on the Verge Writing Contest

On the Verge student writing contest with mountains and sky
The 2017 contest theme is the concept of home. What does home mean to you? See below for an expanded section on this year's theme.

What is on the Verge ?

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 10-year running Diversity Writing Awards, 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.

How do I enter?

Writing Contest guidelines:
    • Entries to the writing categories must be attached as a Word or PDF document
    • Entries to the spoken word category must be attached as an audio or video file
    • Do not include your name or student number in your attached submission
  • In the body of your email, include the following information:
      • Full name
      • Student number
      • Title of submission
      • Category
      • Preferred contact email address
  • 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)
  • Open to UVic students only
  • Only one entry per student will be accepted
  • Graphic novel/comic formats will be accepted
  • Submissions must be original and unpublished (this includes personal blogs, etc.)
  • The 2017/18 celebrity judge was author Adèle Barclay, UVic alumna and 2017 winner of the BC Book Prize.


The 2017/18 theme was HOME.

The idea of home is both subjective and universal, embodying not only a sense of place or belonging, but the many ways that humans are connected and the ways our experiences converge or diverge widely. What does home mean to you?  What does it mean to be “home” on Vancouver Island, in Canada, a land that has been home for thousands of years to diverse Indigenous peoples? And how do our experiences of home move us towards understandings of ourselves and others? Tell us what home means to you.

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 winners will receive the following:

  • $250 first place; $150 second place (in each category)
  • Award certificate and cash prize
  • Invitation to a 2-hour writer's workshop with this year's celebrity author and judge, Adèle Barclay
  • Winning entries will be published on the UVic Libraries website and highlighted on other UVic sites, including EQHR

Contact us

For more information email .

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 & the UVic Writing Department.

This year's poster image is (adapted) from Flickr Commons (original circa 1890).