Martyn Godfrey Young Writers Award

Martyn Godfrey Young Writers Award

We know there are a lot of awesome young writers and artists in Alberta. We think they deserve a little extra recognition, and the Martyn Godfrey Award is just the thing! This is an annual, juried short story contest open to all Albertan students in grades 4 through 9.

Please note that we are no longer accepting stories in comic format due to the declining number of comic entries. Short stories are by far more popular amongst our participating young writers so we have decided to focus on that.

Who was Martyn Godfrey?
Martyn Godfrey (1949-2000) was born in England and raised in Toronto. Initially a school teacher in Ontario and Alberta, he became a full-time writer for young adult and juvenile fiction in 1985. He had more than 40 books published, and he toured with the Young Alberta Book Society for many years. One of the things he enjoyed most about his career was laughing over the creative and hilarious letters he received from kids. It was his joy in reading those letters that inspired us to create this award in his honour.

Are there prizes?
You bet! We give away a book prize to a winner from each grade (six altogether), and two grand prizes: one for best elementary short story, one for best junior high short story. The grand prize winners each receive an author visit for their schools and book prizes!

The 2020 Rules

**Please note that submissions sent through Google Docs must have permissions enabled for We have received many entries that cannot be opened because they are restricted.**

1. All entries must be received by midnight on March 31 by email to Students may enter invididually or through their school. Entries may also be mailed to YABS at 11759 Groat Road, Edmonton, AB, T5M 3K6

2. Each entry must be wholly original, unpublished, and not submitted elsewhere for publication or performance. (Submitted to teachers for class is okay!)

3. Entrants must be in grade 4-9 in Alberta at the time of entry. (Homeschoolers are eligible and welcome to enter!)

4. Each submission must be the creative and original work of a single individual and must be a complete story (ie. no first chapter of a novel entries)

5. All entries in this competition will be judged anonymously, on merit alone. Entries will be judged based on factors including but not necessarily limited to grade level appropriate grammar, spelling, composition, writing mechanics, originality, and creativity.

6. A completed MGA Cover Page must be attached to each submission, whether hard copy or electronic file. Entries without a cover page will not be accepted. (If you are unable to download files, don't worry! Just email us at and we will send you what you need.)

7. There is no limit to how many stories an entrant may submit, but a separate cover page MUST be submitted for each story.

8. Short stories must be typed in a 10 to 12 point font and double-spaced, and if hard-copy, submitted on 8.5 x 11 inch white paper with black text. Permitted fonts are Times New Roman, Arial, and Helvetica. If there are circumstances in which typing the story is impossible, please contact the office to discuss accomodations.

9. Recommended short story length is 500-2500 words. Maximum short story length is 5000 words.

10. Entries may not be laminated or bound except for a single corner staple.

11. Entries will not be returned. Please keep a copy for yourself.

12. All contestants agree that the Young Alberta Book Society may print the winning entries, with full acknowledgement of their creators, in its newsletter, on its website, and in any other organizational publications.

13. Winners will be notified by April 30 and announced on this website as soon as we are able to contact them.

14. Prizes must be accepted as awarded and may not be redeemed for cash value. The decision of the judges is final. The literary artist visit portion of the prize is contingent upon the cooperation of the winner's school. The literary artist visit will consist of a maximum of two 1-hour presentations for the student's school or public library. The artist will be chosen by YABS.

We're thrilled to announce the winners of the 2019 Martyn Godfrey Award. Congratulations to all and keep writing!

Elementary Grand Prize: Keenan Wong, Grade 4, George P. Nicholson School, Edmonton, for Conquering the Creature (pdf)
Grade Four: Sarah Lam, Westbrook School, Edmonton, for
The Hypnotists (pdf)
Grade Five: Shyla Prasad, Daly Grove School, Edmonton, for Stone Ghosts (pdf)
Grade Six: Andrea Hong, Westmount Charter School, Calgary, for
Composter Treasure (pdf)

Junior High Grand Prize: Hannah Smith, Grade 9, Nellie Carlson School, Edmonton, for holding on (pdf)
Grade Seven: Lauren Martens, Bishop Pinkham, School, Calgary, for Shadows (pdf)
Grade Eight: Tessa McLeod, Picture Butte High School, Picture Butte, for The Shadows Among Us (pdf)
Grade Nine: Nova Collison, D. S. MacKenzie School, Edmonton, for Paintings of the Deceased (pdf)

Congratulations to all of the winners!

2019 Honourable Mentions

Jack W. (gr. 4) of Calgary for The Adventures of J.A.W.

Linnea P. (gr. 6) of Edmonton for The More Things Stay the Same

Mya D. (gr. 6) of Edmonton for In Jeopardy

Raya W. (gr. 7) of Calgary for Shadows Can't Cry

Nafiza H. (gr. 7) of Edmonton for Trapped

Julena F. (gr. 8) of Calgary for White Diamonds

Maia L. (gr. 8) of Edmonton for Operation Trapdoor

Brooklyn B. (gr. 9) of Calgary for The Bike

Elaine X. (gr. 9) of Calgary for The Course of a Night


Thank you to everyone who entered! We were delighted to hear from so many young writers!




