Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers<br>La société canadienne des auteurs, illustrateurs et artistes pour enfants

Events Calendar

Check the Events Calendar regularly to keep up on CANSCAIP events.

Upcoming events

    • Wednesday, September 14, 2016
    • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • Toronto Public Library, Northern District Branch, Room 200

    DATE & TIME: Wed. Sept. 14, 7:00 pm

    SPEAKER: Anne Shone, Scholastic Canada

    Is Funny “Worthy?”

    We’ve all heard the comment that funny books may get nominations but they don’t win the awards. But humour DOES win with kids, for entertainment value and so much more. Getting humour right on the page is anything but easy, and it can go deep. This will be a look at how humour works in different children’s books, fiction and non-fiction, and why that matters. 

    Anne Shone is a Senior Editor at Scholastic Canada. Anne has worked in book publishing for close to 20 years, concentrating on children’s books for the last 15. In that time, she has worked with many of Canada’s top children’s book authors and illustrators. Recent highlights include picture books (Scribble by Ruth Ohi, What Is Peace? by Wallace Edwards and Mittens to Share by Emil Sher, illustrated by Irene Luxbacher); novels (Speechless by Jennifer Mook-Sang and Young Man with Camera by Emil Sher); and nonfiction (Colossal Canada: 100 Epic Facts and Feats by Elizabeth MacLeod and Frieda Wishinsky), to name just a few.

    ANNOUNCEMENTS BY MEMBERS: New book? Won an award? Book tour or launch? You can announce it at the meetingPlease put "Member Announcement" in the email subject line and send office@canscaip this information: 

    • Your name
    • Book title (and/or launch, award, tour, if applicable)
    • Genre and/or age range 
    • Publisher
    • Summary of your book (2 or 3 sentences)
    • Will you make your announcement at the meeting in person? 

    PRE-MEETING DINNER WITH THE SPEAKER: Please join us for dinner with the speaker. RSVP to Cathy Rondina. We meet at 5:30 at The Pickle Barrel (1 block N of Eglinton, W off Yonge, 2nd floor of Yonge-Eglinton Centre). 

    LOCATION: Our monthly meetings are at Toronto Public Library Northern District Branch, 40 Orchard View Blvd. (1 block N of Eglinton, W off Yonge) in Room 200 (2nd floor).

    TRANSIT: TPL Northern District Branch is 1 block north of the Eglinton subway stop on the Yonge line.

    PARKING: The closest Green P parking lot is 75 Holly Street (1 block E of Yonge, S of Eglinton). There are other Green P lots on Erskine, Castlefield and Sherwood, 3 to 5 blocks N of Eglinton. The Yonge-Eglinton Centre has underground parking, with an entrance on Orchard View Blvd. 

    • Saturday, November 19, 2016
    • Toronto: Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, 209 Victoria St (at Shuter), Toronto, ON M5B 1T8

    OUR 32nd YEAR!

    Saturday, November 19, 2016

    Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute
    Victoria Street & Shuter in downtownToronto


    • Choose from a dozen sessions, including three Master Classes and our popular panel of publishers and agents
    • Terrific NEW location in the heart of downtown Toronto--close to subway, hotels, restaurants, theatres, museums, shopping...and more! 
    • Two keynotes: Ashley Spires and David Booth
    • One-to-One evaluation of your manuscript, illustration portfolio or author website/social media (additional fee)
    • Full day of PYI sessions and keynotes for $195 (scroll down for our fantastic line-up of sessions and speakers)
    • Sandwich lunch
    • Coffee, juice and snacks served all day between sessions 
    • Add a One-to-One evaluation of your manuscript, illustration portfolio or author website/social media for $75 (you must also register for PYI for this option)
    • The Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, 209 Victoria Street (at Shuter) in downtown Toronto 
    • By car: Many parking lots in the area 
    • By transit (TTC): Two blocks from Dundas and Queen subway stations
    • Please use the hashtag for the conference: #PYI2016
    • Follow us on Twitter @CANSCAIP
    • Join us on Facebook!


    OPENING KEYNOTE 9:00-9:30 (everyone attends)

    Ashley Spires—An Author's Guide to Insecurity

    Ashley Spires is the award-winning author/illustrator of many children's books, including the best-selling The Most Magnificent Thing and The Binky Space Cat series of graphic novels. She drinks tea and collects cats at her home in Ladner, BC. 

