Posts Tagged ‘Festival of Trees’

Festival of Trees

fest_of_treesI had a whirlwind week in Ontario for the White Pine nomination for Nix Minus One – such an honour to be nominated. And warm congratulations to Lisa Harrington for her win with “Live to Tell”.

There were three Nova Scotians among the ten writers nominated – Lisa, Don Aker (Running on Empty), and myself.

Writing is alive and well in the Maritimes!

On May 13th I took an early train (a very early train) from Union Station – which, like a lot of Toronto, is under construction. A delightful ride through the Ontario countryside – green fields, trees in leaf, and trilliums in bloom. I was met in Belleville by Jane Foster, who drove me to Centre Hastings School in Madoc. I always enjoy meeting the students for whom I write, and it was fun to have lunch with the reading group. Thanks to Jane for organizing this.

May 14th was the Festival of Trees at Harbourfront (also under construction) – complete with crowds of screaming students. You feel like a rock star, you get to meet kids who’ve read your book, and then you can relax at the reception when it’s all done. Lovely to see familiar faces, among them my publisher, Gail Winskill.

May 15th I went by subway to North York Central Branch of the Toronto Public Library, where I did a presentation of Nix on one of the six floors of the library – I wanted to pick up the whole building and all its books and take it home with me. Thank you, Nasim, Deb and Leigh.  And I was very happy to see a friend there who dated from our high school years.

Lunch, then off to Hillcrest Branch on Leslie Street, which reminded me of my home library in Bedford. Another presentation of Nix, with more attentive readers (thank you, Mary), then back by subway and bus to Dufferin Street, cab to Billy Bishop Airport (fog, all flights delayed), then plane to Ottawa and cab to the hotel.

May 16th was theFestival of Trees in Ottawa at the Nepean Centre, again so many enthusiastic fans and so well organized, such a delight. My only complaint? I wanted time to play some of the games arranged for the kids!

Warm thanks to Meredith Tutching and all the many helpers and volunteers who make the amazing Ontario Festivals happen year after year.
And – to all of us – keep reading!

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The Ottawa Festival of Trees

 
 
The Ottawa Festival of Trees was held at Carleton University, with 500 students bussed in, and was another outstanding success. Only worry? That the stage was a little cramped. However, no one fell off.

Lots of screaming again, some great questions for my Q&A session, and so many wonderful fans. Again, thank you to everyone (including all the red-jacketed volunteers in Ottawa and Toronto) who helped make these events happen.

A reception at City Hall, then what was left of me taxied to the airport and flew home.

The Ontario Library Association Tree Awards

 
 
Harbourfront in Toronto. The Ontario Library Association organizes the Tree Awards, and as usual (this is my third year in a row at Harbourfront) they’ve done a fabulous job. They’ve brought in 3500 students. A sunny day. Loud rhythms of a rock band. Kids everywhere you look.

All ten authors nominated for the Red Maple line up with our sign carriers and presenters, and then we parade onto a stage that faces an audience of young people, all of whom have screaming down to a fine art. Lake Ontario glitters in the background.

Every year, when it’s my turn to say a few words, I say something like,

“Writing is a solitary occupation. What more can any writer ask for than hundreds of kids who are wildly enthusiastic about reading?”

And I mean every word.

Kenneth Oppel won the 2012 Red Maple for “Half Brother” – congratulations to a great writer for a great book.

But – and I mean this, too – every author at Harbourfront over the two-day festival is a winner because we get to meet our greatest fans. To sign books for them. To answer their questions. And to hear that they love our books.

A terrific question and answer period followed, and then signings until my wrist hurt – what a wonderful complaint to have!

Festival of Trees 2012Red Maple Awards Toronto

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The Hidden Agenda of Sigrid Sugden
Jill MacLean's latest book The Hidden Agenda of Sigrid Sugden , published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside and is available in bookstores and on-line!

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.

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Nix Minus One

Jill MacLean's book Nix Minus One , published by Pajama Press and now available in bookstores!

Nix Minus One is geared for readers in Grade 7-8 and up.
Published February 15, 2013

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