Congratulations to Dean Norris-Jones, whose short story about an autistic boy and his sister won the Victoria and Vancouver Times Colonist’s So You Think You Can Write contest. Norris-Jones, a teacher, won in two categories — short story and dialogue. He told the newspaper that he looked to his own family when writing his short story, Everybody Hurts.
When he entered the Times Colonist’s So You Think You Can Write contest, English teacher Dean Norris-Jones hoped he wouldn’t embarrass himself in front of his students.
Our panel of judges voted Norris-Jones the winner of the newspaper’s first-ever in-print and online writing showdown. He wins a trip to next year’s Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts. Norris-Jones was also the readers’ favorite, with 53.7 per cent of the votes, so he wins a Sony e-Reader supplied by Atlas Audio Video Unlimited.
Norris-Jones, who teaches English, literature and creative writing at Reynolds Secondary School, competed against four other finalists in the four-week competition. He says he found the assignment-a-week format “exciting and scary,” something he shared with his students. In fact, he gave them a couple of the contest assignments to work on in class.
Toronto is crawling with the movie stars you’d expect to see here, from Kevin Spacey to Colin Firth to Marion Cotillard. But there’s always room in the festival for a genuinely new face, and nobody at TIFF 2010 exhibits that quite as dramatically as Evan Sneider.
Sneider, a 31-year-old actor with Down syndrome, is the star of “Girlfriend,” the sweet, beguiling and at times wrenching feature debut from writer-director Justin Lerner about a small-town young man with Down who romantically pursues a single mom.
Colin Baxter knows his autism makes finding work in film production an added challenge. But an adult autism centre opening today aims to help the 27-year-old and others like him achieve their goals.
The Autism Centre on Main Street East is an “out-of-the-box” way of assisting adults with autism according to Lisa Schumph, program manager for The Salvation Army Lawson Ministries which built and operates the centre.
The centre, which could serve up to 140 people, will fill a niche since autistic adults don’t have structured activities the way children do and can become more isolated from their community.