Last fall, CBC Books asked students from coast to coast to give us a glimpse of the great Canadian novel of the year 2167, presenting how current-day trends and issues have evolved in 150 years. Over 2,400 young writers wrote the first page of that novel. A dedicated team at CBC books narrowed it down, and then it was my happy job to read the best of them. Next Monday we will announce the two winners.
But in the meantime, here are the shortlisted young writers:
I don't expect everyone will pick the same winners that I will -- each story has something special about it, a spark -- but the nature of that spark varies. There are elegiac stories and action-packed stories. There are stories driven by amazing characters, and stories that are pure plot. There are stories of ideas and stories of emotion. There are science fiction standards told in new voices, and premises you've never seen before. They are, truly, with your time.
The shortlist is:
Grades 7 to 9 category finalists
Post-War Privation by Zoya Anwar from Regina, Sask.
The Test for Humanity by Henna Cho from Calgary, Alta.
Count Down by Teaghan Fetherstonhaugh from Calgary Alta.
Love Forgotten by Ganga Kandanchatha from Oakville, Ont.
Subjects by Alexa Loo from White Rock, B.C.
Underground Artist by Henry Nguyen from Vancouver, B.C.
Finding Out Who I Am by Mikaylah Ramos from Winipeg, Man.
Planet X by Schuyler Siewe from Calgary, Alta.
Nameless by Sari Warshawsky from Montreal, Que.
Trapped by Ethan Zheng from Guelph, Ont.
Grades 10 to 12 category finalists
Canada 300 by Anik Babul from Richmond Hill, Ont.
Data Wars by Trent Baker from Summerside, P.E.I.
The Galaxy Rover by Elessia Cantara from Montreal, Que.
Slowly by Emma Cole from St. John's, N.L.
Fuel to the Fire by Oghenetega Eriavbe from Calgary, Alta.
The Girl Who Stole the Light by Kyla Kijewski from Whitehorse, Yukon
Willingly Immured by Melissa McAllister from Brossard, Que.
The Churchill Hotel by Nicholas Onorato from Toronto, Ont.
The Greater Good by Abby Robitaille from Oakville, Ont.
Where the Water Runs Red by Claire Trotter from Mississauga, Ont.