Multi-media, I love the sound of that word. As writers, our chosen media is usually print but Ontario Library Association wanted to produce some 15 second radio commercials to publicize the fantastic Forest of Reading Program. Because my novel crush. candy. corpse is up for the Red Maple which means grade seven and eights read and vote on it, I was privileged to be able to read a one page script for this commercial. Lisa Morales at Skyword Studio in Markham was my producer.

IMG_2720The first thing we noticed and I should have realized from my year of screen/script writing classes, is that one page of double spaced 14 font text is too long. It took me 40 seconds to read at a normal speed. In screen writing, one page equals one minute.

I offered to edit/cut the script on site, so that I wouldn’t have to drive back from Burlington to Markham, and then we conferred with Meredith Tutching to see which words absolutely needed to stay.

And then I read out loud, again and again as Meredith and Lisa timed. The neat thing is you can see your voice register on the computer screen. I should have taken a photo. There are mountains of colour showing inclines in your pitch, and valleys when it goes down. When you pause there are white gaps.

In order to get the message down to 17 seconds, Lisa deleted all the white gaps. One of her pieces of advice, “Smile when you talk into the microphone, the listener can hear it in your voice.”

The difference was amazing. You may be lucky enough to be in the car at the right time and place to hear this brief quip about the Ontario Library Association (OLA)’s amazing program that gets hundreds of thousands of kids across

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the province reading and voting.

But probably not. So here’s the gist. Visit the OLA website at Register yourself and/or a bunch of your friends in your own Forest of Reading club. Read the list of age appropriate books, yes there’s one for adults,too, and vote. Then order tickets to the Festival of Trees in May and you can meet the amazing authors.

Happy Reading!


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