    MORNING SESSIONS  9:45-10:45 (Choose 1, 2 or 3)

    1. Kathy StinsonWriting Short and Simple: A Complicated Undertaking    Master Class

    A picture book text is short and simple, especially compared to a novel, so why is writing a good one often such a long and complicated undertaking? Discover the challenges picture book writers face and how to meet them.

    Kathy Stinson is the author of many successful picture books including the classic Red Is Best and the award-winning The Man with the Violin, as well as novels and works of nonfiction. Her most recent picture book is Harry and Walter.

    2. Judy BrunsekPeeking Behind the Curtain: An Honest Look at Marketing Children's Books  

    What happens once that book comes off press and it goes out to market? What happens inside the marketing department of a publishing company? An unvarnished look at the world of marketing children's books from an industry veteran. 

    Judy Brunsek is the Director of Sales and Marketing for Owlkids Books. She has more than 30 years of experience in publishing, including being a publicist, publisher of Quill & Quire, head of marketing and sales at multinational and Canadian-owned publishers, as well a consultant in a variety of capacities.  

    3. Lee Edward FödiMagic, Monsters and Mystery for the Middle-Grade Novel

    Children’s author and illustrator Lee Edward Fodi delivers some of his top tips for enriching our world-building, with different methods and tools to help add texture, detail, and intrigue to stories. This workshop is the perfect fit for fantasy writers, but the tools and approaches can be easily applied to other genres.

    Lee Edward Födi is a children’s author, illustrator, and educator—or, as he likes to think of himself, a daydreaming expert. He wrote the Kendra Kandlestar series and has illustrated many books for other authors. He has taught writing workshops and programs in Canada, the US, Korea, Thailand and England.

    MID-MORNING SESSIONS  11:00-12:00
    (Choose 4, 5 or 6) 

    4. Wallace EdwardsThe Law of the Jumble (Making Stuff Up)    Master Class

    For Wallace Edwards, creating art is a holistic process. In this seminar, he shares his method for making pictures, from basic concept to finished piece – getting those illustration ideas out of your head and onto the page in a practical way. With examples of the step-by-step creation of paintings in his books, and ways to break out of creative blocks and artistic “sticking points”. Attendees are encouraged to ask questions and to bring their work for critique.

    Wallace Edwards is a Governor General’s award winning author/illustrator who has been making picture books for the last 15 years. He works in a variety of mediums including watercolor, acrylic, pencil and ink.

    5. Jacqueline Guest—Channeling our Ghosts: Creating Historical Fiction for YA Readers 

    Persuading teens to read history is critical. Creating historical fiction that is relevant and readable for a YA audience is challenging. The past can be resurrected for young readers with all the facts they need and all the fiction they crave. Join Jacqueline Guest to discover how to channel our ghosts, bringing historical fiction to life!

    Jacqueline Guest is an international award-winning author of 19 novels. She has stood on an iceberg, flown a kite in a hurricane and worn bedroom slippers in Parliament while on the job as a writer.  With over 20 years of experience working with students, she has presented across North America and as far away as Tanzania on the importance of reading. 

    6. Helaine BeckerNon-Fiction Truths: How to Plan, Pitch and Promote Your Nonfiction Project

    Writing successful nonfiction requires plenty of research - and that's even before you begin the project! In this hard-nosed, nuts-and-bolts session, you'll get a step-by-step guide to how to take your idea from "Should I?"  to Sold. Learn how to Evaluate and Structure Your Idea, Do an Effective Market Comparison, Create a Clear, Complete  Proposal and Craft a Winning Cover Letter. Plus an up-to-the-minute look at the contemporary nonfiction market and how to target and evaluate potential customers, both in Canada and the US.

    Helaine Becker is the bestselling author of more than 70 books for children and young adults, including the #1 bestseller, A Porcupine in a Pine Tree. Her nonfiction books are multiple winners of the Silver Birch Award and the Lane Anderson Award for Science Writing for Children. Her two most recent nonfiction titles have been recognized by the Junior Library Guild.  

    LUNCH  12:00-1:00 (sandwiches provided)

    AFTERNOON 1:00-2:00 (Choose 7, 8 or 9)

    7. Panel: Breaking In and Getting Published

    In this unique panel discussion, three newly published authors compare their approaches, share their learning, summarize their strategies for success and, yes, vent their frustrations.

    Kate Blair was born on a tiny island stuck to the south coast of England. She has worked as a museum curator, a clown, a furniture maker, and a cook. She now lives in Toronto and is a young adult author, a mother, and very, very tired.  Transferral is her first novel, published by Dancing Cat Books.

