Forest of Reading Trip, first stop London!

Wow, what a week I’ve had! From my quiet country life to the raucous, celebratory hullabaloo that is the Forest of Reading Festival! And now that I’m back home, on my sunny deck listening to the wee birdies twitter (actual birds, not the 140-character ones), I’m ready to share my adventures.

First stop was the mighty city of London, Ontario, and their first-ever Festival of Trees event.


Kevin Sylvester (author of the Neil Flambe series) and I arrive at the Progress Building fully caffeinated and ready to go. (photo by Kevin)


We assembled in the green room to receive marching orders and muffins.


The more showbiz savvy authors had, of course, costumes and props. (centre: Kari-Lynn Winters, author of Buzz About Bees.)


There we met our sign carriers and introducers (I’m not convinced that’s actually a word).

My presentation team.

My team!

Considering it was the first time they’ve held this event, the London Library people ran a well-organized show, which sold out well in advance – 1500 in attendance!


Holy mackinaw!

Our student presenters did a jaw-droppingly excellent job. So poised and eloquent, not to mention brave!

IMG_1250After the ceremony the rest of the day was given over to book signings, readings and workshops.IMG_6582

IMG_6584I gave a workshop in which we randomly drew slips of paper to come up with story plots. Or, rather, springboards for story plots, I hope some of those keen kids go out and turn them into full narratives. Here’s what we came up with:


A winged, superstitious, pink-haired thief, who lives on a houseboat with her pal the suspicious monkey, goes on a quest for the fiery pineapple of doom. HOWEVER, they come up against an evil-but-cheerful bus driver with no knee joints who wants the pineapple for himself. Matters are further complicated by an unexpected pigeon attack.


A bald, neurotic ninja has his headquarters on a massive dirigible. He teams up with an arachnophobic wizard to brave a rockslide in search of a magical sedating marshmallow.

(Apologies if I’ve left out anything – my notes from the session are exceedingly scratchy.)

Anyone who works on these stories – Send me what you come up with!

All in all it was a really fun day, thanks to all who attended! It was a great pleasure to meet you all!

NEXT POST: on to Toronto…

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