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Jessica Scott Kerrin

Jessica Scott Kerrin

Photo: Krista Comeau

Jessica Scott Kerrin is a children’s writer who is best known for her fiction books for young readers including mystery books, a trilogy, historical fiction, and travel adventure. Her work has been published in multiple languages: Russian, Turkish, Slovenian, Swedish and French. Literary critics from Horn Book, Kirkus Starred Reviews, School Library Journal, the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail claim that she adds much-needed male protagonists to early chapter-book readers. Jessica supports new writers by delivering tailored presentations about writing at conferences and workshops and literary festivals as well as school presentations.  Jessica also freelances for travel magazines about her family’s outdoor sailing adventures aboard their boat, Cape Fear.

Jessica grew up on the Canadian Prairies, and although she enjoyed school, she had a terrible secret. She was a lousy speller. This made it tough because she really liked to write. It turns out that a lot of writers can’t spell, and Jessica figured this out when she got her first award for creative writing, back in grade three. On the trophy, her writing teacher had misspelled her name! Since then, Jessica tries, as much as she can, to write about experiences she finds funny, like that one.

Today, she lives with her family and their dog Ivy in downtown Halifax in a house that is close to 150 years old. The floors slope, and all of Ivy's rubber balls end up in one corner.

City:
Halifax
Province:
Nova Scotia
Genre:
Children's books: middle readers, chapter books, picture books
I write professionally in the following language(s):
English

Publications

Clear Skies. 2019, Groundwood Books
The Better Tree Fort. 2018, Groundwood Books
The Things Owen Wrote. 2017, Groundwood Books
The Missing Dog is Spotted. 2015, Groundwood Books
The Spotted Dog last Seen. 2013, Groundwood Books
The Lobster Chronicles: Spit Feathers. 2013, Kids Can Press
The Lobster Chronicles: A Narrow Escape. 2013, Kids Can Press
The Lobster Chronicles: Lower the Trap. 2012, Kids Can Press
Martin Bridge: Onwards and Upwards!. 2009, Kids Can Press
Martin Bridge: The Sky's The Limit!. 2008, Kids Can Press
Martin Bridge: In High Gear!. 2008, Kids Can Press
Martin Bridge: Out of Orbit!. 2007, Kids Can Press
Martin Bridge: Sound the Alarm!. 2007, Kids Can Press
Martin Bridge: Blazing Ahead!. 2006, Kids Can Press
Martin Bridge: On the Lookout!. 2005, Kids Can Press
Martin Bridge: Ready for Takeoff!. 2005, Kids Can Press

Awards

Nominated for the Blue Spruce Award for The Better Tree Fort, 2019
Shortlisted for the Rocky Mountain Book Award for The Spotted Dog Last Seen, 2015
Shortlisted for the Manitoba Young Readers Award for The Spotted Dog Last Seen, 2015
Shortlisted for the John Spray Mystery Award for The Spotted Dog Last Seen, 2014
Shortlisted for the Best Children's Book Award, Canadian Library Association for The Spotted Dog Last Seen, 2014
Top 100 Books for 2013, New York Public Library for The Spotted Dog Last Seen, 2013
Eligible for National Public Readings Program:
Yes

WITS

Are you available for public presentations and/or workshops:
Yes
Presentation Description

My jam-packed presentation to young writers is a behind-the-scenes look at the everyday experiences that I write stories about. I include props, audience participation, and video clips sure to keep students engaged and glued to their seats. I have three presentations from my latest books to choose from.

For grades K-3: SENSES. My new picture book, The Better Tree Fort, features a father/son relationship. I also share an interest in birding with the characters in this story. I will include a fun mini-lesson about local bird songs during my presentation that encourages young writers to use all their senses.

For grades 4-6: DETAILS. My new novel, Clear Skies, is a historic novel that depicts the 1960s space race to the Moon while exploring the theme of mental health. I will also use this story to demonstrate the importance of including accurate facts and engaging details for better fiction.

For grades 4-6: STORY IDEAS. My travel adventure novel, The Things Owen Wrote, explores the relationship between a boy and his ailing grandfather who is dealing with loss. I feature this novel in my presentation to demonstrate where I get my story ideas.

Presentation Length:
45 minutes to 1 hour
Grades:
Grades P-6
Audience Size:
Unlimited
Presenation:
In person: $350 for one session, $675 for two, $975 for three, $1275 for four. Virtual presentations: $300 each
Workshop Description:

I support new writers by delivering virtual and in person workshops to adults, teens and children. I am also pleased to tailor these workshops or teach as part of a writing camp. Previous topics include

  • Creating characters for young and very young readers
  • Cultivating story ideas
  • Details and exploding the moment
  • How to write a series
  • Understanding types of conflict
  • Engaging reluctant readers and writers
  • What to do with abandoned first drafts
  • Writing habits, time management and you
  • Creating your literary archive
Workshop Length:
1-3 hours
Workshop Intended Audience:
children, teens and adults
Workshop Audience Size:
25
Workshop Fee:
$350 per hour
Are you available for school visits?:
Yes
School Presentation Description:

My jam-packed presentation to young writers is a behind-the-scenes look at the everyday experiences that I write stories about. I include props, audience participation, and video clips sure to keep students engaged and glued to their seats. I have three presentations from my latest books to choose from.

For grades K-3: SENSES. My new picture book, The Better Tree Fort, features a father/son relationship. I also share an interest in birding with the characters in this story. I will include a fun mini-lesson about local bird songs during my presentation that encourages young writers to use all their senses.

For grades 4-6: DETAILS. My new novel, Clear Skies, is a historic novel that depicts the 1960s space race to the Moon while exploring the theme of mental health. I will also use this story to demonstrate the importance of including accurate facts and engaging details for better fiction.

For grades 4-6: STORY IDEAS. My travel adventure novel, The Things Owen Wrote, explores the relationship between a boy and his ailing grandfather who is dealing with loss. I feature this novel in my presentation to demonstrate where I get my story ideas.

School Presentation Length:
45 minutes to 1 hour
School Intended Audience:
grades P-6
School Audience Size:
Unlimited
School Presentation Fee:
In person: $350 for one session, $675 for two, $975 for three, $1275 for four. Virtual presentations: $300 each
Interested in participating in the Union’s Ontario Writers-in-the-Schools program:
Yes
Interested in participating in the Northern Ontario WITS program:
Yes