2020 Young Adult Writing Contest Winners Announced

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Thursday, October 8, 2020

Surrey Libraries is pleased to announce and congratulate the winners of the 2020 Surrey Libraries Young Adult Writing Contest. The winners were acknowledged at a Virtual Awards Gala on Wednesday, October 14.

The Young Adult Writing Contest is an annual writing competition for youth aged 12-18. Since launching the contest in 1987, Surrey Libraries has received over 6,500 entries from aspiring young writers across Surrey. The contest is free to enter and young writers submit entries to one of the four contest categories: short stories, poems, comics, and a random category for other types of writing such as essays, screenplays, or song lyrics.

Rena Su, a multi-year entrant and winner in the contest, credits the contest with giving her not only more confidence in her writing, but also an opening to other opportunities, saying at the Gala: “With the seemingly small confidence booster that Surrey Libraries gave me, I was able to gain enough momentum to begin sharing my work. In between flurries of rejections and learning and improvement, I was able to land some of my first literary magazine publications and I also connected with people online and gained an editor position at a youth lit magazine.”  

“Every year our judges are truly impressed by the level of creativity and diversity in the entries,” explains Kelly Lau, Youth Services Librarian and contest coordinator. “It’s always a pleasant challenge to select the winning entries.”

This popular program is organized by the dynamic youth library staff at Surrey Libraries and is made possible through the generous support of champion sponsors Khalsa Credit Union and Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

An anthology of the winners’ work will be available online, to check out from Surrey Libraries branches, or purchased for $8.00 at the end of November.


Junior Short Story
1st Place – “The Worker,” Gurleena Sukhija
2nd Place – “Number 98,” Sofia Lemay
3rd Place – “Clueless,” Tiffany Montefrio
Honourable Mention – “Watercolors,” Victoria Wang
Honourable Mention – “The Girl Who Visits Dreams,” Emma Hong

Senior Short Story
1st Place – “Saudade,” Akash Ranu
2nd Place – “An Attempt at Building a Coffin for Ma,” Yue Chen
3rd Place – “Separate Ways,” Carmen Campbell
Honourable Mention – “The Everything Tree,” Annie Huang
Honourable Mention – “Citylights,” Rena Su

Junior Poetry
1st Place – “Grow Up,” Gurleena Sukhjia
2nd Place – “Assimilation,” Alyana Amadeo
3rd Place – “Hirosaki Castle,” Richard Su
Honourable Mention – “Rabbit Hole,” Khushi Cheema
Honourable Mention – “SKIN,” Leigh Kathryn Baculi

Senior Poetry
1st Place – “Plum Tea,” Maggie Lu
2nd Place – “Ode to the Window,” Ava Popowitz
3rd Place – “Overthinker,” Yana Fershstein
Honourable Mention – “Quick Fixes,” Audrey Kemp
Honourable Mention – “Astronomical Alliteration,” Muskan Poddar

1st Place –“Ethical Consumerism in a Capitalist State” (Essay), Muskan Guglani
2nd Place –“recounting that summer in which i woke, ate, slept, and repeated the motions mentioned above” (Creative Non-Fiction), Yue Chen
3rd Place –“Aletheia” (Essay), Dean Oh
Honourable Mention – “Crown in the Grave” (Song Lyrics), Gurshaan Chadha

1st Place – “Stairs of Life, Elevator to Heaven,” Yue Chen
2nd Place – “A Different Kind of Mind,” Stin Dang
3rd Place – “Quiescent,” Andrew Jung
Honourable Mention – “Stick Guy,” Seth Corbett


Junior Short Story
Adam Charleston
Aiden Li
Annika Gill
Julia Juteau
Lavanya Mohankumar
Manav Sharma
Nathan Yeung
Orobosa Otasowie
Pabasarini Kachchakaduge
Vivien Dome

Senior Short Story
Ava Gill
Elise Zhao
Erika Layton
Erin Hughes
Gurshaan Chadha
Kiera McAllister
Safa Ghaffar

Junior Poetry
Adam de Leeuw
Amanda Shi      
Chelsea Oliveros
Danielle Garcia 
Kelly Braun
Pabasarini Kachchakaduge
Perla Riad
Sukhman Kambo
Wasi Bilal
Yun Yi

Senior Poetry
Chenuka Lakwijaya
Ellen Oravec     
Gurshaan Chadha
Jaden Lee
Kinga Plucinska
Simran Dhanjal
Ya Xuan Bian     

Amanda Shi
Celina Qu
Esha Dhesi
Gurshaan Chadha
Jaden Lee
Katie Wu
Melanie Ko
Pabasarini Kachchakaduge
Safiyya Mohamed          

Amanda Shi
Barinder Bahia
Chiara Umali
Manjot Brar
Mishal Goraya
Owen Suzuki     

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