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2024 Poetry Contest

Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking (MSHT) exists in Ontario. Its happening in our homes, our neighbourhoods and across our country. 60% of those trafficked in Canada are trafficked in Ontario. Three departments at the Ontario Divisional Headquarters are collaborating for this contest, to bring greater awareness to MSHT during the month of January 2024. The Ascent Mens Ministries, Womens Ministries, and MSHT Response coordinators are grateful for your interest in this contest.

This poetry contest offers an opportunity to give voice to issues that are often silenced. We encourage you to talk about, think about, and get informed about MSHT, and write poetry that reflects a heart for those impacted by MSHT today. For current information about MSHT in Canada go to

This contest is open to people of all ages and genders. Submissions will be reviewed by a small team (See below) and a winner will be chosen in each category. Entries will not necessarily be given feedback, but acknowledgment of receipt will be offered. Winners will be announced by mid February 2024 and may be featured in Salvationist Magazine. A compilation of poetry from this contest may be published by Paddler Press if the numbers and quality of writings would positively contribute to awareness of MSHT. Therefore submissions will become the property of The Salvation Army.


  • Indigenous Focus
  • Empowering Women
  • Labour Trafficking
  • MSHT Awareness—General

Winners Receive a $50 Indigo Gift Card

TSA Employees are ineligible for gift cards.
Other prizes will be awarded.

Poetry Review Team Members

Mackenzie Griffin
Mackenzie Griffin is a Cree-Saulteaux woman from Sunchild First Nations in Alberta, Canada. She grew up off-reserve, in a small hamlet called Fort Assiniboine, an hour and half north of Edmonton, Alberta. Currently, she lives in Kelowna, British Columbia, where she completed her undergrad in Creative Writing and Cultural Studies. Now she is studying at NAIITS – An Indigenous Learning Community taking her Masters of Theology where she is working on her thesis surrounding Indigenous concepts of harmony and wholeness and the harmful language around sin within the Western church for marginalized peoples. Mackenzie is a poet and author and has published articles and chapbooks with the University of British Columbia and Faith Today. 

Constance Knighton
Connie resides in Bracebridge, Ontario. Her poetry has been inspiring people throughout her life of ministry. She has an MTS from Queens University and is a published author and psychotherapist. Her apt story telling can be seen in
Dawsonwood Diaries (2006).

Deryck N. Robertson
Deryck lives and creates in Peterborough/Nogojiwanong, Ontario, where he is an elementary educator. Work has appeared with The Minison Project, Orchard Lea Press, Loft Books, and forthcoming with Vital Minutiae Quarterly. His first chapbook, All We Remember, was released by Alien Buddha Press in 2021. He is the EIC of Paddler Press and has a couple of songs on Spotify. When not writing, he can usually be found drinking maple roast coffee around a campfire or in the stern of his canoe in Algonquin Park. You can find him online @Canoe_Ideas, @PaddlerPress, and

Col. Eleanor Shepherd
Eleanor Shepherd has received several awards for her contribution of more than 100 articles written for Christian publications, including magazine articles and book collections like the Hot Apple Cider series. Her book on sharing faith by listening, More Questions than Answers also merited an Award. She ministered for over 40 years as a Salvation Army officer.


  • Please submit compositions on or before January 31st, 2024 via E-mail to

  • Ensure your full name and full contact information are on your document.

  • Consent for The Salvation Army to publish entries in print and on social media is assumed once writing is submitted as above. If a writer requires anonymity, this must be stated at the time of submission. Entries become the property of The Salvation Army.

  • Proofreading by a trusted friend prior to submission is recommended.

  • In the event that the writer does not have access to email, they may utilize a trusted friend to submit it for them. Entry will then be verified with a phone call.

Please Submit Entries by
JANUARY 31, 2024


The Salvation Army Ontario Division
C/O MSHT Response Advocate
1645 Warden Avenue Toronto, ON M1R 5B3


  • Submissions must be original 

  • Artificial Intelligence cannot be used for composition  

  • Submissions must be typed, a minimum of 12 pt font and no longer than 1 page each  

  • Up to two entries per person are permitted but entrants are eligible for only 1 prize  

  • Entries must be written in English