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For Immediate Release

ONTARIO ELEMENTARY AND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS HAVE THE WRITE STUFF
IFOA Ontario & Open Book: Ontario announce this year’s winners of Write Across Ontario competition

TORONTO, December 10, 2013— After much deliberation, IFOA’s touring programme, IFOA Ontario, and Open Book: Ontario are pleased to announce the winners of this year’s Write Across Ontario creative writing competition. Students in grades 5 to 12 were asked to write a story in 500 words or less, using the story-starter provided for their age group by one of four well-known authors. This year, Kevin Sylvester provided the story-starter for grades 5–6, Richard Scrimger wrote one for grades 7–8, Lesley Livingston covered grades 9–10 and Dionne Brand created the story-starter for grades 11–12. The story-starter was used as a place for students to begin their story, but where the story went from there was in the hands of each individual.

Entries were narrowed down by the IFOA team, and the final winners were selected by Open Book. One winner was chosen from each age group for a total of four (4) winners, who will each receive $500 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.

Open Book Contributing Editors and Write Across Ontario judges Erin Knight (author of Chaser, House of Anansi) and Grace O'Connell (author of Magnified World, Random House) had this to say about the contest:

"It's not easy to bring character, plot and insight together using less than 500 carefully chosen words, but the young writers who took on the challenge for this competition did so with verve and originality. We'll be thinking about these stories for a long time. It's exciting and encouraging to read these vibrant new voices, and we look forward to much more from these writers."

Winners:

Grade 5–6: Meghan Butcher, A.R. Kaufman Public School, Kitchener

Grade 7–8: Rhianyth Warwick, King Edward Junior/Senior Public School, Toronto

Grade 9–10: Alana Dunlop, Erin District High School, Erin

Grade 11–12: Jaimie-Ann Adams, Parkdale Collegiate Institute, Toronto

Look for the winning entries in Open Book Magazine this January.

Write Across Ontario is inspired by a similar contest presented by one of IFOA’s Word Alliance partners, the Melbourne Writers Festival. The Word Alliance is a collaboration between literary festivals around the globe, which aims to present the best authors to international audiences at events worldwide.

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.

About IFOA Ontario
IFOA’s touring programme, IFOA Ontario, partners with libraries, bookstores, universities and community organizations to present the best writers of contemporary literature across the province. Events include readings, interviews, lectures, round table discussions and public book signings. Visit litontour.com to find out more.

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MEDIA CONTACTS:
Brenna Baggs: bbaggs@ifoa.org; 416-973-4395
Maeve O’Regan: moregan@ifoa.org; 416-973-5836

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