Whistler student second in essay contest Katherine Rybar's next effort may be a novel — or perhaps a career in journalism — after winning second place in her age category in B.C. for the annual Royal Commonwealth Essay Competition. The Whistler Secondary School Grade 8 student's literary effort was one of 10 essays submitted by the school in the province-wide contest. Rybar will receive a cheque for $150 at a special ceremony in Vancouver sometime in May. She had her choice of five topics, choosing to write five pages in long hand (about 1,000 words) on food: how it's tied in with holidays, its history and what kinds of personal feelings go with different foods. Rybar was told of the award during a school assembly and was duly congratulated by principal Rick Smith and her teacher, Alison Williams. "She's prolific," Williams says of the budding Margaret Atwood. "Anything she turns in is really well done and exhibits a great deal of maturity."