Here is the shortlist for The First Page student writing challenge

Students in Grades 7 to 12 were asked to write the first page of an original novel that explores how a current issue has played out in 150 years.

Thousands of students in Grades 7 to 12 wrote about topics ranging from climate change to net neutrality

From Yukon to Newfoundland and Labrador, 20 students have been chosen as finalists for The First Page student writing challenge. (Courtesy of the finalists)

CBC Books asked students from coast to coast to give us a glimpse of the great Canadian novel of the year 2167, presenting how current-day trends and issues have evolved in 150 years. Over 2,400 young writers responded with their ideas on climate change, gender equality, net neutrality, the threat of nuclear war and many other pressing subjects.

Here are the best 20 first pages, as chosen by a team of readers at CBC Books — 10 in the Grades 7 to 9 category and 10 in the Grades 10 to 12 category. You can read these entries below.

Grades 7 to 9 category finalists

Grades 10 to 12 category finalists

Two winning entries — one from the Grades 7 to 9 category and one from the Grades 10 to 12 category — will be chosen by award-winning YA writer Erin Bow, author of The Scorpion Rules. She talked about the shortlist with Tom Power on q (listen below).

Erin Bow tell us about her role as judge and reveals the shortlist for The First Page student writing challenge. 9:53

The winner will be announced on q on Jan. 22, 2018. 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. In addition, each of the winners' schools will receive 50 YA books. 

The First Page will return in the fall of 2018. CBC Books' next student writing competition is the Shakespeare Selfie Student Writing Challenge, which will open in April 2018.

If you're interested in other writing competitions, check out the CBC Literary Prizes. The CBC Nonfiction Prize is currently open and accepting submissions until Feb. 28, 2018.


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