Creatures in the Library

A writing program for youth of Onaping Falls, ON. Write a story this summer for a chance to win cash prizes and get your writing included in an exciting new book from 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 a writing contest for young writers from the Sudbury community of Onaping Falls (Levack, Onaping, Dowling). This is a contest that is free to enter and comes with an opportunity to win cash prizes, receive feedback on submissions, and get their work published in a book.

Title:  Creatures in the Library: Tales From Young Onaping Falls Writers 

Submission Period: July 1, 2022 to April 30, 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 Onaping Falls (Dowling, Onaping, Levack) 25 years of age and younger. Residents of neighboring communities of Cartier and Benny are included. (Consideration will also be given to young writers who can demonstrate a strong connection to Onaping Falls. For example, your parents or grand-parents grew up in Onaping Falls. Share your connection to the community)

Timelines: Submissions open July 1, 2022 and close at end of day April 30, 2023. Submissions will be read, and comments provided by editor Mark Leslie.

Winners and finalists will be announced by August 2023.

The book will be published by Stark Publishing in late 2023 or early 2024.


1st Prize Winner: $250

2nd Prize Winner: $100

3rd Prize Winner: $75

Runner-Ups – up to 12: $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, and eBook editions by Stark Publishing. All winners and finalists will all also receive a trade paperback copy of the book.

Entry Form:

The form will allow you to upload a WORD or RTF document (see format example below), 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 popular “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 Obesssions, 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.