UVic Diversity Writing Contest 2012

Winners of the 2012-2013 Diversity Writing Contest pose with Jonathan Bengtson, University Librarian, and Grace Wong-Sneddon, Adviser to the Provost on Equity and Diversity.
Winners of the 2012-2013 Diversity Writing Contest pose with Jonathan Bengtson, University Librarian, and Grace Wong-Sneddon, Adviser to the Provost on Equity and Diversity. Left to Right: Jonathan Bengtson, Grace Wong-Sneddon, Erin Cotton, Sepideh Heydari, Jin Kyung Yeo, Brian Coleman, Natasha Clark, Jordan Konyk, Frances Woodcock, Adrian Southin.


Jin Kyung Yeo / 1st Place


Jin is a third year student pursuing a major in French at UVic. She wouldn't call herself a professional or even an amateur writer, quite the contrary. However, she loves telling stories in general, with wild hand gestures and all. So she thought that if people loved listening to her stories, nothing was stopping her from having people read them instead. She thinks the culture difference between her native country and Canada hilarious, and this story is pretty much the story of her life with wittier dialogue.

Brian Coleman / 2nd Place

8 Down and Out

Brian is a Master's Student at UVic in the department of Chemistry.  Originally from a small town east of Toronto, he moved to Victoria in search of new places to discover and explore. While the main focus of his work falls to crunching numbers and benchtop science, he has tried to use writing to maintain a link to the artistic world. Brian's piece tries to highlight the issue of mental illness in society, as its lack of physical scars can make it extraordinarily difficult to recognize and approach.

Personal narrative

Natasha Clark / 1st Place (tied)

Loving (Submission removed by author request)

Natasha Clark is a mother of four, a poet, a writer, a photographer, and a small business marketing consultant. Her work is published in Canadian and American literary journals, an anthology, and Canadian Family magazine named her one of their top eighteen mom bloggers. In her spare time, she likes to "like" things on Facebook.

Sepideh Heydari / 1st Place (tied)

Born 23-year-old

Sepideh Heydari finished her B.Sc. in Computer Science at the National University of Iran and is currently completing graduate studies in Cognition and Brain Sciences at the University of Victoria. She loves drawing, dancing, athletics, learning languages and reading books. She writes for herself when she doesn't know where else to take her thoughts and feelings. Her piece is the story of the different stages she went through as she transitioned from her home life in Iran to come study in Victoria.

Jordan Konyk / 2nd Place


Jordan Konyk is a first year student pursuing a double major in Creative Writing and Political Science. He is interested in how the stories we tell influence who we become. Jordan is a passionate rock-climber and loves sunny days on the Island.


Frances Woodcock / 1st Place

Niger Delta Dirge

Frances Woodcock is a third year social work student. She is married, the mother of three daughters, and describes her family as the poster child for diversity! Fran is a lifelong activist and is passionate about social and environmental justice. “Niger Delta Dirge” was inspired after watching the film Sweet Crude, screened by UVic’s African Awareness Club, of which Fran is an active member. She recently had a short piece of fiction published in Escape: an Anthology of North Island Writers.

Erin Cotton / 2nd Place (tied)

Sensing Femininity

Erin Cotton is a second year student at UVic studying Canadian history and Canadian literature. She first started writing poetry during the Victoria Spoken Word Festival last year, which inspired her to get up on the mic herself. That same year coincided with her transition, so many of her poems talk about her body and what it means to change.

Adrian Southin / 2nd Place (tied)

The first thing you do when lost is build shelter

Adrian Southin is a first year student at the University of Victoria and is pursuing a degree in Creative Writing. His poems have been published in the Claremont Review and BCTELA’s anthology Voices Visible. Adrian is also a proud alumnus of Katimavik. His poem "The first thing you do when lost is build shelter" recalls an experience in the remote woods of Quebec during a canoe expedition with a fellow Katimavik participant.