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Desi Youth Shine at Surrey Libraries’ 2023 Writing Contest


Surrey Libraries proudly celebrates the triumphant victors of the highly-anticipated 2023 Surrey Libraries Youth Writing Contest. The Awards Gala, held on October 11, was a resounding success, honoring the remarkable young talents in the literary realm.

Many of the talented winners and participants hailed from South Asian descent, adding an enriching and diverse tapestry of voices to this year’s contest.

Showcasing the creative prowess of youngsters aged 12-18, the annual Youth Writing Contest, a cherished tradition initiated in 1987, garnered an overwhelming response, amassing nearly 8,000 entries.

This competition, spanning various categories such as short stories, poems, comics, and a miscellaneous category encompassing essays, screenplays, or lyrics, remains free for all enthusiastic participants.

The extraordinary success of the event is attributed to the diligent coordination by Surrey Libraries’ adept team, magnified through the generous backing of devoted sponsors. Notably, Khalsa Credit Union, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and Surrey International Writers’ Conference stand as champion sponsors, contributing significantly to the contest’s success.

A collection featuring the winning entries will soon be available for borrowing or purchase at a nominal cost of $8.00, allowing enthusiasts to relish the inspiring compositions of these budding literary stars.

Stay tuned for an immersive journey through the imaginative landscapes painted by these young South Asian writers, encapsulated in the upcoming anthology, set to release in early November.

Junior Short Story                                           

First Prize: Henry Wheeler by Rishabh Gandhi

Second Prize: The Throne by Feifan Wang

Third Prize: Altan’s Revenge by Haider Athar Ansari

Honourable Mention: A Day in a Cat’s Life by Jia Lu Hai

Honourable Mention: To Be Heard by Lucy Prior                                              

Senior Short Story                                           

First Prize: Mother Tongue by Sharon Yang

Second Prize: Childish Indulgence by Kristy Tran

Third Prize: It’s Eating Me Alive by Alyana Amadeo

Honourable Mention: Conversations We Forget by Kirat Saran                                              

Junior Poetry                                    

First Prize: To Conquer the Darkness by Lucy Prior

Second Prize: An Ode to Childhood by Isabelle Fan

Third Prize: My Saviour by Landon O’Brien

Honourable Mention: Secrets by Eden Taillefer

Honourable Mention: Broken and Crumpled Up Flower by Alice Su                                               

Senior Poetry                                    

First Prize: Carnage by Carolyn Hu

Second Prize: brown sugar/the grandmothers by James Enns

Third Prize: Hidden by Ruby Parker

Honourable Mention: The Dictionary of Deception by Clary Chow

Honourable Mention: Porcelain Pity by Basma Mangat                                              


First Prize: Once Upon A Time… by Hui Shwen Neo

Second Prize: The Death of a Hero by Sophia Ng

Third Prize: Nobody Would Remember My Name by Shenelle Villacorta

Honourable Mention: Love, Aro by Esther  Park

Honourable Mention: Introvert by Annis Seo                                               


First Prize: On Righting by Teagan Chow

Second Prize: Rust (Driving Away) by Reagan Jaymes

Third Prize: rings, et al by May Chee

Honourable Mention: The Grinding Gear by Rehn Clyde Tan

Honourable Mention: Faith by Aadil Sood


Alicia Kardos

Amanda Kwan

Amethyst Lee

Annika Montiel Jorgensen

Annika Gill

Ayla Hamilton-James

Breanna Yang

Camden Batenburg

Divya Sondhi

Donovan Lin

Elayna  Robert-Gebert

Ellie Winship

Emmanuella Umar

Gurleen Virk

Gurmahek Athwal

Gursukhmani Basra

Gurvir  Muker

Hassan Ahmad

Hayden O’Brien

Japneet Kahlon

Jessica Bhandal

Karina Song

Landon O’Brien

Madison Lee

Manha Khan

Maya Sidhu

Meher Sohi

Mei Ming

Michelle Masood

Moneet Gill

Naomi Wilton-Jenkinson

Naseha Samreen

Natalie Kyon

Navkiran Sandhu

Nita Su

Olivia Kim

Pearl Jakhar

Rachael Le

Rianna Hayre

Rodlee James De Villa

Selah Phommaviset

Shanaya Loi

Shruthi Banka

Sienna Chow

Sofia Sutton

Sonya Ushakova

Sophie Liu

Sowon Kim

Tanushka Sharma

Vennex Hasler

Woorim Choi

Zaden Hasler

Zara Thandhi

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