2018 Winners - Elementary Category 2018 Winners - Junior High Category

Grand Prize

Lauren Martens of Jennie Elliott Elementary in Calgary for Light Academy(pdf)

Grade Four Winner

Emily Hoang of Louis Riel School in Calgary for The Whistle(pdf)

Grade Five Winner

Joaquin Gossen of Louis Riel School in Calgary for The Hymn of the Birds(pdf)

Grade Six Winner

Kishina Toews of King George Elementary in Calgary for The Blue Eyed Boy(pdf)


Grand Prize

Kaye Maranan of Father Michael Mireau School in Edmonton for Lachesism(pdf)

Grade Seven Winner

Taya Besler of Ecole Coloniale Estates in Beaumont for Off Course(pdf)

Grade Eight Winner

Bruce Yang of Riverbend Junior High in Edmonton for The Fickle Sea(pdf)

Grade Nine Winner

Emmy Barlund of Crowther Memorial Junior High in Strathmore for I Don't Want Anything Else(pdf)


Honorable Mentions for 2018

Banaj B. (grade 4) of Edmonton for Project Guru

Alina S. (grade 4) of Calgary for Talking Books

Hannah P. (grade 5) of Edmonton for Fireflies

Sienna G. (grade 6) of Edmonton for Alley Cat

Lucia S. (grade 6) of Calgary for The Machine

Ava R. (grade 7) of Calgary for Empty

Sydnee T. (grade 7) of Calgary for Up in Flames

Sydney P. (grade 8) of Calgary for Men Into Monsters

Ellie M. (grade 8) of Edmonton for Rebellion Comes with a Cost

Michael Z. (grade 8) of Edmonton for Rebirth, Regain, Rejoice

Raquel A. (grade 9) of Lethbridge for Lies

Kaye M. (grade 9) of Edmonton for The House of Broken Plates



2017 Winners - Elementary Category
2017 Winners - Junior High Category

Grand Prize

Quinn Fischer (grade 6) of Provost Middle School in Provost for Falling Sky (pdf)

Grade Four Winner

Mike Yu of Bridlewood School in Calgary for Rise of the Robots (pdf)

Grade Five Winner

Anders Currah of CAPE School in Medicine Hat for Dreams of Memories (pdf)

Grade Six Winner

Tatum Sedran of Arbour Lake Middle School in Calgary for Our Story (pdf)

Grand Prize - Comic

Natasia Maputi of Crystal Park School in Grande Prairie for In Time for You part 1 | part 2 | part 3 (pdf)

Grand Prize - Short Story

Raquel Adrian of St Francis Junior High in Lethbridge for Guilty Product (pdf)

Grade Seven Winner

Michael Zhang of DS Mackenzie School in Edmonton for Situation 666 (pdf)

Grade Eight Winner

Isabella Frey of Branton Junior High in Calgary for Red (pdf)

Grade Nine Winner

Katharina Davenport of Alberta School of Ballet in Calgary for Laia (pdf)



Honorable Mentions for 2017

Areej S. (grade 8) of Edmonton for Hidden Battles

Yameen K. (grade 8) of Red Deer for Heroes and Villains (or Five Times Two People Tried to Make Sense of the World as Black and White)

Samantha H-G. (grade 7) of Peace River for The Colour Games

Faith M. (grade 9) of  Calgary for The Way Life Works

Melissa S. (grade 9) of Red Deer for We Are the Protectors

Alyssa S. (grade 9) of Calgary for Smiling Back at the Helping Hand




2016 Winners - Elementary Category
2016 Winners - Junior High Category

Grand Prize

Megan Lumley (grade 6) of DA Ferguson Middle School in Taber for The Clouds Have Darkened (pdf)

Grade Four Winner

Sophia Bouw of Ecole John Wilson in Innisfail for The Koi Fish Are Back (pdf)

Grade Five Winner

Eliza Siddiqui of FFCA North Middle School in Calgary for The Police Found My iPhone (pdf)

Grade Six Winner

Nyah Nichol of Nelson Heights Middle School in Cold Lake for The Name's Miss Clues (pdf)

Grand Prize - Comic

Veronika Vrablik, Grace Kloster, Delaney Wiebe & Kennedy Michalski (group entry) of St. Timothy School in Cochrane for Spice Spies (pdf)

Grand Prize - Short Story

Jenna Sampson (grade 7) of Monsignor Fee Otterson School in Edmonton for Abditory (pdf)

Grade Seven Winner

Jake Gerritse of Landing Trail Intermediate School in Athabasca for The Servant Boy (pdf)

Grade Eight Winner

Grace Raidan of Holy Redeemer High in Edson for The Big Fish (pdf)

Grade Nine Winner

Dawn Abraham of Aurora Academic Charter School in Edmonton for Robert J. Preston, Ph.D (pdf)



Honorable Mentions for 2016

Dylan (grade 9) of Vegreville for Free Rein

Graeme (grade 9) of Sturgeon County for For Me

Paige (grade 9) of Sturgeon County for Perfect

Emma (grade 8) of Calgary for Mr Linden's Library

Sophie (grade 8) of Calgary for Death by Christmas

Craig (grade 7) of Athabasca for The Ultimate Revenge

Savannah (grade 6) of Edmonton for The Lump Under the Rug

Kobe (grade 6) of Elk Point for The Brush

Emily (grade 6) of Barnwell for If Only...

Bronwyn (grade 6) of Stony Plain for My Teacher Had a Rip in Her Pants

Sienna (grade 4) of Edmonton for Mutant Warriors