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The 2023 Awesome Authors Awards Ceremony celebrated Ottawa's young talents!

Monday, April 24, 2023

Ottawa―On Saturday, April 22, 2023, at 2 pm, the Ottawa Public Library (OPL) held the 2023 Awesome Authors Awards Ceremony in the Main Hall of the Dominion-Chalmers Centre, the first time since 2019 that the Library has been able to present the awards in person.   

The Awesome Authors writing contest, organized by OPL for more than twenty-five years, received, this year, a record-breaking 739 entries in poetry, short stories, and/or comics. In recent years, the Library received an average of 500 submissions.     

A celebratory atmosphere reigned on Saturday afternoon. The Chair of the Ottawa Public Library Board, Trustee Matthew Luloff, City Councillor for Orléans, was on hand to applaud the participants as was Sara Caverley Communications Director of the sponsoring organization Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association (FOPLA). The Master of Ceremony for the award show was Ottawa-based poet and author (and trained lawyer) Leslie Roach who was joined by the contest judges, local writers themselves who led writing workshops for the contestants: Apollo the Child, Catherine Austen, Pierre-Luc Bélanger and Amelinda Bérubé.   

This ceremony not only celebrated the passion for writing and the talent of Ottawa's young writers, but also highlighted the importance and impact of this contest in the lives of young people in the community. Among the special guests, Emily Murray, a former winner of the 1997 Awesome Authors contest, spoke to the youth and encouraged them to pursue their dreams and persevere in exploring and mastering their art.    

The Awesome Authors writing contest fulfills the OPL's mission to foster creativity and literacy in our community. Through this contest, Ottawa has seen the birth of aspiring writers who have shown bravery to share their stories and talent with the world.    

The Library gratefully acknowledges the generous financial support of the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association. Without their continuous support, this contest will not be possible.  

The winning entries will be published in an anthology called Pot-Pourri, which will be released at the end of this year. For more information about the Awesome Authors contest, please visit  

Congratulations to the winners of the 2023 Awesome Authors writing contest!  



Ages 9-12 

Honourable Mention: Nour Gazarin (11), Al-Furqan School A lost Friend 

Honourable Mention: Tuqa Sheikh (10)y, Al-Furqan School, Being Left Behind in the Darkness 

Honourable Mention: Raya Ghamian (10), Al-Furqan School, Paint Chips 

3rd place: Elena Mann (11), Westwind Public School, Pluviophiles 

2nd place: Hind Gabr (12), Al-Furqan School, Memories 

1st place: Eve Steffler (12), Glashan Public School, My Anne 

Ages 13-18 

Honourable Mention: Isnèle Hounkpe (16), Collège Catholique Mer Bleue, Honey and Ginger 

Honourable Mention: Jura Oudhoff (15), Longfields Davidson Heights, You Will Be Okay 

Honourable Mention: Mila Bjelakovic (16), De La Salle, failed artist gaze 

3rd place: Abby Langill (17), For the love of the rain 

2nd place: Alexandria Grunwald (15), Ottawa Technical Secondary School, No Tombstone Bears Your Name 

1st place: Chloé Bertrand (17), The Art of Creation 


Ages 9-12 

3ième position : Yamine Ajaoun (12), Un jour comme un autre 

2ième position : Margot Parham (12), De La Salle, Les fruits des cycles 

1ière position : Malie Frouin (12), De La Salle, Onde emprisonnée 

Ages 13-18 

Honourable Mention :Alissa Khan (18), Un amoureux sot 

Honourable Mention :  Edith René (14), École secondaire catholique Franco-Cité, Pissenlit 

3ième position : Isnèle Hounkpe (16), Collège Catholique Mer Bleue, Parce que je suis noire 

