Rebirth: Teen ETCH Creative Writing Contest 2023

The Guelph Public Library, in partnership with Vocamus Writers Community, is thrilled to announce the results and achievements of this year’s Teen ETCH Creative Writing Contest. This annual creative arts contest for teens in grades 7 through 12 provides opportunities for Guelph’s youth to express their thoughts and connect to their community through the power of storytelling. This year’s theme was ‘rebirth.’

“Congratulations to everyone who submitted an entry to this year’s teen creative writing contest,” shares Meg Forestell-Page, Supervisor of Community Engagement. “It is always inspiring to read the submissions each year. This is a wonderful opportunity for Guelph Teen writers to share their amazing creative talents in a welcoming space.”

Each winner received a Downtown Guelph gift certificate and is published in our ETCH 2023 Anthology.

The Library appreciates the continued support of the Vocamus Writers Community. All teen finalists were connected with a local author mentor, who worked with the teens to strengthen their writing skills. A special thank you to this year’s mentors for volunteering your time and expertise: Phil Andrews, Catherine Frid, Jean A. Gibbens, Jennifer Hewitt, Montaha Hidefi, Daved M. Muttart, Kali Pearson, Marion Reidel, Corrie Shoemaker, Beike Stengos and Marian L. Thorpe.

Enjoy reading this year’s ETCH 2023 Anthology by purchasing your own copy at the Main Library – second floor - for $20 each or 2 for $30 and keep on celebrating Guelph’s talented and creative youth!

And the winners are…

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


Etch Poster listing winners

For more information:
Meg Forestell-Page, Guelph Public Library Supervisor of Community Engagement
519-824-6220 extension 306

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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