Member Profile

Amanda Lewis

Photo: Matt Miller 2008

AMANDA WEST LEWIS combines careers as a writer, theatre director, calligrapher, book artist and instructor. She has built a life filled with words on the page and on the stage.

Amanda’s most recent project is SEPTEMBER 17: A NOVEL, published by Red Deer Press (fall 2013). An historical novel for young people, the book follows real life events surrounding the tragic sinking of the SS City of Benares in September 1940. The ship was carrying 100 evacuee children en route to Canada, when it was torpedoed by a U-boat in the middle of the Atlantic. A true adventure told from the perspective of children, SEPTEMBER 17 is a story of bravery, survival, hope and the terrible cost of war.

Amanda’s previous books include: WRITING, A Fact and Fun Book; LETTERING; MAKING MEMORY BOOKS; THE JUMBO BOOK OF PAPER CRAFTS; and ROSIE BACKSTAGE (co-written with Tim Wynne-Jones). All were published by Kids Can Press.

In her theatre career, Amanda was the Executive Director of The Ottawa School of Speech and Drama. She has taught and directed children, youth and adults in theatres and schools throughout Ontario. She was the driving creative force behind a work of devised theatre that became THE CHILDREN’S REPUBLIC, a play by Hannah Moscovitch. She has developed specialized literacy programs for youth at risk and unique theatre pieces for children on the autism spectrum.

As a professional calligrapher and book artist, Amanda has exhibited her artwork in numerous group and solo shows. She was an active member of the Riverguild Fine Crafts and the Perth Autumn Studio Tour. Amanda has taught workshops in calligraphy and book arts for students in primary, elementary, secondary and post-secondary schools.

Amanda and her husband, writer Tim Wynne-Jones, recently returned from a “gap year for grown-ups” travelling in England and Europe. She wrote an extensive blog on their adventures. “Stepping Off the Treadmill” can be found at http://a-lewis.net

More information can be found on her web site: http://www.amandawestlewis.com

E-mail: c/o Writers' Union of Canada
Phone number:
c/o Writers' Union of Canada

Publications

September 17: A Novel. Red Deer Press, 2013
The Jumbo Book of Paper Crafts. Kids Can Press, 2002
Making Memory Books. Kids Can Press, 1999
Lettering. Kids Can Press, 1996
Rosie Backstage. Kids Can Press, 1994
Writing: A Fact and Fun Book. Kids Can Press, 1992

Awards

White Ravens, International Jugend Bibliotheck for Rosie Backstage, 1995
Nominated for the Children's Roundtable Award (Non-Fiction) for Writing: A Fact and Fun Book, 1992
Eligible for National Public Readings Program :
Yes

WITS

Presentation Description

STARTING FROM HERE: A PRESENTATION ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF LETTERFORMS

Words are a writer’s tools. Each has a unique look, sound and meaning. Writers need to constantly explore their relationship to words, to find new and thoughtful ways to express ideas, create characters, and build intriguing stories.

One way to explore our relationship to words is to start at the very beginning. Letters are the building blocks for written language. Yet once we learn our ABCs, we forget the essential magic that these shapes convey meaning. Just as a cook forms a strong bond with their ingredients when he or she knows where they are sourced, so to can a writer enjoy an animistic relationship to words by seeing how letterforms developed. In this presentation we'll trace through the origin of letterforms from pictograms and ideograms to Roman letters. You'll never take an A for granted again.

http://www.amandawestlewis.com

Presentation Length:
2 hours
Genre:
Fiction
Grades:
4- adult
Audience size:
30 - 300
Workshop Description:

WORDS TELL THE STORY: PLAYING WITH THE LOOK AND SOUND OF WORDS

Words are a writer’s tools. Each has a unique look, sound and meaning. Writers need to constantly explore their relationship to words, to find new and thoughtful ways to express ideas, create characters, and build intriguing stories.

This workshop is geared toward an exploration of words, with playful exercises for creating characters and plots. Exercises will focus on waking up creative impulses and recognizing the power and specificity of language to develop the writer’s voice. 

Drawing on my background in theatre, I include a series of warm up excercises that focus on non-writerly ways of tapping into intutive responses. In the spirit of play, we'll move onto exercises that connect words with sounds and graphic shapes; storybuilding, character creations and dialogue. 

The workshop is adaptable to youth and adult writers.

http://www.amandawestlewis.com

Northern OAC WITS:
Yes
One session:
$$300.00
Two sessions:
$$500.00
Three sessions:
$$700.00
Four sessions:
$$900.00
One session:
$$200.00
Two sessions:
$$300.00
Three sessions:
$$500.00
Four sessions:
$$700.00
GST:
GST applicable