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Jean Mills

Photo: Trina Koster 2017

Jean Mills is the author of the YA novels Larkin on the Shore (Red Deer Press, October 2019), Skating Over Thin Ice (Red Deer Press, May 2018), The Toymaker's Son (Pugwash Publishers, 2007), Abby and the Curling Chicks (Pugwash Publishers, 2003), as well as Wild Dog Summer and The Legacy (Nelson Canada, 1991, 1993). She's also written three books for younger ESL readers (Caramel Tree) as well as short stories for younger readers.

Jean's essays, features, short stories and reviews have appeared in various publications across Canada, including The Globe and Mail, Quill & Quire, Canadian Geographic and Kayak: Canada’s History Magazine for Kids. She's a freelance writer and editor, with clients that cover a wide spectrum, including textbook publishers and national sports organizations.

Jean also has a teaching résumé: she developed and taught writing and communications courses at three Ontario community colleges for 15 years. She also taught Middle School Language Arts for one year at St. John's-Kilmarnock School, and she used that classroom experience in her position as Writer-In-Residence at both SJK and Hillfield-Strathallan College, and as a writing workshop presenter at the prestigious Eden Mills Writers Festival.

Website: Jean Mills, Writer

Twitter: @jeanmillswriter



Phone number:
c/o Writers' Union of Canada


Larkin on the Shore. Red Deer Press, 2019
Skating Over Thin Ice. Red Deer Press, 2018
The Toymaker's Son. Pugwash Publishers, 2009
Abby and the Curling Chicks. Pugwash Publishers, 2003
The Legacy. Nelson Canada, 1991
Wild Dog Summer. Nelson Canada, 1990
The Ugly Duckling. Caramel Tree Readers, 2012
Joey and the Firehall Ghost. Caramel Tree Readers, 2012
Andrew and the Babysitter. Caramel Tree Readers, 2012


Red Maple Award nomination/OLA Forest of Reading for Skating Over Thin Ice (Red Deer Press), 2019
USBBY Outstanding International Books List for Skating Over Thin Ice, 2019
Professional Writers Association of Canada Barbara Novak Award for Memoir/Humour Writing for "The roots of her story", 2009
Eligible for National Public Readings Program :


Presentation Description

The presentation varies, depending on the audience. The workshop/presentation could be an interactive, hands-on exploration of writing activities, or it could be tied to the reading and understanding of my Red Maple-nominated YA novel, "Skating Over Thin Ice" - whatever works best for the students involved. With my background in both teaching and writing, I can adapt the content and approach to any audience. Consultation with teacher is helpful.

Presentation Length:
1.5 hours (maximum)
Workshops/Presentations - Stretch The Writing Muscles; Real Life Is Everywhere in "Skating Over Thin Ice"
Audience size:
25 (maximum)
Workshop Description:

Learning to write stories - true or made-up stories - is exactly the same process as learning to hit a tennis ball or play the piano: it requires practice and training. And it should be fun, too!

In this workshop, we'll have fun with words and sentences and paragraphs. With description and dialogue. With word choice and sentence structure. We'll stretch our writing muscles through exercises such as Short Story (all about picking the right word - the right SHORT word) and P.O.V. (I tell the story, then he tells the story, then you tell the story...). There also might be a little bit of Story-In-The-Round (a group effort with always-hilarious results). 

Using a variety of exercises, participants will engage in essential writing tasks, all of which stretch the "writing muscles" needed to be creative and tell stories. It's an informal, interactive and busy workshop with lots of sharing and feedback. (All grades)

-- OR --

My novel "Skating Over Thin Ice" uses lots of real-life material - music, hockey, settings, school, even well-known people. Let's explore some of these connections together and see how young writers can mine their own lives and experiences for creative purposes. (Grades 7-12)

Northern OAC WITS:
One session:
Two sessions:
Three sessions:
Four sessions:
One session:
Two sessions:
Three sessions:
Four sessions:
GST applicable