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Grab your pens: Callout to young writers!


The Awesome Authors contest is back! The youth writing contest encourages young authors to submit creative writing in the efforts to win prizes. Any writer aged 9 to 18 and residing in Ottawa can submit their creative work. They can submit a piece of original writing in each of three literary forms: a poem, a comic or a short story – in English and/or French. One submission per form and language. 

Awesome Authors is one of the Ottawa Public Library's longest-running and popular programs and this year's edition is seeing a change in one of its categories. New this year, comic entries can be written by two authors. Submissions are divided into two age categories: 8 to 12, and 13 to 18. Winners will receive cash prizes and, as in previous years, the winning entries will get published in the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association’s (FOPLA) pot-pourri anthology.

OPL is keen to foster creativity and develop writers so is offering a series of writing workshops to support young writers in their craft throughout the month of February. Published local authors will coach, guide and help motivate young writers through these workshops. The same skilled and generous writers will also serve as contest judges.

The deadline for all submissions is February 28, 2020. Entries must be submitted electronically on the contest webpage, or in person at any branch or bookmobile stop. More detailed information about the Awesome Authors contest and rules can be found online at

Contest winners will be announced, and cash prizes awarded at two distinct ceremonies, one for the 9 to 12 age category and one for those aged 13 to 18. Both ceremonies will include fun and engaging activities to celebrate writing and creativity. The award ceremonies will take place on April 25, 2020 at Meridian Theatres @ Centrepointe.

Awesome Authors youth writing contest is sponsored by the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association (FOPLA) who also publish pot-pourri, an annual anthology of the winning poems, stories and comics. pot-pourri makes a great Christmas gift! To get your copy, visit the FOPLA website at



Thanks for organising the annual Awesome Authors competition. My daughter has been participating in the competition for a few years but she is discouraged this time around given the change in the age categorization since last year (the decision to create one category for all kids in the 13-18yrs group). The maturity level of the kids at age 18 is incomparable with 13 year old kids and as such, it if unfair for the younger kids. The age categorization before last year was reasonable given that there were two age categories between 13 & 18. We kindly ask the Association to reconsider the decision of making one age group for all in ordert to encourage more kids to participate in a fair competition. Best wishes for this year's competition!

Hello rishanthi,
The 13 to 18 category has stayed the same, no changes were made.Last year, many of the winners in the category were 14 and 15. Your daughter should not feel discouraged as her odds are still the same. Also, I would suggest signing up for a writing workshop, where local authors will help attendees with their Awesome Authors submission.
Here's the link to the workshops: