A handful of Fort St. James students with a literary knack will have their works published in the upcoming Voices Visible journal after being chosen as winners in the Voices Visible contest.
Winners were chosen from throughout the province by the B.C. Teachers of English Language Arts (BCTELA).
The Voices Visible contest has English teachers submit selected works from their students in the category of prose and poetry. Submissions can by up to 1500 words and submissions must be made while a student is in grades one to 12.
In the category of prose, Fort St. James student Sydney Playfair who was chosen for her short story titled Lost Things.
In the poetry category Rachel Klassen won for her poem titled Broken Inside. Rhiannon Gammon also won for her poem titled Grandma’s Hands as did Cheyenne Sabo for her piece titled A Poem About Bullying.
Klassen said the win was a surprise for her saying she had totally forgotten the contest.
When asked about her inspiration Klassen says she draws from her own life.
“I write about my experiences and other peoples experiences.”
Grade 12 students Royce Sam and Daniel DeMerchant won jointly for their collaborative work titled Who Will We Blame.
DeMerchant said that entering the contest was a requirement in his 12 grade writing course at Fort St. James Secondary School but said that once he and Sam began writing they enjoyed it.
“It was actually really satisfying to see how it [the poem] turned out. It feels great, Royce [Sam] and I are both about the fact that our poem was chosen to be published in 2015,” said DeMerchant.
Sam and DeMerchants poem deals with subject matter relating to environmental degradation, economic and political turmoil throughout the world and where we, as society, should lay the blame, if at all. DeMerchant said that he and Sam found inspiration for their work from what they had seen progressing over time.
“Royce [Sam] and I found inspiration from what we felt has been happening over time, as bigger corporations have gotten bigger and bigger and how many people feel that they are mot being heard.”
DeMerchant said that he believes the Voices Visible contest is a positive thing for young people to take part in saying,
“I think that this contest is great for young artists/writers as it challenges them to challenge themselves to really find that great piece they’ve yet to write.”
The winners works will be published in a collection in the Voices Visible journal that will be sold through the BCTELA.