The First Page

The First Page student writing challenge returns! For the 2018 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 2018 is Cherie Dimaline, author of The Marrow Thieves. To enter the challenge, visit: cbc.ca/thefirstpage 

  • 2017
  • 9-12
  • 8 Titles

Included in this collection

CBC Books The First Page: Cherie Dimaline

Cherie Dimaline, this year's judge for the CBC Books First Page Student Writing Challenge, reads the opening page from The Marrow Thieves and talks about how she sets the stage in her dystopian novel. Download the First Page teacher guide for discussion questions on Cherie's novel, key concepts to writing a compelling first page and more.
  • 2017
  • 00:05:00
  • 9-12
  • Added on: 10/18/2017

CBC Books The First Page: Erin Bow

Erin Bow, author of the young adult novel The Scorpion Rules, reads the first page on which the main character in her novel appears and talks about what she believes is important for a first page. Download the First Page teacher guide for discussion questions on Erin Bow's novel, key concepts to writing a compelling first page and more.
  • 2017
  • 00:03:50
  • 9-12
  • Added on: 10/18/2017

CBC Books The First Page: Jennifer Chen New

Jennifer Chen reads the first page from her debut YA novel, Super, and talks about the importance of not only finding a great hook, but building on the intrigue of the hook. Download the First Page teacher guide for discussion questions on Jennifer's novel, key concepts to writing a compelling first page and more.
  • 2018
  • 00:04:39
  • 9-12
  • Added on: 10/19/2018

CBC Books The First Page: Katherena Vermette

Katherena Vermette, author of The Break, reads the first page in her novel and talks about the need to situate the reader in a story. Download the First Page teacher guide for discussion questions on Katherena's novel, key concepts to writing a compelling first page and more.
  • 2017
  • 00:01:57
  • 9-12
  • Added on: 10/18/2017

CBC Books The First Page: M.G. Vassanji

Author M.G. Vassanji reads from the prologue of his novel Nostalgia. Download the First Page teacher guide for discussion questions on his novel, key concepts to writing a compelling first page and more.
  • 2017
  • 00:02:06
  • 9-12
  • Added on: 10/18/2017

CBC Books The First Page: Omar El Akkad New

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 New

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