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About MeI write fiction and non-fiction for all ages. These days, I'm excited about Painted Fences (Heritage House, 2021), a picture book about friendship, wartime + read more resourcefulness, and how the past lives within the present. The book is beautifully illustrated by Sydney Barnes. I'm also excited about my chapter book, Genius Jolene (Orca), which is nominated for a B.C. and Yukon Book Prize and a Silver Birch Award. Am getting ready for the arrival of my third board book, and another picture book in 2022.
I LOVE to present to classes. I give lively, immersive writing workshops on imagery, metaphor, character, narrative and more (see below for more). I write, edit, teach and review books in Victoria, BC. Show Less


My Work Speaker Info Contact Me
You May Know Me For:
    Literature Types
  • Board Books
  • Picture Books
  • Chapter Books
  • Middle Grade Fiction
  • Poetry
  • Plays & Screenplays
  • Editorial Services

Published Works"Poignant, passionate and full of surprises. An unexpected touch of magic that will delight young readers." ​— The Globe and Mail re. Nevers

"A silent treasure." ​— School Library Journal, re. Helen's Birds

"Sure to jump-start readers’ imaginations and create moon-y, luminous dreams." ​— Publishers Weekly, STARRED review for The Moon is a Silver Pond

"The punny pirate names, the offbeat banter, the delightfully disgusting chores the boy must undertake, and, of course, the splash of pirate speak throughout the yarn will have young readers cracking up." —​Quill and Quire re. Scallywag on the Salish Sea

"A small, eloquent book with a powerful message." ​— Kirkus, STARRED review for A Boy Named Queen

"Humorous, short, and hard to put down." School Library Journal, re. Blackberry Juice

"A small slice of very funny family life....a heartwarming romp." — Kirkus Reviews re. Not For Sale

"Beautifully written...full-bodied in every aspect." — `1Vancouver Sun, re. Slick

Speaking InformationI give lively, curriculum-based workshops that immerse students in the artistry and power of telling their stories. I present in person or by Skype, to any + read more group size or grade.

Presentations include:

The Metaphor Tree. K - 5. Students learn what a metaphor is, identify them in a text read aloud -- by shouting "ding!" when they hear one -- then practice making their own. They make a small book (one page, cleverly folded) and write metaphors on labels to hang on a potted tree branch.

Smelly Dog. Writers sculpt, draw and cook with words. In this workshop, kids turn on their senses and practice various forms of imagery (visual, auditory, olfactory, etc.) During a short reading packed with images, they gesture -- stick out their tongues, tug on an ear, wiggle their noses -- to identify the type of images they hear. We "build" a dog together -- how it looks, smells, sounds, feels, even tastes -- and from there, kids learn how sensory details lead quickly to narrative. The dog smells like fish? What happened? The dog needs a bath? Why?

A Powerful Character. For middle school and high school students especially, this introduction to creating rich, full characters resonates beyond the page. How does setting -- where we live -- influence who we are and the stories we tell? How does our personality lead to the plots, big and small, that swirl in our lives? What conflicts, inner and outer, shape us?

Are You Talking to Me? It doesn't get more fun than this! Middle school and high school students practice writing realistic dialogue that moves and compels. With a close reading of examples from their current novel study and dialogue greats such as Roddy Doyle, students learn and apply the tricks of the trade.

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    I will visit:
  • Vancouver
  • Coast
  • Lower Mainland
  • Gulf and Vancouver Islands
  • Thompson Okanagan
  • Northern British Columbia
  • Cariboo Chilcotin Coast
  • Kootenay Rockies
  • The Territories
  • Canada - beyond BC
  • USA
  • International

    I Present to Age Groups:
  • Primary School
  • Grades K-3
  • Grades 4-6
  • Grades 7-8
  • High School
  • College / University / Adult

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Testimonials“Sara led an interactive and thought-provoking presentation... The grade 4 classes were challenged + read more to think about writing by looking at the world around them rather than staring at a blank page. They were asked to come up with a metaphor for the moon and together the students wrote down their moon metaphors (my favourite: 'the moon is a white marble on a black table cloth'). All the metaphors were added to a metaphor tree and left in the library on display at the end. The kids responded to her relaxed, friendly style and were very engaged with the metaphor concept. It was a delightful hour!” - Judy Baxter, Library Manager, South Cowichan and Haida Gwaii Branches, Vancouver Island Regional Library Show Less "You have such a wonderful way of presenting that shines - even through a screen! I'm sure we could + read more have talked to you for hours. This has made the children's day - and mine too - how special to get to talk to the author of a book that we all loved so much. Thanks again for your generosity and for meeting with our Grade 4 and 5 class today. You unleashed their creativity and validated their ideas, and I look forward to carrying on with it from here." - Rebecca Seiling, Kitchener Forest School Show Less
Awards and Recognition:Finalist, Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize, Genius Jolene, 2021
Silent Books + show more Collection (IBBY), Helen's Birds, 2021
Finalist, Silver Birch Express Award, Genius Jolene, 2021
Finalist, Chocolate Lily Award, Nevers, 2021
Finalist, Rocky Mountain Book Award, Nevers, 2021
Canadian Children's Book Centre (CCBC) Best Books STARRED 2020, Genius Jolene
​Finalist, City of Victoria Children's Book Prize, Nevers, 2020
Finalist, Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic, Nevers, 2020
Finalist, Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize, Nevers, 2020
Finalist, Hackmatack Children's Choice Award, Nevers, 2020
100 books that shaped 2019, The Globe and Mail, Helen's Birds
Best Children's Books of 2019, Air & Space/Smithsonian, Moon is a Silver Pond
Finalist, Chocolate Lily Award, The Great Googlini, 2020
Poem "Hazel, 16, Eats Blackberry Pie" shortlisted, Barren Poetry Contest
​​Poem "Wasp" in Best Canadian Poetry 2019 (Biblioasis)
​Junior Library Guild selection, Helen's Birds, 2019
Finalist, Chocolate Lily Book Award, Black Gold, 2019Best Middle-Grade Books of 2018, Kirkus, The Great Googlini
Finalist, Chocolate Lily Book Award, Black Gold, 2019
Finalist, Chocolate Lily Book Award, Blackberry Juice, 2017
Finalist, Silver Birch Express Award, A Boy Named Queen, 2018
Finalist, Schwartz Children's Book Award, A Boy Named Queen, 2017
Finalist, Manitoba Young Readers' Choice, A Boy Named Queen, 2017
Finalist, Willow Awards 2017, A Boy Named Queen
Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books STARRED, A Boy Named...
Cooperative Children's Book Center Best of 2016, A Boy Named Queen​
Best Books of 2016, CBC Books, A Boy Named Queen
​Books of the Year 2016, Quill and Quire, A Boy Named Queen
Finalist, Kirkus Children's Literature Prize, A Boy Named Queen, 2016
​Junior Library Guild selection, A Boy Named Queen, 2016
CCBC Best Books, Not For Sale, 2015
Finalist, Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize, Skylark, 2014
CCBC Best Books selection, Skylark, 2014
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