The First Page student writing challenge: Enter now!

What will the world look like in 150 years? How will today's events shape the future?
(Ben Shannon/CBC)

The First Page student writing challenge is now open for submissions! Enter online by clicking the link below:

The challenge will be accepting submissions until November 25, 2019 at 6 p.m. EST. Ten finalists from each category will be selected by a team of readers at CBC Books. Finalists will be notified by email in early 2020. The exact timing will depend on the number of submissions received.

Kelley Armstrong will select two winners, one from each category, from the shortlists. Armstrong is the author of has written over 40 books, including the bestselling young adult series the Darkest Powers and Darkness Rising. Most recently, she published the YA book Aftermath, the middle-grade novel A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying and the adult thriller Alone in the Wild.

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 winners' school libraries will receive 50 free YA books.

You can read the complete rules and regulations here.

Last year's winners were Stella Xia, in the Grades 7-9 category, for Taxidermied, and Peter Ola Paul, in the Grades 10-12 category, for Greater Than or Equal To. You can read all the 2018 finalists' entries here.

THE CHALLENGE: We want Grades 7 to 12 students to give us a glimpse of the great Canadian novel in the year 2169. Your challenge is to write the first page of a novel set 150 years in the future, with your protagonist facing an issue that's topical today and setting the scene for how it's all playing out in a century and a half.

WHAT YOU CAN WRITE: Your entry can be 300-400 words in length. Your entry also needs a title, but the title is not included in the word limit. Your entry can be written in any genre.

WHO CAN ENTER: This contest is open to all Canadian residents who are full-time students enrolled in Grades 7 to 12. Entries will be judged in two age categories: Grades 7 to 9 and Grades 10 to 12.

TEACHER GUIDES: Visit for discussion questions and writing tips from Canadian writers, like Linwood Barclay, Fonda Lee, Cherie Dimaline, Erin Bow, Katherena Vermette, M.G. Vassanji and Vikki VanSickle.

WHEN YOU CAN SUBMIT: Nov. 4 to 25, 2019


WANT MORE STUDENT WRITING CHALLENGES? Sign up for our newsletter below to find out about our creative writing challenges.



To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.