Some of the winnter of the Poetry and Story Contest pose for a group photo at the Learning Hub in Fort St. James. Left to right: Phil Smith

Some of the winnter of the Poetry and Story Contest pose for a group photo at the Learning Hub in Fort St. James. Left to right: Phil Smith

Fiction and poetry writers recognized

The participants in the writing contests held by the Learning Hub in Fort St. James.

Winners of the Poetry and Short Story Contest




Under 17 – First place: George Hayter for “Winter”

Over 17 – First place: Robbie Jacobs for “Fatherly Ford”

Second place: Larissa Sagalon for “The Party Girl”

Third place: Robin Jacobs for “What is Love”

Honourable mentions to Phil Smith and Robin Jacobs



Short Story

Under 17 – First place: Natalie Baillaut for “Repeat”

Second place: Cela West for “The Monster”

Third place: Cela West for “Morning Star”

Over 17 – First Place: Toni Friesen for “The Carpet”

Second place: Toni Friesen for “Marvo the Magician”

Third place: Larissa Sagalon for “An Anxious Tale”

Honourable mentions to Anthony Lebrun and Bryan Muloin


Repeat — A short story by Natalie Baillaut


You are sitting at your desk. A blue cube appears in front of you. You take the cube and stack it on the other cubes that have appeared. You wait thirty seconds and another cube appears. You stack and repeat, and repeat, and repeat.

While you wait for the next cube you start thinking about your life before this job. When there were trees, and children, and fields with flowers. Or at least you think that’s what there was. You’ve had this job for a long time now and it’s hard to remember doing anything else. You always have and always will do this job, but if you always have done it, then when did you see the trees and children? Were there ever any? This is confusing you so you look down for the next cube. It isn’t there.

Now you really are confused. There is always a cube after thirty seconds. It’s been forty seconds now. Fifty. You think the machine is broken; maybe you should get a supervisor? Are there supervisors? There were, weren’t there? There were other cubicles and other people. You stand up from your desk and are comforted to see that there are other cubicles, but there are no people and this fact worries you.

You walk into the hallway. You can see that the hallway stretches down in both directions and that there is a door at each end. You decide to go try the right one. As you walk, you notice the attached cubicles aren’t as nice as yours; they are falling down and covered in dust. There are still no people. Slowly you reach the door. There is a light above it, blinking red. It reads Exit. You’re not sure what this means but you hope it means people. You grab the handle and push the door open. This must be where the trees are, you think, where there are fields with flowers. As the door opens you are blinded by the bright light.

When your eyes adjust you see nothing: no trees, no fields, and no flowers. There are no cities or people, just an empty landscape of sand and crumbling cliffs in the distance. This is wrong you think. Where are the other people? I do remember cities, don’t I? You decide you’ve gone through the wrong door. This is the wrong place. You will try the other door. That will lead to the place you remember.

You close the door and turn back, slowly walking towards your cubicle and the other door. You start to remember how nice it was to do your job. You were supposed to do it. It was what you were meant to do. You wish you could return to the comfortable stacking, but now you know you have to try the door, to find the people and trees. You suddenly realize you have reached your cubicle. There on your desk, is a small blue cube. Maybe you should stack it? That’s your job after all. Just one, you decide, before you look through the other door.

You walk to your desk and sit down. Just one more you think as you take the cube and stack it. Another cube appears on time. You stack and repeat. Maybe you will continue for a little longer. You stack another cube. This is what you’re supposed to do after all. You stack and repeat, and repeat, and repeat.

To read more of the stories and poems, stop by the Learning Hub.