2ième position : Claire Guillemette (16), ÉSC Franco-Cité, Les Cordes 

1ière position : Isabella Wossen (16), 30 minutes 



Ages 9-12 

Honourable Mention: Saphira Garellek (12), Curtis and Amanda 

Honourable Mention: Kalina Singh (10), Joan of Arc Academy, Return to Rainbowea 

Honourable Mention: Eve Steffler (12), Glashan Public School, Jibes and Booms 

3rd place: Elena Mann (11), Westwind Public School, Stranger 

2nd place: Hannah Lightfoot (12), Huntley Centennial Public School, The Girl and the Sea Monster 

1st place: Asiyah Iqbal (11), Al-Furqan School, The Boy With Wings 

Ages 13-18 

Honourable Mention: Maeve Murphy (13), Hadley, Dear Violet Brown 

Honourable Mention : Sofia Hughes (16), École secondaire publique Gisèle Lalonde, Dreaming of Birds 

Honourable Mention: Eli Ernst-Fontaine (15), The Sky is Beautiful 

3rd place: Lucy Hambly (14): South Carleton High School, Quiet Skies 

2nd place: Margo Voloshina (18), Elmwood School, A blue memory 

1st place: Marissa Nasser (18), École secondaire catholique Franco-Cité, One Last Shot 


Ages 9-12 

Honourable Mention : Sara Mahdavi (11), Henry Larsen ES, Les Seuls Survivants 

Honourable Mention : Raphaël Rival (11), École élémentaire publique Trille des Bois, Survie 

Honourable Mention : Emmanuelle Héno-Leduc (12), Garneau, La magie est réelle 

3ième position : Marie-Louise Carisse (12), Garneau, La révélation 

2ième position : Hanane Snoussi (12), École élémentaire publique Julie-Payette, La réponse 

1ière position : Gabriella Herber (12), La vérité d'une légende 

Ages 13-18 

Honourable Mention : Maïa Hijal (14), Lycée Claudel, Pardonne moi  

Honourable Mention : Amélie Slevin (13), École secondaire catholique Béatrice-Desloges, Exterminateur non qualifié 

Honourable Mention : Mia Semaane (13), École secondaire catholique Béatrice-Desloges, Pays de beauté 

3ième position : Mayssara Boudjeltia (15), Omer Deslauriers, Le comte et le majordome  

2ième position : Léa LaBossière Vobornik (14), Garneau, La tronçonneuse 

1ière position :  Yuka Lê (14), Lycée Claudel, Les amaryllidacées de mon amour 



Ages 9-12 

Honourable Mention: Anaya Anand (11), Jack Donohue Public School, The Will 

Honourable Mention: Alan Wei (11), Kanata Highlands Public School, Andy Gao (11), Kanata Highlands Public School, The Redhead Snail 

Honourable Mention: Florence Swanson (12), Ready, Set, Go ! 

3rd place: Shengxi Qu (11), JDPS, Bob the cat-found a job 

2nd place: Lina Al-Natour (12), Half Moon Bay PS, Pigeons 

1st place: Aubrey Caron (12), Franco-Cite, Crush 

Ages 13-18 

Honourable Mention: Katherine Schmidt (14), Lisgar Collegiate Institute, Encouragement for Your Day 

Honourable Mention: Joseph Schmidt (16), Lisgar Collegiate Institute, "De-stress" 

3rd place: Olivia Gu (13), Picnic 

2nd place: Sofia Cipcigan (13), École secondaire publique Omer-Deslauriers, electronic heroes 

1st place:  Sienna James (14), Longfields Davidson Heights SS, The Collectors 


Ages 9-12 

3ième position : Benoit Carisse (10), Des Voyageurs, C'est tu beau? 

2ième position : Younous Azmi (12), École élémentaire publique Julie-Payette, Je m'adore 

1ième position : Raphaël Rival (11), École élémentaire publique Trille des Bois, Dépassée 

Ages 13-18 

3ième position : Dayna Xiao (15), L’ours et Boucle d’Or 

2ième position : Sofia Cipcigan (13), École secondaire publique Omer-Deslauriers, La devinette 

1ière position : Daphne Maki (17), Eliane Matte (16), Vie Ordinaire