Member Profile

Rachel Eugster

Photo: andrew alexander photography

Rachel Eugster's picture book The Pocket Mommy was released by Random House Canada (Tundra Books) on August 6, 2013.
Rachel is also the author of Beans and Other Pulses, Fruits, Grains and Cereals, Seeds and Nuts, and Vegetables, published by Franklin Watts as the Ingredients of a Balanced Diet series.
A former editor of Walking magazine, Rachel works as a freelance writer and editor on publications for both children and adults. While she has edited nearly every form she can think of, from fiction to poetry to medical journals to architectural writings, she particularly enjoys editing the manuscripts of fellow writers for children.
Rachel also enjoys a parallel career as an actor, singer, and music director, and is a founding member of Bear & Co. and Dragon's Tea Trio.

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

Publications

The Pocket Mommy. Tundra Books/Random House Canada, 2013
Beans & Other Pulses (Ingredients of a Balanced Diet series). Franklin Watts (UK), 2007
Fruits (Ingredients of a Balanced Diet series). Franklin Watts (UK), 2007
Grains & Cereals (Ingredients of a Balanced Diet series). Franklin Watts (UK), 2007
Seeds & Nuts (Ingredients of a Balanced Diet series). Franklin Watts (UK), 2007
Vegetables (Ingredients of a Balanced Diet series). Franklin Watts (UK), 2007

Awards

Canadian Toy Testing Council Great Book Award for The Pocket Mommy, 2014
Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Fall Books for The Pocket Mommy, 2014
Eligible for National Public Readings Program :
Yes

WITS

Presentation Description

As a writer-editor-actor-singer, I can offer presentations in any of those disciplines. Other options are based on my work as a longtime food writer and editor. In all presentations, I draw upon my performance background to establish a dynamic connection with the students.

NOTE: presentations can be adapted to suit any grade level.

--For age 5-10: how do you write a book? A fun look at putting a book together from constituent pieces: words (ones you know or ones you don't?), first lines, sentences (what is essential, what is told by the pictures?), parts of a story arc (beginning, middle, end, goals & obstacles), the role of illustrations,--and how that differs from what one can make with pencil crayons and paper at home.

--For ages 5-10, a presentation revolving around The Pocket Mommy will focus on coping with anxiety. Children will be encouraged to talk about things that give them comfort when they are worried (e.g., objects like stuffies), and about times when they were anxious that turned out just fine. We will also talk about wishes and wonderful things we've imagined, and when those have actually come true. The book will also be read aloud, and questions and discussion will be invited.

Genre:
Children's literature; fiction
Workshop Description:

As a writer-editor-actor-singer, I can offer workshops in any of those disciplines. Other options are based on my work as a longtime food writer and editor. In all presentations, I draw upon my performance background to establish a dynamic connection with the students.

NOTE: workshops can be adapted to suit any grade level.

--For ages 11-13, theatre games are used to inspire storytelling.The group will collaborate on inventing a story, on their feet, and then on acting it out. The structure of the games ensures that everyone has a chance to participate, and that stronger personalities or louder voices do not dominate.

--For ages 11-13, a look at what we eat. Children are encouraged to talk about what they eat at home (or have in their lunches), and whether they have eve attempted to cook for themselves. This will be gently contrasted with governmental food guidelines (5-10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, high in grains, low in fat), and simple rules of thumb for healthy eating will be discussed (never buy a food with ingredients you can't pronounce). Adventurousness in exploring new tastes will be encouraged, and simple dishes children can cook for themselves and their families will be suggested. (Cooking facilities a bonus.)

--For ages 11-3 or 14-17: Taking the sting out of Shakespeare: Unfamiliarity with the language causes too many students to miss the immediacy of Shakespeare's stories. This workshop is focused on relating themes from the Shakespeare canon to students' lives (and imaginations), and bringing the text alive for them by first expressing it in modern language and by acting it out.

--For ages 14-17: The basics of manuscript critiquing and editing. The class will work together on critiquing published work. Then they will work on critiquing and editing unpolished manuscript excerpts and their own work.

--For ages 11-13 or 14-17: The basics of copyediting, with an emphasis on bringing to life the essential role of punctuation in clear communication. Engaging real-world examples will be shared, such as the debate revolving around whether those who advocate a right to bear arms in the U.S. have been misled by the absence of a critical comma, and a recent proposal to eliminate the apostrophe--as if such a thing can be legislated! (Is there a difference between "Residents' refuse to be put in bins" and "residents refuse to be put in bins"?)

--Drama and music workshops are also available, including Singing in Harmony. This may sound like a challenge or an advanced skill but children can reach this goal in 20 minutes. The presentation is interactive, with students participating in devised games and learning simple rounds. The group will collaborate in writing a song, with attention paid to rhyme, meter, and sentence/phrase construction.

Northern OAC WITS:
Yes
GST:
GST not applicable