Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Toronto's Roald Dahl Day!

As those of you who have read my books might have guessed, I'm a wee bit of a Dahl fan.  The first third of ALEX was meant to be a bit of an homage to his work (especially the Daughters of the Founding Fathers' Preservation Society).  I love his whimsy, I love his dark side, I love his character names.  And I adore me some Vermicious Knids (is there a better creature name out there?  I think not):

And so I was totally honoured when I was asked to be a guest judge for Toronto's Roald Dahl Day!  It's happening this Sunday, and I figured I should maybe post the event info here on the off chance some of yous might be interested.

Here you go!  (and I hope to see you there!)

Sun Oct 23; 11-4pm $10 (All Dahl Pass)
The Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St West

For the past five years, Roald Dahl fans throughout the United Kingdom have been marking the renowned children author’s birthday by celebrating Roald Dahl Day. Toronto fans finally got to join in the fun last year, when Small Print Toronto staged the first-ever Roald Dahl Day celebration in Canada.
  • This year, as the focus of our second annual Roald Dahl Day event, we’re planning a bumper crop of activities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Dahl’s classic novel, James And The Giant Peach.
  • “The Giant Peach Hunt” will give teams of two or more people a chance to use their wits to win cool prizes as part of a literary scavenger hunt.
  • Poet David Hickey will launch his new picture book, A Very Short Something (Biblioasis) – a tale about bubble-gum that would make Willy Wonka smile!
  • “The Giant Peach Bubble Contest” will establish which local Dahl fan can blow the largest bubble after chewing peach flavoured gum.
  • Director Henry Selick’s stop-motion adaptation of James And The Giant Peach will be presented on a full, cinema-sized screen.

What would happen if James discovered the Giant Peach in today’s Toronto?’  

We invited writers 8-12 to craft a short story (max 1500 words) based on the scenario of James, a lonely orphan in today’s Toronto, discovering a peach as big as a house filled with human-sized friendly creatures.

An all-star panel of judges  - including CBC Radio host and author Kevin Sylvester, authors Kelley Armstrong, Adrienne Kress, Lesley Livingston,  Evan Munday and Vikki Vansickle,  Susan Kernohan Director of Young Voices at the Toronto Public Library, Mark Medley, Book Editor at The National Post, and Janet Somerville, English Teacher,  Royal St George’s College - will read aloud the top entries and award prizes at this year’s Toronto Roald Dahl Day celebration on Sunday October 23rd., at the Gladstone Hotel.

The grand-prize winner will be published by Book Madam & Associates Magazine, a community hub dedicated to discussing all elements of the publishing industry, sharing stories and leading by example.

Renowned author Kenneth Oppel has prepared a video address to the contestants. At the age of fourteen, Oppel sent a story he wrote to Roald Dahl. Dahl was so impressed he told his own literary agent to get it published. Oppel says that the experience gave him the confidence to think he could have a career as a writer. 

Will one of the young scribes in our Roald Dahl Day story contest turn out to be the next Oppel (or even Dahl)? If an orphan and his creature-pals can sail a giant peach across the Atlantic Ocean, anything is possible.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a fun event. Thanks for letting us know about it!