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Word up!

Welcome to Markham Teen Arts Council’s WordUp! 2022 writing contest! 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!




Short Story

"Dear Me, I Want an Ostrich" by Daniel Lin

Personal Essay

2022 Theme: A Letter To Self

Craft your work around a "Letter to Self. Just remember, there are no wrong answers in writing, it's entirely up to you!

October 24th



1st Place 



2nd Place 



Meet The Judges


K.D. RICHARDS - Creative Writing

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Daphne du Maurier Award finalist, K.D. Richards writes pulse pounding romantic suspense and thrillers. K.D. was born and raised in the Maryland suburbs just outside of Washington, D.C. A writer since a young age, after college she earned a law degree and worked as an attorney and legal instructor for fifteen years but never stopped writing fiction.


CARLEY THORNE - Creative Writing

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Carley Thorne is a comedian, writer, and content creator from Toronto, Ontario. Her Youtube channel uncarley focuses on literature and has amassed millions of views. She has helped develop projects for CBC, Channel 4, and Hulu, and was the star of CBC's Street Cents reboot in 2022.

- Performed with Second City Toronto

- Recipient of Central Florida Sketchfest's Best of the Fest Award

- Nominated for Broadway World's Best Independant Comedy Show in 2020


ANN HUI - Personal Essay

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Ann Hui is a journalist at the Globe and Mail, and author of the award-winning national bestseller Chop Suey Nation, The Legion Cafe and Other Stories from Canada's Chinese Restaurants. 

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Charlie Petch (they/them, he/him) is a disabled/queer/transmasculine multidisciplinary artist who resides in Tkaronto/Toronto. A poet, playwright, librettist, musician, lighting designer, and host, Petch was the 2017 Poet of Honour for the speak NORTH national festival, winner of the Golden Beret lifetime achievement in spoken word with The League of Canadian Poets (2020), and founder of Hot Damn it's a Queer Slam

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