For as long as Katelyn Snell can remember, she’s wanted to be a writer.
The 17-year-old McMath student says she’s dabbled in crime writing and journalism but her favourite genre is science fiction, making submitting an entry to this year’s CBC The First Page writing challenge an easy decision. The annual contest asks students in Grades 7 to 12 to write the first page of a novel and this year’s submissions had to be set 150 years in the future.
But after sitting down and whipping up a submission in about an hour, Snell never imagined she’d be picked as one of the 20 finalists, selected from nearly 2,400 entries.
“I was really surprised,” she said, adding that many of the other submissions are “really great” and that the other concepts were unique.
While she has an affinity towards science fiction, Snell said the genre has its challenges, especially when a concept has to be boiled down into one page.
“Sci-fi is a lot of world building,” she said. “When you’re establishing a whole world into a page, it’s kind of challenging.”
Snell’s submission, titled “The Only Difference” focuses on artificial intelligence.
“We’ve seen huge leaps in technology over the last few years,” she said. “I figured this is going to keep (increasing).”
Looking ahead, Snell says she hopes she’ll be able to pursue a career in writing. But for now, she’s simply waiting the final results of the writing challenge, which are expected to be announced on Feb. 22.