So you want to get published…

Here at CWILL, we get a lot of questions about getting published, which is one of the reasons we host an annual panel event with the Vancouver Public Library—we’ll give you the insider perspective! So don’t hesitate, sign up now to join six of our authors and illustrators for an online discussion on how they broke into this exciting and competitive field. 

When: March 14, 2023, 7:00pm-8:30pm
Where: Online event

Ask questions and get practical information on topics such 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
  • What the financial rewards are. 

Panelists include Darlene FosterSima Elizabeth ShefrinMark David SmithJane Whittingham, and Pam Withers. The panel will be moderated by Ellen Schwartz, author of seventeen books for children, from picture books to early chapter books to teen novels and non-fiction. 

Access this free panel via VPL’s event page.

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Help the Lyceum grow new roots

A Vancouver literary institution needs some support! 

A sudden, steep rental increase has threatened the existence of a well-loved centre for arts and literature. Christianne’s Lyceum of Literature and Art—like many Vancouver businesses in similar situations—considered closing.

The Lyceum needs to raise $60,000 to help stay in business and re-root itself in a new location. We know this is possible with the community’s help.

What will the funds be used for?

Your gift will be used for moving costs and to complete necessary renovations to the new space.

What is the Lyceum and why is it so special?

For almost two decades, thousands of children, families, and individuals have come to rely on Christianne’s Lyceum of Literature and Art as a hub of creation, learning, and possibility, as well as a place to feel at home away from home. The Lyceum embodies community-building in the truest sense.

Through creative programming that draws connections between literature and what’s going on in the outside world, the Lyceum encourages children to see themselves as readers, writers, and artists engaging with ideas and reflecting on their own place in society.

Many have come to know the Lyceum as a cozy living room, a specialized library, a well-equipped studio and a whimsical art gallery all wrapped up into one. It is here that literature is transformed into experience, and experience is transformed into literature through passionate discourse. Literature, in all its representations, is a powerful tool in creating socially conscious societies committed to non-binary ways of problem solving the complexities we face as a world.

Who attends the Lyceum?

The Lyceum is an inclusive centre that welcomes all learners regardless of any challenges they may face. A well-trained staff, backed with rich and varied resources, is ready for whomever steps through the door. Children (from ages 1 to young adult) engage in early childhood education, book clubs, programs for home learners, writers’ workshops and literature-based art camps.

The Lyceum also invites adults to participate in writers’ workshops, “meet the author” book clubs, open mic, parent education workshops and professional development workshops. Please see for more about these offerings.

The Lyceum appreciates every donation—thank you!

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CWILL BC 2022 Releases

Our members (and their publishers!) have been hard at work this year.

We’re proud to see over 50 titles (including a solid collection of sweet-and-spooky Halloween-ready books!) by BC authors and illustrators published across all juvenile age ranges and categories.

Looking to add more quality kidlit to your shelves?

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Book Launch — I Can, Too!

One of our members, Karen Autio, is launching her picture book I Can, Too! and its French translation Moi aussi, je peux! in person along with Loraine Kemp who is launching her middle grade novel Luna, her first book as both author and illustrator! 

They will be sharing their stories behind the books in the newly renovated children’s area in Kelowna’s Mission Branch Library. Once Upon a Bookstore will be handling book sales onsite.

Activities for Kids | Prizes | Readings Simultaneously Interpreted in ASL | Autographed Books for Sale

For more information, check out the event page on Facebook or visit the Library’s website.

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Fall Festivals & Conferences 2022

We’re having a busy fall here at CWILL BC! If you missed Word Vancouver Festival, not to worry, there are plenty more awesome events coming up:

Paper Covers Rock Festival, Saltspring Island

Join Jenn Wint for a free, drop-in children’s storytime on Saturday, October 1 from 10-10:30 am at Salty Pear Gallery.

Visit the festival website for the full lineup.

Decidedly Different, Completely Himself: the Legacy of Glenn Gould with Nancy Vo and Sarah Ellis: 10:15 am, Tuesday, October 18 at The NEST and online

World-famous classical musician Glenn Gould loved playing the piano, and gave concerts all over the world—but he grew to dislike them. The hall was too cold, or he didn’t feel well, or the audience made too much noise (he didn’t even like their applause!). He discovered that when he played and recorded music in an empty concert hall, he could make it sound exactly the way he wanted. He could do what he loved best, while being completely himself. You could say he was As Glenn as Can Be.

