The results are in! Please see below for the wonderful winning entries.

2016 BookFest Windsor Student Writing Contest Results

Congratulations to the winners of our 2016 BookFest Windsor Student Writing Contest! These young authors received their prizes and read their award-winning work on the opening night of BookFest Windsor, Friday, November 4th at 6:00 p.m. at the Art Gallery of Windsor.

English Language, 6-9

  1. Keir Lavoie   St Jean de Baptiste   Heard
  2. Keir Lavoie   St Jean de Baptiste    Listen
  3. Meghan Carvalho Academie Ste Cecile       My voice matters

French Language, 6-9

No winners declared

English Language, 10-13

  1. Cassia Lavoie St Jean de Baptiste    #myvoicematters
  2. Cassia Lavoie St Jean de Baptiste       My Voice
  3. Catherine Andary  Ste Marguerite d’Youville      What Can I Say?

French Language, 10-13

  1. Arianne Andary Ste Marguerite d’Youville Votez est d’une grande importance
  2. Cassia Lavoie St Jean de Baptiste Juger


English Language, 14+

  1. Farah Ghafoor Vincent Massey       The Voice of an Ocean
  2. Hira Chaudhary St. Joseph’s            Banshee
  3. Theriza Veloro Holy Names             Only Counting Down



The 2016 Student Writing Contest is here! See below for rules and guidelines

BookFest Windsor 2016  student writing contest


2016 BookFest Windsor Student Writing Contest Results


English Language, 14+

1st place prize

Farah Ghafoor

Vincent Massey      

 The Voice of an Ocean

I would crawl up your shores even if you pushed me back

soon after. I would cross these boundaries you’ve set up

to hold me in place, me and my blue tongue –

I would eat up the sand and make teeth from the shells.


You hear my voice in the conches, yet throw them away

unanswered. In return, I slap at your ankles and sting to get your attention.

When you sleep, there even less hope, so I sing you a lullaby

with the silver moon beaming on my neck. Dawn arrives


in her peachy glow to settle me down, but sometimes she joins

with a relentless hum. Our song tumbles through your window

beside the morning light, but still you do not wake. There is nothing I can do

when you keep away like this, when I am made beast


at your beck and call. Listen to what loves you: listen, even though

your body is paper, drenched and mute. I may be a monster, but those

who come to me I nestle in my wide arms. I may be an ocean,

but I have never been more than what I am now: I flood. I flood.


2nd place prize

Hira Chaudhary

St. Joseph’s           


 A scratch itches in your throat.

Constantly grasping at your attention.

And no matter how many times you clear your throat, the itch just won’t leave you alone.


Your mom diagnosed it as the flu.

The doctor diagnosed it as some foreign virus.

You diagnosed it as “it doesn’t matter”

And the loony, poetic teacher that kind of weirded you out, diagnosed it as “you don’t use your voice as much kid”


You laughed in his face, sputtered out incoherent words, and slammed the door in his face.


You were known for using your voice.

Spitting out stories so rapid, it would leave those around you in awe.

Rap verses about the girl you hooked up with, and solid thumps about the test you just aced circled

around you, and made your definition of “voice”

You were the next poet. The next world shaker.

You were the next game changer.


That is what you thought.


But as I sat there, listening to you hum the beat of your new song, I shook my head in disbelief.

Because you would pause to clear your throat every damn second.

What a waste… what a waste of soul.


What are you afraid of?


You try to shake the world by hard beats, and deep thunder, lightning so bright, and screams so sharp.

But yet it has never worked.


Your soft melody that haunts you in your sleep, the silent thrums of thoughts and wonder, the vivid

dreams you keep locked inside your heart, will bring the world back to life.

Your true voice will seep life into nature, and blossom everything you touch.

You will be the most powerful man on Earth, if you just let that voice speak.

If you just took a damn cough drop, and scream like the banshee you are.


Because no matter how absurd you think your true voice is, it will always matter.


3rd place prize

Theriza Veloro

Holy Names            


Only Counting Down


One, two, three, four. We are supposed to start at two. It’s 2:16. I didn’t want to be here, so he should at least be on time. Gran’s expecting me at 3:20. This means I only have forty-four minutes left of the session and twenty to drive to Gran. Since I’m new around the area, I’ll ask to leave early. My legs are bouncing faster by the second. I hope Gran’s okay.


One, two, three, four. If my eyes aren’t on the clock, they glare at the awards against the wall. For someone who received many prestigious titles from doctorate degrees to a Nobel Prize, he should hang them up properly. His certificate should be standing proudly rather than hanging crooked. My God, I want to adjust it. Hell, I need to. Will he notice if I fix it? Am I allowed? What time is it?


One, two, three, four. Just a tilt to the right and it’ll be straight. You can do it. Mom said I wasn’t allowed to bring my gloves because he wanted to see if they need ointment. They didn’t hurt, only if I clenched them into fists. Without the gloves, I notice that they are tainted pink, knuckles slightly darker, skin a bit rough. Maybe they just need some moisturizer. See Mom? I don’t need help. It’s 2:18. You can do it.


One, two, three, four. The door creaked. My neck basically snapped to check who it is. Oh, it’s just him. I need him to check my neck. What if I need a brace? If I get one then I can’t afford to get special hand cream. It’s 2:20. Gran must be getting ready. I can feel him staring. Does he know the award is crooked, too? I lift my right hand and angle the corner properly. My hand is shaking and so is my leg. Am I having a seizure? He’s staring at my hands. My gloves, no, pockets. Shoving my right hand first and then my left, I made my way back to the lounge chair. He’s going to ask you a few questions, relax.


