Masters of the quill
Nunavut writing winners named

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Rankin Inlet ( May 29/00) - If the award winners from the Nunavut Literacy Council's first Northern Writes Writing Contest are any indication, talent abounds among a number of aspiring young writers in Nunavut.

The contest has been held since 1990, but 2000 marks the first year the Nunavut Literacy Council has held the contest in Nunavut.

Prior to division, the contest was held by the NWT Literacy Council.

Nunavut Literacy Council executive director Mark Tindall said the contest was held in all of the official languages of Nunavut, with a number of different categories covering age and writing style.

"The submissions were very good and we're happy with the number of entries," said Tindall.

"We were extremely happy to receive entries in Inuktitut and French and feel it's been a successful kickoff for the Nunavut council running the contest."

The Kivalliq Region had a strong showing in Nunavut's first contest.

The winner of the best overall entry was Thomas Okatsiak of Arviat for his fiction effort, No Sword like the Inuk's Sword, the Panah.

The best children's entry was the poem, My Self, by Briana Rempel of Rankin Inlet.

In the Inuktitut class, Kimmirut's Brianna Jaffray took top prize in the fiction category for ages 10-11, while Iqaluit's Inuusiq Akavak took top honours for non-fiction.

For ages 8-9, Kimmirut's Maggie Aqpik took first place in poetry, while Kimmirut's George Barrieau captured the non-fiction class.

In the French division for poetry, Iqaluit swept the awards with Joel Fortier taking top spot in the 12-14 age grouping and Lauren Teiman taking first in the 10-11 class.

In the 8-9 grouping of the English class, Iqaluit's Conor Mallory took first in fiction, Rankin Inlet's Briana Rempel captured poetry and Rankin's Bryce Naytowhow took top spot in non-fiction.

For ages 10-11, Iqaluit's Geoffrey Moore took first in fiction, Iqaluit's Shelley Evyagotailak in non-fiction and Rankin's Ronell Landry in poetry.

For 12-14, it was Iqaluit's Ashley Tufts for fiction and Renee Lalonde for poetry, and Pond Inlet's Janice Kautainuk for non-fiction.

Winners in the 15-19 class were Pond Inlet's Moe Inootik for non-fiction and Taloyoak's Henry Lyall for poetry.

The adult class saw Iqaluit's Thomas J. Demcheson win for non-fiction, and Arviat's Thomas Okatsiak for fiction and Susan Pameok for poetry.

Contest judges were Levinia Brown, Metro Solomon, Michele Ashby and Sue Shirley.

The Nunavut Literacy Council will be publishing a book with the winning and other selected entries in the next several months.