    Mahak Jain is the author of Maya, a picture book about the power of imagination. Her short fiction and poetry have been published in The New Quarterly, Joyland Magazine, The Humber Literary Review, and Room Magazine. She completed her MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Guelph.


    Joyce Grant "broke in" with her first picture book in 2013, after hearing author Deborah Kerbel speak at a CANSCAIP meeting! She has since published two other picture books and her first novel, Tagged Out, in 2016. What advice did Deborah give at that CANSCAIP meeting? Join us at the Breaking In panel and find out!

    8. Sydney SmithChanging Illustration Styles

    There is a wonderful feeling you get when you finally know that your illustrations are exactly right for your story. Sometimes it's a giddiness that makes you want to dance; other times it's simply a slow exhale. This workshop explores the different steps in discovering what's right for you and the story, and how to get to that feeling with every project you do.

    Sydney Smith discovered his love of children’s illustration while studying drawing and printmaking at NSCAD University in Halifax, NS. He is the award-winning illustrator of Sidewalk Flowers. Check out his work on Tumblr
    Photo: D. Edwards

    9. Shane PeacockSpeaking in Effective Tongues: How to Make Your Dialogue Believable

    Master Class  

    Effective dialogue is important in any novel, but especially so in Young Adult and Teen novels where a sprightly pace is essential. Shane will bring his experience in many genres to this workshop, helping you get your characters speaking in believable and compelling language.  

    Shane Peacock is the multi-award-winning, best-selling author of The Boy Sherlock Holmes series, The Dark Missions of Edgar Brim trilogy, Seven series novels, as well as books for adults, picture books, magazine articles, television documentaries and plays. He has spoken and given workshops in thousands of schools and other venues across North America and Europe.

    MID-AFTERNOON 2:15-3:15 (Choose 10, 11 or 12)

    10. Panel: Publishers and Agents


    Barbara Berson has worked in the publishing industry for over thirty years, most recently as Penguin Canada’s children’s publisher.  She is now a freelance editor, and a literary agent with the Helen Heller Agency, specializing in YA, adult fiction and memoir.

    Christie Harkin is the consultant publisher and fiction editor at Clockwise Press, and former children's book publisher at Fitzhenry & Whiteside. She was formerly an educator and tutor, and host of a cable television program, Bookmarks: The book report show for kids.

    Peter Carver is the editor of children’s and young adult literature for Red Deer Press. He is a three-time winner of the Vicky Metcalf editor’s award, and the Lois Hole Award for editing.

    Suzanne Sutherland is the children's editor at HarperCollins Canada. She is also the author of three novels for teens and young readers, most recently Under the Dusty Moon.

    11. Patricia StormsStoryboarding Picture Books: The Blueprint for Your Great Idea

    You’ve got the most amazing concept for a picture book story. Wonderful! But how do you write and/or visualize your idea? Writing it out on paper is fine, but picture books are visual creatures, and you really need to see how the pace of your story moves as a whole. A picture book is like a mini-movie, and every great movie starts with a great storyboard. Patricia’s workshop will help writers and artists in how to best present their picture book concept, from rough thumbnails to clean storyboards. 

    Patricia Storms is an illustrator/author of children’s books and humour books. She has illustrated many children’s books and she has written and illustrated The Pirate and the Penguin and the much-loved Never Let You Go

    12. Anne CarterTen Tips to Guide a Novel Revision       Master Class

    First drafts are like a first garden. Some bits work. Some need reshaping. All of it needs weeding. This interactive workshop will provide essential tips for revising your first draft into a strong and engaging story. Bring 2 copies of the first page of both your first and last chapters, plus 2 differently coloured highlighters.

    Anne Laurel Carter teaches Writing for Children as well as the YA Novel Workshop at University of Toronto. Her novels have twice won the CLA Book of the Year for Children Award, a Jane Adams Honor Award, and provincial award nominations.

    CLOSING KEYNOTE 3:30-4:30 (everyone attends)
    David Booth—Claire Mackay Memorial Lecture   

    David Booth is a renowned educator at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto, and a program consultant for Scholastic's Timeline graphic novel series. He is the author of books for educators and parents, as well as many award-winning books for children.

    BOOK SIGNINGS 4:30-5:00 

    Books by the speakers will be available to purchase on-site. 

    ONE-TO-ONE EVALUATIONS   4:45-7:00 

    For an additional $75, you can get a 15-minute professional evaluation and critique of your manuscript, illustration portfolio, author website or online presence. 

    Registration for the full Packaging Your Imagination conference ($195) is required to sign up for a One-to-One evaluation.