One, two, three, four. The award fell. It’s all my fault. He excuses himself and picks it up. He doesn’t bother hanging it again. Now, there’s an empty spot except the hook. If I didn’t try to fix it then it wouldn’t have fell. It’s all my fault. It’s 2:23. I pull my hands out. They aren’t just pink with a tint of red. My skin’s peeling and my knuckles are on the verge of releasing blood. They feel rough as I rub them. I think I’ll ask for medicine. I just need to take the award and place it back where it belongs. He’s staring at me. Do something or he’ll think there’s something wrong with you. Maybe there is. The doctor looks at me intently, expecting me to say something. Calm down, it’s 2:24.


One, two, three—


“I need help.”




English Language, 10-13


1st place prize

Cassia Lavoie                    

St Jean de Baptiste   




Snapchat. Instagram. Tumblr and Twitter

Your “voice” coming through my phone

Is bullying and bitter

Don’t use your device to point out flaws

Use it to change those unfair laws!

Speak up for change. Let the whole world know.

Your thoughts and opinions should shine with a glow.

Raise funds to end hunger. Petition for rights.

Post it publicly. Stand up together and fight.

#myvoicematters. Make a statement that counts

Or nothing will happen. Not even a small amount.


2nd place prize

Cassia Lavoie

St Jean de Baptiste      


My Voice


It strikes chords

From the lowest to the highest

I can use it to say the deepest compliment

Or to give the most shallow of all observations

When it travels on the waves of sound

From ear to waiting ear

I must decide. Because it matters.

Will I start a nasty rumour?

Or will I use my sense of humour?

I could hurt a person gravely

Or stand up for a friend. Bravely.

I can preach peace or I can spread hate.

The pitch and tone can cause you shame

I can choose to blame or I can defame.

In the end I don’t have to speak loudly

But what I say, I will say proudly.


3rd place prize

Catherine Andary 

Ste Marguerite d’Youville     


What Can I Say?


One might ask, “What can I say?”

A word in a song, a phrase in a play.


Martin Luther King Jr. marched to end segregation,

his speech “I had a dream” forever changed a nation.


Rosa Parks said “No”, all while refusing to stand,

starting an uprising that swept through the land.


These are simple words, humble beginnings, small actions,

turned into big phrases, huge statements, enormous reactions.


Malala fought for a better life,

freedom of education, an end to girls’ strife.


On the younger generation Craig Kielburger had his sights,

standing up and fighting for children’s rights.


Although it may seem impossible to you,

Activism begins with just an idea or two.


Nelson Mandela fought for equality,

an end to racism, a time for peace and prosperity.


Gandhi preached love, forgiveness and non violence.

all while leading the struggle for independence.


Much has been done, but there remains so much more to do,

Stand up and fight for the cause most dear to you.


Do not be afraid to raise your voice,

Where to begin is your personal choice.


Towards adversity and inequality make strange,

Then, from within bring about change.


What more can I say?

Tomorrow starts with you today.




French Language, 10-13


1st place prize

Arianne Andary

Ste Marguerite d’Youville


Votez est d’une grande importance


Tu peux faire ton choix,

En utilisant une carte de vote.


Sur la carte il y a des options,

Coche simplement ta réponse.


En exprimant ton opinion,

Tu peux faire une différence!


N’ importe où, n’importe quand,

Tu peux transmettre un message.


Tu as une chance, prends-la!

Ta voix doit être entendue en tous lieux.


Avec ce choix,

Tu peux changer ta communauté.


Tu as pris une décision importante,

Un choix peut être d’une grande importance.


2nd place prize

Cassia Lavoie

St Jean de Baptiste




Est-ce que tu m’écoute ou seulement tu m’entends ?

Pourquoi est-ce que mes idées n’ont pas de poids

quand je parle avec toi

Tu vois une petite fille, mais pas les grandes idées

Ma peau brune te fait questioner ce que je pense

Mais tu n’as aucune perception comment j’utilise mon imagination

Mon corps est seulement un costume

qui masque des opinions qui pourraient changer le monde

Sans tes préjugés, ma voix pourrait voler.




English Language, 6-9


1st place prize

Keir Lavoie  

St Jean de Baptiste  




Sometimes my voice is not heard

Everyone ignores me

In school everyone has a hand up

But my teacher picks me once

in a blue moon

at the dinner table when I say something

adults talk over me and—interrupt—me

I feel like my suggestions are not taken

“Listen to my ideas!” I scream in my head

on a car trip when I suggest a restaurant

and all the other times too.

Today my friend, who is always loud and is always called on in class

sat down and told me about his parents’ divorce

he said, “nobody listens to what I think. My voice is lost in all the yells.”


He wanted to talk about it

I said, quietly, “Don’t worry. I will always be here for you.”
He smiled. Said “Thanks.” What I said really helped him.

Someone heard me. My voice really does matter.


2nd place prize

Keir Lavoie  

St Jean de Baptiste   




Listen, listen all around

In the sky and on the ground

Kids can make a difference too

You don’t believe me? It is true.

Last year I thought kids had no voice

Things happened to them. They had no choice

but Malala won a Nobel Prize

She fought bullies who hurt her with words strong and wise

There are lots of kids besides this one

Anne Frank wrote a journal about how she had to run

Every kid has a voice that matters

So shout your ideas till the silence shatters

Stop those voices who keep kids quiet

Or there just might be a kids’ voice riot.


3rd place prize

Meghan Carvalho 

Academie Ste Cecile      


My voice matters


Listen to our voices.

Our voices are creative.
Our voices are loud.


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