Oy Vey! Deadline approaching for funniest book award

The deadline for entries for the second bi-annual Joan Betty Stuchner — Oy Vey! — Funniest Children’ sBook Award is October 24, 2018 (AKA International BolognaDay). There are TWO prizes now!


Please see below for details . . .

Joan Betty Stuchner, beloved children’s author and teacher, passed away unexpectedly in 2014. Joan was many things — brave, gracious, warm, generous, kind and absolutely hilarious to boot.  (“Oy vey!” she’s probably saying now…) With this pair of awards, we honour Joan’s life-affirming humour and encourage other children’s writers to laugh it up on the page the way she did.

The $752.81 x 2 Joan Betty Stuchner — Oy Vey! —Funniest Children’s Book Award will be presented biannually to a Canadian author or illustrator of the work of juvenile writing that had the jury most buckled over with guffaws, incapacitated with giggles, and/or rib-ticklingly, side-splittingly, thigh-slappingly entertained in these two categories:

1. A board or picture book

2. A book with lots more words than pictures


Eligible works:

•   board books
•   picture books
•   chapter books
•   graphic novels
•   juvenile fiction and non-fiction (suitable for readers up to grade 7)
•   created by Canadian authors and/or illustrators permanently residing in Canada
•   published between 1 January 2017 and 31 December 2018
•   written in English

Ineligible works

•   young adult fiction
•   self-published titles

Submission requirements:

Please send 3 copies of the work along with acompleted application form to:

The Joan Betty Stuchner OyVey Funniest Children’s BookAward
6637 Emerson Street, Burnaby BC V5E 1W5

Please include a $25 submission fee per title by PayPal or a cheque payable to “JBS Oy Vey Award.”

Submission deadline:

International Bologna Day: 24 October, 2018

The second Joan Betty Stuchner OyVey Funniest Children’s Book Awards will be presented at a special ceremony in Spring 2019.

Posted on behalf of The Joan Betty Stuchner — Oy Vey! — Funniest Children’s Book Award Committee (Caroline Adderson, Kathryn Shoemaker, Ellen Schwartz, Cindy Heinrichs)

Posted in awards, latest news | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kidsbooks’ Launch – September 20th, 2018

Please come help us celebrate the following lovely new books!

Thursday, September 20, 2018 | 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Kidsbooks | 2557 West Broadway | Vancouver

Goodnight, Anne & Anne Arrives, by Kallie George (an early reader and a goodnight book for fans of Anne of Green Gables—and who isn’t?)

Mary, Who Wrote Frankenstein, by Linda Bailey (a picture book biography of Mary Shelley and the creation of Frankenstein)

Hedgehog, by Ashlyn Anstee (a humorous political allegory about sharing!)

There will be readings, refreshments and literary conversations and wonderful new fall books everywhere you look!

If you can come, please register at the following site to help Kidsbooks with numbers: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/linda-bailey-ashlyn-anstee-kallie-george-picture-book-launch-tickets-49173946598

— Linda Bailey & CWILL BC

Posted in book launches, CWILL BC news & events, literary events, new publications, picture books | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Crwth Press Launch

Crwth Launch

Growing Up in Wild Horse Canyon by Karen Autio, illustrated by Loraine Kemp

Isobel’s Stanley Cup by Kristin Butcher

For more information, click Crwth Press Launch Party

Posted in art, book launches, books/writing, illustration, juvenile fiction, literary events, new publications, non-fiction, novels, performance, picture books, presentations, publishers | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Graphic novel about the rescue of Jewish children wins award

Kathryn Shoemaker and Irene N. Watts have won a second award for their graphic novel Seeking Refuge, published by Tradewind Books.

The book has won in the category of “Children & Youth” for the Jonathan & Heather Berkowitz Prize.


​Seeking Refuge captures Irene Watts’ experiences when she was sent to England from Germany on the Kindertransport at the age of seven. This was a military operation that saved almost 10,000 Jewish children during WWII. ​

IRENE N. WATTS has written poems, plays, novels and non-fiction books. As a member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada, she wrote and directed plays for young audiences to be performed at schools.

KATHRYN E. SHOEMAKER is the illustrator of more than 40 books for children. She has broad experience as an art teacher, curriculum specialist, filmmaker, fund raiser and event designer. She teaches children’s literature at UBC.

The Western Canada Jewish Book Awards are part of the Cherie Smith JCC Jewish Book Festival in Vancouver. This initiative is designed to celebrate excellence in writing on Jewish themes / subjects and showcase the achievements of authors who reside west of the Ontario/Manitoba border, including the Northern regions. The Awards aim to recognize these writers’ contribution to Jewish culture by. For the 2018 awards, books published in 2016 and 2017 were accepted.


