Submissions are accepted on a regular basis, year-round.
Can include, short stories, essays, poetry and prose.
Must not exceed 3,000 words.
Must be written by a current ESA student, or alumni.
Submissions are accepted:

Monday, 16 October 2017

Senelis By: Erika Vytas

When the Germans came,
they dragged me out of hiding with my mother,
Escorted with the sound of machine guns around us
We were marched to the market square
And as the masses stood,
I smelled the smoke,
I watched my city burn,
My helpless despair floating up into the sky
With the ashes.
I let myself be herded
With everyone else
To a churchyard
And stood there for the night,
In the muffled morning light
When they separated the Jews
The soldiers let us go home.
What home.
My mother and I
Found scorched foundations
Where our house stood.
Just yesterday.
Grateful for a small miracle,
We took the surviving piglets,
And started walking.
Fly filled soup
Now tasted so good.
The image of Jewish men,
In lines down the road,
Who were digging in the ditches
Who were making their own graves
Is forever in my mind.
And we walked
Until we came to the farm
But sometimes when I stand still
I remember.

The Persona Poem By: Madison Teas

I was born in 1929
In Moldava nad Bodvou Slovakia
Tragedy struck in 1944
I was 15 years old
We were shoved into cattle cars
Made to stand for what felt like a lifetime
My mother,
My baby sister
All taken from me
Two cousins were left
We marched,
13 days,
Without stopping
A death march,
From Auschwitz to Mauthausen
Sergeant Johnnie Steven
One of the many who helped
May 6 1945
I heard the planes
Then a cannon came crashing in
I was free
16 years old

And all alone in the world

Persona Poem By: Hannah Rossi

Entry Number One
Something that's worth fighting for.
The haunting smell of springtime taunts me.
I miss that smell.
How fresh it was,
How free it made me feel.
But now,
Everything's changed.
My surroundings are different.
The streets are no longer laughing,
They're screaming.
The darkness is surrounding me.
The blackness of the small crawl space swallows me whole.
Fear of being caught.
Fear of death.
The sound of gunshots ring in my ears.
I'm alone,
But I’m not.
I am lucky.
Lucky that I can still imagine the sweet smell of freedom.
The light of the sun kissing my cheeks.
Life seems so far away.
Seems so unhappy.
I've already lost what I've been fighting for.
There is no freedom,
No hope.
The world I used to love is full of murder.
Innocent people being slaughtered.


By: Elysse Shirley

when I am happy
I feel so light
I fear that I may float away
so I breathe deeply
hoping the air in my lungs
will be enough
to keep me on the ground

quite often
I find myself wondering
what it would be like if
I just stopped.
I also wonder
what mighty courage
that would take


I wonder if anybody would miss me
or if I’d just continue as a ghost of a memory
as a foreign feeling in their spine when someone mentions my name
or if I’d just become a question
  • if I dropped off planet earth


are you okay?
what’s wrong?
why won’t you tell me?
and then they’re gone.
  • what they say


always lurking
always watching
constantly searching
for you to lose
  • what they do


always present and creeping
mouths with broken switches
minds with broken glitches
never here, but always leaving
  • how they are


water droplets fall softly
floating down your cheeks
they were crafted perfectly
derived from the corners from your mind
mined from the corners of your eyes
noiselessly being swept away
by a shirt sleeve
or tissues quiet like clouds
  • tears like helium balloons

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Frozen Palisade By: Petra Alexson

The place that teems with bears pinned in the clear
Cold night,
The flat and dormant realm reaps coal
Clutching with their fur and claws,
Some time before dawn withdraws
They have a chance to control
On the glass during spiralling
Silver birch sonata
Spellbound to certain pink snow,
And sprawling branches heavy with ice,
Holding and storing
Cooking a pancake in the sweet morning
Lazy paladin, come meet me halfway
Each clay idol lined kilometres astray
Not depicted but as a standing pawn
Of the raincloud that it reflects upon
Trying not to dazzle with the staff’s blinding point of starlight

A Study in Falling By: Emma Cretu

A Study in Falling

What’s left when the most powerful part of your being,
Has been burnt and reduced to practically nothing?
When the wings that once carried you amongst the stars
Were ripped from you, leaving battle scars.

It’s interesting to think what it all felt like, torn off you slowly?
The noise of the action, filling you wholly.
But that’s not how it went in reality, not really
It was done quietly, precise and quickly.

That will never mean that what you felt isn’t true or valid.
This is you then and now, your story, your ballad.
Though it changes everything, like it changes you
It doesn’t change what you can become, what you could do.

What’s left when the most powerful part of your being,
Has been burnt and reduced to practically nothing?
You build wings of a different kind, and you build up a wall
So next time you’re prepared, the next time you fall.

-Emma Cretu

Creative Writing Workshops for Students

Refer to the various items in this shared Google Folder to find out about a variety of opportunities available NOW for students.

Content includes the following:
  • Toronto Public Library Teens: Writing Group
  • Toronto Public Library Young Writer's Conference
  • Registration open now and it fills up quickly!
  • Write Across Ontario
  • IFOA and LitOntario writing contest
  • Closes November 6th!
You can find information - and registration links, where applicable - in the shared Google Folder linked above.