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Heather O'Connor



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Professional information

Heather M. O'Connor is an award-winning author based in Peterborough, Ontario. Her picture book Fast Friends, about friendship and inclusion, won the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award. Another story with the same characters is coming in Fall 2023.

Runs with the Stars, a dual language picture book about the Ojibwe Horse, coauthored with Darcy Whitecrow, will be published by Second Story Press in May 2022.

Betting Game, Heather's debut novel for teens, was published by Orca Books in October 2015. This action-packed Orca Sports novel throws an elite soccer player into the murky world of illegal gambling.

Heather also writes short stories, fantasy, historical fiction and nonfiction for adults and children.

Always an avid reader, she first tried her hand at writing in 2002 when invited to write three children’s books for Nelson Canada. That’s when the writing bug really sank its teeth into her. Heather opened Merlin Writes, a freelance writing business, and started calling herself a writer. And a teacher. And an author.

Heather has just begun to research and write a historical fiction novel set in Ontario during the Second World War.

Her YA fantasy Twice a Ghost is in revisions. The characters introduced themselves to her during a neighbourhood walk. They’ve since become great friends.
Available For
An enthusiastic speaker and teacher, Heather enjoys sharing her love of reading and writing with children, teens and adults. She is available to:
- visit your school, library or book club
- give readings
- speak on a broad variety of writing topics
- run writing workshops
School Visits
Live or virtual visits (eligible for Ontario Writers in the Schools)

Fast Friends book talks and workshops for JK to Grade 4 on inclusion, friendship, creative writing, body language

Runs with the Stars book talks (video segment with Darcy Whitecrow and his horses) for JK-Grade 6 on the Ojibwe Horse, adaptations, historical research

Betting Game book talks and workshops for Grade 4 and up on research, creative writing, journalism, careers in writing
Runs with the Stars (with Darcy Whitecrow), Second Story Press, Spring 2022
Fast Friends, Scholastic Canada, 2020
Suze Knows the Way (working title), Scholastic Canada, Fall 2023

Betting Game (Orca Sports series), Orca Books, 2015

"Phoenix Rising" (Fire: Demons, Dragons and Djinns anthology), Tyche Books, 2018

"Buried in the Green" (Urban Green Man anthology), Edge Publishing, 2013
TD Grade 1 Book Giveaway, 2022
Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award winner, 2021
Forest of Reading Blue Spruce Award finalist, 2021
Shining Willow finalist, 2021
IODE Jean Throop Award finalist, 2021
OLA Best Bets, 2021
Toronto Public Library First and Best list, 2020

Urban Green Man Anthology,
Aurora Award nominee

"One Foot in the Grave"
Honourable mention in the 9th Annual Geist Literal Literary Postcard Story Contest
Other Memberships
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)
Canadian Children's Book Centre
Access Copyright
The Writers' Union of Canada

720 Bathurst St., Suite 412, Toronto, ON M5S 2R4

Phone: 1-416-515-1559

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