Books

Courtney Summers will judge the 2023 First Page student writing challenge

The bestselling YA author will be the judge of CBC's annual student writing competition.
A black and white photo of a woman looking into the camera.
Courtney Summers is a bestselling author and the judge of the 2023 First Page student writing challenge. (Megan Gunter)

Bestselling YA writer Courtney Summers will judge the 2023 First Page student writing challenge.

The First Page student writing challenge asks students in Grades 7 to 12 from across Canada to write the first page of a speculative novel set 150 years in the future. 

The challenge tasks young writers with imagining how current world issues and trends will evolve in the next century. 

The First Page competition is divided into two categories — one for Grades 7 to 9 students and one for Grades 10 to 12 students. 

The contest will be open for submissions from Feb. 1 to Feb. 28, 2023.

Courtney Summers is the author of several novels for young adults, including Cracked Up to BeAll the Rage and Sadie.

She has won numerous awards, including the 2019 Edgar Award for Best Young Adult literature, the 2019 Odyssey Award and the 2020 Forest of Reading White Pine Award.

Her 2021 book The Project won the International Thriller Writers Award for Best Young Adult novel.

Her latest novel is I'm the Girl, a thriller set in a world of wealth, power and privilege.

LISTEN | Courtney Summers on The Next Chapter:

Courtney Summers on what inspired her book, I'm the Girl.

Summers is excited to lend her knack for crafting captivating stories to the annual student writing competition.

"High school was when I first had an inkling I wanted to be a storyteller and any time that feeling was affirmed, it kept me on course to pursue my writing. Many of the defining moments in my career as an author involved professionals within the publishing industry taking the time to share their insights and expertise with me," she told CBC Books.

High school was when I first had an inkling I wanted to be a storyteller and any time that feeling was affirmed, it kept me on course to pursue my writing.- Courtney Summers

"It's nice to be able to take an opportunity to pay that forward and to play a positive part in someone else's creative journey."

Summers will choose the two winners from 10 finalists in the Grades 7 to 9 category and 10 finalists in the Grades 10 to 12 category. 

The winners will receive a one-year subscription to OwlCrate, a monthly book delivery service, and will have their winning entry published on CBC Books. They will also receive 50 books for each of their school libraries.

Last year's winners were Joshua Zhuang for his story Fugees and Victor Li for his story Still Water

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