Cora Arvidson, 14, has been named champion of the national Kids Write 4 Kids competition.
Cora Arvidson of Vancouver had no intention of submitting her work to Ripple Foundation Kids Write 4 Kids Creative Contest, not to mention the first place. But when her seventh-grade teacher asked the class to apply, she provided a collection of her poems and was chosen as the best writer out of 581 applicants.
Today, his work, titled Sonwill be published digitally and in print and all proceeds will go to a charity of their choice, the Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada.
A pupil of Sir William Osler Primary School, Arvidson says she has always enjoyed writing, but this experience was the first time she had tried to put pen to paper with strict regularity. The resulting work Son, explores human connection as a tangible thing extending across borders and through history. It examines connection, consciousness and youth while remaining curious yet cautious of being adrift in a vast world.
“I became interested in how everything became so abstract in the way we were connected during the pandemic,” she says. “Maybe it’s the size of the world or maybe it’s something else, but sometimes you feel connected and sometimes you feel like a tiny little dot.”
It was these sentiments that must have stood out to the 12-judge panel of professional editors, past competition winners, poets, illustrators, and more. Each judge blindly reads each submission and enters a score from one to 10 into an online matrix that spits out the overall winner.
Poetry competition, a “wellness project that comes to life”, says the founder
This process was developed over many years with the help of Ivy Wong, founder of the Ripple Foundation. Wong started the Ripple Foundation and writing contest ten years ago to give back to his community and foster creativity in young Canadians.
“I think the future generation is all about kids,” Wong says. “I wanted to create something light…I’m not trying to save the world, just bring a project to life that feels good.”
In addition to the writing contest, the Ripple Foundation is offering virtual writing workshops, blogging opportunities, and launching its first conference this fall. Express Inspire Login is completely online and for students in grades 4-12. They will be offering workshops and panel discussions on a myriad of topics ranging from songwriting to resume writing.
Wong says recognizing budding writers and creative talent in kids encourages them to pursue creative pursuits. As the beneficiary of Wong’s efforts, Arvidson agrees.
“I don’t know where I will be in 10 years, but it will definitely have something to do with the words. This project has been so awesome,” says Arvidson.
While she may not know where she will be in 2032, now award-winning author Arvidson has some words of wisdom (and book recommendations!) for her fellow budding writers.
“Read more than you’re comfortable with. Read history books, books that were considered great. It can help you think about what you want to say.”
Some of his favorites include To yell by Allen Ginsberg, anything by Maya Angelou and Patrick deWitt Minor Deputy Butler. Arvidson’s aunts (and big fans) recently sent her a stack of 30 pounds so you know what she’s up to this summer!