Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Singin' a Song in Praise of Undies

The Ode to Underwear is now available to preorder!

I'm so excited - I've wanted to see this poem in print for ages. It's what I always end my school presentations with, and I've had so many requests for it. Now, I can say, "yes! The poem IS available!" And it's spectacularly illustrated by Mike Boldt, who also illustrated my previous picture book, Little Jack Horner, Live from the Corner.

The dynamic undies in Ode to Underwear will have you laughing. And I announce it here first: Captain Underpants, your reign is the Prince of Panties may be coming to an 'end.'

You can order copies of both books at Indigo (or your local indie bookseller, like one of my faves, The Bookkeeper) and be the first kid on the block to have a copy. :)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Writing - and Selling Kids Books - Workshops for Pre-Published and Professional Authors

Yes, I teach writing  and business skills. Usually over beer or coffee when I rant at my friends. But I also present at writing conferences and SCBWI chapter meetings and the like. In fact, I'll be doing several workshops next week at the When Words Collide Conference in Calgary. If you're in the Calgary area, please come by! It's an awesome program! Kidlit and YA Writers Amanda Sun, Claire Eamer, Karen Bass will also be presenting.

Here are the the most popular workshops I offer. Please keep me in mind if you or your organization is looking for a professional speaker. I also do a hilarious prezzie on humor writing, if I do say so myself.

> 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.

> 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.

> 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!)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Red Cedar Book Award 2013-14 Shortlist Announced

The Red Cedar Award List is out! And I'm thrilled to announce The Big Green Book of the Big Blue Sea is on the Information Book Shortlist!

Here's the complete list of nominees. You can find more information on the wonder Red Cedar program here.

2013/2014 Red Cedar Information Book Nominees:

Bodyguards! From Gladiators to the Secret Service written by Ed Butts, illustrated by Scott Plumbe

The World in Your Lunchbox: The Wacky History and Weird Science Of Everyday Foods by Claire Eamer. Illustrated by Sa Boothroyd

Earth-friendly Buildings, Bridges and More: The Eco-Journal Of Corry Lapont by Etta Kaner, illustrated by Stephen MacEachern

The Big Green Book of the Big Blue Sea by Helaine Becker, illustrated by Willow Dawson

Mimi’s Village and How Basic Health Care Transformed It by Katie Smith Milway, illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes

Cryptic Canada: Unsolved Mysteries From Coast To Coast by Natalie Hyde, illustrated by Matt Hammill

Secret Life Of Money: A Kid’s Guide To Cash by Kira Vermond, illustrated by Clayton Hanmer

City Critters: Wildlife In The Urban Jungle by Nicholas Read

Rescuing The Children: The Story of the Kindertransport by Deborah Hodge

Willie O’Ree: The Story of the First Black Player in the NHL by Nicole Mortillaro

2013/2014 Red Cedar Fiction Nominees:

My Name is Paravana by Deborah Ellis

Mr & Mrs Bunny, Detectives Extraordinaire! by Polly Horvath

Summer in the City by Marie-Louise Gay and David Homel

Torn Apart: The Internment Diary of Mary Kobayashi (Dear Canada) by Susan M. Aihoshi

Ungifted by Gordon Korman

Encyclopedia of Me by Karen Rivers

Grave Robber’s Apprentice by Allan Stratton

Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis

Cat’s Cradle Book 1: The Golden Twine by Jo Rioux

Redwing by Holly Bennett

Gargoyle at the Gates by Philippa Dowding

Mimi Power and the I-Don’t-Know-What by Victoria Miles

Because: Science!