Teen Writing Contest

The Teen Writing Contest has closed and submissions are currently under review

Thank you to everyone who submitted an entry. We got a lot!!! So we expect to announce the winners of the contest in each category by October 11.


Submit your best poem, short story, or song lyrics for a chance to win a 75$ gift card! 

When is it?

June 14 to September 4, 2021

Who can Participate? 

For Teens (13-18)

How it works

Share your unique perspective and style in the format that speaks to you:

  • Poetry - Submit an original poem that is 12 to 36 lines long. It can be rhyming or free verse.
  • Short Story - Submit a story that is 500 to 2,000 words long. Mysteries, modern fairy tales, realistic drama, humour, or wherever your inspiration takes you.  Note: the paper pamphlet for the contest says 5,000-10,000 words. It was a bit long! Aim for 500-2,000 words but we will accept longer submissions if you've already written a longer story. 
  • Song Lyrics - Submit song lyrics for a song that is approximately 3 minutes long. It can be any genre. We are judging based on the words you write but submitting an audio version of the song is encouraged. 

How many can I submit?

You can send in 1 submission per category (poem, short story, and song lyrics).

Who is the judge?

Young Adult author Ashley Little will be the judging the short stories for the contest!

What are the prizes?

Win a $75 gift card from either Indigo, Opus Art Supplies, or Best Buy.

All submissions will be published in an ORL eBook youth writing anthology called Paper & Press.

When does it start?

June 14

When is the deadline?

September 4

How do I enter the contest?

Send your submissions to: contest@orl.bc.ca

Attach your submission in a word processing document (e.g. Word doc, Open Office, or Google Docs). If you use Google Docs or OneDrive please make sure we can access the document! Please include your name, age, and phone number in the email so we know who to contact.


YA Author, Ashley Little, seated with an open book in an armchair.

About Ashley Little

Young Adult author Ashley Little will be judging the short stories for the contest! Ashley will also be running a special edition Writing Workshop on July 14.

Ashley is the author of three books for young adults:

Anatomy of a Girl Gang - Told in stark, vivid, and fearless prose, Anatomy of a Girl Gang is a narrative punch to the throat, a screaming, spray-painted portrait of urban gang culture; a brutal, unflinching story of lost girls struggling for power, voice, and hope.

Confessions of a Teenage Leper - You thought it was bad having braces and acne and a stupid looking haircut? Try being a high school leper.

The New Normal - While grappling with the devastation of her sudden hair loss, Tamar is fired from her first job, lands a role in the spring play, is suspended from school, and robbed at gunpoint. Somehow, she manages to survive it all, with the support of her best friend, Roy.

Want to know more about Ashley? Visit her website at: https://ashleylittle.com





Slam! Open Mic Night

Register Online (Required) | Tuesday, July 6, 6:30 to 7:30 PM PDT| | Teens 13-18

Kick off the writing challenge by sharing your voice with other lovers of the written word! A $25 gift card and a book of poetry will be awarded to the winner of the slam.

Words beg to escape the page. If you bleed raw stream of conscious in your words, they need to be belted out to express the pain, anger, or joy. Words are the most powerful when presented by the crafter. Find your voice; being seen for your art is for the joy of everyone.

  • Poets - if you carefully craft your style with measured syllables and rhyme, that can be brought to life with the rhythm and cadence of reading it aloud.
  • Storytellers - spin us a 2-5 minute tale. Let your tone and expression amplify the power of your narration.
  • Song writers - give voice to your lyrics. We celebrate the words and cheer on your melody. We welcome all genres.



Weekly Writing Workshop

Register Online (Required) | Wednesdays, July 14 to August 4, 6:30 to 7:30 PM PDT | Teens 13-18

Join the online writing workshop group to polish your work for the writing contest!

Connect with other writers, learn tips to improve your writing process, and get supportive feedback on your work. This is a casual space: come hang out, chat, and work on your latest piece. Don’t forget to bring your snacks!

For the first sessions on July 14, Young Adult author Ashley Little will run a special edition of the workshop on Character Building to get you started.


Join our Summer Teen Challenge

Our Summmer Teen Challenge dares youth to read, be creative, to write and more!