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REF NO.: 21

SUBJECT: SPARKS Literary Festival taking place at Memorial University

DATE: Sept. 26

The SPARKS Literary Festival, a Faculty of Arts celebration of the literary life of Memorial University as well as of the broader literary life of the province, has been embraced by the reading community of Newfoundland and Labrador since launching in 2010. The past two festivals have seen capacity audiences for the entire day-long event at the School of Music’s Petro Canada Hall.
            SPARKS is pleased to announce, through the support of the Atlantic Canadian law firm Cox & Palmer, the establishment of a creative writing award in the amount of $2500 that will acknowledge outstanding achievement in any genre in the field of creative writing by a current or recent participant in Memorial’s creative writing courses and to support the future writing endeavours of the award recipient.
            The announcement of the winner, to be determined by a panel of three judges, will be made at the 2012 SPARKS Literary Festival scheduled to take place Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012.
            Professor Mary Dalton says that SPARKS already acknowledges writing excellence by holding a haiku competition in conjunction with the event. 
            “This generous initiative by Cox & Palmer enables us to go much further,” said Prof. Dalton. “It is exactly the kind of philanthropic support that benefits the writing life of the province by giving fledgling writers a boost. These developing writers are the future. We’re delighted to collaborate in this fashion.”
            Paul McDonald, a partner in Cox & Palmer’s St. John’s office, also affirms the importance of having community institutions and organizations foster the development of emerging artists, literary and otherwise.
            “Cox & Palmer is delighted to put its support behind the SPARKS Literary Festival, to encourage excellence in the literary arts and encourage our talented emerging writers,” said Mr. McDonald. “Our firm commends and gladly supports the organizers of the festival, for celebrating and promoting this vital component of the cultural life of our province.”

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For more information, please contact Janet Harron, communications co-ordinator, Faculty of Arts, 709-864-8292 or


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