Book week 2015 - FREE competition for young writers

From the Canadian Children’s Book Centre website

Book Week 2015 Writing Contest

Do you love to write? Are you in Grade 4 to 12? If so, enter the Book Week 2015 Writing Contest!

Young writers from across Canada, in grades 4 to 12, are invited to submit their stories and/or poems (fiction or non-fiction) to the Book Week 2015 Writing Contest for Kids & Teens. Judging is done by noted writers from across Canada and one winner from each grade will receive a $250 gift certificate for the bookstore of his or her choice. Two honourable mentions from each grade category will also receive $50 gift certificates. The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2015.

Winning entries will be posted here on the Book Week website on May 6, 2015 during TD Canadian Children’s Book Week 2015.


  • Entries must be postmarked by January 31, 2015. They do not have to be received by this date.
  • Entrants must be in Grades 4 to 12 at the time of the contest deadline.
  • Entries must be written in English and must not exceed 1,500 words.
  • All entries must be original content.
  • Two entries per person are allowed and can be mailed together in one envelope.
  • All entries must include a fully complete ENTRY FORM.*
  • Please staple one entry form to each story/poem being submitted; do not use paperclips, binder clips, folders or duotangs.
  • Entries may be handwritten or typed.
  • No faxed or emailed entries will be accepted.
  • Due to the large volume of entries, we cannot acknowledge receipt of entry.
  • Contest open to residents of Canada only.
  • Winners will be announced on May 6, 2015 during TD Canadian Children's Book Week 2015.

* Please note that entries not accompanied by an ENTRY FORM will not be considered.


Writing Contest
c/o The Canadian Children's Book Centre
Suite 217, 40 Orchard View Blvd
Toronto, Ontario
M4R 1B9

For more information about the Book Week 2015 Writing Contest, please contact Sandra O'Brien at 416.975.0010 ext. 227 or

Interested in reading the winning stories and honourable mentions from our 2014 Writing Contest? Click here!

Are you the next youth Poet Laureate?

Are you a young poet (aged 13-21 years) living in the Capital Regional District on Vancouver Island? 

The deadline to apply for the honour of being the 2015 youth Poet Laureate has been extended to November 17. More details here:

Youth Poet Laureate

What does a poet laureate do?

You can learn more about the current Youth Poet Laureate, Morgan Purvis, here:

Morgan Purvis


John Dryden, Poet Laureate 1668

Image from Wikimedia Commons: John Dryden by James Maubert

What's up with you?

What are you doing on your summer vacation?

Are you polishing your poetry for the Young Writers of Canada competition that closes in October?

Are you writing a review or a short fiction piece to submit to the awesome Rookie website?

Are you planning a novel for NaNoWriMo in November?  

Are you writing short fiction for the prestigious Vancouver Writers’ Fest?

Whatever you are doing, I hope you are having fun and making many unforgettable memories!



Well done, Genny Knowles!

Congratulations, Genny Knowles!

Genny, a member of the Young Writers' Club of North Vancouver, won first prize in the Federation of BC Writers’ Young BC Writers Contest. The results haven't been posted to the FBCW's site yet but Genny received an email yesterday announcing the good news. Soon her story, Caitlyn's Book, should appear as the winner of the $400 scholarship. 

This was Genny's first competition and she is only in grade 8. She was competing against much older and more experienced writers.

Talent & hard work were on her side.

I’m sure this is the first of many writing achievements for Genny.


Photo from Wikimedia Commons: Congratulations Beach at Druidston Haven from a road alongside Hotel by Steve Sheppard

One door closes....

Good byes always make my throat ache.

Because I have moved out of the area, this week I led my last session of the Young Writers’ Club of North Vancouver.

It was a lively two hours with lots of laughs and some moments of pure poetry.

I’m going to miss you, young writers.

Next month the amazing Lisa Voisin will be taking over and she’ll lead the club to new heights. As hard as it was for me to say good-bye, knowing Lisa is at the helm made it much easier.

One era ends. Another dawns.


Photo from Wikimedia Commons: Wreck Beach by Jennamayyy

7th Annual Junior Authors Short Story Competition

Laura Thomas Communications is hosting another short story competition for young writers. Here are some of the details:

  • Opens February 1, 2014
  • Deadline June 30, 2014
  • Finalists Announced September 20, 2014
  • Winners Announced Live October 18, 2014 at the Junior Authors Writers Conference in Vancouver, Canada
  • Please read the rules and follow them carefully. If there is a tie for a prize, the winner will be the writer who did a better job following the rules.
  • Contest closes at midnight on June 30, 2014 (Pacific Standard Time)
  • FREE to enter  
  • Details about the feedback option for the 2014 contest will be announced when the contest opens.
  • One story per person.
  • Story must be in English.
  • Contest is open to anyone between 9 and 21 years old as of June 30, 2014. Proof of age may be required.
  • It does not matter where you call home. Entries from every country are welcome.
  • Your story can be about anything you like. Be creative and have fun. We don’t judge on the subject of your story, just on how well you write it. But remember that it will be judged according to the criteria for a short story. This is not a contest for scripts, poems, essays or other genres of writing.  
  • Maximum length: 1,000 words.
  • No images, illustrations or fancy fonts. Keep it easy to read. Not sure which font to use? Try Times New Roman 12 pt.


