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Awesome Authors youth writing contest

Young poets, authors and cartoonists - On your mark! Get set! Write!

The Ottawa Public Library invites you to participate in its annual Awesome Authors Youth Writing Contest, a contest for aspiring young poets, short story authors, and comics writers.

About the contest

  • The contest starts Monday, December 3, 2018
  • Submissions will be accepted until Tuesday, February 19, 2019
  • Open to all youth residing in Ottawa between the ages of 9 and 18 (must not yet have completed high school)
  • There is a limit of one (1) entry per person, per category. The six categories are: short story, poetry, comic, nouvelle, poésie and bande dessinée
  • No co-written entries will be accepted
  • Local authors Catherine Austen, Apollo the Child, Sarah Raughley, Karine Perron and Éric Péladeau will judge the submissions

Preparing your entry

  • Poems and short stories must:

    • be 1000 words or less
    • be typed and submitted electronically directly on the contest webpage OR
    • be typed on 1 side of 8½” x 11” pages, and submitted in the library branch
  • All submissions must:
    • include the title of the piece on each page
    • be new, original, previously unpublished work
    • be in French or English
    • include an entry form
  • The comics entries must:
    • be drawn on one of the OPL templates 
    • ​be drawn on one side of a 8½" x 11" page

      **You must include one entry form for each poem, or short story, or comic submitted.
      Please do not put your name on your work


Get writing tips

Register for a workshop hosted by a local author and contest judge. They will share their knowledge and experience with you!

Writing Workshops:

For ages 9 -12:

Poetry Workshop with Apollo the Child – Ages 9 to 12

Short Story Workshop with Catherine Austen – Ages 9 to 12

Comics Workshop with author Éric Péladeau – Ages 9 to 12

French language Poetry and Short Story Workshop with Karine Perron – Ages 9 - 12


For ages 13 -18:

Poetry Workshop with Apollo the Child – Ages 13 to 18

Short Story Workshop with Sarah Raughley – Ages 13 to 18

Comics Workshop with Eric Péladeau – Ages 13 to 18

French Language Poetry and Short Story Workshops with Karine Perron – Ages 13 to 18


How to participate

You can submit your work online


Submit in person at your local OPL point of service (branch or Bookmobile stop - (must be handed in person to an employee)


  • If you choose to submit your work in person, please make two copies of your entry, print and complete an entry form and drop by to submit your entry
  • If you do not receive confirmation that your entry has been received, please contact Sheri Riviere at or 613-580-2424 x32163
  • If you are submitting in French, please use the French version of the website.


About the entries

  • Entries will not be returned.
  • All winning entries will be checked for plagiarism. Any time you use someone else’s words or ideas and claim them as your own is considered plagiarism and is strictly prohibited
  • Entries that are plagiarized, previously published or that do not follow guidelines will be disqualified


Contest winners will be announced and prizes awarded during a ceremony to be held on April 13, 2019 at Meridian Theatres @ Centrepointe. Participants will receive an invitation by email.