on the Verge Writing Contest


on the Verge Writing Contest showcases and celebrates emerging UVic student voices with an annual theme under the broad rubric of equity, diversity, and human rights. As a reformulation of the Diversity Writing Contest, we carry forward the spirit of diversity under a broader umbrella and with a renewed spirit of creative exploration. The contest is co-sponsored by UVic Libraries and Equity and Human Rights (EQHR) with significant support from other units on campus.



The need for solidarity in the current global context is brought home to us with every news cycle. Crises ranging from climate change, to the pandemic, to human rights inequities and gender-based violence, are bringing a critical awareness to our responsibilities as individuals, both to our communities and the planet. With the rising tide of calls for social and environmental action, what are the possibilities for solidarity? How can creative expressions of solidarity unite and move us towards meaningful ways to address our interconnectivity and overcome these crises and injustices?

Guest judge

Robin Stevenson

Robin Stevenson is the author of 29 books for young readers, ranging from picture books to young adult novels and non-fiction. She was the winner of the 2020 Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize for her book My Body My Choice, and her book Pride won a 2017 Stonewall Honor. Her books have been finalists for many other awards, including the Governor General’s Literary Awards, the Lambda Literary Awards, and numerous reader’s choice awards, and have been translated into a number of languages. Robin launched three new books in 2021: a picture book called Pride Puppy! (Orca), a middle-grade non-fiction book called Kid Innovators (Quirk), and a young adult novel called When You Get the Chance (Running Press Kids). Robin is a former social worker and crisis counsellor, and has also taught creative writing and worked as a freelance editor. She lives on Vancouver Island with her family.

Judging criteria

All entries will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Excellence and proficiency in writing and technique
  • Engagement with the theme in a meaningful way
  • Awareness of equity, diversity, and human rights dimensions related to the theme
  • Fit within the word/time limits for submission

Contest guidelines


  • Open to UVic students only
  • Only one entry per student will be accepted
  • Graphic novel/comic formats will be accepted
  • Visual and graphic works are eligible
  • Submissions must be original and unpublished

Enter one of the four categories below:

  • Poetry (150 lines maximum)
  • Fiction (1500 words maximum)
  • Non-fiction (1500 words maximum)
  • Spoken word (3-minute maximum; video or audio file formats accepted)


Contest winners will receive the following:

  • Cash prize in each category: $250 first place; $150 second place
  • Award certificate
  • Winning entries will be published in DSpace (UVic Libraries' open access institutional repository) and highlighted on other UVic sites, including EQHR

Thank you, sponsors!

A big thank you to the UVic Libraries, Equity and Human Rights (EQHR), VPAC, and our fabulous Faculty and Departmental sponsors: Business, Continuing Studies, Education, Engineering, Fine Arts, Humanities, Human and Social Development, Law, Science, Social Sciences, and the UVic Writing Department.

Read the winning entries in the 2022 on the Verge publication.


Fiction, 1st place: Lisa Basson

Fiction, 2nd place: Meghan Romano

Non-fiction, 1st place: Shannon Stewart

Non-fiction, 2nd place: Joey Mauro

Poetry, 1st place: Juliette Blake Jacob

Poetry, 2nd place: Melissa Cistaro

Spoken word, 1st place: Zinhle Dewa

Spoken word, 2nd place: Shayan de Luna-Bueno


Read past winners of on the Verge and the UVic Diversity Writing Contest in the UVicSpace collection for the contest.



Entries for the 2022 contest are now closed.

Contact otvcontest@uvic.ca for more information about the contest.



The workshop with Robin Stevenson has ended. Details about next year's workshop will be updated closer to the date.