Books

David A. Robertson will judge 2020 CBC 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 First Page student writing challenge will be open for submissions in November

David A. Robertson is an author based in Winnipeg. (Amber Green)

David A. Robertson will judge the First Page 2020 student writing challenge.

The First Page student writing challenge is for Canadian students in Grades 7-12. (Ben Shannon/CBC)

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 Nov. 4 to Nov. 26, 2020.

Robertson is a Cree writer from Winnipeg who writes books for readers of all ages. He has published 25 books across a variety of genres, including the graphic novels Will I See? and Sugar Falls, a Governor General's Literary Award-winning picture book called When We Were Alone, illustrated by Julie Flett, and the YA book Strangers

He is also one of the Indigenous creators who contributed to the graphic novel anthology This Place.

He published three books in fall 2020: the memoir Black Water, the graphic novel Breakdown and the middle-grade novel The Barren Grounds.

"I'm excited to take part in this amazing contest. So much of my work is about educating kids so that they can be good leaders in the future," Robertson told CBC Books. 

"My dad used to tell me that we need to be looking 7 generations ahead; that's about 150 years. There's no better time than right now to think about what we want that future to look like." 

Robertson 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.

To say Cree author David A. Robertson is prolific is a bit of an understatement. He started his writing career in 2009, and has already published more than 20 titles. This fall he has three books being released. This week on Unreserved, an extended conversation with the author. 43:38

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 Greenfield Park, Que.'s Juliana Narváez Gutierrez for No Choice  and Kamloops, B.C.'s Leonardo Mete for Below Zero, Above Thirty-Two .

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