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.
  • 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 (Administrator)
    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 (Administrator)
    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 (Administrator)
    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.

  • Monday, February 06, 2012 12:17 PM | Karen Krossing (Administrator)
    Congratulations to the following CANSCAIP members who are award winners:

    ALSC Announces 2012 Notable Children’s Books

    Each year a committee of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association, identifies the best of the best in children’s books. Two CANSCAIPers made this year’s list:

    • Migrant, written by Maxine Trottier, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault, Groundwood Books.
    • No Ordinary Day, Deborah Ellis, Groundwood Books.

    Paul Yee Honoured at ALA’s 2012 Youth Media Awards

    Author Paul Yee was honoured by the American Library Association for his latest book, Money Boy (Groundwood Books), which was selected as an honour book for the Stonewall Book Award – Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award. This award is given annually to English-language children’s and young adult books of exceptional merit relating to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience.

    Barbara Reid Appointed to the Order of Ontario

    Author and illustrator Barbara Reid has been appointed as a member of the Order of Ontario. The Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, invested the appointees at a ceremony on Thursday, January 26 at Queen’s Park.

    2012 YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults list

    The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) announced its list of books at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. The books, recommended for ages 12-18, meet the criteria of both good quality literature and appealing reading for teens. The list honoured CANSCAIPers:

    • Kenneth Oppel, This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein, HarperCollins
    • Cathy Ostlere, Karma, Puffin Canada

    Ontario Library Association Best Bets for Children


    Dog Breath, written by Carolyn Beck, illustrated by Brooke Kerrigan, Fitzhenry & Whiteside.

    Wellington’s Rainy Day, written by Carolyn Beck, illustrated by Brooke Kerrigan, Orca Book Publishers.

    Picture a Tree, Barbara Reid, Scholastic Canada.

    Reaching, written by Judy Ann Sadler, illustrated by Susan Mitchell, Kids Can Press.



    Missing, Becky Citra, Orca Book Publishers.

    Racing Home, Adele Dueck, Coteau Books.

    No Ordinary Day, Deborah Ellis, Groundwood Books.

    Dear Canada: That Fatal Night of Dorothy Wilton, Sarah Ellis, Scholastic Canada.

    Banjo of Destiny, Cary Fagan, Groundwood Books.

    Better Than Weird, Anna Kerz, Orca Book Publishers.

    The Listening Tree, Celia Lottridge, Fitzhenry & Whiteside.

    The Tiffin, Mahtab Narsimhan, Dancing Cat (Cormorant Books).

    The Whole Truth, Kit Pearson, Harper Trophy Canada.



    That Boy Red, Rachna Gilmore, Harper Collins.

    Timber Wolf, Caroline Pignat, Red Deer.



    To Hope and Back: the Journey of the St. Louis, Kathy Kacer, Second Story Press.

    In the Bag!: Margaret Knight Wraps It Up, written by Monica Kulling, illustrated by David Parkins, Tundra.

    No Shelter Here: Making the World a Kinder Place for Dogs, Rob Laidlaw, Pajama Press.

    Canadian Money, Elizabeth MacLeod, Scholastic Canada.

    The Last Airlift: a Vietnamese Orphan’s Rescue from War, Marsha Skrypuch, Pajama Press.



    Snowy Science: 25 Cool Experiments, written by Shar Levine and Leslie Johnstone, illustrated by Patricia Storms, Scholastic.

    Space Tourism, written by Peter McMahon, illustrated by Andy Mora, Kids Can.


    Ontario Library Association Best Bets for Young Adults

    The Fifth Rule, Don Aker, Harper Collins.

    Witchlanders, Lena Coakley, Atheneum.

    B Negative, Vicki Grant, Orca.

    She Said/She Saw, Norah McClintock, Orca.



    All Good Children, Catherine Austen, Orca.

    Drummer Girl, Karen Bass, Coteau.

    True Blue, Deborah Ellis, Pajama Press.

    The Yo-Yo Prophet, Karen Krossing, Orca.

    Karma, Cathy Ostlere, Razorbill.

    Undergrounders, David Skuy, Scholastic.

    Empire of Ruins, Arthur Slade, Harper Collins.

    Yellow Mini, Lori Weber, Red Deer Press.

    First Descent, Pam Withers, Tundra.

    Money Boy, Paul Yee, Groundwood.


    Scribbling Women: True Tales from Astonishing Lives, Marthe Jocelyn, Tundra Book.

