Thursday, March 28, 2013

AlphaBest Nominated for Cartooning Award!

I'm so thrilled to announce that the illustrations for AlphaBest, by the incomparable Dave Whamond, has been nominated for the prestigious Reuben Award from the National Cartoonist's Society! Dave is also nominated in a second category, Newspaper Illustration.

AlphaBest is Dave's and my second collaboration. We also worked on the award-winning Secret Agent Y.O.U.

I'm already hard at work on our next book, a planned 'sequel' to AlphaBest. It will feature another fun and funky part of speech.

The winners of the Reuben will be announced May 25th in Pittsburgh, PA. Fingers and toes crossed!!! Go get em, Dave!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Win Valuable Prizes - Really!

The Annual CNIB Braille Writing Competition  is now under way!

This competition is open to primary and secondary students who are blind or partially sighted and live in Canada.

Entries must be in braille, postmarked no later than May 31, 2013 and accompanied by a signed entry form.

Prizes are awarded in two categories - short story and poetry. There are four grade levels: 1-3, 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12.

Braille accuracy and creativity are given equal weighting.

Computer braille is accepted, but all braille contractions must represent the work of the student, not braille translation software.

Use the braille you know. Entries may be in uncontracted, partially contracted or fully contracted braille. If an entry is in partially contracted braille, the student should also send a teacher's letter explaining which contractions have been taught to date; the teacher's letter may also explain any special circumstances.

The awarding of any and all prizes is at the discretion of the judges, and all decisions are final.

CNIB may, at its discretion, publish the stories/poems submitted by the award winners of each category.


Grades 1st 2nd 3rd

1, 2 & 3 $75 $50 $25

4, 5 & 6 $125 $75 $50

7, 8 & 9 $150 $100 $75

10, 11 & 12 $200 $150 $100


We are excited to have Helaine Becker as this year's Judge. After the stories and poems are marked for braille accuracy, she'll be reviewing them for originality and creativity!

Helaine is the award-winning author of more than 50 children’s and YA books, including the #1 National Bestseller, A Porcupine in a Pine Tree. She is also a three-time winner of the Silver Birch Award: for Boredom Blasters, Secret Agent Y.O.U. and What's the Big Idea? The Insecto-Files won the Lane Anderson Award for Science Writing for Children.

Helaine is in high demand as a presenter and performer. She has twice been selected for the Canadian Children’s Book Week author tour, travelling to Yukon and Nunavut , and has been a featured speaker at the Frye Festival (NB) (twice), Aloud International Children’s Festival (ON), Weaving Words Conference (AB), Literacy for Life Conference (SK), and the Red Cedar Awards (BC). She was also a featured speaker at the 2009 Orange County Children’s Book Festival the 2010 Women’s Writers’ Festival (California).

For more details, go to
Please print form, fill out, and mail in with braille entry for the contest.

Financial assistance for the Braille Creative Writing Contest is provided by the Canadian Braille Literacy Foundation.

Because: Science!