UVic Diversity Writing Contest 2016

Spoken Word

Kathleen Hoogendoorn / 1st place

Kathleen is in her third year of the Child and Youth Care Program here at UVic. She was born in Haiti and adopted at the age of two into a most loving family. “Two Worlds” takes her back to her roots and is her way of acknowledging who she is and how she navigates this world of diversity.  

Iliana Turner / 2nd place

Iliana is a fourth-year political science and gender studies student. She says her inspiration for this piece came in part from looking at the ways queer femmes resist, and wanting to complicate narratives around disordered eating. She also wanted to celebrate the person she has now become.  

Talen Rimmer / 3rd place


Talen is a fourth-year marine biology and environmental studies double-major here at UVic who enjoys writing, running, sea otters and getting lost in the forest. He’s also part of the My UVic Life student blogging team and will be writing about his experiences at the Diversity Forum.

Writing Winners

Below are the winning submissions in the categories of Poetry, Fiction and Non-Fiction from this year's 1st and 2nd place entries. Below each entry is the author's biography.


Alex Kung / 1st place

With Apologies to Du Fu

Alex Kung is a nineteen-year-old second-year writing student from Victoria. He came to UVic convinced he hated poetry, only to discover it was his best genre; it now distracts him daily. He has never been published before, and this contest has proven he can make money as a writer, or so he’s told his family. In his free time, he cultivates his many nerdy interests, which range from WW1 history to Tang Dynasty literature. He hates caffeine withdrawal, loves church, and hopes to travel South-East Asia.

Kai Ivor Conradi / 2nd place


Kai Conradi was born and raised in Cumberland, B.C. He writes mainly poetry and creative nonfiction, drawing from the personal and from the environment that surrounds him. He is very good at laughing and asking too many questions. Kai is currently studying writing at the University of Victoria and hopes to pursue an MFA in the future.


Amanda Walker / 1st place


Amanda Walker is Interior Salish, a feminist, and a fourth-year Child and Youth Care student working toward an Indigenous Specialization. She is an aspiring writer and youth worker who is continuously inspired by the amazing people she works with and for. In future, she plans to be a clinical counselor. She dedicated this story to her Grandmother Carri, as well as her mother and her Aunty Ange, who were three of the strongest female voices in her life, and who never once wavered in their love for their heritage, culture, and identity.

Adrian Southin / 2nd place

Before We Made the Beds

Adrian Southin is a writing student in his final year at UVic. His focuses are in poetry, fiction and film. From Vancouver Island, he was raised on occupied Kw’amutsun and W̱SÁNEĆ territories.


Tara Fietz / 1st place

Past Tense

Tara Fietz has a chronic love of books and getting lost in them while dinner quietly burns.  Naturally, this led to writing, and her zeal for the written word hasn’t diminished since her early first novel, all 191 hand-scribbled pages of it.  Her poetry has won places in previous writing contests, including Writer’s Digest Poetry Awards, and one of her nonfiction essays has been published in a nature anthology.  She is a University of Victoria student in Creative Writing and Greek and Roman Studies, juggling poetry, Greek epics and Latin with her debut novel, adding doses of rosé when required.

Jonathan Faerber / 2nd place

A Vision for the Future

Jonathan Faerber is a graduate student in philosophy. He is interested in what our explanations of what we do and what we believe have in common as normative considerations. Of particular interest, for instance, are explanations of our belief that we should care for our children. Jonathan is also one of many parents affected by the University of Victoria's closure of their childrens' care program. His autobiographical submission to the Diversity Writing Contest explores the institutional values of diversity, equity and inclusion that suggest themselves as ineffective objectives in instances of impolitic governance related to this experience.