Adrienne Clarkson, Roy MacGregor, Carolyn Weaver to judge national letter writing contest; CanWest Raise-A-Reader, Canada Post, Tourism PEI to sponsor

    TORONTO, Jan. 28 /CNW/ - In celebration of the 100th Anniversary of
Anne of Green Gables, Penguin Group (Canada) will launch a national
letter-writing contest on February 9, 2008, inviting Canadians of all ages to
write to Anne Shirley, telling her in 500 words or less, what she means to
    The letter-writing contest, an initiative sponsored by Penguin, in
partnership with Canwest Raise-A-Reader, Tourism PEI, and Canada Post will
open on February 9, 2008, and close on April 30, 2008, marking the publication
of three official 100th Anniversary books from Penguin. The books include the
highly anticipated prequel, Before Green Gables, by Governor General's Award
finalist Budge Wilson. Also to be released from Penguin are Imagining Anne:
The Island Scrapbooks of L.M. Montgomery, an elaborate collection showcasing
Montgomery's extensive scrapbooks, orchestrated for the first time in one
single volume by Montgomery scholar Dr. Elizabeth Epperly, and a special
100th Anniversary Edition of L.M. Montgomery's original Anne of Green Gables,
containing a new introduction from two of Montgomery's grandchildren.
    The contest is open to residents of Canada. Twenty letters will be
selected randomly from four age categories and five will be forwarded to a
national jury for adjudication. The national jury will be chaired by Canada's
twenty-sixth Governor-General, the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson. Other
jury members include bestselling author and Globe and Mail columnist
Roy MacGregor; Rogers Fine Print Host Carolyn Weaver; Robert Waite,
Senior Vice President, Stakeholder Relations and Brand at Canada Post;
Scott Anderson, Senior Vice President, Content for Canwest, and Kate Macdonald
Butler, L.M. Montgomery's grand-daughter.
    Contest entries will be judged on four criteria: each worth up to
25 points: originality, spelling and grammar, relevance to subject, and style.
The winner in each age category will receive a $2,500 travel voucher from
The Travel Store for travel to and from Prince Edward Island, courtesy of
Tourism PEI. The winners will be invited to visit Charlottetown and
Avonlea village, and will receive complimentary tickets to Anne of Green
Gables The Musical at the Confederation Centre. Winners and runners-up will
also receive a library of Penguin's 100th Anniversary editions, a
commemorative stamp to be issued by Canada Post, and a commemorative coin to
be issued by The Royal Canadian Mint.
    In accepting the appointment to chair the national jury for the letter
writing competition, Adrienne Clarkson said:
    "I am delighted to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of Anne of Green
Gables by chairing a panel of national judges. It's a terrific idea and I look
forward to reading the letters. In my memoir, Heart Matters, I write about how
Anne helped me, as a little immigrant girl, become a Canadian. Anne is the
most important "character" in my life! Count me in!"
    Contest entry forms will also be available at participating retailers
including Indigo, Shoppers Drug Mart, Overwaitea,,,
and fine bookstores across Canada. Over 300 book displays ship from Penguin's
warehouse this week.

    Anne of Green Gables has sold 50 million copies worldwide in over twenty
different languages since its original publication in 1908. The prequel,
Before Green Gables, announced in October, 2006, will be published by Penguin
internationally. Japanese rights to the prequel were sold to Shinshosha
Publishing for publication in June, 2008.

    "Anne of Green Gables, Before Green Gables and other indica of Anne are
    trademarks of the Anne of Green Gables Licensing Authority Inc."

    "L.M. Montgomery" and "L.M. Montgomery's signature and cat design" are
    trademarks of Heirs of L.M. Montgomery Inc.

For further information:

For further information: Yvonne Hunter, Director, Publicity and
Marketing, Penguin Group Canada, (416) 928-2409,; Lynn
Munro, Corporate Affairs, Literacy Programs, CanWest Raise-A-Reader, (204)
953-7765; Nicole Lemire, Manager, Media Relations, Canada Post, (613)
734-8888; Robert Ferguson, Manager of Advertising and Promotion, Tourism PEI,
(902) 368-5522; Shauna Klein, Manager, Marketing & Strategic Alliances, Girl
Guides of Canada, (416) 487-5281 xt. 248; Alexandre Reeves, Manager/Chef,
Communications, Royal Canadian Mint/Monnaie Royale Canadienne, (613) 949-5777

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