The First Page student writing challenge for 2022: Write the first page of a novel set in 150 years
Students can imagine how present-day issues and trends have played out 150 years in the future
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The First Page is coming back! The prize will be open for submissions from Feb. 1, 2022 at 9 a.m. ET to Feb. 28, 2022 at 9 p.m. ET.
The First Page is a national writing competition for Grades 7 to 12 students in Canada. Students are invited to write the first page of a novel, imagining how present-day issues and trends have played out 150 years in the future.
How will the world leaders of today impact the world of tomorrow? Who will be the biggest name in pop culture in the future? How will climate change impact the protagonist's life?
The book could be from any literary genre, from mystery or thriller to literary fiction, from adventure or romance to satire or science fiction.
YA writer Sarah Raughley to choose the 2022 winners
The judge of the 2022 challenge will be Sarah Raughley. The fantasy novelist from southern Ontario is the author of several books, including The Bones of Ruin, Fate of Flames, Siege of Shadows and Legacy of Light.
Raughley will select two winners, one from the Grades 7 to 9 shortlist and one from the Grades 10 to 12 shortlist. The shortlists will be curated with the help of YA and middle grade authors from across Canada.
Find all the details of the 2022 competition below.
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.
PRIZES: The winner of each category will receive a one-year subscription to OwlCrate, which delivers monthly boxes of books and literary-related goodies. The school library of each winner will also receive a donation of 50 books.
WHEN YOU CAN SUBMIT: The prize is open to submissions from 9 a.m. ET on Feb. 1, 2022 to 9 p.m. ET on Feb. 28, 2022.
HOW TO SUBMIT: During the submission period, a link to an online entry form will be available on this page.
TEACHER GUIDES: Visit Curio.ca for discussion questions and writing tips from Canadian writers, like Cory Doctorow, Linwood Barclay, Fonda Lee, Cherie Dimaline, Erin Bow, Katherena Vermette and M.G. Vassanji.
HAVE QUESTIONS? Email us at email@example.com.
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The 2020 winners
"I love it when a simple concept has such complexity underneath the surface. Pollinator is at once evocative, poetic, and succinct. And thematically and structurally, this story took a different approach that was ironic, and meaningful," said the prize judge David A. Robertson.
"I loved the whimsical tone and how rich the imagery was; contrasting a smear of yellow pollen against the black stripes down the drones' centres was particularly effective."
"In writing, timeliness is important, but difficult to catch. Chasing 1% is a sophisticated meditation on the division of class through a literal separation; one class above, the other below," said Robertson.
"But as with any good story, it goes deeper than that, addressing, as well, a division of age, starkly contrasting not just the "haves and have nots" but the entitlement of one generation against the 'grit' of another."
Grades 7 to 9 category finalists
- The Earth Odyssey by Enya Fang, 13, from Surrey, B.C.
- Finding Home by Anne Gibson, 12, from Bedford, N.S.
- The Son Leaves in November by Sasha de Leon, 14, from Winnipeg
- The Tainted Land by Annabel Li, 14, from North Vancouver
- In the Storm by Hao Lun Li, 13, Coquitlam, B.C.
- Pollinator by Sophie McGowan, 12, from Burnaby, B.C.
- Les Avions en Papier by Irisa Rao, 13, from Victoria
- Last Soul on Earth by Madison Schettler, 14, from Winnipeg
- Timeless by Sherry Xiong, 13, from Surrey, B.C.
- Interdependent by Katie Yu, 14, from Iqaluit
Grades 10 to 12 category finalists
- A Weeping Warrior by Nida Almas, 17, from Windsor, Ont.
- Lobster by Samuel Budge, 15, from Ottawa
- Mission Genesis by Clayton Burrows, 17, from Sechelt, B.C.
- Happy Rebirthday by Jessie Chen, 15 from Toronto
- Destination Simulation by Jasmine Farah, 16, from Bowen Island, B.C.
- Everything We Want by Natalia Koss, 16, from Vancouver
- Goodbye April Rowan by Enya Law, 15, from Toronto
- Above the Orange River by Cole Petersen, 18, from North Vancouver
- My Future for Our Future by Saadia Saqib, 16, from Winnipeg
- Chasing 1% by Caris Simmons, 17, from Calgary