Sunday, May 12, 2013

Who Is That Masked Avenger?

Who is that masked avenger? I have no idea, but if you want to know who the heck I am, I've just updated my biography.

Here it is.

Helaine Becker is the bestselling writer of more than 50 award-winning children’s and YA books: fiction, non-fiction and verse. Her chapter book series, The Looney Bay All-Stars, has sold over 175,000 copies to date; A Porcupine in a Pine Tree was a Canadian National Bestseller in 2010, and the #1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER in 2011. It also received the Libris Picture Book of the Year Award from the C.B.A. She also is a three-time winner of the Silver Birch Award: for Boredom Blasters in 2006, and Secret Agent Y.O.U. in 2008; What's the Big Idea? received the Silver Birch Honour Award in 2011. The Insecto-Files was awarded the first ever Lane Anderson Award for Science Writing for Children – an award that included a $10,000 cash prize. The Big Green Book of the Big Blue Sea won the Outstanding Youth Book Award from the Canadian Science Writers Association in 2013.

Helaine is in high demand as a presenter and performer at schools across North America. She has twice been selected for the Canadian Children’s Book Week Cross Country tour, travelling to both Yukon and Nunavut to present to school children. She has been a featured speaker at the Frye Festival in New Brunswick, Aloud International Children’s Festival in Ontario, Weaving Words Conference in Alberta, Literacy for Life Conference in Saskatchewan, and the Red Cedar Awards in British Columbia. She was also a featured speaker at the 2009 Orange County Children’s Book Festival in Costa Mesa, California and the 2010 Women’s Writers’ Festival in Irvine, California.

Helaine is also a highly motivational speaker and instructor for writers. She has taught seminars for CANSCAIP's annual Packaging Your Imagination Conference in Toronto, Calgary's When Words Collide Conference, and has been invited to speak at the San Diego SCBWI regional chapter next winter. Workshops and seminar topics include:

> Basic Business Skills for Writers. ROI. B2B. Profit Centre. Supply Chain. Qualifying the Customer. If these and other business-related phrases strike fear in your heart, this workshop is for you. Learn the business basics you really need to jumpstart your writing career. Note: This class is NOT about the publishing business. It focuses on the skills you will need as a sole proprietor of a freelance writing business.

> The 17 Celestial Secrets of Writing Nonfiction. The Common Core Curriculum specifically mandates nonfiction books for kids. What makes nonfiction work? How do you pitch and present a nonfiction idea to agents or editors? This all-true workshop gives you the info you need to make the sale. Helaine's published 18+ books of nonfiction for children, many of them multi-award-winning.

> Writing Picture Books. Picture Books are Opera on the page. Your books needs all of the elements an opera has - compelling character, great plot, action and drama, set design, costumes, music and dance - even if features a Pigeon. Learn the basics of how to create a compelling Carmen, a terrific Tosca, and a powerful Pigeon in 32 perfect pages. Helaine has published 9 picture books including the Canadian #1 national bestseller, A Porcupine in a Pine Tree.

> Poetry Primer. You've all heard it - no one buys poetry. It's not true. What they won't buy is BAD poetry. And chances are your poetry isn't up to scratch. In this workshop, you'll learn the common faults most beginners make when writing rhyming verse, and how to make your verse sparkle like a brand new espresso machine (and pack the same punch!) Helaine has published 6 books written in rhyming verse, including the #1 Canadian national bestseller, A Porcupine in a Pine Tree, and the brand new Ode to Underwear.

Helaine is also an active supporter of literacy initiatives. She volunteers regularly for ABC Life Literacy, First Book, Librarians without Borders and the Canadian Institute for the Blind.

A New York native, she has lived happily in Toronto for more than 20 years. She has been on the executive board of CANSCAIP (the Canadian Society of Children’s Authors and Illustrators), and is a member of the Canadian Children’s Book Centre, The Writers Union of Canada, SCBWI and the Canadian Science Writers' Association. She is married with two teenage sons and has the cutest dog in the world, Ella.

Because: Science!