Aurora Newmarket
Short Story Writing Contest

Secondary School Winners & Finalists                                              

Elementary School Winners & Finalists                                              

Other Finalists (alphabetical order)

Victoria Kolb “Charlotte

Gabriel Lozada “Genesis Amidst Revelations

Samara Mathew “Back to Where the Bluebells Bloom

Sarah Silva “Ballerina in a Music Box

Other Finalists (alphabetical order)

Melina Danesh “The Crow’s Voice

Faith Kalia “Broken Portrait

Micki Lam “Brighter than any Sun

Meilun Yu “The Tightrope
The irony of the question, “When did it all go wrong?” could not be ignored this year by the members of the Writing Contest Committee. Despite the new rules for self-isolating and social distancing, we were able to complete all three levels of judging of this year’s entries. 

Thank you to all 123 students who submitted stories this year – 46 elementary students and 77 secondary students. The judges were impressed by the creative approaches young authors took as they worked with this year’s story starter. 

We thank Ted McFadden, Managing Editor of Metroland York Region and Meghan Ferrari, our celebrity author for their support of the contest again this year. They joined Lynn Bird, President and Janis Bell, Vice-President of CFUW Aurora-Newmarket for the final judging of the stories. 

Unfortunately, our awards reception scheduled for May 6 has been cancelled because the COVID-19 pandemic, but we are pleased to announce the winners and contest finalists for the 10th annual CFUW Writing Contest.

1st Place – Mending Melody by Valerie Gieb 
Valerie is a Grade 8 student at Franklin Street Public School in Markham. She is honoured and thrilled to be recognized as the winner of this year’s writing contest. Her mother read about the contest in the local paper, and Valerie decided to try it. She also enjoys music and decided to include this idea in her story as music has been an outlet for her to deal with disappointment and frustration. She has participated in the Battle of the Books, a partnership with CFUW Markham and Markham Public Libraries that encourages students to read and discover new authors. Valerie will attend Bill Hogarth Secondary School in September.

2nd Place – The Fire Within by Maddie Gagne
Maddie is in Grade Seven at Aurora Heights Public School. She read about the contest in the local paper and was encouraged by her father to enter. This was her first time entering a short story contest, but she did enter a poetry contest in Gr. 5. She has always been fascinated by the supernatural and used this for her science-fiction themed story. She enjoys reading, writing singing, and playing sports. Maddie enjoyed the process of entering this contest and is encouraged to keep on writing; she is excited to enter the contest again next year. 

3rd Place – The Journey Around the Riverbed by Laura Nobili
Laura is a Grade 8 student from Richmond Hill. This is her first time entering a writing contest. She enjoys writing fictional stories that reach deep into the reader's hearts. Laura decided to participate in the CFUW Writing Contest as a challenge to write a short story. Her story conveys a message of hope, courage, and determination, when faced with challenges such as bullying. When Laura is not writing, she plays piano and flute, composes music, teaches piano, enjoys singing, and participates in robotics competitions. She has been accepted to the Arts Mackenzie program at Alexander Mackenzie School for September. 

1st Place – A Walk Down Memory Lane by Amy Jing
Amy is a Grade 12 student at Bayview Secondary School in Richmond Hill. She was excited to write a story using this year’s prompt. She was inspired to write about the fear of failure and being trapped by decisions, something she and her peers are experiencing as they prepare to graduate. Amy wanted to write a story with showing that although the passage of time changes people and places, it is never too late to try to fix things for the better. She will be attending the University of Waterloo and studying Legal Studies and Sociology. 

2nd Place – The Separation by Anjali Rao
Anjali, a Grade 12 student in the International Baccalaureate program at Cardinal Carter Catholic High School in Aurora, was encouraged by her English teacher to enter the contest. During these difficult times of the COVID-19 crisis, the news that her story placed second was most welcomed. Her story addresses what happens when greed goes unchecked and the consequences of putting human lives on the line in order to fulfil economic interests. Anjali is passionate about issues related to the environment, health, and inequality. She has accepted an offer at the University of Toronto and will study economics and international relations.

3rd Place – Till Death Do Us Part by Sarah Grishpul
Sarah is a Grade 10 student at Richmond Hill High School. She was drawn to writing by her love of reading and desire to create stories of her own. She is in a writing club at school and enjoys English, drama, and visual arts. She says she is fortunate to have a supportive family and friends who inspire her. In fact, it was her father who saw the CFUW contest advertised in the local paper and encouraged Sarah to enter. She wanted to write a story with a psychological spin to it and thought the topic of revenge would work well with this idea. 

Click here to read media coverage about our contest winner, Amy Jing.
Click here to read media coverage about our contest winner, Valerie Gieb.