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Kathy Stinson

Photo: Trina Koster Photography 2018

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

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


Red is Best 25th anniversary edition. illus. Robin Baird Lewis. Toronto: Annick Press, 2007
101 Ways to Dance. Second Story Press, 2006
Marie-Claire Books 1-4. Penguin Canada's "Our Canadian Girl" series, 2001-04
Love Every Leaf: The Life of Landscape Architect Cornelia Hahn Oberlander. Tundra Books, 2008
A Pocket Can Have A Treasure In It. Annick Press, 2008
Big or Little? 25th anniversary edition. Annick Press, 2009
What Happened to Ivy. Second Story Press, 2012
Highway of Heroes. Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2010
The Man with the Violin. Annick Press, 2013
Harry and Walter. Annick Press, 2016
The Dance of the Violin. Annick Press, 2017
The Dog Who Wanted To Fly. Annick Press, 2019


City of Scarborough Bicentennial Award of Merit, 1996.
Toronto IODE Award for Red is Best, 1982.
CLA YA Book of the Year nominee for 101 Ways to Dance, 2007
Silver Birch Award nominee for King of the Castle, 2001
Diamond Willow nominee for Marie-Claire 1: Dark Spring, 2002
Hackmatack nominee for Marie-Claire 2: A Season of Sorrow, 2004
CLA YA Book of the Year nominee for Becoming Ruby, 2004
White Pine nominee for Becoming Ruby, 2004
TD Children's Literature Award for The Man with the Violin, 2014
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.

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