GGBooks-winning author Sarah Ellis and illustrator Nancy Vo share more about this child prodigy—and why listening to yourself, accepting your differences, and expressing how you feel is important for every child. Grades 1–3.

Storytime Goes Green with Tanya Lloyd Kyi and Kirsten Pendreigh: 1 pm, Tuesday, October 18 at The NEST and online

Join us for storytime for little ones that centres on appreciating our natural world and making small changes to our life to care for the flora and fauna around us. Celebrated children’s authors and friends, Tanya Lloyd Kyi and Kirsten Pendreigh, share their latest works in this light, nourishing event.

Kyi’s Our Green City has been described as a “must-read primer for change” (Kirkus Reviews), offering a child-friendly tour around an ideal sustainable city. Former NPR and CBC journalist Pendreigh introduces a sweet, leafy companion in Luna’s Green Pet. Here, a young girl, keen for a creature to care for, discovers a wilted plant she nurses back to health. Grades 1–3.

Can You Believe It? with Joyce Grant and Tanya Lloyd Kyi: 1 pm, Thursday, October 20 at Revue Stage and online

In a world of fake news, social media memes and algorithm-led gossip, how do you tell fact from fiction? Joyce Grant and Tanya Lloyd Kyi help students do just that in this timely, thought-provoking conversation.

Grant’s book, Can You Believe It?, is the go-to resource for navigating what kids read on the internet, including practical advice on how to spot fact from fiction, and to know who`—and what— to trust. Kyi’s Better Connected explores how kids can use social media to create positive change and practice good digital citizenship. Together, these two wise authors offer tips that will stand youth in good stead throughout their digital journeys. Grades 4–7.

Short Story Masters with Caroline Adderson, Jonathan Escoffery, Kim Fu and Alexander MacLeod: 5:30 pm, Thursday, October 20 at Revue Stage and online

Each of the collections shared by the authors in today’s event thrum with imagination, tension, and poignancy. Together, the three writers on stage today have bylines in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Granta, Maclean’s, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and Electric Literature. Together, they probe themes interwoven in their works— themes of survival, belonging, identity, and navigating modern day tribulations of the Anthropocene.

PEN/Hemingway Award finalist Kim Fu’s Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century is one of this year’s hottest titles. Jonathan Escoffery’s If I Survive You was described by Kirkus as “a sharp and inventive debut,” while story veteran and Giller-finalist Alexander MacLeod shares Animal Person: Stories, another exceptional work, described by the New York Times as “exquisite.” Moderated by Caroline Adderson.

Wry Humour for Modern Life with Caroline Adderson, Elif Batuman, Méira Cook and Claire Ross Dunn: 10 am, Friday, October 21 at Revue Stage and online

Sometimes it feels like it can’t get much worse. But, amidst the rubble and the ashes, redemption, possibility, and even a little humour can be found—at least, that’s certainly what these three novels suggest.

Pulitzer Prize-finalist Elif Batuman follows up The Idiot with Either/ Or. As the New York Times explains, “Batuman has a gift for making the universe seem, somehow, like the benevolent and witty literary seminar you wish it were.” Joining her is Claire Ross Dunn, who has been compared to Mark Haddon, Miriam Toews, and Sally Rooney. She shares a laugh-out-loud tale, At Last CountMéira Cook’s The Full Catastrophe explores how Charlie Minkoff—a thirteen-year-old with intersex traits—navigates the difficulty of his life with wit and tenderness. In strange times, don’t we all need the wisdom and humour these three writers offer? Moderated by Caroline Adderson.

BC Teacher-Librarians’ Association Fall Conference, New Westminster

CWILL BC Presents: 2022 BC Books + Intro to Collaborating with Local Authors with K.A. Wiggins: 1-2 pm Friday, October 21

Join us for a fun and fast-paced workshop on BC-created books for kids! Expect three segments of approximately 20 minutes each:

We’ll start with a brief overview of the power of (hyper-)local author engagement for young readers and highlight the free tools and resources offered by CWILL BC. This segment will include an introduction to working with local authors/illustrators, including best practices, inspiration, and funding sources.

Next up will be a multi-format presentation of recently released and upcoming BC books for ages pre-K to 18 by our members. We’ll highlight 2021-2022 releases by topic (eco/climate, social justice, emotional/social), genre (spooky middle grade, funny early readers, accessible contemporary!), and age/grade-level collections in a mix of live book-talks, recordings, and static formats.

