Thursday, August 4, 2022

Online: Writing Kid Lit workshop, with Kids Can Press senior editor Patricia Ocampo and author Jennifer Mook-Sang, Saturday, Aug 13

The Serpent's Fury, a middle grade novel
by Kelley Armstrong, a NYT #1 bestselling author
and one of Brian's students

Writing for Children and for Young Adults

  with Kids Can Press Senior Editor

     ~ Patricia Ocampo

  and children’s author

   ~ Jennifer Mook-Sang

Saturday, August 13, 2022
1:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Online via Zoom and accessible wherever there's Internet

If you want to write the next best-selling children’s books or just want to create stories for your own kids, this workshop is for you. Learn how to write stories kids and young adults will love and find out what you need to know to sell your book. Be sure to bring all your questions – we'll have lots of time for interaction.

Special option: You may, but don't have to, bring 3 copies of the opening couple of pages (first 500 words) of your children’s book or young adult novel (or up to 750 words if that gets you to the end of your picture book or to the end of your first chapter.) Patricia and I will publicly critique several submissions so everyone can see what works, what doesn’t, and how to improve your story-telling. If you’re not currently working on a children’s story, don’t worry, we’ll get you started!

Patricia Ocampo is a Senior Editor at Kids Can Press. Since 1973, Kids Can has published award-winning, best-selling books for young readers, including The Most Magnificent Thing and the Franklin the Turtle series.

Patricia acquires books for children and teens, both fiction and nonfiction. She has a particular interest in laugh-out-loud stories – shes forever looking for the next Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging – and perspectives that have not traditionally been represented in publishing.

She has worked at HarperCollins, Annick Press, and Simon and Schuster. She was also a literary agent at Transatlantic Agency. Patricia served five years on the International Board on Book for Young People, including two years as president of the Canadian chapter. She teaches a course on editing books for children at Toronto Metropolitan University’s Chang School of Continuing Education.

What previous participants have to say:

Hi, Brian.

I just got a call from Patricia Ocampo at Kids Can Press (who I met through your workshop). They want to publish my book!! I'm thrilled!!!

Thanks for helping me move my book forward – in all ways – you helped my writing style and gave me opportunities to share my work with publishers. Wow!! So appreciative of your help!

Kind regards, 

Carleigh Wu

Guest speaker Jennifer Mook-Sang is the author of two picture books and a middle grade novel. She’ll share the story of her writing journey and her insights about writing for children  and of course she’ll also be answering whatever questions participants have.

Jennifer grew up in Guyana and moved to Canada when she was fourteen. While reading bedtime stories to her two sons, she fell in love with picture books and decided to write one of her own. In one of Brian's classes, she found the beginnings of a story.  

That story grew into the humorous middle-grade novel, Speechless, published by Scholastic Canada, and since translated into Portuguese for Brazil (Não Cale! Fale!) and Turkish (Bir Konuşabilse).

Speechless won the Surrey Schools Book of the Year Award, was shortlisted for many others, and was recommended by the Ontario Library Association, the Canadian Children’s Book Centre, the CBC, and the TD Summer Reading Club. 

Jennifer has also published a picture book, Captain Monty Takes the Plungewith Kids Can Press. Captain Monty is the boldest, stinkiest pirate to sail the six or seven seas; in fact, he’s never had a bath. Naturally, the Junior Library Guild immediately selected him for its fall list of recommended books; it was short-listed for the Rainforest of Reading Award; and the Canadian Children’s Book Centre put it on its best books of the year list.

Jennifer’s next picture book will be published by Tundra Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada.

Workshop leader Brian Henry has been a book editor, author, and creative writing instructor for more than 25 years. He publishes Quick Brown Fox, Canada’s most popular blog for writers and is the author of a children’s version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Tribute Publishing Inc). But his proudest boast is that he’s has helped many of his students get published.

Fee: $45.13 + 13% hst = $51 paid in advance by mail or Interac

or $48.67 + 13% hst = $55 if you wait to pay at the door

To reserve a spot now, email:

See all of Brian’s upcoming weekly writing classes, one-day workshops, and weekend retreats here.


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