Canada Writes
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Canada Writes—the writing game for quick-witted Canadians.

Are you game?

We all like to try our hand at writing. But in Canada Writes, there’s a clock ticking! And when time is up, you face three judges, a live audience, and radio listeners coast to coast!

It’s extreme writing—with original, funny and sometimes touching results.

Brent Bambury hosts Canada Writes 2010 on GO! on CBC Radio One. Join us in Vancouver, Toronto, and Winnipeg.

Photo of Brent Bambury

Write in! Tune in! Play Online!

Join us for
Canada Writes 2010 starting January 30th!!

The Winner

Katie Sanders from British Columbia takes first prize in Toronto!

Katie Sanders

(Read Updates for the full story.)

The Finalists


The Game

Canada Writes is the only game that takes you straight from the page to the stage!

Four contestants get one hour (or as little as a minute) to write their best 200 words in one of five categories: song, blog, movie pitch, rant, and ad. Then it’s time to stand and deliver, in front of a live audience! Three celebrity judges pick the top two in the Eastern and Western/Northern semi-finals. Then the four finalists come together for the final showdown in Toronto.


Don't forget! You too can play along with the semi-finalists and win a prize!

Try the Canada Writes Online Challenge each week, and Read and Rate until 9am on Friday, April 17. The winner of the People’s Choice Award could be you!

The Prizes

Semi-finalists are flown to Halifax or Vancouver. Finalists also travel to Toronto, where they’ll meet Brent Bambury, our celebrity judges and fellow contestants from across the country.

The winner will get a MacBook, and the other finalists take home an iPod Touch. The winner of the Online Challenge, the People's Choice winner, will also get an iPod Touch.

  • Macbook Laptop
  • iPod Touch

LAST WORD… more prizes!

You can also win a prize just by filling in our Canada Writes Q&A. Click on Last Word to find out more.

Last Word

Win a prize* just for trying our Canada Writes Q&A. Every week from January 10 through April 18, we will post a new question about your favourite popular writing. Every time you answer a question, your name will go into a draw for one of ten Canada Writes embossed leather organizers with a refillable writing pad.
(* For Canadians and residents of Canada only!)

Post your answers and see what others have to say about their favourite popular writing. Add your comments and keep the conversation going!

To fill in our Q&A or read more, go to Last Word.


Click here for tickets to see
CanadaWrites live on Go!

Le Dernier Mot

Click here to go to Radio-Canada’s
writing game, Le Dernier Mot.

How It Works

  1. Write In!

    Out of hundreds and hundreds of entries, just twenty Canadians made it to the Short List and won themselves an audition with Canada Writes. Then eight semi-finalists were picked to play in the Eastern semi-finals and Western/Northern semi-finals.

    Read their winning songs, blogs, ads, rants and movie pitches!

  2. Tune In… or Join Us!

    On March 14th and April 4th, tune in to GO! on CBC Radio One at 10 am (10:30 am NT) for the Eastern and Western/Northern semi-final games in Halifax and Vancouver. The finals will be held in Toronto on April 18th. Or join us at any of the three shows to root for the contestants in person. Go to for tickets.

  3. Play Online!

    The Canada Writes 09 Online Challenge is now over. Thanks for playing!


(Toronto, April 25, 2009)

Canada Writes Finalists

It was a very tight race in the end. Our four finalists fought it out by blog, song, ad and a three-line story. First, they each drew a blog topic, from “the best hundred dollars I ever spent” to “one fact I would like to ‘un-know’”. Challenge number 2 was to re-write a song by Queen, with Valerie Stanois from the musical We Will Rock You bringing power vocals to their surprising new words. Then judges Geri Hall, Terry O’Reilly and Darrell Dennis sent Kaveh Mohebbi through the infamous Trap Door. Challenge number 3 was the radio ad. Clever ads for Cornhobbler’s Crematorium and Juice Bar (obviously not a real business) and Christmas greetings from the makers of Flank Chainsaws won Katie Sanders and Laurie Schwartz a last chance at writing glory, but it was Margaret Beach’s turn to go through the Trap Door. Finally, Laurie and Katie had to come up with the first two lines of a three-line story… on yellow writing pads on their laps…and in 90 seconds….

After weeks of effort and tension and achievement -- from the writing contest in January, through the auditions, the short list, the semi-finals and the finals – it was all over in a couple of minutes. Katie pulled ahead by a crucial point -- and became the winner of Canada Writes 09! Listen to the show! Read the blogs!

Canada Writes Judges

For more photos, go to

Winner of the Online Challenge! Ontario's Heather Smith is the winner of this year's People's Choice Award. Her winning entry was a re-write of the ABBA song 'Waterloo.' Take a look!

Canada Writes Blog

What’s it like to play Canada Writes? Read what contestants have to say about the game.


Katie Sanders (Nelson, BC)
Katie SandersWinner Canada Writes 09

(April 27, 2009) Canada Writes Finals! …It’s hard to know how to wrap this up. I’m having trouble remembering what it feels like to live without the constant stress and excitement of the Canada Writes competition.

Read full blog post

Laurie Schwartz (Banff, AB)
Laurie SchwartzWestern Finalist 09

(April 27, 2009) Toronto. A far cry from the crisp mountain air of Banff. A thrumming mass of humanity fuelled by caffeine and street meat. The final showdown of Canada Writes 2009.

Read full blog post


Kaveh Mohebbi (Toronto, ON)
Kaveh MohebbiEastern Finalist 09

(April 27, 2009) I've learned now, that life is what happens to a writer between writing contests and drafts. Alas, as the sun sets on Canada Writes, I bid adieu to the cast and crew of GO! and feel an array of emotions: happiness and bliss for making it to the final round, yet humble sadness for not being crowned Mr. Canada Writes (ha ha ha).

Read full blog post

Margaret Beach (East York, ON)
Margaret Beach Eastern Finalist 09

(April 27, 2009) Before Canada Writes, the only thing I excelled at was having babies. Number 1 arrived in only five hours. I didn’t even break a sweat. I had the knack. Right down to the last one.

Read full blog post

Read the Canada Writes Blog.