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

    • Tuesday, March 13, 2018
    • Thursday, May 31, 2018
    • 11:59 PM
    • n/a


    ENTRIES WELCOME: Writing for Children Competition 2018 

    Deadline MAY 31, 2018

    CANSCAIP (Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers) welcomes entries by unpublished writers for the 21st annual Writing for Children Competition. The deadline for entries is May 31, 2018.

    Two winners will be awarded $750 for a picture book/early reader entry and a chapter book/middle grade/young adult entry. Eight finalists will also be selected

    The readers and juries who volunteer to evaluate the entries are all published CANSCAIP Members. All writers will receive feedback from the readers who evaluate the entries. The feedback is generally a few sentences or a short paragraph, and is a unique benefit of entering the Writing for Children Competition

    CANSCAIP submits the winners and finalists to publishers Annick Press, Kids Can Press, and Scholastic Canada for their consideration. Some Writing for Children Competition winners and finalists have been published.

    A goal of the Writing for Children Competition is to discover, encourage, and promote new writers of children's literature across Canada. The Writers' Union of Canada initiated the Competition in 1996, and in 2014 CANSCAIP took on this initiative.  


      • Unpublished writers who do not have a published book or e-book in any genre*, and who do not have a contract with a publisher for a future book
      • Self-published writers whose book has sold fewer than 100 copies  
      • Writers who are over the age of 18, and are citizens or permanent residents of Canada
      • Writers with an entry in a previous Writing for Children Competition can re-submit that entry, and/or submit a new entry.
      *Writers with a story, article or poem published in an anthology, collection, textbook, magazine or journal (i.e., publications with content by multiple writers) are eligible to enter.


        • Fiction or non-fiction, in English, 1,500 words maximum 
        • For chapter book, middle grade, or young adult, send the first chapter plus other chapters/excerpts, up to 1,500 words 
        • For a picture book or early reader (usually shorter than 1,500 words in total), send the complete story
        • Text only, no illustrations 
        • Word document or PDF, 12-point font, double-spaced  
        • Each entry must be sent as an attachment to an email; for multiple entries, send each with a separate email
        • Entries for a previous Competition can be re-submitted 
        • Printed entries are not eligible
        • Registering your entry includes selecting a reading age category from five options.
        • Select the reading age category carefully. Although not all entries will exactly fit the parameters, select the option that best fits. 
        • The entries are evaluated by published CANSCAIP Members who have written books for that reading age. The evaluation process is delayed when an entry's reading age category doesn't fit, and the entry is rerouted to another reader.
        • These reading age categories are used for the Writing for Children Competition:
        PICTURE BOOK (age 2 to 6): For kids who don't yet read on their own. Most picture books are about 500 to 750 words in total, 28 to 32 pages, a few lines of text on a page, and illustrations on every page.

        EARLY READER (age 5 to 8): For kids who have started reading on their own. Most early reader books are about 1,000 words in total, a few sentences or short paragraphs on a page, and illustrations on every page.

        CHAPTER BOOK (age 7 to 10): For kids making the transition from pictures to text, who can read completely on their own. Most chapter books are about 10,000 words in total, with short chapters, and an illustration or two per chapter.

        MIDDLE GRADE (age 9 to 12): For kids interested in longer and more complex stories. Most middle grade books are about 25,000 words in total, with longer chapters, and no illustrations. 

        YOUNG ADULT (age 13 and up): Generally aimed at teens who are familiar with mature concepts. Most young adult books are about 35,000 words in total. 

        ENTRY FEE

        • To participate in the Writing for Children Competition, the fee is $30 for one entry, $50 for two entries, $75 for three entries.
        • Please pay the entry fee before emailing us your entry.
        • Online payment is by Visa or MasterCard, processed via PayPal. Entrants don't need to have their own PayPal account.


          • An entry consists of your story (up to 1,500 words) PLUS a one-page cover letter (the story and cover letter are one document)
          • In the cover letter please include: 
            1. Name, e-mail, phone, address, title of the entry
            2. Summary of your story in one paragraph
            3. Summary of your writing experience in one paragraph
            • Save the entry and the cover letter together as a single PDF or Word document: cover letter first, followed by the entry
            • NAME your Word or PDF document with this information in this format: Reading Age Category - Your Name - Title of Entry
            EXAMPLE: Picture Book - Elizabeth Jones - The Little White Duck 
            • Attach your entry to an email to; in the SUBJECT LINE use the same information and sequence as above 
            • For MULTIPLE ENTRIES, attach each entry to a separate email
            • Send the entry to


            • The deadline for entries is midnight May 31, 2018


            • The readers and juries for the Writing for Children Competition are published CANSCAIP Members who have written books in the reading age categories they are evaluating. 
            • First-round readers evaluate entries, and select the entries that will proceed to the second-round readers. 
            • Second-round readers evaluate those entries and select a longlist of entries to proceed to the jury. 
            • There is a jury for picture book/early reader and a jury for chapter book/middle grade/young adult. A consensus of the jury's selections determines the finalists and winners
            • The finalists and winners will be submitted to three Canadian children's publishers (Annick Press, Kids Can Press, Scholastic Books Canada) for their consideration.


