FAQs about Speaker's Award for Youth Writers

Who can apply to the Speaker’s Award for Youth Writers?

Ontario residents currently enrolled in grades 7-12 are welcome to apply to this writing contest.

How do I apply?

Submissions will be accepted via an online application each year. Complete an application and upload your writing submission.

I am a teacher, can I apply on behalf of my students?

Yes, you can apply on behalf of your students. Please note that we will accept up to 10 submissions from one teacher per class, and no more than one story/essay from each student.

I am a young writer, does my teacher have to apply or can I apply on my own?

Young writers in grades 7-12 can apply as an individual.

Can I submit more than one short story or personal essay?

No, only one submission from each applicant will be accepted. If we receive more than one submission from you, we will only consider the first submission received.

I am in grade 6. Can I apply?

No, only those currently enrolled in grades 7-12 can apply. 

I live in another province. Can I apply?

No, only Ontario residents are eligible for this contest.

Will both non-fiction and fiction be accepted?

Yes, we will accept both non-fiction and fiction submissions.

Can I submit a poem or series of poems?

No. Currently the Speaker’s Award for Youth Writers does not accept poetry submissions.

How long should my short story or personal essay be?

Your submission must be between 500 and 2500 words in length.

How many winners will there be?

There will be one winner in each of the three grade categories: grades 7-8, grades 9-10, and grades 11-12.

What will winners receive?

Winners will receive a monetary prize. Winning submissions will be published on the Legislative Assembly of Ontario’s website.

How will I know the status of my submission?

All applicants will be notified of the status of their submission up to 6 months after the deadline.

Who should I contact if I have more questions?

Please feel free to email us at youtharts@ola.org or call 416-325-7500.