Willow Awards intended to spark young readers imaginations

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Young readers will be celebrating the authors of their favourite books today when Swift Current hosts the provincial Willow Awards Gala.

The celebration will be hosted by St. Patrick School students at the Lyric Theatre on starting at 1 p.m., where the three winning authors will be officially announced.

"It'll be a big day for literacy in town, which is pretty cool," admitted Stephen Anderson from the Gala host committee.

First handed out in 2002, the Willow Awards are promoted by Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice - The Willow Awards, Inc. A total of 10 books are nominated in a trio of different categories, and following a voting period the winners will be formally announced this afternoon.

"The whole aim of this organization is to get kids reading," Anderson said. "And for kids it's a really neat way to be involved in nominating books, and recognizing their favourite authors."

Internationally renowned poet Lorna Crozier will be returning to her hometown to be the keynote speaker at the Gala.

"She'll just be emphasizing how literacy can be a part of a lifelong career," he explained. "Literacy can extend for your entire life. It is something that can begin at a young age, but mature and develop and be something that's always continually enriching someone's life."

Organizations: Lyric Theatre, Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice - The Willow Awards, Inc., St. Patrick School

Geographic location: Swift Current, Saskatchewan

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