    USBBY Outstanding International Books for Children and Young Adults

    USBBY, the US national section for the International Board on Books for Youth (IBBY), has selected its list of Outstanding International Books for children and young adults for 2011. CANSCAIPers include:

    • Migrant, written by Maxine Trottier, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault, Groundwood Books.
    • When Apples Grow Noses and White Horses Flew: Tales of Ti-Jean, written by Jan Andrews, illustrated by Dušan Petričić, Groundwood Books.
    • This Child, Every Child: A Book About the World's Children, written by David J. Smith, illustrated by Shelagh Armstrong, Kids Can Press.
  • Friday, February 03, 2012 12:00 PM | Helena Aalto (Administrator)
    35 CANSCAIPers mass launch at the OLA Super Conference, February 3, 2012, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre!

    CANSCAIP and OLA are proud to present the seventh annual mass book launch Friday February 3, 2012 at the EXPO Stage in Hall C, from 12:00 Noon – 2:00 PM. 35 authors and illustrators will introduce to you their new 2011-12 titles in entertaining three-minute infomercials. Sylvia McNicoll, Book Launch Co-ordinator of CANSCAIP, will act as emcee and official timer. Enjoy the personalities behind the books as well as their behind-the-creation stories. Buy a raffle ticket to win some of these stories. Picture books, middle-reader age as well as young adult novels will all be available on site for purchase and the authors and artists will happy to autograph them for your collection.    

    Jan Andrews When Apples Grew Noses and White Horses Flew;  Tales of Ti-Jean, Groundwood Books.

    Rona Arato  On an American Day, by Owlkids.

    Catherine Austen  My Cat Isis  illustrated by Virginie Egger, Kids Can Press;  26 Tips for Surviving Grade 6,  Lorimer; All Good Children, Orca Book Publishers

    Karen Bass Drummer Girl, Coteau Books.

    Helaine Becker  Trouble in the Hills, Fitzhernry Whiteside;  Juba This, Juba That,  illustrated by Ron Lightburn, Tundra; The Quiz Book for Girls, Scholastic

    Lesley Choyce Dumb Luck, Red Deer/ Fitzhenry and Whiteside  

    Lena Coakley Witchlanders, Atheneum Books for Young Readers 

    Aubrey Davis Kishka for Koppel, Orca Books Oct 2011 

    Anne-Yvonne Gilbert Snow White, Grimm Press 

    Susan Glickman  Bernadette in the Doghouse, Second Story Press  

    Vicki Grant Betsy Wickwire's Dirty Secret, HarperCollins Canada 

    Jacqueline Guest Ghost Messages, Coteau Books

    Natalie Hyde I Owe You One, Orca (Young Readers) Saving Armpit, Fitzhenry & Whiteside

    Kathy Kacer  To Hope and Back: The Journey of the St. Louis, Second Story Press.

    Karen Krossing The Yo-Yo Prophet, Orca Publishing 

    Vladyana Krykorka  Arctic land, Arctic sea, Artic sky, Annick Press

    Rob Laidlaw  No Shelter Here, Making the World a Kinder Place for Dogs, Pajama Press

    Jennifer Maruno  Warbird  Dundurn Press 

    Elizabeth MacLeod  Canadian Money; Canada's Trees, Scholastic Canada 

    Maureen McGowan  Cinderella: Ninja Warrior; Sleeping Beauty: Vampire Slayer  Silver Dolphin Books, Canadian distributor Raincoast Books

    Mahtab Narsimhan  The Tiffin,  Dancing Cat Books, an Imprint of Cormorant Books. 

    Allan Peterkin The Flyaway Blanket, Imagination Press, The American Psychological Association Press (Washington)

    Cheryl Rainfield  Hunted, Westside Books 

    Susan Ross The Great Bellybutton Cover-up, Susan Ross   

    Adira Rotstein Little Jane Silver, Dundurn  

    Virginia Frances Schwartz  NUTZ! Tradewinds

    Marsha Skrypuch Last Airlift: A Vietnamese Orphan's Rescue From War, Pajama Press 

    Bill Slavin Big City Otto, Kids Can Press 

    Martin Springett Breakfast on a Dragon’s Tail, Fitzhenry and Whiteside

    Patricia Storms (Illustrator) Snowy Science, Scholastic Canada 

    Teresa Toten Beyond Blonde, Penguin 

    Kari-Lynn Winters aRHYTHMetic, Co-written with: Tiffany Stone and Lori Sherritt-Fleming, Illustrated by Scot Ritchie, Tickle Trunk Publications

    Frieda Wishinsky  Explorers Who Made it…Or Died Trying, Scholastic Canada; Halifax Explodes  Owl Kids

    Pam Withers First Descent, Tundra Books 

    Paul Yee The Secret Keepers,  Tradewind Books of Vancouver; Money Boy, Groundwood Books 
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