the best things in life are…

Or so went the 1927 tune from the DeSylva, Brown and Henderson musical, Good News.

I can remember being a kid and watching my brother fill out over 100 index cards for a “chance to win”…something (I can’t even remember what the big prize was) in a contest sponsored by Coke. As a five-year-old, witnessing his dedication and hopefulness was exciting, and a bit confusing. It’s an innocent thrill to root for the little guy to win, to wish that he’d tap into something bigger than what he had before. There’s no doubt that the wide-eyed girl in me still lives large in my heart. (I am a writer, after all.)

A few years ago, Terry “Tuffy” Ryan penned “The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio: How my Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less“, a memior about Terry’s mom, Evelyn.

An enterprising woman who kept poverty at bay with wit, poetry, and perfect prose during the “contest era” of the 1950s and 1960s. Evelyn’s winning ways defied the church, her alcoholic husband, and antiquated views of housewives. To her, flouting convention was a small price to pay when it came to raising her six sons and four daughters.

They even made a movie inspired by the book starring Juliane Moore. Collecting box tops and writing poetry on the back of grocery reciepts can pay off!

Recently, my DH (and ever-faithful techno-roadie) found a few online contests you all might be interested in…and they’re free. I’ll be rooting for ya!

Yummy Mummy is giving away 5 copies of The Birth House (and helping the Sick Kids Foundation too 🙂

In honour of being the most recommended book of Between the Covers, five lucky and literate yummy mummies will win copies of Ami Mckay’s wonderful bestselling novel The Birth House.

To enter, go to the Yummy Mummy contest page and submit “a yummy secret or tip you’ve picked up along your rollercoaster ride through mummy-dom.” Or simply share your favourite book choice. Yummy Mummy Contest Page

Experience Toronto’s Spring “Best of Fiction” Prize Package
The Prize package includes all of the following books: How Happy To Be by Katrina Onstad, Fabrizio’s Return by Mark Frutkin, Before the Frost by Henning Mankell, The Rebels of Ireland by Edward Rutherford and The Birth House. (5 Runners-up will win copies of Saturday by Ian McEwan.) Deadline for entries is June 19, 2006.
Spring Fiction Prize Package

Want Ian Brown to Join Your Book Club for a Day?

Thanks to Words At Large – CBC Radio’s nifty new web site devoted to all things wordy, I discovered this contest from Talking Books.

To enter, all you have to do is choose a book and tell us why your book club should discuss it on our show.

The person–or club–who makes the best case wins. The prize: Ian Brown will travel to whereever you are in Canada to record an episode of Talking Books with your group. The deadline for entering the contest is May 29. The winning book club will be notified by June 2.

Talking Books Book Club Contest

Coming Soon…
For those of you in the UK and the US, watch this space for details on how to win an advanced reader copy of The Birth House!

Cover Girl

Let them howl.


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