Help for Writers

Also check my Presentations page for upcoming workshops and other events.

Tip Sheets
Click on the links below to download these free handouts.

NOTE: My grandmother claimed that the small mistakes in her knitting – whether it was a baby’s ‘matinee jacket’ or a fisherman’s toque – proved that they were handmade, not by machine. That’s how I think of the typos you are likely to find in some of my handouts. If I go back to fix them, they might never find the light of day – and I know I am a lousy proofreader. So please accept these free handouts as they are offered – dropped stitches and all.

Useful Resources – Updated Jan 2022

There are, of course, hundreds of useful writing websites and blogs for writers at all stages of development. (Writers’ Digest publishes an annual list of the Top 101.) Here’s a handful of the ones I’ve found most useful in my own work, and for students in my workshops and classes.

  • Books for Keeps – a comprehensive monthly UK publication about books for young readers. FREE.
  • Darcy Pattison’s Fiction Notes – Useful tools, structures and processes for developing craft and exploring genres.
  • How to Tell a Story – TED Talks. Powerful presentations about stories and storytelling – and the human condition.
  • Kidlit 411 – the go-to website for everything about writing for kids. With associated FB pages, including a MS critique one.
  • Library Booklists – when I’m starting to get ideas for a new book, I often try to find books on similiar topics by other writers. This website links to scores of booklists on all kinds of topics.
  • The Other Side of the Story – lots of useful material at Janice Hardy’s website.
  • Orca Book Publishers Teachers’ Guides – Professionally written teachers’ guides to support many of Orca’s books.
  • The Purple Crayon – Harold Underwood is a children’s book editor, and the author of The Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Children’s Books. His website includes a comprehensive range of articles, links and resources for anyone writing for younger readers.
  • US author, storyteller and teacher Shutta Crum has loads of resources for picture book authors on her website.
  • Rhyme Weaver – useful craft information into and insights and writing verse and in rhyme for young readers.
  • How Does Fiction Reading Influence Empathy? An Experimental Investigation on the Role of Emotional Transportation.
  • Canadian Children’s Book Centre – The CCBC’s main website has lots of useful material and current info about early literacy, authors and the Canadian literary scene.
  • Your Brain on Books: 10 Things That Happen to Our Minds When We Read
  • and YOUR OWN LBRARY website will include lots of links to reading, resources and other useful material, much of which you would be able to access without necessarily having a library card.