Humber students win Lit Jam 2018

Read the winning story from the International Festival of Authors' annual interactive storytelling competition

Three students from Humber College were crowned winners of the International Festival of Authors’ 2018 Lit Jam on February 21. The annual competition pits creative writing students from local post-secondary schools against one another in a night of interactive storytelling.

This year, students from Guelph, Ryerson and York universities also competed. Judges included authors Joseph Kertes, Nino Ricci and Karen Connelly.

The audience prompts competitors with one-line scenarios and students must improvise a story on stage. Salma Hussain, Adam Segal and Daniel Goldsmith won with their story A Day To Remember. Read their story below.

A Day To Remember

H: It was a day to remember.

Her eye caught the LED glow from her unzippered purse. She reached in and brought it closer. It was hard to see the five-inch screen in the sun, and she had to wipe away a tiny droplet of water to make it respond. The water was choppier than usual.

She read the message and began to thumb back.

U: Why is that, H?

H: OMG. B, E and R would not shut up. I don’t understand why B is so nuts, E is so grouchy and R, she’s both.

She typed out something out and deleted it. She replaced it with – thanks for giving me this day to myself.

U: Hey M, safely on the ferry now. Missing you already. [Insert kissy face emoji].

M: I miss you too. But, babe, I’m about to be a published author. You need to cool it with the emojis.

U: Oh M, you are such a tease [Insert three kissy face emojis].


H: Hey babe, almost done at work?

U: Hey H, yeah, almost done. Such an important project. Big client. Looming deadline. High visibility. Thanks for holding down the fort.

H: Tessa and Scott are going on in two hours. Hope we can catch it together. It’s going to be a day to remember.

U: Wouldn’t want to miss it, hubs. I’ll be home very soon.

M: We need to chat about something big. Are you off the ferry yet?

H: At the grocery store. Need anything? Soy milk? Toilet paper?

U: Hey M, up for that chat now. What’s on that naughty mind of yours?

M: I just got a call from my publisher. The advance has come in. I’ve booked two tickets to Hawaii, for tonight. Come with me. (Hopefully this isn’t last minute).

U: WTF. M, this is not the type of chat I had in mind!

H: B just barfed into the lobster tank at Sobeys, what should I do?

M: It’s been a long time coming. I can’t go on like this any more. I’m ready to make this real.

U: Take her home and put her straight to bed. Two baby Tylenol should do the trick. And yes to the toilet paper.

H: So sexy. Such a day to remember.

U: That’s us, hubs. Sexy.

U: Hey M, you caught me off guard. This is exactly the news I’ve been waiting for, and longing for. You’re everything I’ve ever wanted, you’re my man. I can’t lose you. But making our relationship public? Visible? That’s complicated.

M: Life’s complicated. It’s also short, and I don’t want to live any more of it in secret.

H: Hey M, what’s up? Been a while. We haven’t gotten together for pickup in a long time.

M: Not much. I’m not really playing that much anymore, to be honest.

H: You still playing?

M: Not really. I mostly just write and work these days. You?

H: Nah, not so much. Home with the three kids, wife always busy. Wanna catch the Olympics some night soon?

M: I’m planning a trip so I’m going to have to take a rain check on that one.

H: A trip? But the kids, they keep asking about their favourite uncle.

M: Well those lovable little rugrats are just gonna have to learn to wait, you know. No one said that I was the fun uncle.

H: You are the fun uncle, buddy. Come over soon, let’s have a beer…

M: Hey, have you made a decision yet?

U: Hey hubs, I see someone here who looks like Drake.

H: At your work?

U: On the way home. At Union now. Maybe he’s going incognito for a video. I’m going over for a closer look.

U: M, it’s the kids. I love you but the kids are everything I’ve ever wanted, they’re my happiness. I can’t lose them.

M: Bring the kids, I like ‘em most of the time. R looks more like me anyway.

H: I hope you and that Drake look-a-like aren’t having an affair. LOL.

U: LOL. You complimenting me for being a MILF? Are we finally flirting again, H?

H: Hey M, there’s a beer here with your name on it, if you change your mind and wanna come by tonight. Wife’s on her way home from work. We could all watch Tessa and Scott skate tonight. It’s gonna be a day to remember.


Tom Pauncz

Creative writing students compete in IFOA’s annual Lit Jam at Harbourfront Centre.


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