Finally, a CWILL author or illustrator will lead each small group discussion around two questions: what books do your students need (or need more of)? and what would a relevant story look like in your home community? This segment wraps up with open questions and knowledge-sharing for the final 5-10 minutes.

(Also find us in the exhibitors’ hall with free bookmarks, select titles for sale, and epic giveaways you won’t want to miss!)

Writing Fiction for Young Readers with Mahtab Narsimhan: 10-11:15 am, Friday, October 21 at Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel

Age is not all that changes when you’re writing for young readers!

In this session we’ll discuss the varieties of books available for young readers with a focus on fiction. Mahtab will share techniques for writing picture books, chapter books, middle-grade, and young adult novels. We’ll do a deep dive into key elements of plot, character, conflicts, and the language acceptable for each age group so your books can make it past the gatekeepers and into the hands of your eager audiences.

Words From Battered Hearts with Shari Green: 11:45-1 pm, Saturday, October 22

Writing poetry to help express, explore, and honour grief and loss.

Loss is part of life, but in a society that’s often uncomfortable with grief, there are challenges and obstacles to expressing and processing its difficult emotions. How do we move beyond the roadblocks? As writers, it’s natural for us to turn to words as a way to explore, understand, and honour our losses – maybe even to heal our battered hearts. How do we begin? How can poetry help? How can we hope to capture new, foreign, and intense emotions when even words feel inadequate?

Using a simple approach to writing poetry, participants will learn to sift through the chaos of their thoughts and feelings to get to the heart of things. Workshop will include writing time. No experience with poetry needed.

Crafting Beautiful Prose with Darren Groth: 4:15-5:30 pm, Saturday, October 22

Want to make your words sing? Award-winning author Darren Groth can help turn your one-note prose into beautiful music. In this lively and interactive workshop, Groth will explore examples of elegant writing in both literary and commercial works, provide the three ‘A’s of beautiful prose, and offer practical exercises to shape your words with style.

Swimming Indie(p) Waters with Mahtab Narsimhan: 10-11:15 am, Sunday, October 23

A trad-pubbed author’s experience with indie-publishing. In this workshop, Mahtab Narsimhan will share how she published her first indie series and all the mistakes she made so that you can avoid them. She’ll share resources she found helpful (and there are a lot out there) as you learn how to be your own publisher and take control of your writing career.

A wise person said: Indie publishing is a marathon, not a sprint. Rapid release can lead to rapid chaos. Mahtab will show you how to pace yourself and what not to do when you jump into the deep end!

Caveat: This workshop is not for the faint-hearted. Bring courage, a sense of humour, and a bath towel.

Middle Grade with Heart with Shari Green: 10-11:15 am, Sunday, October 23

There are some books you just want to hug when you finish reading. These are books with heart, stories that cause all the feels and get shared (and hugged) until the covers are tattered. But what exactly is heart, and how do you create heart in your own manuscript? Workshop will include tips, techniques, examples from middle-grade novels, and brief writing exercises.

Working with Beta Reader Feedback with Darren Groth: 11:45-1 pm, Sunday, October 23

Putting your precious manuscript in the hands of beta readers can be a fraught exercise — how do you get the best feedback for yourself and your work? Award-winning author Darren Groth offers the two key considerations in choosing beta readers, outlines the importance of ‘emotional specificity’ in feedback discussions, and provides a practical guide for determining which feedback you should keep and which feedback you should discard.

Posted in activites for teens, activities for kids, books/writing, conferences, CWILL BC news & events, festivals, getting published, juvenile fiction, latest news, libraries & librarians, literary events, novels, picture books, presentations, readings, workshops, writing workshops, young adult literature | Leave a comment

Join us for free kid activities at Word Vancouver

CWILL BC is excited to be participating in the Word Vancouver festival. Many of our members are appearing in events or as part of panels—in addition, we are leading several kid-focused events on Saturday, September 24 at the Surrey City Centre Library.

10am-12 noon
Join award-winning author-illustrator Paola Opal for an adorably spooky craft for ages 3+.

12 noon-2pm
Picture book author Jane Wittingham is leading a fun, mixed-media craft celebrating her newest book THE LANGUAGE OF TREES. 

Join author Rhiannon Wallace for elementary-age drop-in activities.

Stick around for more FREE kids activities & programs at Word Vancouver Festival, Saturday, Sept. 24! Find out more at

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