Alpha Textbooks had an exciting Sunday afternoon at Word on the Street Toronto (WOTS), for Inspire Teen Reads on the Youth Launchpad Stage.
Inspire Teen Reads is an innovative competition created and organized by a group of bright young minds who care about literature. The aim of the competition was simple: encourage teens to read for pleasure. Participants presented a pitch aimed at convincing a panel of experts from the publishing industry, accomplished writers and the WOTS audience that they should read the participant’s chosen work of literature.
We were happy to see that like us, speakers believed that leisurely reading and expressive writing inspires creativity. Whether they were pitching Nabokov, Plath, or any of the other great authors that were represented on Sunday, each participant showed passion, belief and a true understanding of the benefits of reading.
In round one, 16 competitors shared their pitches with a jury of editors from HarperCollins Canada, Simon & Schuster, and Penguin Random House. These pitches ranged from poetry and prose to spoken word. Eight shortlisted contestants then presented their pitch in round two, to young-adult authors Kenneth Oppel, Megan Crew and Bill Richardson.
The Inspire Teen Reads audience had a critical role to play as well. They voted for the winner of the Alpha Textbooks Audience Choice Award. We offer huge congratulations to Alice Cheng for winning the Alpha Textbooks Audience Choice Award for her pitch on Wayson Choy’s The Jade Peony, also to Lauren Chang her first place win for her pitch on Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, the runner-up, Martine Duffy, for her pitch on Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, and all those who participated in the competition.
Kudos to the team at Inspire Teen Reads and all the WOTS volunteers for a successful event!
Although Alpha Textbooks primarily deals in educational materials, we strongly support leisure reading. Reading affords all of us a unique insight into the world around us, and more importantly into ourselves. Reading nurtures our identity and imagination, it assists in the development of strong minds and future leaders. In the words of Harry S. Truman, “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”
Thank you Inspire Teen Reads for giving us the opportunity to participate. We look forward to the next Inspire Teen Reads competition.