2017 Words from the Street Writing Contest Winners

Ve’ahavta’s 2017 Words from the Street Writing Contest Celebrates 10 Winning Writers and Eight Honourable Mentions at this year’s Awards Ceremony on Sunday June 25

Ten writing contest winners and eight people whose writings received honourable mentions for showing great promise will be celebrated this Sunday June 25 from 2 to 4 pm at Ve’ahavta’s 16th annual Words from the Street Writing Contest Awards Ceremony at the YMCA of Central Toronto, 20 Grosvenor Street.

“The writers we will recognize are a testament to the power of expressing ourselves with our words, turning our experiences into a beautiful art form which can educate, uplift and inspire others,” says Janis Seftel, Words from the Street Project Manager. 

Funded by private donors, and in association with the Toronto Writers Collective, Words from the Street invites individuals who have experienced marginalization to share their stories, express their talents and, through presenting their work, feel empowered to continue writing and making art.

This year, 115 submissions were received from all around the GTA. Writers submitted their pieces to the Creative Writing Contest which were then assessed by volunteer judges in two rounds of robust evaluation to determine the most exceptional pieces based on emotional impact, clarity, content, originality and style.

“Our group of volunteer judges can vouch for the fact that there were many amazing pieces that touched them deeply, from both the group who will receive the prizes and in the over 100 other submissions. Our sincere thank you goes to the judges for their time, thoughtfulness and careful deliberation,” Seftel says.

The following are the contest winners and honourable mentions for 2017.

Contest Winners 2017:

Jake Peters/Emmett, A Vault Between The Waters, 1st prize

Westwind Evening, Kitchi Manitou Doesn’t Make Garbage, 2nd prize

Gary Greene, Faded Footprints, 3rd prize

Stacey Bowen, The No-Lander, 4th prize

Sarah Morriss, Untitled, 5th prize

Shoshanna Addley, House of Women: A Villanelle with Variation, 6th prize

Christina Walsh, I Believed He Was Coming Home, 7th prize

Phyllis McKenna, Dear Papa, 8th prize

Akpeki Rex Ighorimoto, Life Tru My Eyes, 9th prize

Ken Rosser, A Family Secret, 10th prize

Honourable Mentions 2017:

Shoshanna Addley, How I Became Homeless: Short Memoir

Stacey Bowen, Alice is still in Wonderland

John Bressan, Room Service

Paul Albert Eng, The Fentanyl Release

Yael Gottesman, Stranger in the Mirror

Mohamed Musa, The Mask Of Identity

Lara M. Pazek, Getting Sober

Christina Walsh, My Smartie Birthday Cake

Friends and family of the winners as well as interested members of the public are all welcome to join Ve’ahavta at the June 25th Award Ceremonies. RSVP to

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