The First Page 2020

The First Page student writing challenge returns! For the 2020 challenge, CBC Books wants Grades 7 to 12 students to write the first page of a novel set 150 years in the future, with the protagonist facing an issue that's topical today. Watch these Canadian authors who give their tips on writing a great first page. Download the First Page teacher guide for key concepts to crafting a compelling opening, possible writing topics and discussion questions.

The judge for 2020 is David A. Robertson, a Cree writer from Winnipeg who writes books for readers of all ages. He has published 25 books across a variety of genres, including the graphic novels Will I See? and Sugar Falls, and a Governor General's Literary Award-winning picture book called When We Were Alone.

The deadline for entries is November 26, 2020  at 6 p.m. EST. To enter, visit: cbc.ca/thefirstpage 

  • 2017
  • 9-12
  • 11 Titles

Included in this collection

CBC Books The First Page: Omar El Akkad

Author Omar El Akkad reads the first page from American War, his debut novel that was featured in Canada Reads in 2018. He suggests that what writers hold back from the reader in the opening pages is just as important as what they include. Download the First Page teacher guide for discussion questions on Omar's novel, key concepts to writing ...
  • 2018
  • 00:03:10
  • 9-12
  • Added on: 10/19/2018

CBC Books The First Page: Performance of 2017 winner (Grades 7 to 9) – Nameless by Sari Warshawsky

Hear the 2017 winning entry for The First Page student writing challenge in the Grades 7 to 9 category. The winning author, Sari Warshawsky, is a student at Royal West Academy in Montreal, QC. Sari's piece entitled Nameless tackles the pressure of perfection in a virtual world. It's performed by actor Nicole Volossetski. For the 2017 First Page writing challenge, over ...
  • 2018
  • 00:02:37
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 10/19/2018

CBC Books The First Page: Vikki VanSickle

Vikki VanSickle, author of the young adult novel The Winnowing, reads the first page in her novel and talks about the importance of hooking readers as early as you can in a story. Download the First Page teacher guide for discussion questions on Vikki's novel, key concepts to writing a compelling first page and more.
  • 2017
  • 00:02:38
  • 9-12
  • Added on: 10/18/2017