Marty Chan, Alta., author of Willpower
- Gabrielle Prendergast, B.C., author of The Overwood
- Shane Arbuthnott, Sask., author of Guardians of Porthaven
- Angela Ahn, B.C., author of Peter Lee's Notes from the Field
- Andre Fenton, N.S., author of The Summer Between Us
- Tash McAdam, B.C., author of The Ooze
- Regina Hansen, P.E.I., author of The Coming Storm
- Angela Misri, Ont., author of Valhamster
- Hetxw'ms Gyetxw Brett D. Huson, B.C., author of The Wolf Mother
- MJ Lyons, Ont., author of Murder at the World's Fair
- Nadine Neema, Que., author of Journal of a Travelling Girl
- Alex Lyttle, Alta., author of From Ant to Eagle