Winners Announced for CANSCAIP’s 2016 Writing for Children Competition

CANSCAIP (Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers), in partnership with The Writers’ Union of Canada, has announced the winners and finalists of the 19th annual Writing for Children Competition.  A cash prize of $1,000 will be presented to each of the two winners.

CANSCAIP will submit the winners and finalists to three Canadian children’s book publishers (Annick Press, Kids Can Press and Scholastic Canada) for consideration; some past finalists and winners have had their entries published.

Only unpublished writers are eligible to enter. CANSCAIP received close to 300 entries in 2016. A unique and very beneficial element of the Writing for Children Competition is that everyone who enters gets feedback by the Competition’s evaluation readers. The readers and juries evaluating Competition entries are all published authors and CANSCAIP Members.

All the Competition entries were initially evaluated by first-round readers, who selected which entries would proceed to the next step of second-round readers. When the second-round readers evaluated those entries, they selected which ones would proceed to the jury. The jury then selected the following entries as the winners and finalists:

WINNER Picture Book / Early Reader

  • Ann Marie StasiukA Wintry Wait  (writer lives in Stratford, Ontario)

JURY COMMENTS: … spare and simple story depicts a universal event for many children – waiting for a late parent and how the child can cope with a positive resolution. 

WINNER Chapter Book/ Middle Grade/ Young Adult

  • Marci McAdam – Creep School (writer lives in Calgary, Alberta)

JURY COMMENTS: Kids will like the monster subs for stock human characters …  a beautifully realized world … fast and funny.

FINALISTS Picture Book / Early Reader

  • MaryLou DriedgerWhy Are They Naked? (writer lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba)
  • Cynthia FordThe Fiddle Man (writer lives in Vancouver, BC)
  • Catherine JansenLavender (writer lives in Oakville, Ontario)
  • Kirsten PendreighHamish McFluff and the Baby Birds (writer lives in Vancouver, BC)

FINALISTS Chapter Book / Middle Grade / Young Adult

  • Corrine ClarkCharlotte’s Ghosts (writer lives in Mississauga, Ontario.)
  • Donna HughesBright Shiny Things (writer lives in Toronto, Ontario)
  • Jennifer IrwinThe Truth About Love, Hockey and Ballroom Dancing (writer lives in Pointe Claire, Quebec)
  • Cheryl StewartRenegade Heart (writer lives in Kanata, Ontario)

The first-round and second-round readers were Beverley Brenna, Lena Coakley, Charis Cotter, Theo Heras, Sharon Jennings, Jessica Scott Kerrin, Sheryl McFarlane, Janet McNaughton, Sylvia McNicoll, Jennifer Mook-Sang, Lorna Schultz Nicholson, Bev Katz Rosenbaum and Jocelyn Shipley. The members of the juries are Anne Laurel CarterMaggie de Vries, Kathy Stinson, Arthur Slade and Ted Staunton. CANSCAIP is grateful for the support and participation of these Members.

The Writing for Children Competition for 2017 will be announced in March.

The Writers’ Union of Canada initiated the Writing for Children Competition in 1996. The competition has grown in popularity since its inception, and in 2014 CANSCAIP took on this initiative as a partnership with TWUC. A goal of the Competition is to discover, encourage, and promote not-yet-published writers of children’s literature across Canada. CANSCAIP is a national organization representing Canadian authors and illustrators of children’s books and children’s performers. For more information, please visit