Tag Archives: Children’s Authors

OLA Superconference 2014

Recently I attended the Ontario Library Association’s “Superconference 2014” at the Metro Convention Centre in Toronto. I had a 10:00 a.m. book-signing gig at the Second Story Press booth. When I first walked into the lounge for authors and presenters, I saw fellow Second Story Press author/illustrator Janet Wilson and had a quick chat with her. Then I found the booth and met some very welcoming Second Story employees. There was a great turn-out for the signing. Hey, what teachers won’t line up for a free, signed copy of a book for their school library?! I enjoyed chatting with teachers and teacher-librarians. One funny moment was signing a book for a teacher from QECVI, one of the three fantastic downtown public high schools in Kingston, where I live. After about 20 minutes, the stack of give-away books were gone. I enjoyed checking out the books Second Story Press had on display. Wow! There were so many books that I wanted to read. Every Day Is Malala Day is the first book in a new series through Plan Canada. This looks like a great partnership for SSP.

DSC04724      DSC04728Later, walking through the aisles, and popping in and out of booths by various publishers and organizations, I bumped into author/illustrator Patricia Storms who I worked with at KNOW magazine, but had never met. I also had a chance to meet author Marsha Skrypuch and caught a glimpse of author Lizann Flatt while she was busy signing books. I don’t often travel into Toronto, but events like this are a lot of fun to attend, largely because of the enthusiastic, book-loving attendees and the who’s who of author, illustrators, and publishers moseying about. I bought a book called In Those Days: Collected Writings on Arctic History by Kenn Harper and picked up a catalogue for “Inhabit Media, an Inuit-owned publishing company that aims to promote and preserve the stories, knowledge, and talent of northern Canada.” After interviewing Nicole Robertson for Phenomenal Female Entrepreneurs, and then the heightened media attention around Aboriginal issues during last year’s Idle No More campaign, I’ve become increasingly interested in indigenous issues and stories.


Signing book at the OLA Superconference 2014 in Toronto


About a week ago, I made the happy discovery that my book Phenomenal Female Entrepreneurs is on the Resource Links Year’s Best 2013 List. A reviewer who published a December critique says, “I was impressed with the conversational tone that still conveyed a lot of information.” She added that the “writing style makes the text easy to read and understand.”

That’s all for today, folks! It’s back to preparing for TD Canadian Children’s Book Week. I’m getting very excited about travelling to Alberta!


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Book Talks – Information for Schools About Subsidies

Book Talks – Information for Schools About Subsidies

Hey, teachers!

Here’s a great way to give back to your community by hiring an author to visit your school! The Writers’ Union of Canada will subsidize author visits, which makes this a win-win situation for your school and local authors. Yes, I would love to visit your school. Visit my Book Talk page to learn more about my talks. See also my page on The Writers’ Union of Canada website.

There is funding available for reading programs, beginning March 31, 2013.

The Writers’ Union of Canada pays the author a $250 honorarium per full (solo) reading or a $125 honorarium per half (joint) reading.  Also available is up to $300 in travel expenses per reading. The host school must provide the author’s accommodation (if necessary) and meals.

See guidelines listed here.

OAC Writers-in-the-Schools Program

Every Ontario elementary and secondary school is eligible for one funded reading from April 1 to March 31.

For more information click here.

Note: Requests for funding must come from the school. Funding is provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Eden Mills Writers’ Festival — Whoo hoo!

Eden Mills Writers’ Festival — Whoo hoo!

Photo: “Flowers and Feet,” Eden Mills, Ontario

I’m excited (and slightly terrified) to share some great news! I’ve been invited to speak at the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival on September 16th, 2012. The festival runs from noon until 6:00 p.m. If you live in southwestern Ontario, you might want to add this date to your calendar. Treat yourself to a relaxing and inspiring day in a bucolic village.

It is a huge honour to be asked to present at this festival. I’ll be presenting Backyard Circus, which means the clown garb, circus accoutrements, and a mega-dose of FUN. Other children’s authors will include Helaine Becker, Ben Caesar, Lizann Flatt, Susan Glickman, Susan Hughes, Monica Kulling, and Ted Staunton. Young adult authors include Karen Bass, Pat Bourke, Evan Munday, Allan Stratton, Mariko Tamaki, Teresa Toten, Janet Wilson, and Julie Wilson. I’m super excited about finally meeting some children’s book authors with whom I’ve corresponded but not met: Monica Kulling, Susan Hughes, Helaine Becker, and Lizann Flatt. And I’m excited about meeting many others, too.

Of course, there are awe-inspiring adult writers who will be there as well. Alistair MacLeod, Ami McKay, Donna Morrissey, and Michael Ondaatje are some of my faves. Festival founder, “unruly storyteller,” and author Leon Rooke will be there.

When I think of the cumulative stack of awards represented by this year’s festival participants, I feel dizzy! There are GG winners, Booker prize winners, a Charles Taylor Prize recipient, Top 100 National Post books, a Norma Fleck Award winner, and more. Are you feeling dizzy now, too?

I used to live in this village, so it holds MANY memories for me.

Click here to find the festival website. Click here to read biographies of the children’s authors. For young adult authors click here. And, OK, OK: for adult authors click right here!

If you’re like me, after perusing the website, you’ll want to rush out to your nearest bookstore and library to stock up and GET READING!!!


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