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Sylvia McNicoll

Sylvia McNicoll

Photo: Bob McNicoll

Concordia graduate and former creative writing instructor at Sheridan College and Living Arts Centre, Sylvia McNicoll has written 40 internationally published novels for young audiences and given writing workshops and talks across Canada as well as in South Korea and Colombia. She edited and wrote for Today’s Parent Toronto, was president of CANSCAIP (Canadian Society of Children’s Authors Illustrators and Performers) and a director at Access Copyright. In 2021 she co-edited Writing the Rollercoaster, Stories of Riding out the Pandemic. Her Burlington set Great Mistake Mystery Series features an anxious 12 year-old who counts and analyzes mistakes while walking dogs and solving mysteries and is available in Russian. Body Swap,winner of the 2019 Hamilton fiction award and available in Korean, features a 15 year-old and an 82 year-old who meet in a fateful accident that switches their souls. Releasing May 2022, What the Dog Knows tells the tale of an irresistible canine who communicates telepathically with his 13 year-old owner largely to help her change destiny.

City:
Burlington, ON
Province:
Ontario
Genre:
Young adult and children's literature
I write professionally in the following language(s):
English

Publications

What the Dog Knows. 2022, Dundurn Press
The Diamond Mistake Mystery. 2019, Dundurn Press
Body Swap, . 2018, Dundurn Press
The Snake Mistake Mystery. 2018, Dundurn Press
The Artsy Mistake Mystery. 2017 , , Dundurn Press
The Best Mistake Mystery,. 2016, Dundurn Press
Best Friends through Eternity. 2015, Tundra
Revenge on the Fly. 2014, Pajama Press
Dying to Go Viral. 2013, Fitzhenry
crush. candy. corpse. . 2012, James Lorimer & Company Ltd. Publishers
Last Chance for Paris. 2008, Fitzhenry & Whiteside
Beauty Returns . 2006, Fitzhenry Whiteside
A Different Kind of Beauty . 2003, Fitzhenry & Whiteside
Bringing up Beauty . 2000, Fitzhenry
Grave Secrets. 1999, Fitzhenry Whiteside
Caught in a Lie . 2000, Scholastic Canada
Walking a Thin Line . 1997, – Scholastic Canada
Facing the Enemy . 1992, ITP Nelson
More Than Money . 1990, ITP Nelson
The Tiger Catcher's Kid . 1989 , ITP Nelson
The Big Race . 1996, Scholastic Canada
Project Disaster Scholastic . 1990, Scholastic Canada
Dan Clowning Around . 1998, Orchard Publishing
Matt Heartbreak Hero . 1998, Orchard Publishing
Lauren Dating Dreams . 1999, Orchard Publishing
Abbi Secret Stranger . 1999, Orchard Publishing
Jenna Standing Tall . 1999, Orchard Publishing
Dan Double Drama . 1999, Orchard Publishing
Spellbound (ghostwritten for Sharon Siamon. 1999, Hodder
Mom and Dad’s Guide to Martial Arts. 1999, (Coles Notes)Chapters Ltd.

Awards

Hamilton Arts Award for fiction for Body Swap, 2019
Hamilton Arts Award for Children and Young Adult Book for Last Chance for Paris, 2011
Burlington Creative Arts Literary Artist of the Year for Last Chance for Paris, 2011
Hamilton Arts Multimedia Award for Beauty Returns, 2007
Korean War Veteran’s Award (Hamilton Arts) for short article for "A Note from Home" Today's Parent Toronto, 2006
Hamilton Regional Arts Explora-toy Children’s Novel of the Year for Caught in a Lie, 2000
Ontario Silver Birch 1996, Manitoba Young Reader’s Award for Bringing Up Beauty, 1996
Stephen Leacock Honorable Mention for limericks for There was a youngstockbroker..., 1994
Eligible for National Public Readings Program:
Yes

WITS

Are you available for public presentations and/or workshops:
Yes
Presentation Description

All presentation from grade 1 through highschool, Approximately one hour. the presentations detail the writing process behind an age appropriate story and include a  Powerpoint to project images of covers, characters and settings.  There is always an interactive component, where students try out props, act out scripts or do oral writing exercises. Usually I read a short passage and time is allowed for Q & A.

Presentation Length:
55- 75 minutes
Genre:
fiction, non-fiction
Grades:
Grades 3-6 or grades 6-8. High school Creative Writing
Audience Size:
60-200
Presenation:
In person 300, online 150
Workshop Description:

Character, plot (structure), setting, dialogue are all segments of writing that I can create specific workshops.

 Plot: The Best Mistake Story creation, to go along with arhw Best Mistake mystery series —kids are invited to share mistakes they’ve made recently, embarrassing whoopses, things that turned out badly, or even well. We discuss how it’s important to make mistakes in order to grow just as it’s important for a story to have problems in order to have an arc.  We brainstorm how to turn some mistakes into a solvable problem that becomes a good story.  The students write and share.

Character Creation—students select photos of characters from a box and we discuss their secrets, problems and goals. From this story plan, they write.

Description and Mood— We list favourite and worst sights, smells, sounds, tastes and touches. With the list we experiment with similies and metaphors and then create either a poem or a setting for a story.

Dialogue team work—Students are paired to co-create conflict scenes where two characters argue cross purposes

 

 

Workshop Length:
80 minutes
Workshop Intended Audience:
Either grade 3-6 or 6-9
Workshop Audience Size:
30
Workshop Fee:
$300
Are you available for school visits?:
Yes
School Presentation Description:

All presentation from grade 1 through highschool, Approximately one hour. the presentations detail the writing process behind an age appropriate story and include a  Powerpoint to project images of covers, characters and settings.  There is always an interactive component, where students try out props, act out scripts or do oral writing exercises. Usually I read a short passage and time is allowed for Q & A.

School Presentation Length:
55-75
School Intended Audience:
grades 3-6, grades 6-9, High school writers' craft
School Audience Size:
60-200
School Presentation Fee:
$300 in person $150 virtual
Interested in participating in the Union’s Ontario Writers-in-the-Schools program:
Yes
Interested in participating in the Northern Ontario WITS program:
Yes