Reading Lights goes on air

CWILL authors Lori Sherritt-Fleming and Vi Hughes were guests at Roundhouse Radio on Friday, February 5th, to talk about the Reading Lights project and the wonderful books written by BC writers and illustrators.

You can listen to the interview by clicking here.


The photo shows Lori and Vi with Jennifer Moss, the radio host, Kirsten Sharp, the producer, and radio dog, Brooklyn.


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CWILL BC/VPL Writing & Illustrating Kids’ Books 2016



(print-sized posters, and every size in between, are available for download here in colour and black and white)

The annual CWILL BC/VPL Writing & Illustrating Kids’ Books panel is coming up on Monday February 29 , 2016 from 7:00pm – 8:30pm at the Vancouver Public Library Alma VanDusen & Peter Kaye rooms (the lower meeting rooms under the atrium in the main library branch in downtown Vancouver, 350 West Georgia Street).

Interested in writing or illustrating books for young readers? Join seven professional children’s authors and illustrators at this free public event to find out how they broke into this exciting and competitive field and how they built their careers. Audience members will have a chance to ask questions and get practical information on such topics as how to improve your writing, how to find a publisher and submit your work, what agents do, what to look for in a book contract and what the financial rewards are.

This is a great opportunity to learn about the children’s publishing industry from published authors and illustrators. And it’s a free event.

This year’s well-published and informative panelists are:

Award-winning author Pam Withers has written 17 bestselling adventure books for teens, as well as Jump Starting Boys: Help Your Reluctant Learner Find Success in School and Life. Pam is a mother as well as a former outdoor guide, journalist and editor.

Linda DeMeulemeester’s fantasy middle grade series Grim Hill has been translated into French, Spanish and Korean. Wandering Fox, an imprint of Heritage Books, is reissuing the bestselling series. The Secret of Grim Hill, first book and winner of the Silver Birch and the Canadian Toy Testing Best Books, launched in October.

Beryl Young is the author of five award-winning books for children. Her first book was published when she was 66 years old, and she has gone on to write fiction, non-fiction and picture books, winning the Silver Moonbeam and the Chocolate Lily awards in 2012.

Cynthia Heinrichs is the author of two books: “Mermaids,” a picture book about the diving women of South Korea, and “Under the Mound,” a novel for young adults set in 12th-century Scotland. She lives in Vancouver, BC, where she writes and tutors college students in academic writing.

Victoria Miles is the author of numerous books for children, including the award-winning Magnifico; Old Mother Bear; and the critically acclaimed Mimi Power and the I-don’t-know-what—a finalist in the 2013 BC Book Prizes, and the 2013/14 Red Cedar and 2014 Diamond Willow Awards.

Ellen Schwartz (moderator) is the award-winning author of 16 books for children, from picture books to early chapter books to teen novels and non-fiction. Ellen teaches writing for children at Douglas College. Her latest novel, The Case of the Missing Deed, won the Rocky Mountain Book Award.

Posted in books/writing, CWILL BC news & events, Get Started/Kid's Books panel, getting published, literary events | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Reading BC Books

CWILL BC’s list of set-in-BC children’s and young adult books is newly updated and posted here. You’ll find stories set everywhere from Sooke to Barkerville to Smithers. Happy reading!

Posted in books/writing, juvenile fiction, non-fiction, novels, picture books, poetry, readBC, young adult literature | Leave a comment

The Reading Lights are on!


Written by Vi Hughes

Reading Lights, CWILL’s collaborative project with the Vancouver Public Library was officially launched on Family Literacy Day, Wednesday, January 27, with many of the participating authors and illustrators in attendance.

Excerpts from stories and poems by BC writers and illustrators are sprinkled throughout the city for children and their families to discover. Imagine—a walk and an unexpected encounter with children’s literature on a lamp post on the street!

Of course, you don’t have to wait for a chance encounter. You can check out the official website for the project to find out where your favorite author or illustrator is featured.

Each excerpt looks just like the real thing—a page from a book. They are printed on metal plaques, 7 inches by 24 inches, and permanently fixed onto posts near schools, parks, playgrounds, or libraries. Yes, the ‘pages’ are big—but what they give is even bigger: the gift of reading and books. The information on each plaque links the reader to the library to see the whole book, the titles of other books and information about the author and illustrator. You can even borrow the book on the spot!

