Giveaway: A ticket for the Kama Benefit Reading Series, to help literacy efforts in South Asia

Update: This giveaway is now closed. If I don’t hear back from the winner by Jan. 7, I’ll pick a new person.

Would you like to attend a reading in Toronto featuring three celebrated authors? And even if you’re not in the Toronto area, could you please take a minute to read this post to see how you can further literacy programs in South Asia?

World Literacy Canada is a Toronto-based NGO supporting women and children’s literacy through non-formal education programs in South Asia (their Indian operations are based in Varanasi).  Their initiatives include adult literacy programs, community libraries, skills training (such as tailoring), and much more. Please do click through to their site. And here’s a video.


In the 1990s World Literacy Canada’s fundraising efforts were concerned with “linking a love of literature to the cause of literacy”, and the Kama Reading Series was born.  The first Kama series featured writers such as Michael Ondaatje and Margaret Atwood; 2012 marks the twentieth anniversary of this  event.

In association with World Literacy Canada, I’m giving away a ticket (worth $60) for a Kama Reading to be held at The Park Hyatt Toronto on January 25, 2012. The reading features Marina Nemat (Prisoner of Tehran), Ava Homa (Echoes from the Other Land), and James Loney (Captivity). 

“Marina Nemat was born in 1965 in Tehran, Iran. After the Islamic Revolution of 1979, she was arrested at the age of sixteen and spent more than two years in Evin, a political prison in Tehran, where she was tortured and came very close to execution. She came to Canada in 1991 and has called it home ever since. Her memoir of her life in Iran,  Prisoner of Tehran, was published in Canada by Penguin Canada in April 2007, has been published in 28 other countries, and has been an international bestseller. MacLean’s Magazine has called it “…one of the finest (memoirs) ever written by a Canadian.” Prisoner of Tehran has been short listed for many literary awards, including the Young Minds Award in the UK and the Borders Original Voices Award in the US.”

“Ava Homa is the author of Echoes from the Other Land  which was nominated for the the world’s largest short story award: 2011 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. Echoes from the Other Land was also placed 6th in the top ten winners of the CBC Reader’s Choice Contest for Giller Prize. Ava is a Kurdish-Canadian writer-in-exile, with two Masters’ degrees one in English and Creative Writing, another in English Language and Literature. Echoes from the Other Land has a running theme of resistance by modern Iranian women under an oppressive regime.”

“James Loney  is a Canadian peace activist who has worked for several years with Christian Peacemaker Teams in Iraq and Palestine. On November 26, 2005, he was kidnapped in Baghdad along with three others: Harmeet Singh Sooden (Canadian) and Norman Kember (British), both members of the delegation he was leading; and Tom Fox (American), a full-time member of CPT who had been working in Iraq since September 2004. The widely publicized hostage crisis (see 2005-2006 Christian Peacemaker hostage crisis) ended on March 23, 2006 when Loney, Kember and Sooden were rescued in a clandestine military operation led by British Special Forces.  Tom Fox was killed on March 9, two weeks before the release of other men. Captivity is the story of what Jim described upon his return to Toronto and reunion with his partner Dan Hunt as ‘a terrifying, profound, transformative and excruciatingly boring experience’.”

Here’s the full line-up for the series, which also features one of my favorite authors ever–Rohinton Mistry!  I may do giveaways for other readings too–please come back and check this blog if you are interested.

It’s a truly wonderful line-up of authors, isn’t it? And there are cocktails…



Please leave a comment letting me know you’d like to win a ticket, along with your email address.  That’s it!

But seeing as it’s a charitable cause, could you please spread the word about this event and this organization? For instance, you might:

1. Like World Literacy Canada on Facebook:  (you’ll find Kama in the events section), and follow them on Twitter @worldlit.

2. Share news about the Kama Reading Series on social media venues (please use #WLCKama) or on your blog.

3. Blog about this giveaway, post it on social media venues of your choice, and let friends and family in the Toronto area know about the event.

4. And you could donate directly to World Literacy Canada here:  90 cents of every dollar directly funds the programs, and all donations are tax-deductible.

Small print:

1.  This giveaway closes on Dec 31, 2011

2. One winner will be picked by random number generator. If you have left a comment but are not in the Toronto area, or do not wish to enter the draw for any other reason,  please mention this in your comment.

3. World Literacy will mail the winner’s ticket to a Canadian mailing address, or will hand it over at the venue, depending on the winner’s preference.

4. I have no professional or personal involvement with World Literacy, and am running this giveaway in order to promote a cause I support.  For all legalese, please contact World Literacy Canada.

Thank you for reading, and thank you for helping!