Campus news

Writing students win big

picture of lit jam team

Creative Writing students Cassandra MacDonald, Trevon Smith and Janet Monk recently took top prize at the Lit Jam competition.

Three talented Creative Writing students at U of T Scarborough are winners of the International Festival of Authors’ inaugural Lit Jam – a timed, improvisational contest that matches storytelling teams against each other. 

“Lit Jam is like the Chopped cooking competition on TV,” says Trevon Smith, a fourth-year student in UTSC’s journalism program. “We’re given ingredients on the spot and then tasked with making something out of them.”

UTSC’s team, which competed against the University of Guelph, Ryerson University, and the Humber School of Creative and Performing Arts, consisted of Smith and fellow students Janet Monk and Cassandra MacDonald. The competition was judged by a panel of published authors.

Established three years ago, there are currently 50 students in the Creative Writing program at U of T Scarborough, which is unique for being the only one at U of T that allows students to earn a minor in creative writing. Assistant Professor Andrew Westoll, teaching stream, from the Department of English at UTSC says he proud of the team, each of them studying to be minors in creative writing, and their effort reflects the talent coming out of the program. 

In addition to winning $1,500, their story was also featured in NOW Toronto.

“The real prize is getting published and getting our names out there,” says Monk, a third-year major in Music and Culture. “The whole thing is absolutely mind-blowing.”