The Cherie Smith JCC Jewish Book Festival is one of Vancouver’s leading cultural and literary events, attracting a large and varied audience of over 5,000 people of all ages. This highly popular community-wide event brings together prominent and emerging Jewish writers and non-Jewish writers with Jewish interest subject matter in literature, the arts, philosophy, theology, history and current events over 5-6 days in November, which is Jewish Book Month. In 2018, the 34th annual Cherie Smith JCC Jewish Book Festival will take place between Nov 24th-29th.

Posted in awards, books/writing | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tiffany Stone Book Launch – April 20th, 2018

Please join Tiffany Stone as she celebrates the launch of her brand-new picture book, Tree Song, published by Annick Press!

When: Friday, April 20th, 2018, 7-9 pm
Where: Christianne’s Lyceum of Literature and Art
3696 West 8th Avenue (at Alma) in Vancouver


Listen to the music of the trees.

This joyful book follows the life cycle of a tree as it grows from seedling to mature tree, and finally gives way to a new sapling. At every stage of the tree’s life, children are seen playing under its branches.

Tiffany Stone

Posted in activities for kids, book launches, CWILL BC news & events, latest news, literary events, new publications, picture books | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Silvana Goldemberg: Playing with Words, by Pam Withers

Growing up in Villaguay, Argentina, Silvana Goldemberg was surrounded by reading, writing, love and humour. Not only did her grandfather tell fun stories and her mother read books to the gathered family, but late into the night, Silvana could hear the clack-clack of her mother’s typewriter creating children’s books.

All that changed in 1994 when a Buenos Aires Iranian bomb took the life of Silvana’s brother-in-law, leaving his three children, including a three-month-old, fatherless. Murders and robberies grew rife, and remain prevalent to this day, she says.

So, Silvana and her husband began to research safer countries for bringing up their two daughters. They felt fortunate when they were able to move to Vancouver and gain Canadian citizenship by 2003.

Long before then, Silvana had become a kindergarten teacher, and used to write stories for her young students. She never imagined trying to publish any until her mother dared to “borrow” one, rework it and submit it to a contest in Ecuador with a double byline: her own and her daughter’s. Thrilled when it won, Silvana began writing and submitting children’s stories on her own, soon publishing them in Argentina, Peru and Cuba.

Her first Canadian stories were a collaboration between her and the late Max Tell, a fellow CWILL-BC member. It became a self-published audiobook in English and Spanish. Her 2013 Tradewind young-adult book Victoria was a finalist for the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature BC Book Prize. Its focus on Argentinian street kids offered Canadian children a wider perspective.

To date, Silvana has published more than 20 books, some in English and some in Spanish, including novels, short stories, poems, word games, nonfiction, plays and scripts. She also teaches Spanish and creative writing, babysits, works in a pizza place (her favorite pizzas have anchovies), and runs the Spanish Book Fair (coming up for its third year) in collaboration with the Vancouver Public Library.








Of these, teaching Spanish is one of her favorite activities because she feels passionate that immigrant parents should help their children start life bilingual. “It’s easier when they’re younger than when they’re older, and it helps them keep the culture and stay in communication with their family and friends, especially grandparents abroad. Also, we’re living in a small world and we need more languages; it’s good for traveling, for knowing more people, for studying and for getting more job opportunities.”

She adds that while it was a challenge coming from a Spanish-speaking to English-speaking country, “Now I’m happy I have two languages to play with.”

As if those activities are not enough, Silvana also paddles canoes and kayaks, plays soccer and walks her three dogs daily. Meanwhile, both her university-age, bilingual daughters have taken up the family tradition. The oldest has won three awards for plays, and the second writes stand-up comedy.

“I write mostly with humour,” Silvana says. “I especially like rhymes. I grew up reading and playing with words. My husband and girls, we play with words. It’s the thing I like most. I also like real stories and short stories. My favorite authors in English are Ray Bradbury and John Steinbeck.”

As an activist, she works “to prevent things like what happened to my brother-in-law in Argentina, I do my best to help Canadian organizations that fight terrorism and antisemitism.”

She’s also currently working with a First Nations man, helping him write his life story in middle-grade, chapter-book form. She has no favorite book, genre or age group. “I like them all, as long as they are well written.”

Another work-in-progress: “my first non-fiction book in Spanish with tips and exercises for new writers ages 7 to 120.”

A long-time member of CWILL-BC, she appreciates the workshops, socializing and opportunities for asking advice.

But she’s lucky to still have her mother for advice as well. They speak by phone several times weekly. And today, at 83, Susana Goldemberg continues to publish children’s stories, even with more than dozens of books to her name and more than 100 awards.

Like her first role model, Silvana writes whenever, wherever she can – in the kitchen while family members are slow to drag themselves to the supper table, or on her tablet when kept waiting at the doctor’s office.

She’s surrounded by reading, writing, love and humour. She’s busy, happy and proud to be Canadian. Meanwhile Canada, and especially CWILL-BC, is proud to have her.

Pam Withers has written 17 YA adventure novels.




Posted in books/writing, CWILL BC news & events, latest news, new publications, picture books, young adult literature | Tagged | Leave a comment