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

NOTES from Past Meetings

To extend the content of our monthly Toronto meetings to our full membership across Canada, we provide notes from these meetings on our website.
  • Saturday, March 31, 2012 4:00 PM | Helena Aalto (Administrator)
    In Toronto? Then you're invited to Cheryl Rainfield's launch for HUNTED (YA paranormal fantasy/dystopian) on March 31st from 4-6 pm at Bakka-Phoenix Books on Harbord (84 Harbord St near Spadina). There will be food and prizes--and possibly a psychic! I hope you can come help me celebrate!

  • Thursday, March 15, 2012 10:09 AM | Karen Krossing
    Congratulations to the following CANSCAIP members who are award winners and nominees:

    2012 Notable Book for a Global Society

    Five Thousand Years of Slavery by Marjorie Gann and Janet Willen (Tundra) has been selected as a 2012 Notable Book for a Global Society by the Children’s Literature and Reading Special Interest Group, International Reading Association.

    Shortlist for the 2011 Saskatchewan Book Awards

    Children’s Literature Award

    • Full Steam to Canada: A Barr Colony Adventure, written by Anne Patton, Coteau Books
    • Racing Home, written by Adele Dueck, Coteau Books
    • Picturing Alyssa, written by Alison Lohans, Dundurn Press
    • The Secret of the Stone Circle, written by Judith Silverthorne, Coteau Books

    Regina Book Award

    Picturing Alyssa, written by Alison Lohans, Dundurn Press

    Saskatoon Book Award

    Waiting for No One, Beverley Brenna, Red Deer Press

    Fiction Award

    Empire of Ruins: The Hunchback Assignments III, Arthur Slade, HarperCollins Publishers

    Award winners will be announced on April 28.

    Canadian Library Association 2012 Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award Shortlist

    The Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award recognizes an illustrator of a noteworthy Canadian book, published in 2011, that appeals to children up to the age of 12 years.

    The winners will be announced prior to the Canadian Library Association National Conference on May, 31 2012. CANSCAIPers include:

    • Migrant, written by Maxine Trottier, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault, Groundwood
    • Picture a Tree, by Barbara Reid, Scholastic Canada

    Canadian Library Association 2012 Book of the Year for Children Award Shortlist

    The 2012 Book of the Year for Children Award recognizes a Canadian author of an outstanding book published in Canada in 2011, which appeals to children up to and including age 12. CANSCAIPers include:

    • When Apples Grew Noses and White Horses Flew by Jan Andrews, Groundwood
    • No Ordinary Day by Deborah Ellis, Groundwood
    • That Boy Red by Rachna Gilmore, Harper Collins Canada
    • Dragon Seer’s Gift by Janet McNaughton, Harper Collins Canada
    • The Tiffin by Mahtab Narsimhan, Dancing Cat Books
    • Dragon Turn by Shane Peacock, Tundra Books
    • The Whole Truth by Kit Pearson, Harper Collins Canada
    • Empire of Ruins by Arthur Slade, Harper Collins Canada

    The winners will be announced prior to the Canadian Library Association National Conference on May 31, 2012.

    Canadian Library Association 2012 Young Adult Book Award Shortlist

    The 2012 Young Adult Book Award recognizes an author of an outstanding English-language Canadian work of fiction (novel, collection of short stories or graphic novel), published in 2011, that appeals to young adults between the ages of 13 and 18. The winner will be announced prior to the National Canadian Library Association Conference on May 31, 2012. CANSCAIPers include:

    •  The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong, Random House
    •   All Good Children by Catherine Austen, Orca
    • The Woefield Poultry Collective by Susan Juby, HarperCollins
    • This Dark Endeavour by Kenneth Oppel, HarperCollins
    • Karma by Kathy Ostler, Penguin Canada

    Finalists for the 2012 BC Book Prizes

    The West Coast Book Prize Society is thrilled to announce the finalists for the 2012 BC Book Prizes. The winners will be announced at the annual Gala on May 12, 2012 in Vancouver.

    Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize

    The Runaway, written by Glen Huser, Tradewind Books

    Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize

    Pussycat, Pussycat, Where Have You Been?, written by Dan Bar-el, illustrated by Rae Maté, Simply Read Books

    The National Chapter of Canada IODE Violet Downey Book Award Shortlist, valued at $3000, has been selected from among submitted books published in 

    Canada in 2011. The Award is offered annually for the best young children’s English language book containing at least 500 words of text. The winner will be announced at IODE Canada’s 112th National Annual Corporate Meeting, being held at the Delta Airport West Hotel in Mississauga, Ontario on 26 May 2012. The five Canadian authors short-listed for this Award are:

    ·         Dragon Seer’s Gift by Janet McNaughton, 

    St. John’s, NL, published by Harper Collins Canada

    ·         Howl by Karen Hood-Caddy, 

    Bracebridge, ON , published by Dundurn Press

    ·         That Fatal Night by Sarah Ellis, 

    Vancouver, BC , published by Scholastic Canada

    ·         This Dark Endeavour by Kenneth Oppel, 

    Toronto, ON , published by Harper Collins

    ·         Timber Wolf by Caroline Pignat, 

    Kanata, ON , published by Red Deer Press

  • Wednesday, March 14, 2012 1:16 PM | Helena Aalto (Administrator)
    PRESS RELEASE   For immediate release

    Join us in Toronto for the world’s first Globally Coordinated Book Reading Flash Mob on March 28th at 4pm On March 28th at 4pm in Toronto’s Union Station you are invited by the Pay it Forward Foundation to take part in the world’s first globally coordinated book reading flash mob. 

    All you need to do is bring a book that inspired you in some way, take some time to reflect on how that book inspired you and also reflect on how a random act of kindness has the potential to change someone else’s life. Now more than ever in these tough financial times we need to help and be kind to each other and you can become part of a global movement helping to make the world a kinder place. 

    The event has been put together by the Pay It Forward Foundation to raise awareness of the impact that small, random acts of kindness can have on people and to encourage people to Pay It Forward. Charley Johnson, President of the Pay it forward Foundation says “We realise that change starts with us, and for this reason, we believe that it is a simple thing that everyone can do to remind people that the world is still an amazing place and that others still do care.” 

    Nancy Runstedler, of Paris, Ontario, and organizer of the Toronto flash mob says “We know that serving others has the power to create change. Real change! You can make a difference today, no need to be a celebrity or millionaire. Be the change you want to see in the world. Understanding that a small act of kindness can shift someone’s perspective on life is the reality we live in. Help us share the message, the outcome will give purpose and meaning to everyone involved.” 

    Come along and be a part of the Pay It Forward Book Reading Flash mob in Toronto’s Union Station on March 28th at 4pm. For further information on all flash mob locations go to You can help make a difference in the world! ENDS Notes for Editors Nancy Runstedler is available for interviews and photographs. For further information email or call (519)209-6932 cell Charley Johnson, President of the Pay it Forward foundation is also available for interview. Email For additional information on the Pay it Forward Foundation got to Issued by Maritza Duncan PR Consulting Tel: +44(0) 750 621 6288
  • Monday, March 05, 2012 1:22 PM | Helena Aalto (Administrator)
    Eight Mondays, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. (March 5 to April 30 - no meeting April 9) 1200 Atwater Avenue, Suite 3 $175 ($155 for QWF members) 

    Workshop leaders: Monique Polak and Lori Weber 

    Hosted by the Quebec Writers' Federation (

    To register, email For many of us, the books we read as teens have stayed with us for the rest of our lives and may even have shaped our values and ideas on our place in the world. Today, the YA market is thriving, making it an exciting time to be a YA author. However, the genre can be challenging. The writer must create stories that engage young readers, authentically reflect their world, and speak to them in a way that is never pedantic or condescending. The writer must do all this with plots that are fast-paced and original, and with characters that are believable and never clichéd.
  • Friday, February 17, 2012 4:21 PM | Helena Aalto (Administrator)

    World Literacy Canada is proud to once again present our annual national writing contest. Give your students a chance to win $1000 and an amazing prize package.


    Along with the contest, a teacher's resource package is available, complete with a reading guide for Deborah Ellis' book No Ordinary Day, discussion prompts and classroom activities to teach students about diversity and tolerance.


    Please visit the World Literacy Canada website to download the contest package.  

  • Thursday, February 16, 2012 11:01 AM | Karen Krossing
    The Writers' Union of Canada is pleased to launch its 16th annual Writing for Children Competition, which invites writers to submit a piece for children up to 1,500 words in the English language that has not previously been published in any format. A $1,500 prize will be awarded to an unpublished Canadian writer, and the entries of the winner and finalists will be submitted for consideration to three publishers of children's books. The deadline for entries is April 24, 2012.

    The Writing for Children Competition, which welcomes submissions for all ages of young people, from picture books to young adult (YA) stories, can be a springboard into a writing career. “Lisa Dalrymple, whose ‘Skink on the Brink’ won last year, will have her story published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside in the spring of 2013,” notes Kelly Duffin, the Union's Executive Director. “It will be very exciting to see this winning story in print.”

