Teen ETCH Writing Contest: Eras

Thanks to everyone who entered our Teen ETCH Creative Writing Contest. All submissions are now being judged. Be sure to join us on June 1, 2024 for our Teen ETCH Book Launch! Mark your calendars.

Guelph Public Library and Vocamus Writers Community have partnered once again to offer teens in grades 7 through 12, living in Guelph and Wellington County, the chance to be published in their 2024 Teen ETCH Anthology this June!

Interested participants can enter the 2024 Teen ETCH Creative Writing contest by submitting a short story and/or poetry piece in 1,500 words or less on the theme of “Eras.”

There is no entry fee required but all submissions must be electronically received by 9 p.m. on Sunday, March 31, 2024 to teens@guelphpl.ca. Short story and poetry entries must be your own original writing, 1,500 words or less, typed and single spaced. Please do not submit your stories as a PDF. Your submission must include the title of your story, your full name, school, grade, phone number and guardian’s name.

All submissions will be judged by Librarians and local industry professionals. Finalists will then be paired with a local author mentor in early April 2024, who will share creative writing techniques to help polish their submission for final judging. Winners shall be chosen based upon creativity, originality, style, grammar and spelling. The decision of the judges is final.

Prizes will be awarded for both short story and poetry submissions. The top three short story entries in each of the following categories: Grades 7 to 8, Grades 9 to 10 and Grades 11 to 12 will receive prizes along with the top three poetry selections over all grade categories. Prize values are approximately $40 for first, $30 for second and $20 for third place. Chances of winning are dependent on the number of completed entries received. Winners will be announced during our  Teen ETCH Anthology Book Launch on June 1, 2024.

Content Guidelines

Submissions must be the sole work of the submitter, without substantial contributions from other people or from artificial intelligence. Submissions must not include offensive content, including but not restricted to graphic violence, explicit sexuality, gratuitous profanity, or discriminatory language.

Library Use of Entries
By entering your work, you acknowledge that Guelph Public Library shall have the right to use, modify, reproduce, publish, display, distribute and make derivative works of Entry Materials for promotional or any other purposes.

Original Work
You hereby warrant and represent that (a) you own all rights to all Entry Materials submitted by you; and (b) all such Entry Materials are original works of authorship on your part and have not been copied, in whole or in part, from any other work and do not violate, misappropriate, or infringe any copyright, trademark or other proprietary right of any other person or entity.

For More Information:

Jeremy Luke Hill
Vocamus Writers Community Publisher and Managing Director

Meg Forestell-Page
Guelph Public Library Supervisor of Community Engagement




2023 Teen ETCH

Borrow a copy of 2023 Teen ETCH!

Cover Art: Zola Senitt



First Place: “Gunslinger” by Rory Phelan
Second Place: “Smiles” by Hiba Khan
Third Place: “Falcon of Fire” by Elianna Wylie

Grades 7 to 8:

First Place: “A Song of Souls” by Lauren Zheng
Second Place: “The Dawning” by Piper Caporicci
Third Place: “The Corruption of Progress” by Liam Ruddock

Grades 9 to 10:

First Place: “The Obituary” by Lily Bitton
Second Place: “Little Bunny” by Charlie Ratcliffe
Third Place: “Fire Damage” by Hana Alice Maherali-Caruso

Grades 11 to 12:

First Place: “My First Friend” by Athavi Nishaanthan
Second Place: “They Called Me Katrina” by Julia Pelitis
Third Place: “All the Glitters” by Gwynne Valentine Ross


2022 Teen ETCH

Borrow a copy of the 2022 Teen ETCH!


Cover Art: Sadie Henry 


Grades 7 to 8 Winners

First Place: “The Book Carrier” by Alexis Jurchuk
Second Place: “Inoculation Challenge” by Piper Addison Caporicci
Third Place: “The Tale of Porcelain Throne” by Olivia Wang


Grades 9 to 10 Winners

First Place: “The Livestream” by Paisley Thomason
Second Place: “Emma and Lilah” by Lily Bitton
Third Place: “A Broken Promise” by Ailish O’Donnell

Grades 11 to 12 Winners

First Place: “Loved” by Athavi Nishaanthan
Second Place: “Statement” by Pearl Aalbers-Davey
Third Place: “I Spy” by Aisha Zubair


Honourable Mentions

“Sunlight in a Jar” by Hiba Khan
“The Desmariate Virus” by Eden Muller
“The Fallacy of Joy” by Mabel Taiwo
“Corona Virus Blues” by Hana Maherali-Caruso

2021 Teen ETCH

Cover Art: Clark Kurtz Favero

Grades 7 to 8 Winners

First Place: “Welcome to the Island” by Olivia Gyuran
Second Place: “Injected” by Kaelin Caporicci
Third Place: “Emerald Island” by Paisley Thomason


Grades 9 to 10 Winners

First Place: “Monster” by Athavi Nishaanthan

Second Place: “World in a Box of Matches” by Joseph Schuurman
Third Place:“Sunshine” by Sadie Pattison

Grades 11 to 12 Winners

First Place: “Windward” by Bea Aalbers-Davey
Second Place: “We are Many” by Aluki Chupik-Hall
Third Place: “Rules for the Road when Travelling Europe” by Darcy Tyrrell


Honourable Mentions

“The Chase” by Katelyn Heyboer
“Goodbye” by Leah Symons

2020 Teen ETCH

Cover Art Winners:

Bronwen Lee for "Summer"
Jiansen Zhang for "Untitled"


Grades 7 to 8 Winners

First Place: "Before the Sunrise" by Desmond Bradshaw
Second Place: "Just Around the Bend" by Mirren Litchfield
Third Place: "Twisted" by Jessie Witherspoon


Grades 9 to 10 Winners

First Place: "Him" by Athavi Nishaanthan
Second Place: "Breathe" by Melia Tessel
Third Place: "Chlorine and Other Constants" by Beatrix Aalbers-Davey


Grades 11 to 12 Winners

First Place: "Smokes on the Water" by Catherine McCulloch
Second Place: "Lavender Perfume" by Katie Gaskin
Third Place: "The Surface of the Sun" by Aluki Chupik-Hall

Honourable Mentions

"Dark" by Zechariah Nasir
"Here She Lies" by Luka Jamieson
"Lights Out" by Sadie Pattison
"At the Edges" by Alex Petrie
"The Leather Jacket" by Molly Griesbach
"Sand Dollar" by Maeve Brennagh


2014 to 2019 Teen ETCH

 Browse and borrow past Teen ETCH Anthologies.



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