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For Immediate Release

GRADE 7 & 8 ONTARIO STUDENTS HAVE THE WRITE STUFF
Planet IndigenUS, Open Book: Ontario & IFOA Ontario announce this year’s winners of Write Across Ontario competition

TORONTO, December 12, 2012— Creativity abounds this holiday season—in this case, through the written word. After much deliberation, the International Festival of Authors’ (IFOA) touring programme, IFOA Ontario, is pleased to announce the winners of this year’s Write Across Ontario creative writing competition. Open to Grade 7 and 8 students across the province, the competition is generously supported by Planet IndigenUS, Open Book: Ontario and IFOA Ontario. Students were asked to finish the story-starter provided by Canadian Aboriginal author and IFOA Ontario participant, Brian Wright-McLeod, in 500 words or less.

Entries were narrowed down by Authors at Harbourfront Centre and Planet IndigenUS with the final winners selected by Open Book: Ontario. One winner was chosen from each grade for a total of two (2) winners, who each receive $500 courtesy of Planet IndigenUS and Authors at Harbourfront Centre and the opportunity to have their work published online in Open Book Magazine. Winners were chosen based on creativity, ability to stay within the word count, style and overall quality of the piece.

“The magnitude of the work and the originality of students throughout Ontario is phenomenal,” said Geoffrey E. Taylor, Director of the IFOA. “To have the students take a story started by a well-known, published author and turn it into something that is their own is an experience unlike any other.”

"Every young writer who was inspired to continue where Brian Wright-McLeod left off took the plot in a different and surprising direction,” said Erin Knight, Open Book: Ontario's Contributing Editor. ”The winning writers told their stories with verve and originality, while preserving the tone and the sense of mystery from the story-starter. We'll be watching for their names in future publications!"

Winners:

Grade 7: Tamara Fuller, Poplar Bank Public School, Newmarket

Grade 8: Sydney Kondreska, Ecole Gron Morgan, Thunder Bay


Look for the winning entries to appear in Open Book Magazine.

Write Across Ontario is inspired by a similar contest presented by one of the IFOA’s Word Alliance partners, the Melbourne Writers Festival. The Word Alliance is a collaboration between literary festivals around the world, which aims to present the best authors to international audiences at events around the globe. Write Across Ontario has taken different forms, with last year’s competition open to high school students. The writing competition aims to encourage creativity and literacy among school-aged children.

About Planet IndigenUS
Planet IndigenUS, co-produced by Woodland Cultural Centre and Harbourfront Centre, is a year-round initiative that culminates in a 10-day region-wide celebration every three years. Our next festival, the world’s largest multi-disciplinary, contemporary, international Indigenous arts festival, will be held in 2015.

About Open Book: Ontario
Open Book: Ontario celebrates Ontario's vibrant literary scene. Open Book is committed to showcasing the outstanding range and quality of contemporary Canadian writing in Ontario. Through features and profiles, Open Book invites you to get to know the places and people connected to reading and writing in the province. For more information, visit openbookontario.com and the sister site, openbooktoronto.com.

About IFOA Ontario
The International Festival of Authors (IFOA) touring programme, IFOA Ontario, partners with libraries, bookstores, universities, and community organizations across Ontario to help provide areas with access to IFOA’s world-renowned events and the Festival’s roster of best contemporary writers from around the globe. Visit litontour.com for more information.
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MEDIA CONTACTS:
Jennifer Asselin: jasselin@harbourfrontcentre.com; 416-973-4395
Nicole Baute: nbaute@harbourfrontcentre.com; 416-973-5836

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