Stephanie Simpson McLellan
Stephanie's first picture book, The Chicken Cat (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2000), won both The Mr. Christie Award and The Ruth Schwartz Award and was a finalist for two others. Leon’s Song (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2004) was a finalist for both The Blue Spruce and Chocolate Lily picture books awards. Hoogie in the Middle (Pajama Press, Spring 2013), a finalist for the Crystal Kite Award, and noted as a Canadian Children's Book Centre and Resource Links Best Book, was followed up by a companion book, Tweezle into Everything in Fall 2013. Stephanie's newest picture book, The Christmas Wind, will be released in August 2017 by Red Deer Press.
In 1995, Stephanie began a mail order children’s book company, NeverendingStories.com. She's written several scripts for the Gemini nominated children’s television series Roll Play, volunteered as a writer/mentor for The Neighbourhood Diaries project in 2009, and wrote the children’s book reviews (and other columns) for Today’s Parent Magazine for 12 years. In January 2012 she had the privilege of interviewing Maurice Sendak for this magazine before he passed away in May.
Throughout 2015-2017, Stephanie conducted a unique literacy experiment with students from every province and territory of Canada. This project had students from JK-Grade 6 listening to a story (her forthcoming book, The Christmas Wind) in a format akin to an old, serialized radio show. Each week, for 8 weeks, an audio portion of a story was uploaded to their class webpages and they were asked to illustrate what they imagined. Because the book they drew pictures of is not yet on the shelves, the students had a clean, uninfluenced slate to start from. Fuelled by a desktop computer in Newmarket, Ontario, this project brought students back in time to when things were un-googleable, and wonder and wait weren’t foreign words. The project was profiled extensively in newspapers and on radio across the country, and was a Top 10 Idea in the 2016 CST Inspired Minds Learning Project Contest, winning $1,500.00 for The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Learn more at: www.ChristmasWindStoryProject.com
Besides being a member of The Writers’ Union, Stephanie is a member of The Canadian Children’s Book Centre, CANSCAIP, PEN Canada and SCBWI. Her BA in English Literature is from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and her MBA from the University of Toronto. Stephanie currently lives in Newmarket, Ontario with her husband, two daughters and one son.
In her school presentations, Stephanie encourages children to look for and understand their own creativity by sharing the stories behind her stories, how these stories/ideas turn into books, and what it’s like to write for a living. Visit Stephanie’s website at www.StephanieMcLellan.com