The LIAR ZINE is Capilano University's Student Literary Journal

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2024 Contest Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2023-2024 writing and design contest: Laura Morales Padilla and Anais Bayle!

Laura Morales Padilla


Laura Morales is a Bolivian graphic designer currently living in Vancouver. She was born in Mexico, on September 11, 1998; shortly after her birth, Laura’s family moved to Cochabamba, a city located in the heart of Bolivia. 

In 2016, she received a scholarship at the “Universidad Privada Boliviana” where she decided to study Graphic Design. When Laura graduated, she received the “Fundación Julio Leon Prado” award for having the top GPA of class 2021, as an incentive to continue with her studies. In 2019, Laura started her training as a volunteer firefighter in “SAR Bolivia,” which allowed her to do over 1200 hours of volunteer work over the next three years.  

In 2022, Laura was accepted in the Associate of Arts Degree program in Capilano University, where she is now studying and working as an International Student Ambassador (Marketing & Communications) in the Centre for International Experience, and as the Communications Manager & Video Production Manager in the Capilano Courier. She received the “Study in BC Writer’s Award” given by the BC Council for International Education (BCCIE) in 2022, and was featured in CapU’s Bring It campaign at the beginning of 2023.  

About the piece:

“I migrated before I started walking, so my roots were taught not to grow too deep; however, one can only grow so much until shallow roots give into the need for grip, and through that connection I found meaning. Then, I migrated again.  

 If my roots were shallow then, now they were floating. For better or worse, I landed in a city that was going through its own identity crisis. Somehow, through this disconnection, I also found meaning. Then, I wrote “All But Grey.”  – Laura Morales Padilla

Anaïs Bayle

Anaïs Bayle is a designer, illustrator, and soon-to-be graduate of the Capilano University IDEA School of Design. Whether with pen and paper, needle and thread, or keyboard and mouse, she pursues ideas that click. Anaïs has been recognized a dozen times for her design and illustration work in provincial and national competitions. Although she specializes in branding design, she enjoys illustrating birds in her free time. 

About the piece: 

This piece, “Oystercatchers,” depicts local seabirds distinct for their fiery-coloured eyes and beaks. As the birds recede into the dark background, both in contrast and rendering approach, all that remains is the burned-in intensity of their striking features.  


Notes from the 2023 -2024 Liar Contest Judges 

Andrea Actis – Writing 
Reading this piece is like falling into the tubes and folds of whatever soft machinery forges whatever we call “subjectivity.” In this space, I’m enlisted in the work of negotiating between my will to know and my will to un-know. In other words, this is a space of ethics—necessarily both familiar and strange, “surrounded by green” and burnt by experience. The quiet here is powerful, and there is safety, somehow, at all these edges of fear. How we act will always depend on how we trust, and this work invites us into some very deep trust.
Ki Wight – Design
I chose this image for a burned-themed issue because the bird in the background appears as a lasting and impactful memory—a memory that is burned into the mind and that has the quality of haunting our experiences with shades of the past.

Highlights from This Year’s Issue

Take a sneak peek from some writing and design in this year’s Liar – The Burned Issue

2024 Writing Finalist – Canned Pasta by Jeff Oro

I skim the instructions with haphazard intent 

as you maneuver around the cramped walk-in shower 

trying to wash away a day’s worth of dirt and stress. 

You said you were craving spaghetti, 

2024 Writing Finalist – Complicit by Jenna Luscombe

His eyes were never as blue as that first night 
while the sunset waved its yielding flags, 
the landscape of his smooth back a blank canvas. 
You wrote your name on my collar, that mendacious tongue, 
but soap won’t expunge a brand that goes straight to the marrow. 

2024 Writing Finalist – Something About Walking Into Bars by Kai Leung

A teacher, a paramedic, and a writer walked into a bar, sitting side by side in the corner on a dead Monday night. The teacher ordered a vodka soda, the paramedic ordered a rum & coke, and the writer ordered a gin & tonic. They all gave the bartender their credit cards as all three of them started their own tabs. 

2024 Writing Finalist – Feed Me Grapes by Raquel Adrian


Not-so-regal on the half-couch 

Feed me grapes 

Amongst sun-bleached pillars 

Pay attention to the summer freckles on my nose 

Please, not the fires in my eyes. 

