UPDATE: Curbside services during the stay-at-home order– effective Apr. 8

08/04/2021

Starting Thursday, April 8:

  • All our open branches will offer curbside returns and holds pick up.
  • Customers will no longer be permitted to enter the buildings.
  • The Bookmobile and Homebound Services will continue.
  • Hours of operation will remain the same.
  • Borrowed items can only be returned when branches are open.
  • Mask wearing outside in line remains mandatory.

For more details, go to the OPL blog.

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Awesome Authors youth writing contest

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Web banner image for Awesome Authors contest (a child's hand holding a pencil)

About the contest

The Awesome Authors Youth Writing Contest gives young writers, between the ages of 9 and 18, the chance to win awesome cash prizes, get published and share their talent with the world!

This contest would not be possible without the generosity of the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association.

Meet the judges

Our awesome judges are all local authors, and you will have the opportunity to connect with and learn from these mentors through online workshops. Visit our Youtube Channel to learn a bit more about them.

Head shot of Catherine Austen

Catherine Austen

Catherine Austen writes for children, teens, and adults. Catherine’s books have won multiple awards. She has given writing workshops and presentations from coast to coast. You can find more about her on her website, and you can listen to her podcast of spooky stories.

Head shot of Apollo the Child

Apollo the Child

Apollo the Child is a Spoken Word poet, Hip Hop Artist, Radio Host, youth worker, events organizer and the current co-director of the Urban Legends Poetry Collective. Apollo is one half of the Hip Hop duo Poetic Elements with rapper/producer Masai. He has been active in the Ottawa arts scene since he was a teen.

Head shot of Amelinda Bérubé

Amelinda Bérubé

Amelinda Bérubé writes about ghosts and monsters and other things that go bump in the night. She is the author of two novels for young adults, The Dark Beneath the Ice and Bram Stoker Award nominee Here There Are Monsters. In her other lives, Amelinda is a mother of two and a passionate gardener. Find more about her on her website. Photo credit: Mondays with Mac Photograph

Head shot of Karine Perron

Karine Perron

A social worker, Karine Perron devotes her days to working for the well-being of people. What she wants to convey in her writing: hope, perseverance and the importance of believing in her dreams. Winner of the Prix Émergence de littérature jeunesse 2018 awarded by the AAOF, Karine Perron, passionate about literature and theater, pursues the incredible adventures of Florence with her unique style. 

Head shot of Éric Péladeau

Éric Péladeau

To this day, Eric Péladeau published over a hundred books and has collaborated to many magazines. Many of them were nominated or winners for awards. A writer, an illustrator and a graphic designer, public speaker and stand up comedian, Éric is not afraid to take on new challenges. Visit his website, to find out more.

Contest rules and regulations

Deadline and participation

  • The contest starts December 2, 2020
  • Submissions will be accepted until February 26, 2021
  • Open to all youth residing in Ottawa, ages 9 to 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 

All submissions must:

  • include the title of the piece on each page
  • be new, original, previously unpublished work
    • Definition of published: printed or made available online and issued for public sale.
  • be in French or English 

Please remember:

  • do not put your name on your work
  • include one entry form per submission
  • entries will not be returned
  • all winning entries will be checked for plagiarism. Entries that are plagiarized, previously published or that do not follow guidelines will be disqualified

Poems and short stories must be:

  • 1000 words or less
  • typed and submitted electronically directly on this webpage; OR typed on one side of 8.5”x 11” pages, and submitted at your local OPL point of service branch or Bookmobile stop - while an employee is present, with the In-Person Submission Form 2021
  • written by a single author

Comics must be:

  • drawn on one of the OPL templates (in order to offer a better printing quality)

And drawn on one side of an 8.5” x 11” page (in order to offer a better printing quality); OR created with a computer software using 8.5" x 11" format and following the OPL templates

  • one to three pages maximum
  • scanned (must be at least 400X400dpi - photo will not be accepted) and/or saved as a PDF, JP or PNG files and submitted electronically directly on this contest webpage OR printed in two color copies and submitted in a library branch with the in-person entry form 

IMPORTANT: comics written by two co-authors are accepted and must be submitted at your local OPL point of service branch or Bookmobile stop - while an employee is present. Online submission will not be accepted for these submissions.

Prizes

  • Each participant will automatically be entered in a draw to win a $25 gift certificate at Librairie du Soleil or Octopus Books - 1 entry per participant.
  • Winners will see their work published in pot-pourri, an anthology featuring the winning entries, and will receive cash prizes:
    • 1st place: $60
    • 2nd place: $40
    • 3rd place: $30
    • Honourable Mention: $20
  • If they win a prize, the co-authors (comic book authors only) will have to share the cash prize received.
  • A participant can submit one work in each category and can win several prizes (for example, a prize of 1st place in the BD category and 1st place in the Short Story category).
  • Contest winners will be announced online. More details will follow.

Get writing tips

Register for a virtual workshop hosted by a local author, and contest judge! They will share their knowledge and experience with you! You can also visit our YouTube Channel to discover other tips from our judges.

For ages 9-12

For ages 13-17

Submit your entry

  • Submit your work online or in person at your local OPL point of service branch or Bookmobile stop - while an employee is present.
  • 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 are submitting in French, please use the French version of the website.
  • If you are under the age of 16, permission from a parent/guardian is required to participate.