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By A. Ami, S.Rodrigues, M. El Jabiri, M.Dupas, C. Bondyra, D. Renaud, F. Dvorkian, M. Goncalves, P. Lopez Sauri February 26, 2019

First Annual S.P.A.C.E. Writing Competition

This year, 2018-2019, S.P.A.C.E held its first annual writing competition. Students from all disciplines across Dawson College were invited to submit writing that offered a personal interpretation of this year’s theme, PERSPECTIVES. The writing could be in any one of three categories: prose (creative fiction and non-fiction), poetry, and essay. The submissions were judged by an interdisciplinary jury of three faculty—Emma Doubt (Fine Arts), Lisa Steffen (History), Andrea Strudensky (English)—with additional input from a Dawson student (Raven Summers, 1st year, Springboard program). The submissions were evaluated according to three categories: originality and depth of thought, style, and connection to the theme. The jury selected one winner in each category as well as a number of honourable mentions that could come from any category. All winners and honorable mentions received gift certificates from Argo Bookstore and have been published and highlighted in the S.P.A.C.E. web magazine. They will also share their work with the Dawson community through a public reading during the S.P.A.C.E annual exhibition. All participants in the competition had the opportunity to be mentored by S.P.A.C.E faculty and potentially to have their work published in the S.P.A.C.E web magazine. The jury was impressed by the thoughtfulness and variety of the submissions and thanks the many dozens of students from across the disciplines who shared their work with them.

Below are the winners in each category as well as the honourable mentions (click on the links to access the full texts).

Ayelet Ami: "Anti-Sealers, Angry Inuk: An Examination of Anti-Sealing’s Effects on Inuit"First Prize, Essay

“I chose this essay for the student’s well-written, sustained focus on the negative impacts of the EU exemption rules for Inuit communities in relation to seal hunting. The student’s discussion of this excellent documentary film demonstrates a thoughtful engagement with difficult questions around cultural representation and misrepresentation, and the intersections between culture, tradition, colonial history, and the global economy.”
“Made a strong argument, was persuasive, eye opening.”
“Interesting problems connected to the theme and a strong analysis.”


Mariam El Jabiri: “The Land of Jasmines”First Prize, Prose

“I chose this short story in part for the student’s confident command of language and narrative structure (for instance the contrasting viewpoints she presents through her invocation of journalistic language and the internal dialogue of her characters). What I found especially impressive in this short story, aside from the strong writing, were the powerful psychological profiles of her characters, set against the backdrop of conflict  - something she evokes in a vividly convincing way.”
“I thought the imagery was gorgeous - the pacing back and forth in the story - the kind of refusal of closure - I was hooked - nervous while reading - in a nutshell both the form and content won me over - really moving.”

Sara Rodrigues: “Echo”First Prize, Poetry

“I chose this poem for the student’s powerful interpretation of some of the connections (or disconnections) between formal education about discrimination and discriminatory social structures / histories, and lived experience. I loved how the student invoked the theme of the ‘echo’ in the structure of her poem and her use of language in order to explore this powerful topic.”
“Thought it was innovative, moving, original, loved the concept.”
“This left the most vivid impression of perspective with me—especially as I teach this in my Hope and Rage class and can imagine myself as the teacher with the ‘matter-of-fact clinical’ voice. Yikes—hope I’m not! Actually, I want to ask Sara if I can share this with my class when we get to Stonewall.”

Mara Dupas: “The Wig”—Honourable Mention

“A complex and vulnerable engagement with intersections of lived experience of race, lived experience of racism, and perspectives of self.”
“I loved the use of perspective in this piece. You see many, from the protagonist to the woman with the mop.”

Charlie Bondyra: “S/he”—Honourable Mention

“Powerful, incredible.”
“Excellent engagement with theme of ‘perspectives’, vulnerable and powerful.”

Danielle Renaud: “Keeper of the Flies”—Honourable Mention

“Perspective of care, time (decay) and love presented in a deceptively simple setting.”

Fanny Dvorkin: “Sonnet II”—Honourable Mention

“Packs a punch—especially the last two lines.”

Maria Goncalves: “There was”—Honourable Mention

“I love the idea of the connection to perspective through translation of one language to another, and she embraced the form of a modern perspective.”

Paola Beatriz Lopez Sauri: “Homage to my Stretch Marks”—Honourable Mention

“Empowering take on body image.”
“Normalizing female self love <3 A message in female empowerment clashing with oppressive perspectives.” 

About the author

Ayelet Ami is a second-year Dawson student in the Law, Society and Justice profile passionate about social advocacy and the law. She is an active member of the Dawson Debate Union (DDU) and Model United Nations (DCMUN).

Mariam El Jabiri is a second year Cinema Communications student at Dawson College. She likes experimenting with different art forms to explore themes of identity, surrealism and freedom. She hopes to combine her passion for writing and for the visual arts by becoming a filmmaker.

Sara Rodrigues is currently in her second semester of Continuing Education at Dawson. She uses writing as a tool to wrangle out her feelings and lay them bare so she can make sense of them. She is particularly interested in approaching topics such as LGBT identity, feminism and mental health, as they all impact her directly.

Mara Dupas has been a passionate reader ever since she can remember. She hopes to become an accomplished writer and literature teacher as she keeps exploring the world.

Danielle Renaud spent more time writing this bio than it took to write Keeper of the Flies, a story best known for its perfectly roasted flying fish and decadent houseplants.

Fanny Dvorkin is a professional theatre student and poet.

Paola Beatriz López Sauri is a second year Literature student at Dawson College. She aspires to become a book author and editor.

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