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Lisa Dalrymple

Lisa Dalrymple

Photo: Nadine Graham

Lisa Dalrymple won The Writers’ Union of Canada’s Writing for Children Competition (2011) for her picture book story Skink on the Brink, which was later illustrated by Suzanne Del Rizzo and published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside. Skink on the Brink also won the 2014 SCBWI Crystal Kite Award for Canada, and was a finalist in the Rainforest of Reading (Grenada, St. Lucia, Montserrat.) Lisa's most recent book is Fierce: Women who Shaped Canada (Scholastic,) a work of narrative non-fiction for readers in grades 4-8. Lisa's other books include the picture books A Moose Goes a-Mummering, Double Trouble at The Rooms, Bubbly Troubly Polar Bear and If It’s No Trouble... A Big Polar Bear (Breakwater) and a middle grade novel Jungle Jitters (Orca.)

Lisa earned her Honors BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Western Ontario (1996) and her MA in Literature with a Creative Writing specialization from the University of Guelph (2000).

She has worked in newspaper writing, reviewing, and teaching ESL/EFL at the KG-G6 level. She now lives in Fergus, Ontario with her husband and three highly energetic children.

Fergus, ON


Fierce: Women who Shaped Canada. Scholastic Canada, 2019
Jungle Jitters. Orca, 2017
Cultural Traditions in South Korea. Crabtree, 2016
Double Trouble at The Rooms. Breakwater, 2016
Explore with James Cook. Crabtree, 2015
Explore with Francisco Pizarro. Crabtree, 2015
Be the Change in the World. Crabtree, 2015
A Moose Goes a-Mummering. Breakwater, 2014
Bubbly Troubly Polar Bear. Breakwater, 2013
Skink on the Brink. Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2013
If It's No Trouble... A Big Polar Bear. Breakwater, 2012


SCBWI Crystal Kite Award (Canada) for Skink on the Brink, 2014
TWUC's Writing for Children Award for Skink on the Brink, 2011
Eligible for National Public Readings Program:


Presentation Description

Lisa travels all over Canada and as far south as Grenada and St. Lucia, presenting to students from pre-school to grade eight. In 2016 she was selected to tour British Columbia with TD Canada’s Children’s Book Week. Lisa enjoys using performance, visuals, and audience interaction tailored to the circumstances of each presentation to create a fun and interactive event.

Presentations often include an element of visual story-telling and/or songs which draw out the themes in Lisa’s books. They are structured but informal and Lisa welcomes and encourages audience participation.

Venue: flexible - classroom, library or auditorium. 

Requirements: It is often the most fun if there is available a flip chart; a projector and screen (for larger audiences); a black or white board (for workshops only)

Themes for presentations vary but may include:

Fierce: Women who Shaped Canada

Learn about the challenges and rewards of researching 10 women most people have never heard of. Delve deeper to discover their impact on Canada as we know it and to hear the backstories behind the women in the book. Hear epic tales of survival and journey in the stories of Marguerite de la Rocque, Cougar Annie and Lucile Hunter; or, through the lives of Mona Parsons, Victoria Cheung and Joan Bamford Fletcher, learn about fighters, resisters and those who provide aid to refugees in wartime; or else consider how Tthaʹnalther and Alice Freeman wielded the power of words as they risked everything for causes they believed in.

“Home Home Habitat” (Environment Presentations - Earth Day is April 22)

Skink on the Brink; any of the polar bear books

Centered around an endangered resident of Ontario, the Common Five-lined Skink, these presentations explore issues of habitat protection, endangered species and environmental conservation.

“The Story Behind My Stories”

Skink on the Brink and Jungle Jitters

Lisa’s road to becoming an author required a lot of perseverance, research and luck. It actually began when she was 8! This presentation addresses how authors “find” ideas; the role of research in fiction and non-fiction writing; and the challenges and rewards of work as an author.

“The Creation of a Picture Book”

Skink on the Brink and Double Trouble at The Rooms

Picture books are a unique marriage of words and art, each with a carefully selected medium, and many with additional stories told by the illustrations. This presentation works well should the school wish to expand upon Lisa’s visit with a self-directed art day. Directional support is available upon request.

Lisa also offers..

For Aspiring Adult Writers: Breaking In (Without Breaking Down) - Publishing for Beginners

From developing your craft to submitting your manuscripts, from learning from rejection to celebrating sweet victory, this presentation will offer strategies to help build your writing career. Lisa will share tools and tips based on her own experiences "breaking into" the Canadian publishing industry. This presentation covers everything from researching publishers to writing a query/cover letter to negotiating a contract.

Presentation Length:
60min (For JK-G1 two 30-minute sessions may be substituted for one 1-hour)
Picture Books, Middle Grade Books, non-fiction, Habitat Protection, Early Writing Workshops, Aspiring Authors
Audience Size:
100+ (Max. 30 for writers' workshop)
Workshop Description:

Writer’s Workshop (Grades 6-8)

A discussion of where ideas come from, how to find them and how to flesh them out into the concept for an entire story. This presentation highlights Character, Setting and Plot and is followed by a workshop component that further addresses the shape of a story.