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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 comic writers.

About the contest

  • The contest starts Monday, December 2, 2019
  • Submissions will be accepted until Friday, February 28, 2020
  • 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.
  • Local authors Catherine Austen, Apollo the Child, Amelinda Bérubé, 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 to the library branch
    • no co-written entries will be accepted
  • 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    • be new, original, previously unpublished work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 comic entries must:
    • be drawn on one of the OPL templates 
    • ​be drawn on one side of an 8½" x 11" page
    • Be one to three pages maximum
    • Comics written by two authors will be accepted

**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:

English workshops:

Writing workshop with Catherine Austen, Stittsville branch, February 1, 11 am
Writing workshop with Amelinda Bérubé, Hazealdean branch, February 8, 1:30 pm
How to become an awesome comic book writer with Éric Péladeau, Ruth E. Dickinson branch, February 15, 2 pm

Poetry workshop with Apollo The Child, Greenboro branch, February 22, 10:30 am
Poetry workshop with Apollo The Child, Carlingwood branch, February 22, 2 pm

French workshops:

Comment devenir un.e super auteur.e with Karine Perron, St-Laurent branch, February 1, 3 pm
Comment devenir un super bédéiste with Éric Péladeau, Cumberland branch, February 15, 11 am 

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 Samantha Haas at or 613-580-2424 x32170
  • If you are submitting in French, please use the French version of the website.

About the entries

  • Entries will not be returned. No exception.
  • 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 in May. Keep an eye on our website and follow OPL on social media for updates in the days and weeks to come.