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Kathy Stinson

Kathy Stinson

Photo: Trina Koster Photography

Kathy Stinson's first book, Red Is Best (1982), has been read by generations of children around the world. Her more than 30 titles since include fiction for children, teens, and adults, non-fiction, and books that combine both — like The Man with the Violin (2013), based on the Washington Post’s experiment that had virtuoso violinist Joshua Bell playing in a subway station where almost no one stopped to listen (but children wanted to). For that book, Kathy and illustrator Dusan Petricic shared the prestigious TD Children's Literature Award.

Kathy has enjoyed the privilege of meeting with her readers in every province and territory of Canada, taking part in an international exchange of Canadian and British children's authors, and working with Liberian writers through CODE to develop the first Liberian-authored books for Liberian children. She has worked as Writer in Residence in various Ontario communities and as a Writer In Electronic Residence for the Writers’ Development Trust. Kathy lives with her partner, Peter Carver, and their dog Georgia in Rockwood, Ontario.



Red Is Best 25th anniversary edition. 2006, Annick Press
What Happened to Ivy. 2012, Second Story Press
The Man with the Violin. 2013, Annick Press
The Lady with the Books: A Story Inspired by the Remarkable Work of Jella Lepman. 2020, Kids Can Press
The Bare Naked Book, revised & re-illustrated. 2021, Annick Press
The Girl Who Loved Giraffes and became the world's first giraffologist. 2021, Fitzhenry & Whiteside


Toronto Chapter IODE Award for Red Is Best, 1983
TD Children's Literature Award for The Man with the Violin, 2013
Eligible for National Public Readings Program:


Presentation Description

My aim in doing readings with kids of any age is to excite or re-excite them about reading and writing. A reading always includes a reading from a published book and/or a work-in-progress, as well as discussion of various aspects of the writing and editing process, and of my writing career. (I often start at the beginning and read the kids a story I wrote when I was in school.)

I am happy to do a general presentation - talking about getting ideas and doing revisions, as those aspects of the writing process pertain to a variety of my titles - or teachers may ask for a presentation more focused on a specific title.

Presentation Length:
45-60 min.
Fiction, Children's, Young Adult
Audience Size:
Workshop Description:

A workshop involves participants in hands-on writing. Groups are small -- 25 -30 kids is okay; 12-15 is even better. An hour and a half to two hours is a good length for a workshop session. The goal for these sessions is not to have participants complete a writing project, but to explore some possible avenues for finding story ideas, to play with different aspects of writing - characterization, setting, and point of view, and to inspire confidence in one’s writing ability and enthusiasm for using it.

Workshops for adults interested in writing for children generally run longer than those for children, and may be set up as a single session (up to 4 hours long), or as a series of sessions. I’d be happy to work with interested groups to determine appropriate format and fees.