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Jocelyn Shipley


Jocelyn Shipley was born in London, Ontario. She graduated from York University with a degree in psychology and has attended the Humber school for Writers. She writers for both the YA and Adult markets. She lives in Toronto and on Vancouver Island.

Phone number:
c/o Writers' Union of Canada


Impossible. Orca Books, 2018
How to Tend a Grave. Great Plains Teen Fiction / Great Plains Publications, 2012
Shatterproof. Orca, 2016
Cleavage: Breakaway Fiction for Real Girls (co-editor). Sumach Press, 2008
Seraphina's Circle. Sumach Press, 2005
Cross My Heart. Sumach Press, 2004
Getting a Life. Sumach Press, 2002
Finding Home, writing as Elizabeth Sage. Five Star , 2002


Surrey Internation Writers' Conference Writing for Young People Award, 2011
Nominated for the Stellar Award for Seraphina's Circle, 2007/2008
Resource Links Best of 2006 for Seraphina's Circle, 2006
CCBC "Our Choice" Selection for Cross My Heart, 2005.
First Place (shared), Kingston Literary Awards, 2000.
Finalist, Writers' Union of Canada Short Prose Competition of Developing Writers, 1999.
Canadian Chidren's Book Centre "Our Choice" Selection for Getting a Life, 2003.
Finalist, CBC Literary Awards, 1992 and 2001.
Gold Medal Moonbeam Award for YA Fiction - Mature Issues for How To Tend a Grave, 2012
Eligible for National Public Readings Program :


Presentation Description

How to Write a Book (Grades 8 – 12)

Using the journey of her YA novel, How to Tend a Grave, Jocelyn will take students through the publishing process, from the initial idea to first draft to finished book. Topics covered include how to get started, develop characters and build a plot, create effective dialogue and scenes. The focus is on the importance of editing, revising and rewriting. Jocelyn will read from her work, share her writing process and answer questions. She will also discuss the rapidly changing world of traditional publishing, and other options such as indie publishing and ebooks.

Writing and Editing Short Fiction (Grades 8 – 12)

Jocelyn writes for adults as well as teens, and her award-winning stories have been published in anthologies, newspapers and magazines. This presentation is geared towards those who want to work toward submitting their work for publication. Jocelyn will talk about the elements that make up a good story: beginnings and endings, point of view, voice, character, dialogue and setting. Using her experience as co-editor of the story collection Cleavage: Breakaway Fiction for Real Girls, as a writing contest judge, and her own success in winning or being shortlisted in over fifteen story contests, Jocelyn will discuss how to edit and strengthen short fiction, how to get stories published, where teens can submit their work, and what grabs an editor’s attention.

Presentation Length:
1 hour
Audience size:
Northern OAC WITS:
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GST not applicable