After long hours of work, the jury members of the Awesome Authors contest hosted by the Ottawa Public Library, announced the winners through videos you can view further in this article. From September 2019 to February 2020, young writers aged 9 to 18 were invited to submit an original piece of writing, in English or French, in each of the six categories: comics, poetry, short story, nouvelle, poésie et bande dessinée.
The awards ceremony could not take place as in previous years, so the OPL was creative and announced the winners via YouTube. The jury members, Catherine Austen, Amélinda Bérubé, Éric Péladeau, Karine Perron, and Khaleefa ‘Apollo the Child’ Hamdan, wanted to preserve the excitement for contest participants. They filmed themselves to announce this year’s winners and to salute all the young participants from across Ottawa. The judges discovered a lot of young talent in Ottawa.
This year, the contest received 530 entries from hundreds of participants, many of whom had benefited from numerous tips, techniques, and tricks by attending writing workshops given by the jury members.
Stittsville student 12-year old Kyara Collingwood, who attends Westwind Public School, took 2nd place in the Poetry category for ages 9-12, for the poem she entered entitled, Farewell on Monday. You can watch the video and hear the comments made of Kyara’s poem by Khaleefa Hamdan, AKA Apollo the Child and creator of the OPL’s after school writing program – Youth Speak.
In the Comics category, Sophie Brown-Graham, aged 17, was given a 1st Honourable Mention for her submission of So What’s it Going to Be Then? Sophie is a student at Sacred Heart High School. View the video and hear the comments made by Eric Péladeau a well-known Ottawa cartoonist.
Matthew Luloff, Chair of the Ottawa Public Library Board and Councillor for Orléans, said, “This contest demonstrates once again the OPL’s commitment to stimulate creativity and cultivate the art of writing. We can’t help but be impressed by the incredible talent and imagination of these young writers. We are even more moved by their message and their ability to translate their experiences into words of hope and solidarity. Thank you to the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association for making such an initiative possible.”
The official list of winners, organized by writing category, includes each winner’s name, the title of their winning work, age, school, and standing follows. The list is also available on the Library website.
Congratulations Kyara and Sophie!
The annual Awesome Authors Contest is sponsored by the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association (FOPLA), which publishes Potpourri, an annual anthology of all the winning poems, short stories, and comics. To get a copy of this year’s anthology, please visit the FOPLA website and sign up to receive one later this year.
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