Writing Workshops

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There’s a new source of funding for author visits to English-language Quebec schools: ArtistsInspire. The program administers federal funding for minority language education. Through ArtistsInspire, schools receive full funding to invite authors, artists, or other culture creators to engage their students in the arts. All English-language schools in Quebec are entitled to $1500 per year (through 2023). There’s no competition for limited funds. Just apply.

I’m proud to be listed among the ArtistsInspire authors. For schools considering inviting me, here are some of my most successful Writing Workshop topics. (And be sure to check out my Author Presentations, too.)  Read More

Book Launch of Pot-pourri 2019

Pot-pourri 2019 cover

Dozens of young writers in Ottawa will attend their book launch next week, as the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association (FOPLA) launches the latest volume of Pot-pourri.

Pot-pourri 2019 features all the winners and honourable mentions from this year’s Awesome Authors contest — that’s dozens of the best poems, short stories, and comics by creative kids and teens from the Ottawa area, packed into one bilingual book.

(I’ve been one of the judges of the contest, and one of the editors of the anthology, for a few years now. So I know what great work is in there.) Read More

Thieving Squirrels in Fall 2020

The Squirrels Stole my Sister is the title of my forthcoming picture book

Good things come to those who wait.

Little girl in the 70s
Me as a squirrel-taming kid. (My sister cut my bangs.)

Years ago, I wrote a story about a clever squirrel who grew tired of waiting for a daily handout, so she decided to steal a whole bag of peanuts, along with the little girl carrying it.

I have a smidge more patience than that squirrel, and today it has been rewarded. I’ve just seen Sean Cassidy‘s first finished illustration for our picture book, The Squirrels Stole my Sister — coming out next fall with Fitzhenry & Whiteside — and it’s gorgeous. Read More

Funding Author Visits

Interested in one of my Author Presentations or Writing Workshops? Good news! Financial assistance for author visits is available throughout Canada, thanks to the generous support of our governments working with the literary non-profit community.

A couple of key funding programs have looming deadlines — so if you would like to invite me or another author into your school, library, or public venue for a presentation or writing workshop next year,  check out these potential sources of financial assistance, and apply soon. Read More

MASC Festival 2019

MASC online logo
Catherine Austen speaking at MASC Festival 2019
Me at MASC, about to read from 28 Tricks for a Fearless Grade 6

I had a great time at this year’s MASC Young Authors and Illustrators Festival in Ottawa. The 3-day event was held at the Canadian Aviation Museum, where over 450 children aged 9-12 came from around the region — some of them getting up at 5:00 a.m. to arrive in time! — to enjoy a day of hands-on workshops with professionals from Canada’s children’s literature community.

I was one of 6 presenters this year, giving morning and afternoon workshops every day alongside authors Cary Fagan, Karen Krossing, and David A. Robertson, and artists Britt Wilson and Soyeon Kim. (Read the bios of all of these MASC presenters here.)

You can watch a few of us give readings and talks on the YouTube channel of the sponsor, Eagle Professional Resources Inc. Check out my reading from 28 Tricks for a Fearless Grade 6. (Be warned: there is singing.) Read More

MASC Young Authors and Illustrators Festival 2019

I’m ready for the MASC Young Authors and Illustrators Festival taking place in Ottawa April 9-11. I’ll be leading workshops with keen young writers coming to town from elementary schools across eastern Ontario and western Quebec.

This annual event draws hosting authors and illustrators from across the country. This year’s festival will feature authors Cary Fagan, Karen Krossing, David A Robertson, and me, Catherine Austen, and illustrators Soyeon Kim and Britt Wilson. Read More

Awesome Authors 2019 – Decision Time

There are so many more awesome entries than can be included in the final Pot-pourri collection.

Every year, the Ottawa Public Library holds a youth writing contest for which hundreds of local kids write stories, poems, and comics. The winners and honourable mentions are published in the annual anthology, Pot-pourri. But the contest’s title — Awesome Authors — applies to all of those who enter.

The contest deadline for 2019 has passed (it was February 19th — if you are still thinking about entering, hold that thought till next year), and the entries are currently in the hands of the judges, awaiting final decisions.

I’m one of those judges. Read More

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