Announcing the 2019 Shakespeare Selfie student writing challenge winners

Winners Katherine Latosinsky and Vaishnavi Jagadeeswaran were inspired by advancements in science for their award-winning entries.
Katherine Latosinsky (left) and Vaishnavi Jagadeeswaran are the 2019 Shakespeare Selfie winners. (Submitted by Katherine & Vaishnavi)

Katherine Latosinsky's For the taking and Vaishnavi Jagadeeswaran's Void Between Worlds have been chosen by YA author Kenneth Oppel as the winners of the 2019 Shakespeare Selfie student writing challenge.

CBC Books challenged students from Grade 7 to 12  to write a soliloquy or monologue in the voice of a Shakespearean character based on a prominent news, pop culture or current affairs event from the last year (April 2018 to April 2019). Over 300 students responded, tackling a wide range of subjects — from cannabis legalization to mass shootings and Brexit negotiations.

Both Latosinsky and Jagadeeswaran were inspired by scientific advancements for their award-winning entries.

Latosinsky, winner of the Grade 10 to 12 category, wrote about CRISPR-Cas9 human genome editing from the perspective of Macbeth's Second Witch. 

"In this outstanding concoction of witchy ingredients and striking imagery, the author cleverly addresses the moral complexities of CRISPR gene editing technology," said Oppel.

This marks the London, Ont. student's second win. She previously won the Grade 7 to 9 in 2016 for a piece on the presidential primaries.

Jagadeeswaran, the Grade 7 to 9 winner from Oakville, Ont., wrote about the G1 geomagnetic storm that enabled aurora borealis to be visible in southern Canada.

"Written in the voice of Feste from Twelfth Night, this spritely poem, written in rhyming couplets, delightfully describes the aurora borealis's atypical appearance in southern Canada," said Oppel.

Both winners will each receive one year of OwlCrate, a subscription service that sends a book and book-related gifts each month, as well as 50 books for their school libraries. 

You can read the entire 2019 shortlist below.

Grade 7 to 9 category

Grade 10 to 12 category


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