This May I was fortunate to be selected as a touring artist for the 39th annual TD Canadian Children’s Book Week. This tour is a big one in the Canadian publishing industry, sending authors to provinces other than their own for an entire week of school visits, as well as public library and community events. The goal is to introduce authors to a new readership and, of course, foster a love of reading and the writing process across the country.
Authors are able to list three provinces they’d like to tour, but the organizers can place you wherever you’re needed. I was thrilled to learn I’d be touring Nova Scotia, a province close to my heart as my father was from Cape Breton.
When you sign the contract, you agree to be physically and mentally prepared for an intensive amount of touring, traveling, meeting new readers, and interacting with teachers, librarians, volunteers, and to be prepared for just about anything. But if you’re like me, this is a “bring it on!’ kind of tour. Traveling to a new place, talking books and writing, sharing stories with new friends – what’s not to love?
Book Week is a flurry of activity from the moment you know where you’re touring, to getting on the plane/train/dog sled/helicopter to arriving at your destination. Once there, you’re “on” most of the time and your energy level needs to be high, however, there are moments to explore the landscape, discover the beauty of another province, and meet some very cool people along the way.
I couldn’t wait for it to begin and now that it’s over…I’m chomping a the bit to apply again. What an incredible opportunity! Thanks so much to Book Week organizer, Shannon Howe Barnes, to my tour coordinator, Elizabeth Eve (such a fun lady – she’s brilliant – she plays the banjo!), the volunteers, teachers, students, librarians, and keen writerly folk.
If you’re a touring author, consider applying for next year’s tour, and if you’re a teacher or library staff member, consider booking a reading – you and your students / patrons will be inspired!