    Space runs out quickly for these unique and highly useful sessions pairing individual participants with publishers, agents, art directors, marketing directors, and other industry experts. 

    CANSCAIP will select the expert for your One-to-One session. 

    Complete information and schedules will be emailed to registered One-to-One participants prior to the conference.

    One-to-One Manuscript or Portolio Evaluation

    One-to-One participants will be requested to submit their manuscript excerpts or portfolios before the conference, which will be forwarded to your expert to evaluate in preparation for their 15-minute session with you.

    Our slate of One-to-One manuscript and porfolio experts is still being finalized, but will include: 

    Barbara Berson, agent at Helen Heller Agency, and former children's editor, Penguin Books.

    Peter Carver, children's and YA editor, Red Deer Press.

    Christie Harkin, publisher and editor, Clockwise Press.

    Suzanne Sutherland, children's and YA editor, HarperCollins Canada.

    One-to-One Website Evaluation

    Our digital marketing experts will review your author website (prior to the conference) and make specific, easy-to-apply suggestions to improve its effectiveness. They can also make suggestions and answer questions about social media and how to more effectively market your book online.

    Angela Misri is a YA author who spent 14 years as CBC Radio’s digital expert, and teaches digital journalism at Ryerson University and U of T.  Photo: Eugene Choi

    Joyce Grant is a picture book and middle-grade author. She has created and implemented award-winning marketing campaigns, ads and strategic marketing plans for multi-national corporations; she is the former co-owner of a small ad agency.   Photo: Beverley Daniels


    Not a member of CANSCAIP yet? Why not join CANSCAIP as a first-time Friend when you register for PYI? 

    As a Friend, you'll expand on what you learn at PYI and you'll expand your network of children's creators as well. You'll receive our announcements and invitations, plus our quarterly CANSCAIP News, featuring profiles, writers craft, marketing information and news about the kid lit community.

    Become a first-time Friend for the special price of $35 (regularly $45) when you register for PYI.

