Writing For Children 2006 Winner

2006 Award Winner


The Writers’ Union of Canada, a national organization of over 1,500 trade-book authors, is pleased to announce the winner of its tenth annual Writing for Children Competition. Jody van de Vijsel of Winnipeg, Manitoba is the recipient of the $1,500 prize for “Johnathan’s Talent”.

Jody van de Vijsel was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She has taught elementary school for nine years, but writing is her passion. Jody has participated in numerous courses/workshops in order to learn more about writing for children and as a result has produced several picture book stories, including “Johnathan’s Talent”. She is currently working on a novel for middle-grade readers and has dreams of publication. While she plans to continue writing, her schedule may change, as she is expecting her first child in October of 2006. Jody is thankful for the support of family and friends who keep telling her she is destined for success if she just keeps writing.

The Union initiated the Writing for Children competition to discover, encourage, and promote new writers of children’s literature. Twenty-nine Union members donated their time and expertise to read over two hundred and ninety submissions from every region of Canada, distilling them to a shortlist. These finalists were presented to the 2006 jury, who selected the winning story. For the 2006 competition, the jurors were: William Bell, award winning author of books for young people; Pauline Le Bel award-winning writer of plays for children; and Anne Louise MacDonald, award-winning writer of books for children.

“We chose this story because of its strong narrative structure and engaging protagonist. The author writes with a great deal of humour and enthusiasm, and Jonathan empowers children to be who they are. With a good editor, it has the potential to make a fine picture book children will enjoy.” (jury)


“Ahmed and Ali” by Robyn Young
“Blowing Bubbles” by Kathleen Cherry
“Charlie Mugby’s Hat” by Lisa Goldberg
“Gift of the Butterflies” by Daphne M. Chan
“Out to Sea” by Jill McMillan
“That’s What They Said” by Amy Leask
“Waterfall” by Pat Bourke


Thelma Barer-Stein, Helaine Becker, Ann Birch, Paulette Bourgeois, Kathy Buckworth,
Pauline Carey, Elaine Clow, Joan Craven, Jane Drake, Sonja Dunn, Robynne Eagan, Maureen Foss, Lian Goodall, Carolyn Gossage, Nancy Graham, John F. Jansen in de Wal, Monica Kulling,
Amanda Lamarche, Jean Mallinson, Sharon E. McKay, Janet McNaughton,
Jenifer McVaugh, Susan Ouriou, Dorothy Pedersen, Linda Spalding, Joyce White.


William Bell, Pauline Le Bel, Anne Louise MacDonald.

-30 -