Archive for May 2010
Through the Writers in the Schools Program, I’ve visited Grosvenor Wentworth
Elementary, and St Catherine’s Elementary, both local schools in Nova Scotia.
It’s so heartening to experience the interest and curiosity of the students when it
comes to reading and writing; and to meet so many committed teachers.
I found out in Toronto that “The Nine Lives of Travis Keating” is nominated for the Red Cedar Award, which is the “Tree” award in BC. The winning title is announced in the spring of 2011. Needless to say, I’m happy about this.
Back from a whirlwind tour of Toronto. But in between a presentation, a
panel, an award ceremony,and dinners and lunches, I managed to visit the
Royal Ontario Museum (very large dinosaurs) and the Art Gallery of Ontario.
The presentation was in Burlington, arranged through the library there and
with lots of volunteers to help out. My thanks to everyone who made this
event happen. About 170 people were gathered at the Holiday Inn, children,
parents and teachers, and they were such a responsive audience. I had a
grand time, spoke for perhaps 20 minutes, then lots of questions, and time
to sign books and talk directly to people, before heading back to Toronto on
the GO Train.
The next day there was a gathering of authors and publishers at
Harbourfront, then it was on to a panel at a meeting of CANSCAIP, the
Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers. I
really enjoyed meeting the authors (including Eric Walters, Anna Kerz and
Kathy Stinson), and other members of the audience. Two of us talked about
writers’ retreats (I go every January to an abbey in New Brunswick with a
group of women writers, and have a fine time. We also manage to get some
Thursday the 13th was the Silver Birch Award Ceremony at Harbourfront. I
wouldn’t have missed this for the world. They’d bussed in 4300 children, and
everything was so well organized except the weather – very cold and windy,
right on the shores of Lake Ontario. The actual ceremony had an audience of
1500 kids, who could have taught the audience at a rock concert a thing or
two about screaming. It was such fun – and what more can a writer ask for
than 1500 readers who are loudly enthusiastic about books?
I felt hugely honoured that The Nine Lives of Travis Keating was chosen as
an Honour Book.
That night I flew on a very small plane to St John NB (when I craned my
neck, I could see through the windshield to the lights on the runway as we
came in to land). Got in to the hotel at 1 am, up the next morning for the
Hackmatack Award Ceremony, again a wonderful gathering of children and
fellow authors. Congratulations to Ingrid Lee, who won for “Dog Lost.”
Home by suppertime, and I must say I took it very easy the next day!
I visited Gold River Elementary School on the South Shore of Nova Scotia – what a beautiful
location for a school, right on the ocean, and the sun was shining!
I did two readings in the school library, arranged through the Hackmatack Children’s Choice Award.
I’m just back from six days in Newfoundland for the Hackmatack Children’s Choice Award, with “The Nine Lives of Travis Keating.”
I’d asked to go to some libraries and schools where they might not get many visiting authors. On Monday, we drove about two hours out of St. John’s to Bay de Verde, then on to Winterton, where they’d never had a writer visit. It was a sunny day, gorgeous scenery, and wonderful children and teachers in both places.
I also visited a school in Torbay where they were very keen Hackmatack readers; they’d made terrific posters, and one boy had made a YouTube presentation of tunes he felt represented different parts of Travis’s story. Great fun. I read at the St. John’s library to an audience that included some of my grandson’s cousins.
Off to Corner Brook the next day, where I read in the library, and connected with family and friends. The following day I made quick visits to three schools, to talk about Travis and Hackmatack; and a had fine time at the brand new library in Cormack, north of Deer Lake. The children had lots of suggestions for what I should write next, and many questions – and there were cookies!
Some pictures from the School and Library Visits
My thanks to the many people who organized this trip; and to Hackmatack, Newfoundland and Labrador Public Libraries, and the Canada Council for the Arts, who paid my way.
Next, I’m off to Toronto for the Silver Birch Children’s Choice Award, also for “Nine Lives.” Then it’ll be back to ordinary living.
This book is the completion of the Newfoundland trilogy which started with The Nine Lives of Travis Keating, followed by The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy.
Pick up your copy today!
- What has Jill been up to? January 26, 2016
- 2015 Ontario Library Association’s Silver Birch Nomination October 21, 2014
- White Ravens Selection 2014 – Nix Minus One October 8, 2014
- Atlantic Book Awards – Ann Connor Brimer Award for Nix Minus One! May 26, 2014
- Festival of Trees May 26, 2014
ratings: 143 (avg rating 4.20)
The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy
ratings: 69 (avg rating 4.19)
The Nine Lives of Travis Keating
ratings: 91 (avg rating 4.16)
Nix Minus One
ratings: 13 (avg rating 4.15)
Brevity of Red, The