Orca Book Publishers

Congratulations to the winners of the Finding Home Writing Contest

Congratulations to Ursula, Ryder and Zara E. We were blown away by all of the incredible submissions and we received over 100 entries! Read on for samples from their winning submissions.

A message from contest judge Jen Sookfong Lee:

“Thank you to everyone who submitted! The essays were funny or thoughtful or even a little bit sad, and all of them were a joy to read. This was a very tough decision for me, but it came down to the writing, and the three winning essays used metaphor and image and allegory in creative ways that really stood out. But to all the young writers who entered: keep writing! You are all great.”



An excerpt from Where is my home

My home is my house like a catacomb of tunnels. It is where I can dream and curl up in the womb of ideas. I carry my home with me like a turtle and its shell, or a snail and its spiralling shell. I carry with me the imprints of it, the aura of it, it surrounds me like a carapace protecting me. I am my own home and I live in myself. I live in my home. I live in my imagination, a continually expanding dimension; though a brain can be small a mind is infinite.

Ursula, age 11, Northampton, MA

An excerpt from Home Buddies

Our house was passed down by our grandparents, who immigrated from Taiwan many years ago. Our house is in the best location ever. A cherry blossom paradise.

At home, I feel very not-negative, at home I relax, I don’t worry. Home is a place where I don't get anxious.

When it snows, our front garden’s rounded bush tells us how much snow has come down. He looks like a watermelon who has one shade of green. When she collects snow, she looks like a cupcake.

All the parts of my house mean something to me, but my house means the most to me when all parts of my home work together.

Ryder, age 10, Burnaby, BC

An excerpt from The Nest

When I think deep about the home that I reside in, my mind does not immediately go to the duplex that I reside in with my family. My mind paints a picture of a cottage in the Scottish countryside, with leaves and Scottish bluebells growing by our cottage, with animals bleating at my feet as I trudge the dirt paths to my home from an arduous day at the school I go to in the town. I see my mother quietly picking carrots and sowing seeds, as my father works the tractor, and my brother skips around the barn with the cute, speckled dog in hand. But, that is not my home. My home is a wood house, painted perfectly. My home has garbage and recycling cans next to the door. A concrete path between the four houses near us. Inside, my father is usually on the phone with us. My brother is playing Lego or reading or writing. And when I think about my home, I would much rather have the family I do, a loving, caring, smiling family, because in the end, a home can be a beautiful cottage but what truly matters is the people inside. And the people inside my home, well, they’re the best people a girl could ever, ever, wish for.

Zara, age 11, Lethbridge, AB