Announcing the passing of James Heneghan

It’s with a sad and heavy heart that CWILL shares the news that writer James Heneghan died peacefully last Friday, April 23.

James was a long-time member of CWILL BC, and one of Canada’s foremost authors of historical and realistic fiction for young readers, winning many prizes including the Sheila Egoff Award for children’s literature three times, and was honoured to be the recipient of the Phoenix Award in 2017 for his novel, Wish Me Luck.

Norma Charles, who co-authored 2009’s Bank Job with James, describe him as a wise, witty, and humble man who was a joy and privilege to work with. To quote him, “I enjoy writing for children…but one thing I have discovered is that children are tough critics. They know what they like, and only your best will do.”

You can find out more information about James Heneghan in this article in Quill & Quire.

Our condolences to his family and friends.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Writing Kids’ Books: The Inside Story

Did you miss CWILL BC’s big event about breaking into the kidlit industry? Well, fret no further! The event, hosted with the Vancouver Public Library, is now available for viewing!

Just click HERE.

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

Announcing the 2021 shortlist for The Joan Betty Stuchner — Oy Vey— Funniest Children Book award

It’s April 1, but this is no joke!

The Joan Betty Stuchner — Oy Vey! — Funniest Children’s Book Award committee has a very serious announcement to make: our jury has finally stopped laughing long enough to tell us which books they have chosen for our shortlist!  Many funny books were entered for consideration, but these are the ones that had our jury the most buckled over with guffaws, incapacitated with giggles, and/or rib-ticklingly, side-splittingly, thigh-slappingly entertained.

The shortlisted books in the picture or board book category are:

Farm Crimes: Cracking the Case of the Missing Egg – written and illustrated by Sandra Dumais (Owlkids)

How to Give Your Cat a Bath in Five Easy Steps – written by Nicola Winstanley, illustrated by John Martz (Penguin Random House)

Aaalligator! – written by Judith Henderson, illustrated by Andrea Stegmaier (Kids Can Press)

Princess Puffybottom and Darryl – written by Susin Nielsen, illustrated by Olivia Mueller Chin (Penguin Random House)

Not Me – written and illustrated by Elise Gravel (Scholastic)

The shortlisted books in the chapter book category are:

The Unteachables – written by Gordon Korman (Scholastic)

Kiddo – written and illustrated by Cynthia Nugent (Tradewind Books)

Sophie Trophy – written by Eileen Holland, illustrated by Brooke Kerrigan (Crwth Press)

Mya’s Strategy to Save the World – written by Tanya Lloyd Kyi (Penguin Random House)

Sapphire the Great and the Meaning of Life – written by Beverley Brenna, illustrated by Tara Anderson (Pajama Press)


Congratulations to all who are short-listed and thanks to our wonderful judges for doing the difficult work of deciding between so many funny books:

Sharon Freeman

Alan Woo

Ellen Schwartz

Winners will be announced at our Zoom extravaganza on Chocolate Chip Cookie Day (May 15, 2021) at 11am PST. If you would like to join us, please email Cindy Heinrichs  to reserve your spot.

Posted in awards, CWILL BC news & events, juvenile fiction, latest news, literary events, picture books | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Join us at our Free Event — Writing and Illustrating Kids’ Books: The Inside Story

CWILL BC’s annual panel on becoming a children’s author / illustrator is coming up—and is free to attend.

When: Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Where: Hosted by the Vancouver Public Library via Zoom.

Who: Panelists include Karen AutioDarren GrothMelanie JacksonSara LeachSue Macartney and Lois Peterson. The panel will be moderated by Ellen Schwartz, author of 17 books for children, including picture books, chapter books, teen novels, and non-fiction.

Join us—professional children’s authors and illustrators—to find out how we broke into this exciting and competitive field and built our careers. 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, and what the financial rewards are.

For more information, including the link to access the event, visit the VPL website.

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

If you love BC creators, we’ve got you covered!

CWILL BC is pleased to announce our new and shiny newsletter, which will offer subscribers a round-up of all the latest publications being released by BC children’s authors and illustrators each season.

You can view our inaugural issue here, to learn about fall releases, and featuring artwork by our talented member, Russ Wilms.

And you can sign up for future issues here! We’ll be releasing our news round-ups two to three times a year.

Posted in new publications | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Kah-Lan and the Stink-Ink Virtual Book Events

“Karen Autio has that great gift, which is to write a gripping story with a streamlined, yet richly specific vocabulary. I so enjoyed the physicality of Kah-Lan’s swimming and diving and grooming. This story of a young sea otter is also full of dangerous moments, which is realistic, and this makes for a real page-turner… with end-of-chapter cliff-hangers kids love!.”
Caroline Woodward, lighthouse keeper and author of ten books for adults and children including A West Coast Summer and Light Years: Memoir of a Modern Lighthouse Keeper

The virtual launch of Karen Autio’s new chapter book Kah-Lan and the Stink-Ink will be hosted by the Vancouver Aquarium on Tuesday, September 22, 2020. Emma Pedersen (illustrator) and Lindsaye Akhurst (Manager, Marine Mammal Rescue Centre) will join Karen to present and answer questions. It’s free and child-friendly. And it’s Sea Otter Awareness Week and Science Literacy Week! Register here:

Sea Otter Talk

Emma and Karen will also be doing a virtual book talk “All About Otters” hosted by the Vancouver Maritime Museum on Thursday, September 24. It’s child-friendly and free but they need you to register so they can send you the link:

Their publisher Crwth Press is doing a giving campaign until Oct 15, donating 40% of website sales to a non-profit related to the content of each Crwth Press book. For the Kah-Lan book it’s the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre:

To see the rest of the Crwth Press books and organizations being supported:

Posted in activities for kids, art, book launches, books/writing, classroom activities, illustration, illustration process, juvenile fiction, new publications, novels, presentations, publishers, readings, school visits | Leave a comment