Creatures in the Library

A writing program for youth of Sudbury, ON via Stark Publishing

To help support and celebrate creativity and writing, Mark Leslie, in collaboration with the Levack/Onaping Branch of the Greater Sudbury Public Library, is heading up the publication of a book to feature young writers from the City of Greater Sudbury (including the communities Onaping Falls, Valley East, Rayside-Balfour, Nickel Centre, Walden, Capreol, and Wanup). This was via a free-to-enter contest. This winning entries will appear in the Creatures in the Library anthology expected by the end of 2024.

Title:  Creatures in the Library: Tales From Young Sudbury Writers 

Submission Period: Ended August 31, 2023

Guidelines: Write and submit a story or poem anywhere between 100 and 3000 words using the phrase “Creatures in the Library” as inspiration. When you hear the phrase “creatures in the library” what things does that inspire in you? Let your imagination flow and go with it – and enjoy the process. It doesn’t matter what genre, or what style you write. Stories can be for a general adult audience, for young adults or for young readers.

Please keep the content family-friendly and refrain from using situations and language that are too adult in nature.

Looking for inspiring, imaginative, and inventive tales and writing that can fit within the theme or idea of “creatures in the library.” They can be stories of nature, fantastical tales, creepy horror, contemporary literary stories, poetry, humor. Whatever those words inspire you to write. Just make sure it is compelling and well-written.

Remember, any genre is acceptable. Write something that is going to capture and inspire a reader. Make them think. Make them wonder. Make them curious. Make them want to talk about what you wrote to others.

Please use standard manuscript format if submitting via Word (doc, docx) or Rich Text Format (rtf) files.

Format: Double-spaced 12-point font. Times New Roman or a similar standard typeface font. Double spaced, with each new paragraph indented. The first page should include your full proper name, address, email and phone number along with the story’s estimated word count. All that should be single-spaced. Below that your title and author name should appear centered. See example at the end.

Eligibility: Residents of Residents of the City of Greater Sudbury (which include all regional communities such as Onaping Falls, Valley East, Rayside-Balfour, Nickel Centre, Walden, Capreol, and Wanup) 25 years of age and younger. Residents of neighboring communities of the Sudbury Region. (Consideration will also be given to young writers who can demonstrate a connection to Sudbury. For example, if your parents or grand-parents grew up in Sudbury, that works too. Be sure to clearly share your connection to the community)

Diversity is important for this anthology. Sudbury has such a dynamically richness of diversity, it’s important that the stories reflect that in all of its splendor.

Timelines: Submissions are open and close at end of day August 31, 2023. Submissions will be read, and comments provided by editor Mark Leslie.

Winners and finalists will be announced in the fall of 2023.

The book will be published by Stark Publishing in 2024 in hardcover, trade paperback, large print, and eBook editions.


1st Prize Winner: $250

2nd Prize Winner: $100

3rd Prize Winner: $75

Runner-Ups – up to 15: $50

All winners and runner-ups will have their work edited and published in the book CREATURES IN THE LIBRARY which will be released in Hardcover, Paperback, Large Print and eBook editions by Stark Publishing. All winners and finalists will all also receive a physical copy of the book. Physical copies will also be donated so that every branch of the Sudbury Public Library has one.

Entry Form: [Submissions are now closed]

The form will allow you to upload a WORD or RTF document (see format example below – bonus points if you can spot the typo in the manuscript example), or to copy and paste your submission.

Who:  Mark Leslie (former resident of Onaping Falls who grew up in Levack), started writing in the mid 1980s at the age of 14. He spent one entire summer vacation working on a book, which he pounded out on an old Underwood typewriter, and started submitting stories for publication at the age of 15. He had his first story published in 1992. Mark has since gone on to write, co-author and edit more than 30 books that include Spooky Sudbury and his “Canadian Werewolf” series.

Mark, who haunted the original locations of the Levack Public Library as a child, loved books, and his life-long dream was to be a writer. He credits his love of reading with his mother (Jean Lefebvre), many fine teachers, and the wonderful local public library and librarians.

He created the company Stark Publishing in 2004 to self-publish his first book, One Hand Screaming, a collection of “Twilight-Zone” style stories of speculative fiction and horror. Stark Publishing has released the anthologies Campus Chills and Obessions, and many other titles.

Mark still considers Levack his home and wants to help support and promote writing and creativity in the current young residents of Onaping Falls and the Sudbury Region.