“Family” wins Writers’ Union of Canada’s 14th Annual Writing for Children Competition

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (September 1, 2010) – The Writers’ Union of Canada is pleased to announce that Victoria Jones has won the fourteenth annual Writing for Children Competition, for the best story under 1,500 words, with her piece “Family.” The author will receive a $1,500 cash prize. In addition, the story will be submitted to three Canadian publishers for their consideration.

The Union initiated its inaugural Writing for Children Competition in 1996 to discover, encourage, and promote writers of children’s literature. This year, twenty Union members donated their time and expertise to read 657 outstanding submissions and distill them into a longlist of 74 stories. These stories went on to a second round of twenty-four readers who selected the finalists to pass on to the 2010 jury: Sarah Ellis, Bill Freeman and Linda Granfield.

The Jury noted that “‘Family,’ by Victoria Jones, is a carefully constructed story that will be fascinating to young readers. There is a strangeness about the events that are related in the story and an unusual quality about the characters. The theme of kids that don’t fit in is matched by unusual events such as sudden accidents and speculation about meteors. One of the great strengths of the story is that things are not completely explained and events are not quite logical. That adds to the gathering sense of mystery. Then, with the magic of a well told story, all is revealed in the last sentence. This is strong storytelling by a talented writer.”

Seven years ago, Victoria changed her artistic focus from sculpting to writing when she wrote her first children’s story in remembrance of a four-legged member of the family. While encouraged to continue writing by her husband and two little girls, she knew she had much to learn. Since that time, she has taken writing courses, attended workshops and read voraciously. Victoria lives in Toronto and is currently working on a post-apocalyptic novel for young adult readers. Her short story “Family” marks her first entry in a writing competition and will be her first submission to a publisher.

The remaining finalists are:

Anna Best, “Grey Coat”
Sandra Beswetherick, “What to Do About Dog?”
Jann Everard, “Isobel Rules”
Elizabeth Laswick, “Down with the Buggy Blues”
Sandy Martin, “Annabella Scarabelli”
Harriet G. Mulder, “Sun Shines Bright: Four Seasons for Baby”
Sylvia H. Olson, “Fire on Strawberry Hill”
Terri Paddon, “The Summer Kevin Did Nothing”
Justyna Podsiadlo, “Julie’s Time Zone Travelscape”
Neshali Weera, “My Name is Neshali”
Susan Algar & Fiona Watson, “Winkle the WishStar”

READERS FOR THE COMPETITION
Marlene Anderson, Judy Andrekson, Thelma Barer-Stein, Ann Birch, Ann Brennan, Licia Canton, Jane Chartrand, Candas Dorsey, Maggie Dwyer, Deborah Ellis, Rachna Gilmore, Dave Glaze, Lian Goodall, Marjory Gordon, Carolyn Gossage, Heidi Greco, Rebecca Hendry, Elaine Kalman, Fred Kennedy, Tanya Kyi, Vanessa Laufer, Tariq Malik, Anna Mallinson, Jennifer Maruno, Hugh McCracken, Robin McGrath, Janet McNaughton, Fatima Mesquita, Bruce Meyer, Judith Meyrick, Rich Meyrick, Nancy Millar, Barbara Murray, Faruk Myrtaj, Susin Nielsen, Sheila Pennington, Edeet Ravel, Gina Roitman, Judy Ann Sadler, Valerie Sherrard, Anne Sorbie, Diane Tucker, Julia van Gorder and Linda Zeman-Spaleny

FINAL JURY
Sarah Ellis, Bill Freeman and Linda Granfield.

The Writers’ Union of Canada is our country’s national organization representing professional authors of books. Founded in 1973, the Union is dedicated to fostering writing in Canada, and promoting the rights, freedoms, and economic well being of all writers.

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For additional information:
Fan Li, Projects Coordinator
The Writers’ Union of Canada
416.703.8982 Ext. 226
fli@writersunion.ca