Go here for full information: Laura Thomas Short Story Competition


Picture from Wikimedia Commons: Typewriter Ideal from Seidel & Naumann, Germany by waelder


Maybe next year?

If you’re like me, you may find of the hardest parts of being a writer is working alone.  

That’s just one of the reasons why the Junior Author-Writers Conference last week was successful. It brought together over seventy young writers between the ages of 9 and 18 in a friendly, affirming day of workshops and new writing challenges.

Hosted by Laura Thomas, of Laura Thomas Communications, the conference was the first in a series to further the goal of fostering the development of young writers worldwide. I was invited to observe one of the workshops led by Darlene Foster, called Writing More Than You See.

Darlene read passages from different books to show how all five senses can be used to bring readers into the experience of the story. Then, she handed out photos and asked everyone to write a story about what happened just before and/or just after the pictures were taken. The stories from the conference participants were excellent.

Other sessions were:

Writing Effective Dialogue                                       Michelle Barker

How to Write a Great Article and Get it Published Deneka Michaud

A Story to Learn, Tell and Share                              Lois Peterson

Move Your Body, Clear the Cobwebs                       Jes von Henzke

If You Were the Publisher                                        George Opacic

So it was a day of great variety and many chances to build new friendships. Held at the Sandman Signature Hotel in Richmond (a satellite suburb of Vancouver, Canada) the conference room was spacious and well-lit. The food looked delicious and the laughter that filled the air said everyone was having fun.

Want to build new friendships to help you grow as a writer? Then mark this day on your calendar: October 18, 2014. That’s the date of the next conference.


Photo: Diversified teenagers by i(love)ny, ericsphotography from iStock

VWF Spreading the Word Youth Writing Contest

A competition by the prestigious Vancouver Writers' Festival is now open:

What's your story? Grab a pen and get writing, if the Vancouver Writers' Festival judges like what they read you could win a cash prize and have your work published in a magazine that showcases aspiring young writers.

The Rewards
Prizes will be awarded to the top two entries in poetry and fiction:

1st prize in each category: $300

2nd prize in each category: $200

Prize winners will be published in The Claremont Review and on the Festival website.

The Rules


  • The contest is open to all young writers enrolled in Grades 8-12 in British Columbia.
  • Entries will be accepted for previously unpublished work in each category:
  • Poetry (any style): 500 word limit
  • Creative Short Fiction: 1,500 word limit
  • Entries will be judged blind. Please do not put your name on your story or poem in the file you have uploaded or in the file name.
  • There is a $5 entry fee for each story or poem you submit, payable online through PayPal.
  • We will accept entries in MS Word Document or PDF formats. Please use standard margins, 12-point font and double spacing.
  • Winners will be selected by a panel of publishing and writing professionals.
  • Entries must be uploaded and payment confirmed by 5:00pm October 27, 2013.


Click here to enter!


Thank you, Eileen Cook!

I’ve read almost every book that Eileen Cook has written so when she accepted the invitation to lead the Young Writers’ Club this week, I don’t know who was more excited – me or the young writers.

I love Eileen’s books because they are funny and poignant. When she speaks, her stories are infused with intelligent humour. She recounted her journey from her earliest rejections to becoming a published, full time author. Her messages were ones we’ve all heard many times and need to hear many more times: keep on trying, keep on improving your craft. Read. Read. Read.

Her exercises fired up imaginations and led to a lot of laughter.

Thank you, Eileen, for carving out this time to visit our group. You’re a tough act to follow. I’m glad there is a month until our next meeting.

PS If you want to follow Eileen on twitter, her handle is @Eileenwriter

Blog for young writers

 Hello Young Writers,  

Thanks for a great turn out last week. Your talent and ability to be creative on the spot was most impressive!

If you're looking for a blog aimed directly at you, please go to the Lynn Valley Literary Society site and click on the drop down menu for the  the Young Writers' Club page. That's where you'll find Maggie's Blog.

Thank you,


Lynn Valley Literary Society: 

The Young Writers' Club of Lynn Valley

The Young Writers' Club of Lynn Valley, part of the Lynn Valley Literary Society, is coming back to life. Starting November 2012, I'm leading monthly two-hour workshops for writers in grades 5 to 12.

When:                The second Wednesday of every month

                          November 2012 to June 2013

                          4:00-6:00 PM

Where:               Mollie Nye House


                          940 Lynn Valley Road, North Vancouver

Pack your favourite pen and notebook and join us. Using various techniques including free-writing, role playing, black out poetry, and round robin writing challenges you will nurture your creative energy while silencing your inner critic. 

Full details here: Lynn Valley Literary Society


Photo by: wosephjeber