2024 Writing Finalist – Shaken Iced Tea by Matthew Funk

An end greeted all too quickly, 

this final form is but a whisper 

of what you once were. 

Leaves are your iron, 

forged in fire’s nemesis, 

2024 Writing Finalist – Andante Spianato by Apsara Coeffic-Neou

“Oh,” said my mother. “That’s good.” She turned back to her dishwashing. 

“You barely looked at it!” The sweat from my hand had stained my first-place certificate. “Can’t you even pretend to care?”  

“Can’t you see I’m busy, Emma? I’ll look at it later.” 

2024 Writing Finalist – Fancy Wine by Victoria Wall

Your love is like an empty Nutella jar,

Like the feeling of coming home from school and finding out your sister ate the last pizza slice.

It’s like a drunk violinist trying to play guitar,

It’s like being thirsty and only having whiskey to drink,


The 2022-2023 Issue Design Winner

Talel McBriar

Talel McBriar is a multimedia artist who uses visual art and music as creative expression. A self-taught painter, Talel primarily finds interest in painting human crowds and figures with acrylic paint. Painted during the beginning of the pandemic, this artwork reflects on being on a subway in New York City and represents the appreciation and nostalgia of being in a crowd, surrounded by others.

Our mission

The Liar, is an independent annual literary zine
published and edited by students.
Since the 1980s, the Liar has featured work from emerging and international authors such as Margaret Atwood, Charles Bukowski, Juliane Okot Bitek, among others

2022 – 2023 Writing Winner

Last year’s winner by Mimi Toma

2022 – 2023 Writing Contest Winner – ROUTINE by Mimi Toma

Routine With the strand of hair hanging from my mouth, holding onto the piece of bread I just chewed. I think of when mother would wrap her hair in a scarf each morning. Still, her red velvet hair would always make it into my greek salad. It happened so often that she...

2023 Writing Contest Finalist – YOU by Thea Lutters

YOU (Content Warning: Suicide)   I place the key into the ignition and turn it; my dad’s old ‘67 Camaroroars to life. It was his prized possession, navy blue with two white race stripes right down the hood. Now, dirt suffocates him six feet under. I’m going to...

2023 Writing Contest Finalist – THE PROMISE OF A THOUSAND KISSES by Ethan Sauer

The promise of a thousand kisses:   has always been a lie. Slipping away into momentary bliss. Slipping away into a single, sultry night sky. I’ve always hidden the colour of my heart. Tucked away its rose-filling, its pink catastrophe routed in desire. Tucked it...

2023 Writing Contest Finalist – this cigarette, i forgot i lit it by Kat Savard

this cigarette, I forgot I lit it When Papa’s cough didn’t stop after the medicine, we knew it was bad. He was a big man, larger than life, and so to see him, curled up small in his bed felt like a knife in the ribs. We tried for days to bring the fever down, but like...

2023 Writing Contest Finalist – THE DESIRE OF TIME by Raquel Adrian

Something that I want more than anything is the ability to pause time. On a rainy day, to stop the droplets in their flight and see my reflection in them, walk about and around, into them even. Or snowflakes on their journey down from the sky, to examine their...

2023 Writing Contest Finalist – THE IRON ARM by Jasper Gillard

The iron arm sat patiently upon a rusty trash can, surrounded by bright neon lights that reflected off its silver outline. A man with one arm stared at the device, unsure of what mysterious functions this iron arm might have. Around them, the alley was desolate. Not a single human dared travel into such a filthy place. They preferred to stick to the gutted street, floating like ants in a large field of weeds.

2023 Writing Contest Finalist – ECLIPSE by Elishiva Phillips

Eclipse Alone with strangers, I melt into gravel. Their boots make a satisfying crunch as they grind me down into earth. Plastered in vinyl, we peel persimmons and black out the sun with fistfuls of ash as the train screams and cheap bourbon consecrates the tracks....

2023 Writing Contest Finalist – DREAMLAND by Manpreet Kaur

  Dreamland It was—5am—in my head                                                                                                                                 and I was lost no destination, no idea of where I was; nostalgia of a place that kept changing until...