            • MAY 31: Deadline for submissions
            • JUNE: First-round readers evaluate all entries 
            • JULY: Second-round readers select longlist  
            • AUGUST: Juries evaluate longlist of entries 
            • SEPTEMBER: Longlist announcement sent to entrants
            • OCTOBER: Winner and finalist announcement sent to entrants   
            • DECEMBER: Feedback sent to entrants

            • Thursday, March 15, 2018
            • Thursday, May 31, 2018
            • Canadian Contemporary School of Art, 109 Vanderhoof Ave, Toronto (Eglinton Ave E and Brentcliffe Rd)

            ART EXHIBIT in May for CANSCAIP Members & Friends (submissions by Mar. 31)

            CANSCAIP ART SHOW       May 2 to May 31

            WINE & CHEESE RECEPTION     Wed. May 2 from 7:00 to 9:00

            CANSCAIP is delighted to offer our illustrator Members and Friends an opportunity to be part of an exhibit of children’s book art at the Canadian Contemporary School of Art in Toronto for the month of May 2018

            The CANSCAIP Art Show will be in the School's art gallery, open to the public and to students and parents. The show will include matted or framed original artwork and digital artwork.

            Please note that work in the CANSCAIP Art Show will not be offered for sale.  

            The Canadian Contemporary School of Art is in midtown Toronto at 109 Vanderhoof Avenue (Eglinton Avenue East and Brentcliffe Road). The School opened about a year ago, and offers art classes for ages 3 to 17, including drawing, painting, sculpting, textile printing, fashion design, cartooning, filmmaking, animation, puppetry, photography, and art-based math.

            Thank you to CANSCAIP Member and Illustrator Rep Michele Nidenoff for initiating and organizing this art show. (The artwork used in this call for submissions is by CANSCAIP Friend Holly Main.) 

            ELECTRONIC SUBMISSIONS by Sat. Mar. 31

            Members and Friends are invited to electronically submit up to three pieces of art for consideration by Sat. Mar. 31 (and earlier would be much appreciated!).

            • Use a low resolution jpeg (less than 1 MB) for your artwork submission.
            • You can send up to 3 different digital images.
            • Label each digital image with your name, book title and/or illustration title.
            • Include “Art Show” and “Your Name” in the email subject line.
            • Email submissions to Michele Nidenoff at before/by Sat. Mar. 31.

            When your submissions are received, you will be informed quickly which pieces of your work have been selected for the show. 

            The show will include original artwork and digital artwork printed on high quality paper.

            ART SHOW May 2 to 31

            The art show will be professionally hung in the gallery at the Canadian Contemporary School of Art. The show will be from May 2 to 31, open to the public and also to the students at the school. The school (and the art show) will be open Monday to Friday, 10:00am to 7:30pm and Saturday 9:00am to 12:00pm.

            All artwork will have a label that includes the artist’s name, book and/or illustration title, and the medium used. CANSCAIP will arrange for the labels to be produced. You will receive an email requesting label information for your selected artwork.

            Published CANSCAIP Members are encouraged to include a copy of the book to be displayed with the artwork. CANSCAIP Friends aren't usually published, so probably won't have a book to display.

            You are welcome to include your business cards, postcards or brochures.

            WINE & CHEESE RECEPTION on Wed. May 2 from 7:00 to 9:00

            • A wine and cheese reception will be held at the Canadian Contemporary School of Art on Wed. May 2 from 7:00 to 9:00 pm.
            • CANSCAIPers, publishers, editors, art directors and others in the children’s book community will be invited.
            • Please save the date and plan to join us. Bring your families and friends!


            • Original artwork, or digital artwork printed on high-quality paper, must be matted with backing, preferably in a clear protective sleeve, with wire on the back for hanging. 
            • Artwork can also be framed.
            • Illustrators cover the costs of matting or framing their artwork.


            Promotion for the show will be handled jointly by CANSCAIP and the Canadian Contemporary School of Art.

            We encourage illustrators to promote the show on their websites and social media, and to family and friends.


            • Matted or framed artwork can be couriered, mailed or delivered in person to arrive at CANSCAIP (720 Bathurst, Suite 503, Toronto M5S 2R4) before or by Mon. Apr. 30. If you’re bringing artwork, email administrative director Helena Aalto at first to arrange a time.
            • You can also bring artwork in person to the Canadian Contemporary School of Art on Mon. Apr. 30 or Tues. May 1 from 11:00am to 7:30pm.
            • You can include business cards, postcards or brochures with your artwork.
            • Illustrators cover the costs of transporting artwork to CANSCAIP or to the School.
            • CANSCAIP has insured the exhibiting of the art in the show.


            • The show will be taken down on Thurs. May 31 from 10:00am to 12:00pm. You can pick up your artwork from the school during that time.
            • Remaining artwork will be taken to CANSCAIP’s office to pick up at another time.


