Writing Contest for grades 8-12

Spreading the Word Youth Writing Contest

WHAT’S YOUR STORY? Grab a pen and get writing!

If we like what we read, you could win a cash prize and have your work published in a magazine that showcases aspiring young writers.

Prizes will be awarded to the top two entries in poetry and in fiction:

1st Prize in Each Category: $300
2nd Prize in Each Category: $200
Prize Winners’ works will be published in The Claremont Review and on the Festival website at writersfest.bc.ca.


The contest is open to all young writers enrolled in Grades 8-12 in British Columbia
Entries must consist of previously unpublished work, and may be either poetry (any style) or creative short fiction
Poetry entries must be maximum 500 words. Creative short fiction maximum 1,500 words
Entries will be judged blind. Please do not include your name on your story or poem in the file you have uploaded, or in the file name.
For each story or poem you submit, there is a $5 entry fee, payable online through PayPal.
We will accept entries in MS Word Document or PDF formats. Please use standard margins, 12-point font and double spacing.
Winners will be selected by a panel of publishing and writing professionals.
Entries must be uploaded and payment confirmed by 5:00 pm Sunday, October 25, 2015.

QUESTIONS? Call us at 604-681-6330 ext. 0


The 2015 Spreading the Word Youth Writing Contest is supported by the Hamber Foundation and the Chris Spencer Foundation.

Happy Canadian Children’s Book Week

Happy Canadian Children’s book week! Watch for Canadian Children’s authors, illustrators and storytellers in your area this week. And, if your community isn’t fortunate enough to host a visiting Canadian creator, I’ll bet your local library and Indie bookseller will have a plentiful supply of books by Canadian creators, so be sure to check them out.

Authors for Indies

Authors for Indies is coming up on May 2.  I’ll be at Wendel’s Bookstore and Cafe in Fort Langley. I doubt my bookselling abilities will stack up to the staff’s, but I plan to do my best to convince you that my favorite authors and illustrators are worth bringing home, so please do drop by. See you there between 2-4pm.

32nd annual CYWC a huge success

Yesterday, I was in Calgary, not for the Flames frying the Canucks (sorry Canucks hockey fans), but for the Calgary Young Writers’ Conference.

Illustrator, Ian Wallace wowed kids with his stunning illustrations from Canadian Railroad Trilogy by Gordon Lightfoot, before getting to hone their own skills under the tutelage of some of Canada’s finest writers and illustrators. And yes, the day’s success was toasted with some seriously delicious strawberry shortcake. Thanks for the invite Calgary.  Hope to see you again next year.


Calgary Young Writers’ Conference

My bags are packed and I’m ready to go!

The Calgary Young Writers’ Conference is about to begin!

Dozens of kids’ book authors and illustrators will be arriving in Calgary tomorrow, so get ready to write! Sponsored by the Calgary School Board and run by a group of dedicated volunteers, this conference has been wildly successful.  In fact, it’s turning 32 this year! 1500 keen young writers devoting a full Saturday to work with professional writers and illustrators is proof that kids love books and writing.

A keynote address by Ian Wallace, one of Canada’s finest author/illustrators will start the day off. Then, morning and afternoon  sessions will follow.  Sessions range from:

Write Like a Gorilla, with Jamie Bastedo, a biologist turned storyteller from the NWT, to

Who’s Driving the Story, with the infamous and superbly funny, Marty Chan, to

Read This Or Else, by one of my favorite children’s author’s, Hazel Huchins , to

my session, How To Turn Real Stuff Into Fiction.

The  only thing I don’t like about the conference is that they keep us so busy that we never get a chance to sit in on other sessions. But that’s a pretty minor complaint, and the freshly baked strawberry shortcake with real whipping cream served at lunch time almost makes up for it!

See you soon Calgary.

Help us show Independent Booksellers some love on May 2nd!

Yep, that’s right.  May 2nd  is Canadian Authors for Indies Day or Canadian Authors for Independent Book Sellers Day.

You can help celebrate by dropping into your local independent book store on May 2nd to see what ‘s cooking.  That’s the day that authors and illustrators will be visiting independent booksellers around the country to show our support for the support they give us.  After all, where would authors, illustrators or publishers be without independents!

So, come in and show your independent bookseller a little love.

Since Victoria is overflowing with some very fine authors (not to mention some fabulous independent bookstores), I’ve decided to show my support for Indies by visiting a bookstore a little farther afield.  I’ll be at Wendell’s in Fort Langley on Saturday May 2 from 2-4.

If you’re in the area, please drop by to say hi.  I’ll be happy to chat with any and all about my books; including the gorgeous new edition of Jessie’s Island, as well as some of my favorite authors and books. I’d love to hear what you’re reading too.  And who knows, you just might find a book that will mean the world to you or a loved one.  YA author, Denise Jaden will also be dropping by as well (check with the bookstore for times).

If that isn’t enough to tempt you, I hear Wendell’s have some pretty fabulous coffee and homemade goodies.

Don’t worry if you can’t make it on May 2nd.  Any day of the year is a good day to buy a book from your independent book seller.

Dean Griffiths, illustrator of an awesome new pirate book is coming to Victoria

I’m a big fan of Dean Griffiths illustrations and was fortunate enough to have had a sneak preview of some of his wonderfully expressive and quirky illustrations for his and Kari-Lynn Winters Bad Pirate.  You won’t want to miss his visit to the Victoria Children’s Literature Roundtable on Monday, May 25, 2015.

Illustrator Dean Griffiths
Presents at Victoria Children’s Literature Roundtable
Monday, May 25, 2015, 7:30 – 8:30 pm

Dean’s new book is Bad Pirate, written by Kari-Lynn Winters, will be published this Spring by Pajama Press. Dean has illustrated over thirty books for children, including Perfect Man (Troy Wilson), Ballerinas Don’t Wear Glasses (Ainslie Manson) and When Emily Carr Met Woo (Monica Kulling).
Join us at:
Saanich Centennial Branch, Greater Victoria Public Library
3110 Tillicum Road (by Pearkes Arena)
$5 drop-in / $4 students, Members free Doors open at 7:00 pm.
Browse Schoolhouse Teaching Supplies and Children’s Bookstore.

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