Budding Young Writing Talent: Two Canadian Children Win Nationwide Kids Write 4 Kids Creative Writing Challenge with Show-Stopping Literary Creations 

A student from Julie Payette Public School and Lester B. Pearson Public School wins nationwide Kids Write 4 Kids story writing challenge for budding young writers in grades 4-8.

TORONTO, June 8, 2021 – Today, a national youth education charity, Ripple Foundation, announced two winners for its annual nationwide Kids Write 4 Kids (KW4K) Creative Challenge. Sumal Ashfaq, a grade 8 student from Julie Payette Public School (Whitby, ON) scooped the winning title with the poetry collection, The Wonder of Words, alongside Olivia Hashem, a grade 8 student from Lester B. Pearson Public School (Aurora, ON) with her short story Learning to Fly.

These two winning titles stole the limelight out of a record-breaking 685 entries submitted by children in grades 4-8 from across Canada. These books join a 17-strong story collection written by budding young authors published in paperback and e-edition since launching in 2012.

Judged on creativity, originality, story structure, and writing quality by a panel of editors, authors, and faces from the publishing world, including Toronto Star’s Book Editor, Deborah Dundas, and award-winning children’s author, Dan Bar-el, the literary creations from these star writers will be published in summer 2021.

“I was very impressed with the submissions and I appreciated that the judges were given such a broad range of genres in the finals list to choose from,” said Dan Bar-el. “It is rare to find a student who has found their voice so early on and who shows that they are in complete control of their writing, making the words do what they want them to do.”

All proceeds from 2021 sales of this year’s winning story — available to purchase in paperback on Amazon, and e-book on Amazon, Google Play, Apple iBookstore, and Overdrive — will be donated to Sumal and Olivia’s charity of choice: Operation Smile. This charity provides cleft condition surgeries for children in low and middle-income countries.

“We saw more diverse, endearing, and enlightening stories submitted by Canada’s rising young writing stars this year than ever before in the history of the Kids Write 4 Kids competition. Our dedicated panel loved reading and reviewing each story. The next month will be an exciting time, working with Emma Marjorie Roberts, a talented OCAD University illustrator graduate on these book covers, and bringing this incredible read to fruition for children, anywhere and everywhere, to enjoy.” said Ivy Wong, Founder of Ripple Foundation.

Runners Up:

  • Atlantis of Sands by Kayla Splitt, Grade 6 (Our Lady of Fatima, St. Catharines, ON)
  • Cerise by Bailey Richardson, Grade 7, (Jack Donohue Public School, Kanata, ON)
  • Finding Home by Jeanne Lee, Grade 7, (W.H. Morden Public School, Oakville, ON)
  • Interspace by Sebastien Beckett, Grade 6, (Dundas Valley Montessori, Dundas, ON)
  • The Adventure of the Space Goats! by Keena Gheyara, Grade 5 (Home School, Montreal, QC)
  • The Brick House by Makenna Eisses, Grade 7 (Roots Home Education, Calgary, AB)
  • The Nut Mystery by Milana Baybulatova, Grade 4 (Seneca Hill Public School, Toronto, ON)
  • Three Last Words by Nidhi Hedge, Grade 6 (Lougheed Middle School, Brampton, ON)

About Ripple Foundation

Ripple Foundation is a charitable organization based in Toronto that aims to empower the next generation of leaders by fostering creativity and cultivating a passion for reading and writing in youth across Canada. By advocating for creativity in children and their education through our specially developed literacy programs, we are teaching Canadian youth the benefits of creativity in their current and future lives, helping to shape the leaders of tomorrow. Visit ripplefoundation.ca to learn more about our programs.

About Kids Write 4 Kids (KW4K)

The Kids Write 4 Kids program is an annual national creative writing challenge that encourages children and youth in grades 4-8 to submit original stories for a chance to become a published author. Each year, a panel of judges selects a story (or stories) submitted to the competition to be published both in print and digital format, available for the world to read. The KW4K program has been running since 2012 and is Ripple Foundation’s signature program. To date, 19 titles by youth authors have been published worldwide. View all titles at ripplefoundation.ca/books

Media contact:
Bethany Willetts
PR Lead, Ripple Foundation
[email protected]