Past events

Thursday, June 16, 2016 Canadian Writers Summit (June 16 to 19)
Wednesday, June 08, 2016 CANSCAIP Meeting Wed. Jun. 8 at Durham College Whitby Campus; SPEAKER: Kat Mototsune (James Lorimer & Co.)
Wednesday, May 11, 2016 CANSCAIP Meeting Wed. May 11: Don Aker, Karen Bass & Charis Cotter (Forest of Reading nominees from NS, AB and NL)
Thursday, May 05, 2016 Writing for Children Competition 2016: Deadline July 31
Wednesday, April 13, 2016 CANSCAIP Meeting Wed. Apr. 13: Puppetmongers Theatre PLUS Annual Meeting of Members
Wednesday, April 13, 2016 CANSCAIP Annual Meeting of Members
Wednesday, March 09, 2016 CANSCAIP Meeting Wed. Mar. 9: Annick Press publisher Rick Wilks
Wednesday, February 10, 2016 CANSCAIP Meeting Wed. Feb. 10: Illustrator Night with Gary Clement
Wednesday, January 13, 2016 CANSCAIP Meeting Wed. Jan. 13: Estate Planning with Marian Hebb
Wednesday, December 09, 2015 Meeting, Book Sale & Dessert Potluck Wed. Dec. 9: Holiday Books with Werner Zimmermann & Lisa Dalrymple
Saturday, November 14, 2015 Virtual PYI 2015 (Packaging Your Imagination Conference Online)
Saturday, November 14, 2015 Packaging Your Imagination Conference 2015
Wednesday, November 11, 2015 NEW LOCATION for Meeting on Wed. Nov. 11: North York Central Library. TOPICS: Books for Young People with Disabilities AND Silent Books: Final Destination Lampedusa
Tuesday, November 10, 2015 CANSCAIP Art Show and Sale, November 10 to 20, L Space Gallery, Humber College Lakeshore Campus
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 Writing for Children Competition 2015: Deadline September 30
Friday, September 18, 2015 CANSCAIP Prairie Horizons 2015
Wednesday, September 09, 2015 CANSCAIP Toronto meeting Wed. Sept. 9: New "Secrets" Series Panel: Five authors with moderator Kevin Sylvester
Friday, June 19, 2015 Rhyme Crimes: What Make Good Children's Poetry?
Wednesday, June 10, 2015 CANSCAIP Toronto meeting Wed. Jun. 10: Illustrators Night with Julie Kraulis
Wednesday, May 13, 2015 May 13th Meeting NEW LOCATION: North York Central Library; SPEAKERS: Susan Juby & Susin Nielsen (RSVP)
Wednesday, April 08, 2015 Toronto Meeting Wed. Apr. 8; SPEAKERS: Kathy Kacer and Jake Epstein
Wednesday, April 08, 2015 CANSCAIP AGM
Wednesday, March 11, 2015 Toronto Meeting - March 11. Join us for Kids' Lit Quiz
Wednesday, February 11, 2015 Toronto Meeting - February
Wednesday, January 14, 2015 Toronto Meeting - January - Illustrator Night
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 Toronto Meeting - December
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 Toronto Meeting - November
Sunday, October 19, 2014 PYI Pitch Perfect!
Saturday, October 18, 2014 VIRTUAL PYI
Saturday, October 18, 2014 Packaging Your Imagination 2014
Wednesday, October 08, 2014 Toronto Meeting - October (in Burlington)
Wednesday, October 01, 2014 CANSCAIP Art Show at Humber College, open to the public until Oct 17
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 Toronto Meeting Wed. Sept. 10 at 7:00 (we're back at TPL Northern District Branch)
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 REMINDER: Call for submissions artwork show and sale; deadline Sept 4
Wednesday, June 11, 2014 June meeting
Wednesday, May 14, 2014 May meeting
Wednesday, April 09, 2014 Toronto Meeting - April
Wednesday, April 09, 2014 CANSCAIP AGM
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 CANCELLED - Toronto Meeting - March
Monday, March 03, 2014 Writing for Children Competition
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 Toronto Meeting - February
Wednesday, January 08, 2014 Toronto Meeting - January
Wednesday, December 11, 2013 Toronto Meeting - December
Wednesday, December 04, 2013 Edmonton Meeting - December
Sunday, November 17, 2013 PYI 2013 Get Published Bootcamp
Saturday, November 16, 2013 VIRTUAL Packaging Your Imagination 2013
Saturday, November 16, 2013 Packaging Your Imagination 2013
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 Toronto Meeting - November
Wednesday, October 09, 2013 Toronto Meeting - October
Wednesday, October 02, 2013 Edmonton Meeting - October
Friday, September 20, 2013 CANSCAIP's Prairie Horizons Conference
Wednesday, September 11, 2013 Toronto Meeting - September
Saturday, August 17, 2013 August Atlantic Region Meeting
Wednesday, August 07, 2013 Edmonton Meeting - August
Saturday, July 13, 2013 July Atlantic Region Meeting
Wednesday, June 12, 2013 Toronto Meeting - June
Wednesday, June 05, 2013 Edmonton Meeting - June BBQ & Buzz
Saturday, May 25, 2013 Yes Oui CANSCAIP (CANSCAIP Quebec) Imagine A Story Conference
Monday, May 13, 2013 Toronto Meeting - May
Tuesday, May 07, 2013 May Atlantic Region meeting
Wednesday, April 10, 2013 Toronto Meeting - April
Wednesday, April 10, 2013 2013 Annual General Meeting
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 Edmonton Meeting - April
Wednesday, March 06, 2013 March Monthly Meeting
Wednesday, February 27, 2013 Montreal February Meeting
Wednesday, February 13, 2013 February Monthly Meeting
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 Edmonton Meeting - February
Wednesday, January 09, 2013 January Monthly Meeting
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 December Monthly Meeting
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 November Montreal Meeting
Wednesday, November 14, 2012 November Monthly Meeting
Saturday, November 10, 2012 Packaging Your Imagination 2012
Thursday, October 25, 2012 CANSCAIP Montreal Meeting
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 October Monthly Meeting: Illustrators Night
Wednesday, October 03, 2012 CANSCAIP Edmonton Meeting
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 September Monthly Meeting
Wednesday, June 13, 2012 June Monthly Meeting
Tuesday, June 05, 2012 EDMONTON CANSCAIP meeting
Wednesday, May 16, 2012 May Monthly Meeting
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 April Monthly Meeting
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 2012 Annual General Meeting
Wednesday, March 14, 2012 March Monthly Meeting
Wednesday, February 08, 2012 February Monthly Meeting
Wednesday, January 11, 2012 January Monthly Meeting
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 December Monthly Meeting
Wednesday, November 16, 2011 November Monthly Meeting
Saturday, November 05, 2011 Packaging Your Imagination 2011
Friday, September 16, 2011 Prairie Horizons Conference
Saturday, May 28, 2011 Imagine a Story
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