We are so, so thrilled to announce the winners of this year’s gritLIT Writing Contest! There were so many fantastic submissions, and it was so hard narrowing it down to just three. So, without further ado, here are the winners and runner-ups of the contest:

First Place


Melissa Kuipers, “How to Crochet a Mourning Shawl”

Melissa was raised on a chicken farm in a small town in Southern Ontario. She has a Masters of English in the Field of Creative Writing from University of Toronto. She writes fiction and creative non-fiction. Her work has been published in literary journals such as The Puritan, Grain, Ryga, Qwerty, and Joyland. She was a finalist for the Rusty Toque Chapbook competition. Her first book, The Whole Beautiful World, is a collection of short stories, published by Brindle and Glass. She lives in Hamilton, Ontario, with her husband, Mark, and son, Elliott.

 First Honourable Mention
Laura Sergeant, “Being 14”
As a paediatric social worker, Laura is well-acquainted with the wonder and mystery of adolescence. Laura previously focused on poetry and songwriting: she was lead guitarist for several indie bands during her twenties. Frigid January walks with Led Zeppelin leaking from her earbuds helped to dislodge this story. She has been published in the Globe and Mail and View Magazine. Most days she unwinds in her garden, on the Bruce Trail or by exploring Hamilton’s burgeoning coffee scene. Mortality and CBC podcasts will prevent her from getting through her “must read” book list. She is currently working on a collection of life stories.
Second Honourable Mention
Norah-for gritLITx2
Norah Wakula, “The Wedding Rings”

Norah Wakula’s narrative non-fiction has appeared in SilvershotzUnder the Volcano Literary Magazine, CommuterLit, The Globe & Mail and published in the chap-book, How Exhilarating and How CloseNorah won 3rd place in the annual gritLIT Writing Competition in 2016 and in 2017 was long-listed for the CFNC/carte blanche prize. A prairie girl at heart, Norah lives in Hamilton, Ontario. 

Thank you so much to everyone who took part in this year’s contest, and a special thank you to our judges, Ann Y.K. Choi, Kerry Clare, and John Terpstra. See you at the festival!

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