Awesome Authors 2019

It’s time for all the young writers in Ottawa to get their awesome on!

The Ottawa Public Library wants you to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and write a poem, short story, or comic (or all three!) to enter into the OPL’s 2019 Awesome Authors youth writing contest.

The contest is open to Ottawa students aged 9-18. There will be two age categories this year: 9-12 and 13-18. There are two language categories: English and French. And three genres: poems, short stories, and comics. (You can enter one piece in each genre in each language, if you’re an extra-awesome author, for a total of six submissions!)

You’ll find all the important rules here on the OPL website.

I’ll be judging the English fiction submissions in the 9-12 age category — and I can’t wait to read your stuff!

Winners and honourable mentions will be published in next year’s Pot-pourri anthology. There’s also a cash prize and tons of glory. So why not give it a try?

You have lots of time to get your entry ready. The contest deadline is February 19, 2019. Winners will be announced in April at a super-fun ceremony in Centrepointe Theatre. (Check out my post about last year’s awards.)

If you’re not sure where to start, come to an awesome writing workshop in the new year. They’re absolutely free, thanks to Ottawa’s awesome public library system. Follow the links below to register in advance. (I hope to see some of you at my short story workshop!) Here’s the schedule:

Awesome Author Writing Workshops for ages 9 -12:

Poetry Workshop with Apollo the Child – Ages 9 to 12 (January 25th)

Short Story Workshop with Catherine Austen – Ages 9 to 12 (February 9th)

Comics Workshop with author Éric Péladeau – Ages 9 to 12 (February 9th)

Atelier d’écriture avec Karine Perron – les 9 à 12 (26 janvier)

Awesome Author Writing Workshops for ages 13 -18:

Poetry Workshop with Apollo the Child – Ages 13 to 18 (February 7th)

Short Story Workshop with Sarah Raughley – Ages 13 to 18 (February 9th)

Comics Workshop with Eric Péladeau – Ages 13 to 18 (February 9th)

Atelier d’écriture avec Karine Perron – les 13 à 18 (2 fevrier)

The contest is sponsored by FOPLA, the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association.(They’re the wonderful people who publish Pot-pourri.) 

The 2018 Pot-Pourri anthology, featuring last year’s Awesome Authors winners and honourable mentions, is available for purchase from FOPLA. It’s full of great poems, stories, and comics, and it makes a great Christmas gift for any young writers and readers on your list. Buy a copy today, or look for a copy to borrow from your local OPL branch. (I am a little biased because I’ve been the English editor of Pot-pourri for the past couple of years — but it’s honestly amazing. There are so many good pieces in this one!)

Pass on the contest details to Ottawa youth that you know. They may not even know they’re awesome authors yet — this contest might be just the encouragement they need to get started.

Good luck!

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