People stand outside a building that has a sign reading Humber Learning Resource Commons.

The winners of the second annual Humber Literary Review High School Spotlight Flash Fiction contest have been announced and two of them are planning to attend Humber College in the fall.

High school students from across the province entered the contest. Meaghan Strimas, professor and Honours Bachelor of Creative and Professional Writing (BCPW) program coordinator, along with BCPW faculty Kathy Friedman and Danuta Gleed Literary Award-winner Kim Fu selected the winning entries.

Flash fiction, or micro-fiction, is a shorter, more contained form of writing, said Strimas. Entries were capped at 250 words per story and students were encouraged to try the development of insight model of writing, which Strimas said is “something happens, something changes.”

"I had so much fun reading these submissions,” said Strimas. “It's amazing how many students built an entire world in such a condensed form."

Winning first prize was The Butterflies by Craig Kielburger Secondary School student Jia Liu.

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“I am absolutely over the moon. I'm beyond excited that my work was chosen, especially from such a large pool of wonderfully talented writers,” said Liu. “I’m incredibly honoured.”

Coming in second was H.B. Beal Secondary School student Koda Christensen with Realistic Reincarnation. Christensen, who created an original artwork for her submission, will attend the BCPW program this fall.

“My story comes from a place of never being sure if I'm becoming the best person I can be,” said Christensen. “I had a lot of fun writing this flash fiction and, because of this confidence boost, I will be writing many more micro-fictions in the future.”

A head-and-shoulders photo of a person.

Finishing third was Uxbridge Secondary School student Caroline Tuccinardi for Silences You’ll Encounter. Tuccinardi will also be attending the BCPW program this September.

A head-and-shoulders photo of a person. Stonehenge appears in the background.
Finishing fourth and fifth, respectively, are Richmond Hill High School students Sasha Drotenko for Tonight and Karen Zhou for Dinnertime.

The winners receive $750 for first, $500 for second, $350 for third, $250 for fourth and $150 for fifth. All five had their work showcased in a special online supplement of The Humber Literary Review.

The province-wide contest was created by Strimas to further build the Humber writing community by offering publication opportunities to emerging writers.

The BCPW program is designed to allow students to transform their passion for writing into a fulfilling career. As students develop creative writing skills that strengthen their storytelling abilities, they also learn how to craft targeted messages for social media platforms, manage creative projects and write and edit web copy.

It also includes an industry-connected work placement and the benefit of one-on-one mentorship in the final semester.