And The Winner Is…

Beach Metro News has now published the winning poem from our writing contest, so we’re pleased to replicate it here. Click here to read their interview with Susana Molinolo, who took the prize.

I Am Nine

By Susana Molinolo

I am nine.

These things on my feet feel so weird – first

winter boots.

For my first winter in Canada.

Why are they so heavy?

Why is the snow so pretty,

but the walk to school and back home

is so mean?

I only have one friend. She is magical.

Today she is my red balloon,

floating next to me.

She is always whistling and yawning, and

every day when she sees me,

she taps her heels in secret codes

to remind me that I’m not alone.

Yesterday she was silver and gold

leaning into the afternoon sun

like a beautiful old woman

in a fancy lace shawl and a well-ironed skirt

all dressed nice, just to go across the city for

fresh bread

like my abuela.

At night she is alive, wide-awake, a crystal


I always see teenagers laughing with their

arms tangled around the poles.

So much fun inside their talking.

A shiny celebration, except sometimes I see


that look like mine.

Faces staring at the street, and dark-grey

sadness pouring from the windows.

After school she is different too.

Muddy ankles. Muddy chin.

I can’t see the people behind the dirty windows.

Winter is splashing everywhere

everything is messy

especially on my tongue, twisted and quiet

because English is so hard.

Then one day, I can finally sing O Canada!

I am so happy – even inside the boiling-hot


At night the rented apartment windows are

wide open

and my English is getting better.

Is that why I can hear the streetcar, even in

my dreams?

Dear 506 streetcar friend,

Did you know then, that you were my only


You always showed up, even on the loneliest


those throat-aching days

when I was so alone and I could not speak


You were my magic space ship.

You were my teacher.

You were a funny clown,

always playing, hello-goodbye-hello-again.

You were there, screaming and fighting

back, trying your best to save me – when

the bullies would shove me in the snow.

I know how hard you tried, to be my red

dragon. Thank you.

I’m now a grown woman, living at the east

end of the line.

I see you from my house, kissing Eastwood

with your bright red lipstick mouth.

I have never met anyone like you.

Royal-red enigma.


Lady 506.



Oh What A Night!

A big thank you to everyone who contributed to our writing contest and to tonight’s reading event. To all our entrants, we enjoyed your many and varied submissions – everything from children’s stories to poems, with fantasy and mystery stories in the mix too.

The judging panel felt we had found a worthy winner in Susana Molinolo, whose poem “I Am Nine” combined an inspirational story with some unusual description. There was a hint of mystery and the piece felt complete, but also as if there were layers of story between the lines. In addition, it fit well with the theme of the 506 Streetcar Project, being something of a love letter to the 506 itself. We hope many of you will pick up a copy of the Beach Metro News and enjoy Susana’s poem when it comes out.

We had a great event, hearing from Susana, and readings from group members Lorraine, Nell, Jen and Star. Thank you to the record numbers of you who braved the weather and came along to hear us.

All our entrants, and anyone else who is interested, is very welcome to come along to our group meetings, which take place every  second Saturday at 10:30am in the Library. The next one is this Saturday, 2 April. We look forward to seeing many of you then, or at another meeting soon.


Event Tonight!

Don’t forget to join us tonight at 7:15pm at the Library. We’ll be announcing our winner and hearing the winning entry, together with a few pieces from regular members.
If you found us through the contest and are interested in joining the group, our next meeting is this Saturday, 2 April, at 10.30am. We start with a short writing prompt and then read and discuss any pieces people have brought along to share. It’s very informal and all are welcome, from beginners to published authors, across the whole spectrum of styles and genres.

We’d love to meet you!

Writing Contest CLOSED

Thanks for all your entries. Our judges are enjoying reading them and we’ll announce the winner soon!


We hope you will join us at Ashdale / Gerrard Library at 7.15pm on 31 March 2016 for the announcement of the winner, and to hear the winning entry, together with some of our work, read aloud.

506 Writing Contest

Ashdale Writers Group

in conjunction with Beach Metro, Toronto Public Library, Gerrard India Bazaar and The 506 Streetcar Project

is pleased to announce a WRITING CONTEST


Submit your best piece of original writing – fiction or non-fiction – inspired by the 506, before midnight (EST) on 21 March 2016

WIN publication in Beach Metro News and $100 cash, courtesy of Gerrard India Bazaar BIA

Maximum word limit 506 words.

Submission details and full rules

 Everyone is invited to Ashdale / Gerrard Library, from 7.15pm on 31 March 2016 to hear the winning entry and readings from members of the writing group.


Writing Contest Submission Guide and Rules

Thanks for your interest in our first ever writing contest. Our panel of judges, made up of members of the group, is looking forward to reading your entries, whether fiction or non-fiction, poetry or prose. Song lyrics are also welcome, but unfortunately we are not in a position to judge musical elements of the song this year, so please just send the lyrics.

We will be hosting a public reading of some of our work at 7:15pm on 31 March at Ashdale / Gerrard Library we really hope to see you and your friends there. The winner of the contest will be invited to read his / her entry at the event too.

Please ensure your entry meets the submission requirements below and then email it as an attachment to by midnight (EST) on 21 March 2016.

  • Entries must be the work of the entrant and must not have been published or accepted for publication elsewhere.
  • Entries may have appeared online in private (password protected) peer review sites, but should not have been published in any commercial online form including blogs or personal websites.
  • Members (including former members) of Ashdale Writers’ Group and employees of the Gerrard / Ashdale Branch of Toronto Public Library (the Library), together with their families, are excluded from entry.
  • Copyright remains with the author.
  • Entries cannot be returned.
  • Entries should be submitted as an email attachment as a Microsoft Word Document (.doc or .docx), OpenDocument Text (.odt), Rich Text File (.rtf), or PDF (.pdf).
  • Entries should be in Size 12 Times New Roman, Courier or similar font, double spaced.
  • In the body of the email please ensure that you include the title of your story, the word count, your name and a contact email address. Manuscripts must not show the name or any other identifying details of the entrant, but must include the title.
  • Only manuscripts which are within the 506-word limit will be accepted. This means any written work, whether poetry or prose, fiction or non-fiction up to and including 506 words (excluding title).
  • No corrections will be accepted after submission.
  • Entries not complying with competition rules will be disqualified.
  • No more than one entry is permitted per entrant.
  • The closing date for entries is midnight (EST) on 21 March 2016. Winners will be notified by email by noon on 31 March 2016.
  • One entry will be chosen as the prize winner, to be published in the Beach Metro News (BMN). The entrant agrees to publication of their entry, their name and/or the title of their entry in the BMN and online by any or all of the Library, the 506 Streetcar Project and BMN.
  • The winning entrant will also be invited to read their entry at a public event at the Library on the evening of 31 March 2016.
  • The decision of the judges is final, and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • The results of the competition will be published on the Ashdale Writer’s Group website ( and in the BMN.