            For any questions, please contact Michele Nidenoff, CANSCAIP Illustrator’s Rep at


            • Saturday, May 26, 2018
            • 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM (UTC-06:00)
            • Queen's House Retreat & Renewal Centre, Saskatoon Saskatchewan

            CANSCAIP Sask Horizons presents Mini Prairie Horizons 2018: Growing Stories, Growing Minds -- Creating for Children of All Ages.

            This one-day mini-conference for children's authors, illustrators, and performers will feature Vikki Vansickle, Alice Kuipers, and Danica Lorer. There will be lots of time to mingle and talk over lunch and snacks, and if you can't make it in person, all three sessions will be recorded and are available for purchase (Thank you, Arthur Slade!). Links to the recordings will also be sent to everyone who comes to the live event.

            THANK YOU to the Saskatchewan Writers' Guild for sponsoring part of this event with a Writing Group Grant. 

            For more information, go to or email 

            • Saturday, November 10, 2018

            SAVE THE DATE!

            CANSCAIP's highly-rated conference for 30+ years

            Packaging Your Imagination 

            Saturday, November 10, 2018

            Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute in downtown Toronto 

            • Outstanding keynote speakers: Deborah Ellis and Ruth Ohi
            • Popular annual panel with publishers and agents 
            • Sessions on writing craft, genres, marketing and more
            • One-to-One evaluations of your manuscript, portfolio or website
            • Can’t be there in person? Be there online with Virtual PYI!

            Registration opens in July! 

          Past events

          Wednesday, March 14, 2018 MONTHLY MEETING Wed. Mar. 14: Illustrator Night SPEAKER Qin Leng
          Wednesday, February 14, 2018 MONTHLY MEETING Wed. Feb. 14: Illustrator Night SPEAKER Milan Pavlovic
          Friday, January 26, 2018 ONLINE VIDEO of Marketing Children's Books by Judy Brunsek WEBINAR
          Thursday, January 11, 2018 VIRTUAL PYI: Packaging Your Imagination Conference on Your Computer
          Wednesday, January 10, 2018 MONTHLY MEETING Wed. Jan. 10; SPEAKER Mireille Messier
          Monday, January 01, 2018 "The First Thousand Words" Editing Fundraiser
          Wednesday, December 13, 2017 MONTHLY MEETING Wed. Dec. 13; SPEAKERS: Vikki Van Sickle, Naseem Hrab, Liz MacLeod, Mary Beth Leatherdale and Hadley Dyer
          Saturday, November 11, 2017 CONFERENCE: Packaging Your Imagination 2017
          Wednesday, November 08, 2017 MONTHLY MEETING Wed. Nov. 8; SPEAKER: Amanda Lewis
          Wednesday, October 11, 2017 MONTHLY MEETING Wed. Oct. 11; SPEAKER: Sue Todd
          Monday, September 25, 2017 WEBINAR VIDEO: Grants for Writers and Illustrators
          Wednesday, September 20, 2017 WEBINAR: Grants for Writers and Illustrators
          Friday, September 15, 2017 CONFERENCE: Prairie Horizons 2017
          Wednesday, September 13, 2017 MONTHLY MEETING Wed. Sept. 13; Celebrate CANSCAIP's 40th Birthday; SPEAKER: Michael Martchenko
          Monday, June 19, 2017 CANSCAIP Saskatchewan Presents: Alice Kuipers and Arthur Slade
          Wednesday, June 14, 2017 MONTHLY MEETING Wed. Jun. 14; SPEAKER: Frank Viva
          Wednesday, May 10, 2017 MONTHLY MEETING Wed. May 10; SPEAKERS: Teresa Toten, Lena Coakley, Sue Irwin, John Spray (Tree Awards Nominees)
          Wednesday, April 12, 2017 Annual Meeting of Members Wed. Apr. 12 PLUS world-famous Osborne Collection
          Wednesday, March 08, 2017 Meeting Wed. Mar. 8: SPEAKER Sarah Ramsey (Book City)
          Wednesday, February 08, 2017 Meeting Wed. Feb. 8: SPEAKER Lynda Hill (Theatre Direct)
          Tuesday, January 17, 2017 POSTPONED: Webinar on Navigating and Negotiating Publisher Contracts (Warren Sheffer)
          Wednesday, January 11, 2017 Meeting Wed. Jan. 11: SPEAKER Christie Harkin on Diversity in Publishing
          Wednesday, December 14, 2016 Meeting, Book Sale & Dessert Potluck with SPEAKERS Ruth Ohi & Debbie Ridpath Ohi
          Wednesday, November 30, 2016 Announcing winners and finalists of 2016 Writing for Children Competition
          Wednesday, November 09, 2016 CANSCAIP Meeting Wed. Nov. 9; SPEAKERS: Angela Misri & Joyce Grant
          Wednesday, October 12, 2016 CANSCAIP Meeting Wed. Oct. 12; SPEAKER: Joel Sutherland
          Wednesday, September 14, 2016 CANSCAIP Meeting Wed. Sept. 14; SPEAKER: Anne Shone, Scholastic Canada
          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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