Announcing the 2019 Shakespeare Selfie student writing challenge winners
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
- Winner: Void Between Worlds by Vaishnavi Jagadeeswaran from Oakville, Ont.
- A Broken Bond by David Amm from Oakville, Ont.
- Hark, Our Lady Weeps Aflame! by Emma Belyk from Osler, Sask.
- The Cyclone Incantation by Samuel Budge from Ottawa
- What must be done by Jason Ma from Oakville, Ont.
- Drowning by Saskia Nitika Coossa from Bolton, Ont.
- Long Live The King by Elena Osipyan from Toronto
- A Dreadful Rot by Arthur Taylor from Nanaimo, B.C.
- A Fool's Paradise by Kaylee Tu from Toronto
- Brown Siren by Emmanuel Umweni from Toronto
Grade 10 to 12 category
- Winner: For the taking by Katherine Latosinsky from London, Ont.
- What One Wants by Fatin Aldoum from London, Ont.
- The Depths of Wickedness by Jaleelah Ammar from Toronto
- A Fire Burns by Kali Coles from South River, Ont.
- The Ketchup War by Anna Fenton from Ross Ferry, N.S.
- Vision Aflame by Erika Friesen from Oak Lake, Man.
- Behind the Veil by Rida Hassan from London, Ont.
- O nature, what hadst thou to do in hell by Yolanda Llamazares González from Charlottetown
- The Woeful Promenade by Hillary Mak from Toronto
- If Thou Canst Swim by Holly Schultz from Toronto