2022 Competition Winners

In collaboration with creative writing clubs across Canada, 1PEN is a writing competition designed for undergraduate students who are passionate about creative writing. This competition was created to celebrate the efforts of aspiring writers at universities across Canada, as well as to celebrate the launch of 1pen student writing network.

Top Prize

Congratualtions to Farah Ghafoor for her wonderful poem, To

Not Write, which can be found here: To Not Write. Her poem has also been featured in the ACCUTE's seasonal journal The Angle. See here for the journal: Spring 2022

Farah Ghafoor's poems are published in Cream City Review, Room, Ninth Letter, Hobart and elsewhere. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best New Poets and Best of the Net, and is taught at Iowa State University. Born in New York, she was raised in New Brunswick and Ontario, and studies accounting as an undergraduate at the University of Toronto.

Aribah Ali is an undergraduate student studying Justice, Political Philosophy & Law at McMaster University. In her works, she enjoys exploring themes of family, redemption and peace. She hopes to find more inspiration for her writing in the future by learning from the people she loves.

Congratualtions to Aribah Ali for her wonderful short story, Goodness and 


Ghosts, which can be found here: Goodness and Ghosts

2022 Jury

Pasha Malla is the author of five works of poetry and fiction, including the story 

collection The Withdrawal Method and the novel People Park. His fiction has won the Danuta Gleed Literary Award, the Trillium Book Prize, an Arthur Ellis Award and several National Magazine awards. It has also been shortlisted for the Amazon.ca Best First Novel Award and the Commonwealth Prize, and longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Pasha Malla lives in Hamilton.

Blair Hurley received her A.B. from Princeton University and her M.F.A. from

NYU. She is the author of THE DEVOTED, published by W.W. Norton, which was longlisted for The Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize. Her work is published or forthcoming in Electric Literature, The Georgia Review, Ninth Letter, Guernica, Paris Review Daily, West Branch, and elsewhere. She received a 2018 Pushcart Prize and two Pushcart Prize nominations in 2019.

Blair teaches creative writing at Grubstreet, Catapult, and elsewhere. She is the host of the Writerly Bites podcast.


1PEN was made possible through the combined eforts of the McMaster Poetry & Creative Writing Society, University of Toronto Scarborough's Creative Writing Group Queen's Creative Writing Club, Penned by Western, the Laurier Creative Writing Society, York's Professional Writing Students' Association, the Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English, as well as the consistent support from our friends in writing communities abroad. We would like to also acknowledge the financial contributions from the McMaster English and Cultural Studies Department, as well as the McMaster Undergraduate Student Initiatives Fund.