These books celebrate the creative talent of our amazing CWILL authors and illustrators. It was challenging for the committee to select only 20 from the nearly 100 that were submitted.

They also celebrate the diversity of the people in our city and province. There is a book for everyone in this group of twenty: for the child who loves crocodiles and dinosaurs and dragons, the child who wonders about the world, the adventurer, the hero, the nation builder, the animal lover, the dreamer, the rhymer . . . and the baby in a mother’s arms.

For many of the very young children living in our city, this is might be their first encounter with the world of books. What a beautiful gift we have given them!

A full list of the participating authors and illustrations can be found on VPL’s website.

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Exploring the Hero’s Gallery

Between the Cracks of Here and There

Last year, I spent a day a week from November to December working with a class at Lord Tweedsmuir Elementary to help the kids contemplate, design, and illustrate heroes, setting them up for a project to write a story starring those characters.

I returned to the school last week to see the “Hero Gallery” that was put on display throughout the school. Each display consisted of a poster board that showed the process of creation and some of the different elements that went into creating the characters. I loved the fact that the project celebrated the process—not just the polished, finished work, but the messy sketches and brainstorming. In addition, it was great to see the swatch of a hero’s cape or the key that a brazen character might use to unlock the door to adventure.

It was so much fun to see the kids, who all leapt from their seats and…

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CWILL presents: Outstanding Innovative Works in Children’s Literature

What makes an innovative children’s book?

It’s an interesting question and one that CWILL authors and illustrators discussed at their seasonal meeting at Christianne’s Lyceum in Vancouver.

Each member brought in books that they felt have helped spark new fires in the field of children’s literature. Works ranged from picture books with three words (Moo!) to picture books with no pictures (The Book With No Pictures). We also discussed books that had interactive elements, some with links to multimedia on the web (Walking Home) and others with low-tech (but decidedly just as cool) elements such as illustrations that have a hidden glow-in-the-dark element once the lights go out (Nocturne). Some books presented were innovative in their storytelling. Some were older and now considered classics, and some were hot off the press.

Having the meeting at the Lyceum was a bonus, as it meant we had access to all sorts of books in the facility’s library—more than once our host, Christianne, came dashing up the stairs with a book that someone had referenced.

It was a fantastic night and fuelled much discussion—most of it, I’m pleased to say, wasn’t too heated.

A complete list of the innovative books chosen by CWILL authors and illustrators is presented below (in no particular order):

Bailey, Linda. When Santa Was a Baby. Illustrated by Genevieve Godbout. Tundra, 2015.

DiCamillo, Kate. Flora and Ulysses. Illustrated by K. G. Campbell. Candlewick, 2013.

Dotlich, Rebecca Kai. One Day, The End: Short, Very Short, Shorter-than-ever Stories. Boyd’s Mill, 2015.

Gaiman, Neil. Fortunately, the Milk. Illustrated by Scott Young (and, in Britain, by Chris Riddell). Harper Collins,  2013.

Isol. Nocturne: Dream Recipes. Groundwood, 2012.

Klassen, Jon. This is Not My Hat. Candlewicj, 2012.

Koudray, Philippe. Benjamin Bear in Bright Ideas. Toon Books, 2013.

La Rochelle, David. Moo! illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka. Walker Books, 2013.

Levitt, Joseph Gordon (& Hit Record). The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories. Dey Street Books, 2011.

Novak, B. J. The Book with No Pictures. Dial, 2014.

Paleja, Shaker. Power Up!: A Visual Exploration of Energy. Illustrated by Glenda Tse. Annick, 2015.

Pichon, Liz. Tom Gates: Everything’s Amazing (Sort Of). Scholastic, 2012.

Raschka, Chris. Charlie Parker Played Be Bop. Scholastic, 2004 (orig. published 1992).

Selznick, Brian. The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Scholastic, 20017.

Walters, Eric. Walking Home. Doubleday, Canada, 2014.

Flett, Julie. We All Count. Garfinkel, Canada, 2014.


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