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 December 1, 2017
  • Submissions will be accepted until February 19, 2018.
  • open to youth between the ages of 9 and 17
  • Participants must have an OPL card.
  • There is a limit of one (1) entry per person, per category. The five categories are: short story, poetry, nouvelle, poésie, bande dessinée/comic.
  • No co-written entries will be accepted.
  • Local authors Catherine Austen, Apollo the Child, Katherine Battersby, Michel Lavoie 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 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    • be new, original, previously unpublished work;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:
    • contain 3 unique cells;
    • 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!

For ages 9-12

For ages 13-17

How to participate

You can submit your work online:

Submit your entry

Or you can Submit 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 a 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 pass them off as your own it 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 March 27 at 7:00 p.m. at the Centrepointe Theatre. This event is open to the public.