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Wonderful Workshops

masc conferenceThank you to the 150 students from grades 4-8 who participated in my writing workshops this week at the MASC Young Authors and Illustrators Conference in Ottawa. What a blast! I was so inspired by your stories, your enthusiasm, and your willingness to share. Even the boring stories were entertaining. (I’m not name-calling. We wrote badly on purpose for a final exercise because we were exhausted from writing awesomely.)

A huge thank-you to all the MASC staff, volunteers, and sponsors who made the conference such a success. (If you live in eastern Ontario or western Quebec and you don’t know what MASC is yet, check out the MASC website. It’s Multicultural Arts in Schools and Communities. The annual Young Authors and Illustrators Conference is one of MANY arts-related activities they undertake to reach more than 100,000 students, teachers and seniors each year.)

The MASC 2015 authors and illustrators: Kate Inglis, Matt James, Genevieve Despres, Catherine Austen, Tim Wynne-Jones, Rina Singh, Sydney Smith, and Monique Polak

The MASC 2015 authors and illustrators: Kate Inglis, Matt James, Genevieve Despres, Catherine Austen, Tim Wynne-Jones, Rina Singh, Sydney Smith, and Monique Polak

A big thanks and I sniffly “I miss you already” to the other presenting authors and illustrators I hung out with at the Conference, whose company made every day a pleasure. You guys were just as inspiring as the kids.

Bookfest nanaimoI’m going to pack up my inspiration and take it with me to the Vancouver Island Children’s Book Festival next week to (a) escape the snow that’s falling here at home, and (b) meet hundreds of other inspiring kids. I’ll be visiting schools all week, talking to students in grades K-5. Then I join ten other authors and illustrators plus hundreds of young readers at the big Bookfest day-long celebration in Nanaimo on Saturday, May 2nd.

This year’s Bookfest will feature authors Lucky Budd, Gary Kent, John Wilson, Terri Mack, Sarah Turner, Vikki VanSickle, and me, along with illustrators Bill Helin and Kim LaFave and author/illustrators Mike Deas and Wallace Edwards. What a great line-up! (Read all about us and our books on the Bookfest website.) If you’re near Nanaimo on May 2nd, grab the kids and come on down to Bookfest.

authors for indiesIf you’re not in Nanaimo on May 2nd, don’t despair. You’ll miss the Vancouver Island Children’s Book Festival but you can still get out and have fun with books. May 2nd is “Authors for Indies” day, when you’ll find some of your favourite authors working the floor of their local independent bookstore. Check out who’ll be at a store near you, then head out on May 2nd to ask them which book they recommend.

freecomicbookdayAnd of course May 2nd is the first Saturday in May which means it’s Free Comic Book Day! Yay!! Only 8 days to go!!! (Yes, I’m counting the days – and the exclamation marks. Because the only thing better than a free comic book is a bunch of free comic books and a bunch of friends with other free comic books and an afternoon to hang out together and read them all.) Check out the nearest store where you can find your free comics on the Free Comic Book Day website.

So that’s a great week behind me and a great week ahead. The rest of May is going to be dullsville in comparison. Oh well. Maybe I’ll get some writing done.

That’s it for this Friday. Have a wonderful weekend.

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