New poetry picturebook by CWILL author Barbara Nickel

A Boy Asked the Wind launch invite CWILL poet Barbara Nickel is pleased to announce her new picturebook, A Boy Asked the Wind and to extend an invitation to the launch which will feature wind songs by the Community School Choir, the premiere of the animated book trailer by Rascal Media, and delicious refreshments from around the world.

3 pm, Sunday, November 1, 2015
Yarrow Community School, Multipurpose Room
4595 Wilson Road, Yarrow, BC

“This spectacular picture book written in subtly linked, beautifully composed four-line stanzas, evokes winds around the world, including those in the Canadian west, off the coast of Central America, Capetown, and the Middle East.  The beautiful pictures by Toronto-based watercolour artist Gillian Newland are muscular, organic, powerful evocations of the power of those winds.” Red Deer Press

Along with a number of our other talented members, Barbara is presenting at the Vancouver Writers Fest on Tuesday, October 20  and at a sold-out event with Melanie Watt and JonArno Lawson Wednesday October 21.

Be sure to check the CWILL website for information about booking Barbara for school and library presentations.

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Science Literacy Week Book Fair and First Book Canada at WORD Vancouver

At the Vancouver Aquarium’s inaugural Science Literacy Week Book Fair on Saturday, September 26, three CWILL authors, Karen Autio, Maggie De Vries, and Alex Van Tol gave presentations.

Book Fair Presentation Schedule

Here are only a portion of the 50 science- and ocean-themed books that were part of the Book Fair.

Book Fair books

With it also being Sea Otter Awareness Week, it was the perfect time and location for Karen Autio to launch her new illustrated chapter book KAH-LAN THE ADVENTUROUS SEA OTTER.

Van Aqua book launch table

Karen reading from KAH-LAN.

Reading Kah-Lan

Jonathan Hultquist, Manager of Public Programs at the Aquarium, facilitating the Q&A after Karen’s presentation.

Q&A after presentation

Maggie De Vries presenting her TALE OF A GREAT WHITE FISH: A STURGEON STORY.

Maggie presents


Alex presents

On Sunday, September 27, First Book Canada invited four CWILL authors to sign giveaway copies of their books at WORD Vancouver at Library Square.

First Book Canada author schedule

At the First Book Canada booth, Karen Autio ready to sign copies of KAH-LAN for kids. Big thanks to Sono Nis Press for donating the books!

ready to sign at WORD

What fun being able to give books to truly excited parents and young readers who couldn’t wait to start reading. Thanks for the opportunity, First Book Canada!

signing at First Book Canada

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A week of culture and literacy

This past week, a bevy of CWILL BC authors took to the stage to perform at venues around the lower mainland.

On Friday, September 25th, Lori Sherritt-Fleming and Silvana Goldemberg led a fantastic workshop—Writing with Writers—to celebrate Canada Culture Days at the Brighouse branch of the Richmond Public Library. Lori and Silvana led an interactive, hands-on workshop that featured word games with rhymes and puns that inspired attendees in the creative process.

canadaculturedays2015_silvanagoldemberg&lorisherrittfleming canadaculturedays2015_lorisherrittfleming

Later that evening, several CWILLers participated in “Adventure Awaits!” at Christianne’s Lyceumn as part of the Word Vancouver festivities.


Tiffany Stone did a reading and drawing activity connected to her new picture book, Teatime, and—most magically—shrunk down to fit into a teacup. Not a believer? Here’s the photographic evidence:


Afterwards, Kathy Beliveau, author of the Yoga Game, read from her book and led kids in a dynamic session of yoga.


Finally, author and illustrator Lee Edward Födi read a scene from his latest book, Kendra Kandlestar and the Search for Arazeen, and then did a short presentation to show the audience the source of the scene’s inspiration: exotic markets from around the world.


It was a packed house—and no wonder! After all of the performances, the young attendees got to embark on a treasure hunt in the fairy garden! (And how awesome is it to get to read at a venue that has a fairy garden?)


