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Grade 5 and 6 students to vie for publishing prize in GMAC Great Canadian Writing Contest

Toronto, ON -- Canadian students in grades five and six have the chance to see their short stories published, thank...


Toronto, ON — Canadian students in grades five and six have the chance to see their short stories published, thanks to the launch of the GMAC Great Canadian Writing Contest, a national, annual, bilingual contest made possible by Founding Sponsor General Motors Acceptance Corporation of Canada Ltd. (GMAC). The contest is managed by ABC Canada Literacy Foundation.

To enter the contest — beginning March 13 and running until May 8, 2006 — students submit an original story, in English or French, of no more than 150 words, based on the contest theme of travel, along with an illustrated ‘book cover’ that they have made. A judging panel will assess the entries and the winning stories will be announced the week of May 22.

All children entering the contest by the Early Bird Deadline (April 11, 2006) will be included in a random draw for a chance to win the Great Grand Prize: a visit by Canadian children’s author Kenneth Oppel to their school, library or family literacy program. Oppel’s books include Skybreaker, Airborne (recipient of the 2004 Governor General’s Literary Award for Children’s Text), and the Silverwing, Sunwing and Firewing saga.

This contest is launched to further GMAC’s commitment to fostering literacy. “The GMAC Great Canadian Writing Contest is designed to engage children in writing, while providing a fun and exciting activity that turns winning writers into published authors,” says Thomas E. Dickerson, president, GMAC of Canada.

“This is a great program for schools, libraries and family literacy organizations,” adds Christine Featherstone, president and CEO of ABC Canada. “It delivers a great deal: a visit from an award-winning Canadian author, the chance for organizations to receive book donations, and the enthusiasm of kids across the country writing their stories.”

Educational ‘tool kits’ available for schools, libraries, family literacy programs Materials to engage children in exercises and activities (either individually or in groups) that prepare them for their writing, are available at www.gmacgreatcanadianwritingcontest.ca. Official contest entry forms, and all rules and regulations, are also available at this site.

Teachers, librarians and family literacy program coordinators can also request contest packages to be sent to them. E-mail us at: info@abc-canada.org.

The Prizes

* Thirteen first-place provincial and territorial prize-winning stories will be published in a book that all the winning authors will receive.

* Five regional prize-winning stories (from the North, the West, Central Canada, Quebec and the East) will be published, and each regional winner will have their school, library or family literacy program receive a donation of $1,000 worth of books, courtesy of HarperCollinsCanada, which is also helping to support the Kenneth Oppel visit.

* Up to 26 second- and third-place provincial and territorial winners will receive a GMAC Great Canadian Writing Contest prize pack. All contest participants will receive a Certificate of Participation acknowledging each of them as a Great Canadian Writer.

Partners for 2006 are: Asia Pulp and Paper Co. Ltd.; Canada Post; Dave Whamond/Threeinabox.com; HarperCollinsCanada; Mattel Canada; Maud Street Printing Services; Owl Magazine; and Sharp Electronics of Canada.

For contest entry forms and information about the contest, please go to: www.gmacgreatcanadianwritingcontest.ca. The contest ends May 8, 2006 and winners will be notified during the week of May 22-26, 2006.

Partners for 2006 are: Asia Pulp and Paper Co. Ltd.; Canada Post; Dave Whamond/Threeinabox.com; HarperCollinsCanada; Mattel Canada; Maud Street Printing Services; Owl Magazine; and Sharp Electronics of Canada.