News and Interviews

2016 CBC Shakespeare Selfie Writing Challenge Winners Talk Beyond and Trump


CBC's 2016 Shakespeare Selfie writing challenge asked Canadian students to write a monologue or soliloquy in the style of the Bard about a subject of current social, political, or economic interest. Each entry had to be in the voice of one of Shakespeare's characters.

The 500 submissions received covered everything from Beyonce's visual album Lemonade to the Syrian refugee crisis. 20 finalists were eventually narrowed down to a single winner in each of the Grades 7-9 and Grade 10-12 categories.

The winners are Katherine Latosinsky for A nation bold hath fallen to its knees (grades 7-9 category) and Lauren Chang for My Mistress with a Monster Is In Love (Grades 10-12).

16-year-old Chang, a student from Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute in Toronto, wrote in the voice of Puck from A Midsummer Night's Dream, discussing Lemonade and Beyonce and rapper Jay Z's relationship.

Latosinsky, a 14-year-old from Central Catholic High School in London, Ontario, chose to discuss the American presidential primaries in the voice of Julius Caesar's Cassius.

The grand prize winners will each receive an iPad mini and 50 young adult books for their school library from the following Canadian publishers: Arsenal Pulp Press, Great Plains Teen Fiction, Groundwood Books, HarperCollins Canada, Penguin Random House Canada, Raincoast Books, Scholastic Canada and Simon & Schuster Canada.

The contest was judged by bestselling YA author Kenneth Oppel.

Check out the CBC website to see all 20 finalists' submissions!

Grace O'Connell is the Contributing Editor for Open Book: Toronto and the author of Magnified World (Random House Canada). She also writes a book column for This Magazine.

For more information about Magnified World please visit the Random House Canada website.

Buy this book at your local independent bookstore or online at Chapters/Indigo or Amazon.