Word up!


1st Place: Irreversible Tidal Wave  by Anonymous

2nd Place: I Wear a Mask by Chloe Musca

1st Place: Around the Oak  by Athena Ma

2nd Place: Grandpa by Jessie Chen

1st Place: McFlurry Heartbreak by Annie Xiong

2nd Place: Oh How I..."  by Pranay Chopra


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Jenn Chenkin

Short Story Judge

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Karine Rashkovsky

Short Story Judge


Phoebe Wang

Poetry Judge


2020 WordUp Winning Submissions Below!

Welcome to Markham Teen Arts Council’s WordUp! 2021 writing contest
for high school students!

Have a passion for writing? Do you have a story you’re itching to tell, or maybe you want to show off your writing skills and grab a reward along the way? Look no further! We’re so excited to read your submissions and hear your stories. 

Submit a short story, work of poetry or (new category this year!) personal essay centered around one of this year’s themes to win amazing sponsored prizes! 

Themes: Self Reflection, Growing Up

Please choose one of the above themes and craft a work around your selected topic. Interpretation of these themes is entirely up to you. 

Everyone has their own thoughts and imagination stuck inside their brain. Don’t be intimidated by a writing contest - think of it as an expression of thought and artistic creativity. Feel inspired by the prompts and turn your thoughts onto paper! Your writing matters. Let us know what your ideas are. 

Sunday, October 17th!


  • Short stories must be 1000 words or less

  • Personal Essay must be 1000 words or less

  • Poetry works can contain unlimited lines

  • Submissions must be original content from high school students. The piece must not have been submitted in any previous writing contest

  • Submissions must be individual, and not co-authored with any partner or group.

  • Each individual is eligible to submit one piece to the entire WordUp! contest, regardless of category. Writers must live or attend school in the GTA to be eligible for submission.

  • Markham Teen Arts Council reserves the right to disqualify any submissions that include, but are not limited to, content of offensive, explicit, or profane nature.

  • By participating, you are agreeing to MTAC's  Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions and the publication of your work with credit on social media and other platforms.

  • By submitting this form and providing your email address, you agree to subscribe to the MTAC monthly e-newsletter. You may opt-out at any time.

  • Write with passion, with creativity, with originality and drive. Above all, write for fun, and write because you love to write! Whether it be arguing a point, illustrating an experience, or romanticizing a form of loss or requiem, we want to hear your thoughts, your opinions, and your imagination spread on typed paper. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to email us at markhamteenarts@gmail.com or DM us on Instagram @markhamteenarts!

(There will be a first place winner and a runner up selected for each of the three categories.)

Short Story:

1st Place: $100

Runner-Up: $60


Personal Essay:

1st Place: $100

Runner Up: $60



1st Place: $100

Runner Up: $60





Sponsored Prizes


1st Place




1st Place

"the coronavirus is not the chinese virus"



By Aileen Luo

     Personal Essay


1st Place

"For Prosperity

and Good Health"



By Isabella Pan