Ontario High School Students Celebrate Love of Literacy

IFOA Ontario & Open Book announce winners of Write Across Ontario competition

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: TORONTO (February 14, 2012) — Love for the written word is in the air this Valentine’s Day. With more than 450 submissions, the International Festival of Authors’ (IFOA) touring programme, IFOA Ontario is pleased to announce the winners of the first Write Across Ontario creative writing competition. Open to high school students across the province, the competition is generously supported by Open Book: Ontario. Students in grades 9 to 12 were encouraged to choose a story-starter provided by three of last year’s IFOA and IFOA Ontario participants, award-winning authors Ian Rankin, Johanna Skibsrud, and Miriam Toews and continue the story from there in 500 words or less.

Entries were judged by Authors at Harbourfront Centre. One winner was chosen from each grade for a total of four (4) winners who each receive $500 courtesy of Open Book: Ontario 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.

“We were overwhelmed with the number of submissions from students from every nook and cranny of the province,” said Geoffrey E. Taylor, Director of the IFOA. “The imagination and creativity of Ontario students is fantastic. Who knows, we might even have our hands on a future Festival participant.”


Grade 9: Persistence Kathleen Chen, Toronto French School, Toronto

Grade 10: Untitled Jessica Kim, Martingrove Collegiate Institute, Etobicoke

Grade 11: The Key Tamara Southward, Saint John’s-Kilmarnock School, Breslau (Waterloo Region)

Grade 12: Untitled Mik Opolski, St. Michael’s College, Mississauga

Look for the winning entries to appear this spring 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.

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 our 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 to find out more information.