On Sunday, a whole slate of CWILL authors participated at the Word Vancouver festivities at the downtown branch of the library, starting with two writing panels.

Panel #1, “Getting Started and Staying Motivated as a Published Children’s Book Author,” featured authors Aleesah Darlison (a guest of CWILL BC, visiting from Australia), Janet M. Whyte, D.R. Graham, Lori Sherritt-Fleming, and Mark David Smith.


Panel #2, “The Creative Process . . . Tips and Techniques for Mapping Out Stories,” featured authors Lee Edward Födi, Tiffany Stone, Lois Peterson, and Melanie Jackson.


Both panels had standing room only! Attendees not only got to hear from each of the authors speak about a particular area of expertise, but came away with a stack of handouts.

Later in the afternoon, illustrator Kathryn Shoemaker hosted the Kids’ Words tent, where many CWILL authors performed, including . . .

Tiffany Stone (Tea Time) . . .    wots2015_reading_tiffanystone

Kallie George (Clover’s Luck) . . .


Robert Heidbreder (Song for a Summer Night) . . .


Jeremy Tankard (Melvis and Elvis) . . .


Melanie Jackson (Eyesore) . . .


and Brandee Bublé (Jayde Jaybird), shown here with Kathryn Shoemaker.


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Sea Otter Dreams Come True

With my upcoming launch of Kah-Lan the Adventurous Sea Otter at the Vancouver Aquarium on September 26, I was invited to write a guest blog post on their Aquablog. Kah-Lan had its start at the Aquarium in 1985. Read on to learn about the story that wouldn’t let go of me … blog post image

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Kah-Lan, the Adventurous Sea Otter Book Launches

Come celebrate
Sea Otter Awareness Week, Science Literacy Week, and the launch of children’s author Karen Autio’s new book!

Kah-Lan, the Adventurous Sea Otter

Kah-Lan final cover small

The heroic travels of two dynamic and realistic sea otter characters are a wonderful introduction to sea otters, and to the human activities that threaten them. Warm and appealing illustrations by Sheena Lott and a triumphant ending will inspire readers to learn more about these remarkable animals, helped by the factual notes and resources provided by author Karen Autio, who has loved sea otters from first sight.

Illustrated by Sheena Lott

Published by Sono Nis Press   ISBN 978-1-55039-244-9

For Ages 7-12

Saturday, September 26, 2015

10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Vancouver Aquarium

845 Avison Way

Vancouver, BC


Saturday, October 3, 2015

2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Kelowna Branch of the Okanagan Regional Library

1380 Ellis Street

Kelowna, BC

Both events include a reading, Q&A, and a book signing

For more information, please visit

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Children’s science writer Shar Levine gets U of A Honour Award

shar-levine-webCWILL author, Shar Levine, will receive an Alumni Honour Award for her contributions to children’s literature and science education. This accomplished CWILL author, a ’74 BA, is an award-winning writer and designer of science books for children. Her commitment to encouraging science literacy and her ability to make science fun for kids is evident in the more than 60 titles that bear her name and that of her writing partner, Leslie Johnstone. Levine owned a toy store in Vancouver called Einstein’s the Science Center, and there she taught hands-on science to kids. She also spent time as a columnist and TV consumer expert until 2006, when her children’s books became her main focus. Often described by friends and colleagues as a woman with infectious energy and creativity, Levine also connects with people through public appearances and her website, She currently sits on local and national literary and literacy boards. She cocreated Celebrate Science, the first Canadian science writer’s festival. Her ability to share her passion for science education and engage students in everything from the biochemistry of fermentation to the science of sensory perception makes her books a favourite on the shelves of public libraries and kids’ cubbies.

The University of Alberta Alumni Association event will celebrate this outstanding alumna’s accomplishments and those of 27 other award recipients at the 2015 Alumni Awards.

Free ceremony with reception to follow
7 pm, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015
Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium (11455 87 Ave), Edmonton, Alberta.

More info and tickets

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