Write On!

Write On! Tween Contest

injured stuffieOkay, writers - here's your 2018 story writing challenge! Take a look at this photo of the stuffie. How does it spark your imagination? What tale does it tell? We can't wait to read it!

About the Contest

Do you have a story to tell? Here's a great way to practice your writing skills and flex your storytelling muscles.

To enter the contest, you must:

  • be a resident of Burlington or attend a school in Burlington
  • be in grade 4, 5, or 6 in the September 2017-2018 school year

All participants are invited to an Award Ceremony & Writing Workshop on Sat November 3, 10am-noon, with local authors Jennifer Maruno and Sylvia McNicoll.

Entry Details

The contest runs June 1 to July 31, with July 31 being the final day to submit your story. You must include a completed Write On! entry form with your story.

  • one short story per person inspired by this photowriting quote
  • maximum 1,000 words
  • story must be unpublished original work
  • no fan fiction
  • no illustrations/graphics

Entries may be submitted electronically. An MS Word .doc or .docx files is preferred. Or, you may submit your story in hard copy at the information desk at your local library branch.


  • Typed double-spaced with a white 8-1/2" x 11" page layout.
  • Story title must be on the first page of the story only.
  • Do not include a title page.
  • Number the pages.
  • Entries are judged anonymously; please do not put your name anywhere on your work.

Email instructions

  • quote by william faulknerElectronic entries must be emailed as attachments to writeon@bpl.on.ca, with "Write On! 2018" as the message subject.
  • Each email will include two attachments:
    1. completed entry form
    2. one story
  • Each submission will be confirmed by email when received.


Stories will be read and judged by noted local authors Jennifer Maruno and Sylvia McNicoll.

Award Categories

  • ​Author Jennifer's Choice
  • Author Sylvia's Choice
  • Librarian's Choice
  • Tugs on the Heartstrings: a story that has us reaching for tissues, whether happy or sad tears
  • Newsworthy: a story fit for the headlines
  • Begs for More: a story we'd love to see continued

The fine print

The judge's decision is final.

By entering this contest, you give permission to BPL to:

  • use your name (first name and first initial of your last name only) for promotion purposes on the Library's print, visual, or electronic/online media; and,
  • publish your story on our website if selected as one of the prize winners.

About the Judges

jennifer marunoJennifer Maruno

Jennifer (Travis) Maruno chose early retirement from her position of elementary school principal believing she could make a difference in the world of children's literature. Her previous writing experiences were creating curriculum materials for Addison Wesley of Canada, and instructional materials for TVOntario.

Her novels of historical fiction for middle grade and young adult readers—Warbird, Kid Soldier, When the Cherry Blossoms Fell, Cherry Blossom Winter, Cherry Blossom Baseball, Totem—have been nominated for various awards including the Hackmatack, Young Readers of Canada, and Rocky Mountain Awards. In 2017, she released her first picture book, Moose's Roof.

Jennifer champions children's books as vice-president of CANSCAIP (Canadian Society of Children's Authors, Illustrators and Performers) and through presentations and workshops. She is a mentor for CSARN (Canadian Senior Artists Resource Network).

sylvia mcnicollSylvia McNicoll

Winner of the 2011 Burlington’s literary artist of the year, Sylvia McNicoll has written over 35 internationally published novels for young audiences. She’s served as president of CANSCAIP (Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers) and as a director for Access Copyright. She edited Today’s Parent Toronto for eight years and has given writing workshops and talks across Canada as well as in Korea for Canada’s 150th anniversary spotlight at the Seoul International Book Fair.

Currently, she teaches at Mississauga Living Arts Centre. Her 2017-18 Great Mistake Mystery Series (Dundurn Press) so far includes The Best Mistake Mystery, The Artsy Mistake Mystery, and The Snake Mystery, all set in Burlington, featuring an anxious 12 year-old who counts and analyzes mistakes while walking dogs and solving mysteries. Body Swap (Dundurn Press), her latest YA novel, is also set in Burlington and features a 15 year-old and an 82 year-old who meet in a fateful accident that switches their souls.