The W.I.N.D. Story Project - Thank You! (Here's What's Next)

Thank you to everyone who helped to keep The W.I.N.D. Story Project in the Top 10 of the Small Project Prize Group. Voting closed about an hour ago and it appears we ended up as #7 out of over 100 entries, which is fantastic, and a little amazing, given that none of you is going to directly benefit the way the voters for most of the other projects will.

I say that it “appears” we ended up as #7 because the official Screening Period (where CST holds the right to dismiss any votes suspected of acquisition through illegal or automated means or payment) runs from 12:00:00 PM ET on May 17, 2016 through 4:59:59 PM ET on May 19, 2016. On May 20, the official Top 10 per prize category (i.e. Small Project and Large Project categories) will be announced, and then enter the judging round which runs from May 20-June 1. The final winners will be announced on June 2.

The Top 10 ideas in each category will be ranked by the judging panel based on each of the following criteria, where each component is weighted equally:

  • Innovation: The Idea should be novel—a re-imagining of current learning and teaching methods, rather than simple re-interpretations.

  • Impact: The Idea should affect as many children as possible.

  • Viability: The Idea should be possible at a scale appropriate to your community and budget breakdown.

There will be 3 prizes awarded in the Small Project Prize group:

  • Grand Prize of $20,000 CAD

  • Second Place Prize of $10,000 CAD

  • Third Place Prize of $5,000 CAD

In addition, each of the Top 10 Ideas in each prize category will be selected as the Finalist Bonus Award winners, and will be awarded a bonus prize of $1,500.00 each. If I’m reading this correctly, what this means is that The Canadian Children’s Book Centre should receive $1,500.00 regardless of what happens in the judging round. This is very gratifying because I’ve been involved with CCBC for about 15 years and deeply value the work they do. CCBC is the non-profit organization who (among many other wonderful initiatives) coordinates TD Canadian Children’s Book Week each May which sends Canadian authors and illustrators to present to students all across Canada, and it was this program which sent me to Labrador in May 2014 – an amazing experience I’m very grateful for.

As you know, should The W.I.N.D. Story Project be lucky enough to win one of the 3 top prizes, I won’t directly benefit either, and I suspect your support comes from the same place mine does – the part of us that has a feeling that what went on in those classrooms all across Canada was important. That feeling is rooted in the knowledge that as important as the phenomenal digital advances of the last two decades have been, a side-effect of our instant society is that none of us has to wonder or ponder about very much these days. With smart phones and tablets and computers at the fingertips of everyone, even toddlers, the answers to most big and small questions is a mere click or tap away. It’s like we all have our own personal fast forward button … which is marvelous, but also a little troubling, because wonder is the mother of discovery, and discovery is the fuel that takes us to new frontiers. What would happen if our kids lost the wonder gene?

The irony isn’t lost on me that it is the digital wonders of today that enabled me to create the little portal that connected all those student and gave us the ability to travel back in time to listen to The Christmas Wind “Radio Show”. There’s something pretty cool about the circular nature of that.

Of course the other part of this program that CCBC would quarterback if we won is the institution of a new Children’s Book Award, and that is great for the industry as it pushes writers to do better than their best.

In any event, that’s where we are today. Thank you again for all your support, and I’ll be back in touch when things start to happen and I have something concrete to share.

Thank you,


P.S. For reference, a little more information about The W.I.N.D. Story Project and where it came from can be found at


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