Short Story Contest

“Let’s enter a contest!” Ms. Liao said excitedly.

The class groaned.

“It’ll be easy,” she said. “We just write a story, maximum 450 words. Easy!” Ms. Liao handed out a double-sided entry form. One side was covered in rules. “Hmmmm. And then there are a whole bunch of rules. Okay, let’s see . . .” She scanned through the long list of regulations.

“This looks kinda hard,” Parker said. “What do all these words mean?”

“Those words work together to make sentences,” Alex told him.

“Okay, okay, don’t panic,” Ms. Liao soothed. She read from the list. “First: write your story in size 12 Arial.”

“Is that a type of bird?” asked Tony.

“Arial is a font, Tony,” said Ms. Liao. She could already feel both her patience and enthusiasm waning.

“What is a font?” asked Tony.

Ms. Liao pinched her toes together and felt herself age significantly. “A font is a set of type.” She silently marveled at her ability to sound gentle and kind.

“Should the title of my story be in size 12 too?” asked Richard.

“Yes,” Ms. Liao answered.

“What about my name?” he asked.

“Yes, that too.” Ms. Liao imagined herself playing ping pong, and the question as the ping pong ball. She wasn’t sure if she was winning or losing this match.

“Okay, I’ve finished my story,” Mariam announced proudly.

“What? I just handed this assignment out five minutes ago,” said Ms. Liao.

“I know.” She looked at Ms. Liao in the eye, unwavering in her stare. “Now what do I do?”

Computers magically appeared.

“Well,” began Ms. Liao hesitantly, “go online to On the right hand side, you’ll see a button: SUBMIT ENTRY ONLINE. Then scroll down and choose **STUDENT STORY CONTEST ENTRY**. A really lame entry form will appear. It’s actually the same as the paper copy I’ve just given you. You can copy and paste that into the body of the e-mail.”

“Soooo . . .did you say that Arial is not a type of bird?” asked Tony.

“Then, you can attach your story to the e-mail. Or you can copy and paste your story into the body of your e-mail, underneath your entry form. For some reason, they give you two e-mails you can send it to: and/or”

Mariam clicked through the instructions. “Wow, this online entry form does look really lame.”

Ms. Liao nodded her head in agreement. “Well, you could also fill out the paper copy, and then scan it or take a picture of it, and attach it to your e-mail.”

Mariam clicked, clicked, and clicked.

“Done!” she said with a smile. “Now all we have to do is wait for the prize money to arrive.”


From My Bedroom Window

I sit and look into the dark night

And watch the passing world with great delight

I gaze up at the marvelous distant stars

I can see Venus, Jupiter, the moon, and even Mars

I am amazed and in awe of how beautiful they are

As I ponder if we will ever travel that far

I see them dance and play through the Milky Way

As I watch silently from my secret hideaway

I feel the summer breeze gently blow past my bare feet

As they dangle down from my lofty window seat

I see a singular white cloud sail gently by like a puff of smoke

As I hear the soft call of a night owl as it gently awoke

When at last I must retire from this miraculous sight

I bid the wondrous world a gentle goodnight

By Meg Tobert

Shout-out to the Class of 2017: Elsa’s love for pasta

5 Variations on the Theme of Pasta

Monday – macaroni
With celery and carrots
And a little bit of tomato
Bland and watery, with
Empty, hollow centres
Tuesday – tortellini
Small and ring-shaped
Stuffed full of cheese
Seasoned with garlic
And a pinch of pepper
Wednesday – macaroni (again)
Alas, it is as plain and tasteless as I remembered
And yet, I continue, bite after bite
Because what else can I do?
Thursday – triploini
Tiny little bow ties
Bobbing up and down
In a sea of cabbage soup
Friday – fettucine
Wide ribbons of egg and flour
Wide ribbons of egg and flour
With a creamy chicken and mushroom sauce
With a small side of garlic bread
This week has had its ups and downs
Good days, and bad days
Lunches both delicious and unappetizing
And yet one thing remains the same – pasta

By Elsa Yuan, seen here in English 10 Literary Arts, circa 2015


Well done to all who entered, for your hard work and creativity!

A special congrats to Tate Hussey and Miranda Madsen-Orr, who have qualified as finalists! Over 600 students across the country entered. Miranda and Tate are two of the ten finalists in their age category. WOW! Congratulations!

Category: Grades 10-12

Age: 16

From: Vancouver, B.C.

School: Lord Byng Secondary School

Character: Richard III

From the play: Richard III

Topic: Donald Trump's presidency
“The Season of Anger and Lies”

The year is 2016. The country is torn by civil strife. Police roam the streets hunting young men. The country’s factories lie idle while a hopeful dictator waits in the wings.

Enter Richard J. Trump III, Duke of New York


This is the season of loathing and anger

The age of diminished belief

This is the dawn of a well-traveled path

To a new commander in chief



’tis a time for men of boastful deceit

When money’s to be had for claim

From the pockets of those who toiled and lost

To men with billions to gain


Hear me you poor and humbled men

I direct you to witness the stain

Of foreigners darkening our every door

And our country groveling in shame



Much do they mock me – those high-minded fools

Mock my tiny hands and hair

But I will avenge every remark

When I perch at the White House chair


Long have you waited, you people of Walmart

While the world passed you by with distain

For the chance to strike at the bankers of Wall Street

And the woman who speaks in their name



The bigger the lie the further it travels

I tweet fictions deep into the night

Till those losers devour every slippery word

And absorb fake news with delight


It is a time to wall out the strangers

Tell the world this is our land to claim

To bury science beneath the weight of religion

And Make America Great Again


Category: Grades 10-12

Age: 15

From: Vancouver, B.C.

School: Lord Byng Secondary School

Character: Caesar

From the play: Julius Caesar

Topic: 2016: The warmest year ever
“We are gods”

What sight!

To look upon these deeps and bounds,

and see them bow.

What mighty kings are we!

For every scrub, every petal, every paw,

to lay their brow upon our soil

and cry out:



Oh! and how we battle for this grip on greatness,

holding hurricanes down with rope and chain,

fighting wildfire with but knuckle and bone.

How clever are we?

to have turned mother earth onto herself.


From our shining hand

births every crack webbing across the wild,

and when it shatters,

We will use its shards as gems in our crowns.


Such power!

That even the mighty sea,

in all her foaming rage,

drags herself across the sand

to lay eyes upon our divine hands,

that create divine machines,

great enough that even riptides must succumb.

It is these hands

that reach into the night,

and tangle the strings holding constellations in the sky.

Our hands,

who may rip the head off

even the lion,

so the blood may rouge our cheeks,

and smear across the the sky,

hazing the world in crimson.

Such glory!

To play with the hues of oxygen.


We are gods!

And no knife may puncture our breast,

for it is forged in iron.

We are gods!

Who may burn the earth red hot and raging,

just to make shade a little sweeter.

We are gods!

And for that the earth must bow.