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2024 First Page Student Writing Challenge: Embark on a Literary Journey into the Future

In an era of transformative advancements and evolving societal landscapes, the 2024 First Page Student Writing Challenge beckons young minds to embark on a captivating literary exploration. This challenge invites Grades 7 to 12 students across Canada to envision the world 150 years into the future, crafting the captivating first page of a speculative novel set in the year 2174. Let your imagination soar as you delve into the realms of science fiction, fantasy, dystopia, or any genre of your choice, painting a vivid picture of a future both plausible and thought-provoking.

Challenge Overview: Unleashing Creativity and Imagination

Aspiring writers are tasked with imagining how current global issues and trends will shape the world in the coming century. Your creativity will be tested as you explore the possibilities of the future, delving into the realms of science fiction, fantasy, dystopia, or any other genre that captures your imagination. Paint a vivid picture of a future that is both plausible and thought-provoking, inviting readers to ponder the implications of our choices today.

Categories and Deadlines: Mark Your Calendars

The First Page competition is divided into two categories:

  • Category 1: Grades 7 to 9
  • Category 2: Grades 10 to 12

Submissions will be accepted from February 1 to February 29, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. ET. Don’t miss this opportunity to showcase your literary talent and share your unique vision of the future.

Esteemed Judging Panel: Basil Sylvester, a Guiding Light for Aspiring Writers

The esteemed Basil Sylvester, a non-binary author from Toronto, will serve as the esteemed judge for the 2024 First Page Student Writing Challenge. Basil, alongside their father Kevin Sylvester, is the co-author of the acclaimed middle-grade novel “The Fabulous Zed Watson” and its sequel “Night of the Living Zed.” Their work has garnered recognition, including being a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Silver Birch Award, and the Lambda Literary Award. Basil’s passion for storytelling and commitment to nurturing young writers make them the perfect guide for this exciting challenge.

Basil Sylvester’s Perspective: Encouraging the Next Generation of Storytellers

Basil expresses excitement at the prospect of reading entries from the very audience they write for. They recall their own middle school days, filled with boundless ideas and a constant urge to scribble on any available surface. Basil views this opportunity to engage with students’ creativity as a beautiful and humbling experience, allowing them to provide feedback and encouragement to the next generation of writers.

Prizes and Recognition: Celebrating Literary Excellence

  • Two winners, one from each category, will be selected by Basil Sylvester from a pool of 10 finalists in each category.
  • The winners will receive a one-year subscription to OwlCrate, a popular monthly book delivery service, fueling their passion for reading and discovery.
  • The winning entries will be published on CBC Books, a renowned platform for Canadian literature, providing a prestigious showcase for your exceptional storytelling skills.
  • Additionally, each winner’s school library will receive a generous donation of 50 books, fostering a love of reading within their communities and inspiring future generations of readers and writers.

Previous Winners: A Legacy of Literary Achievement

In the 2023 First Page Student Writing Challenge, Christian A. Yiouroukis and Bee Lang emerged as the winners in their respective categories. Christian’s story, “Where the Maple Leaf Grows,” transported readers to a world where maple trees held the key to a sustainable future, while Bee Lang’s “One Question” explored the profound impact of artificial intelligence on human relationships. These young writers demonstrated exceptional creativity and storytelling prowess, setting a high standard for this year’s challenge.

Additional Writing Opportunities: Nurturing Your Literary Journey

For those seeking further avenues to showcase their literary talent, the CBC Literary Prizes offer a range of competitions throughout the year. The 2024 CBC Nonfiction Prize is currently open for submissions, with the CBC Poetry Prize scheduled to open in April and the CBC Short Story Prize in September. These prestigious competitions provide a platform for writers of all ages and experience levels to share their stories and connect with a wider audience.

Conclusion: A Journey of Imagination, Inspiration, and Literary Excellence

The 2024 First Page Student Writing Challenge is an extraordinary opportunity for young writers to unleash their imagination, explore the possibilities of the future, and share their unique perspectives with the world. With Basil Sylvester’s guidance and the allure of exciting prizes, this challenge promises to inspire a new generation of storytellers and cultivate a deep appreciation for the written word. Seize this chance to embark on a literary journey that will leave an indelible mark on the world of storytelling.

Let your creativity soar, embrace the unknown, and paint a vivid picture of the future. Submit your captivating first page by February 29, 2024, and join the ranks of exceptional young writers shaping the literary landscape of tomorrow.