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 contest open to all Albertan students in grades 4 through 9. Students are invited to submit their best short stories or short tales told in a comic book / graphic novel style.

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 three grand prizes: one for best elementary short story, one for best junior high short story, and one for best junior high comic. The grand prize winners each receive an author visit for their schools, a collection of books by YABS authors and a book store gift card!

The Rules

1. Entries are now being accepted. All entries must be received by midnight, March 31 at the YABS office, 11759 Groat Road, Edmonton, AB, T5M 3K6. Entries may also be emailed to

2. Each entry must be wholly original, including artwork and images; unpublished; and not submitted elsewhere for publication or performance.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.

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 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 may stories an entrant may submit, but a separate cover page MUST be submitted for each story.

8. Short stories must be typed and double-spaced, and if hard-copy, submitted on 8.5 x 11 inch white paper in an easily readable font. (If there are circumstances in which typing the story is impossible, please contact the office to discuss accommodations.) Recommended short story length is 500-2500 words. Comics may be hand-lettered but must be printed legibly.

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

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

11. 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.

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

13. 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 in the student's school. (Alternate arrangements such as a public library visit will be made for homeschoolers.) The artist will be chosen by YABS.

We're thrilled to announce the winners of the 2016 Martyn Godfrey. Click on the bolded story names below to read them! In addition to the nine winners, we also have several honourable mentions. Congratulations to all and keep writing!



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

2015 Winners - Elementary Category 2015 Winners - Junior High Category

Grand Prize

Benjamin Erdeg of Holy Cross School (grade 6) in Cold Lake for Peril in Paris(pdf)

Grade Four Winner

Maya Besseling of Webber Academy in Calgary for The Stray Kitten(pdf)

Grade Five Winner

Robert Miranda of Clear Water Academy in Calgary for The Cost of Immortality(pdf)

Grade Six Winner

Erica Kim of George H. Luck School in Edmonton for Imagine(pdf)


Grand Prize

Macy Copithorne of Branton Junior High (grade 8) in Calgary for Going Home(pdf)

Grade Seven Winner

Jaelyn Coptin of St Helena School in Calgary for The Ancient King(pdf)

Grade Eight Winner

Layne Flad of St Thomas Aquinas in Provost for Rein to Rein Like a Runaway Train(pdf)

Grade Nine Winner

Hancheng Wu of Crestwood School in Edmonton for After Prona(pdf)