    The Union initiated the Writing for Children competition to discover, encourage, and promote new writers of children’s literature. The Competition has grown in popularity since its inception, last year attracting over 680 submissions from every region of Canada.

    The Union is proud to announce an esteemed group of jurors for the 2012 Writing for Children Competition. Author and screenwriter Don Calame is known for his critically acclaimed YA novels Beat the Band, which appears on the American Library Association’s 2011 Best Fiction for Young Adults List, and Swim the Fly, nominations for which include for Ontario Library Association Forest of Reading White Pine Award, the New Westminster Hyack Teen Readers Award, the Nevada Young Readers Award, and the American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults. His new book Call the Shots is due for release in the fall of 2012. A Governor General’s Award nominee for Tess, Hazel Hutchins has published forty-plus books throughout the English-speaking world and has been translated into German and Korean. Recent awards include the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award and the R. Ross Annett Award for Children's Literature for Mattland, the Norma Fleck Honour Award for A Second is a Hiccup, and the Shining Willow Young Reader's Choice Award for TJ and the Cats. Rene Schmidt’s novel Leaving Fletchville was a Red Maple Honour Book 2010, was named a Best Books for Kids & Teens 2010 selection by Canadian Children’s Book Centre, and was shortlisted for the IODE Violet Downey Award.

    He is also the author of the non-fiction work Canadian Disasters, which profiles forty-two tragedies over the last two centuries.

    To be eligible, submissions must be written by Canadian citizens or permanent residents who have not been published in book format in any genre and who do not have a contract with a book publisher. Any text, fiction or non-fiction, up to 1,500 words, in the English language, that is original and not previously published in any format, is eligible. A typed, double-spaced entry in a clear twelve-point font on white paper, not stapled or exceeding the maximum word length, along with an entry fee of $15 per submission (cheque or money order), should be sent to The Writers’ Union of Canada at 90 Richmond Street East, Suite 200, Toronto, Ontario, M5C 1P1. The deadline for submissions is April 24, 2012. The winner will be announced in July 2012. Electronic submissions will not be accepted. For complete rules and regulations, please visit TWUC's website.

    The Writers' Union of Canada is our country's national organization representing professional authors of books. Founded in 1973, the Union is dedicated to fostering writing in Canada, and promoting the rights, freedoms, and economic well-being of all writers. For more information, please visit

  • Wednesday, February 08, 2012 2:31 PM | Helena Aalto (Administrator)
    Applications have now closed.
  • Wednesday, February 08, 2012 11:34 AM | Karen Krossing
    Picture yourself writing on the beautiful south shore of Nova Scotia in September. (The best month to be there, say the locals.) Imagine getting expert feedback there from one of Canada’s leading editors and one of Canada’s leading writers for young people that will help you take your current project to new heights of brilliance.

    The good news is: you may not have to just imagine. Peter Carver and Kathy Stinson are offering their Seaside Writing Workshop/Retreat again this year – to six lucky writers dedicated to their craft. They welcome applications from novices and veterans alike.

    Find out all you need to know about how to apply, where you’ll stay, the setting, and what former participants in the experience have to say about it by clicking on ‘Workshops’ on Kathy’s website, You can also read more and see more photos by clicking on ‘Retreat’ under blog categories.

    Kathy and Peter look forward to receiving your application by April 30.

  • Wednesday, February 08, 2012 10:37 AM | Karen Krossing
    Performer Eddie Douglas has been nominated for a JUNO Music Award for Children’s Album of the Year. His CD Sleepy Sky Lullaby includes newly written musical settings of popular works from centuries past along with original lullabies and songs for night-time.
  • Monday, February 06, 2012 1:20 PM | Helena Aalto (Administrator)

    It is with deep sadness that we announce that CANSCAIPer Joyce Barkhouse passed away from heart disease on February 2, 2012, in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. After graduating from Kings County Academy, Barkhouse attended the Provincial Normal College in Truro and became and elementary school teacher. She went on to teach in both the Maritimes and Montreal. As a teacher, she noticed the lack of Canadian reading material for children and so began her career in writing for children. Barkhouse was one of Nova Scotia's finest writers for children and her works include Anna's Pet and Pit Pony. In 2007, she was named to the Order of Nova Scotia, and in 2009, to the Order of Canada. Donations may be made in Joyce’s name to the Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia.

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