This is actually a picture of Marsha Skrypuch's 2011 Crystal Kite award for her fabulous book Stolen Child--but I hope to have my own pic soon!

My Busy Fall

I’ve just updated the “Upcoming Events” section of my website and–whew!–I’ve got a lot coming up this fall!  The big highlight for me will be

This is actually a picture of Marsha Skrypuch's 2011 Crystal Kite award for her fabulous book Stolen Child--but I hope to have my own pic soon!

accepting the 2012 Crystal Kite Award for the Americas region for Witchlanders.  That will happen at the Ottawa SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) conference where I’ll be giving a short presentation about how we writers can navigate the fine line between following the market and following our passion.

The thing I’m most nervous about is the Packaging Your Imagination conference that CANSCAIP (The Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers) is putting on in Toronto. There I will be giving an 80-minute presentation on Writing Fantasy, where I’ll go over both general writing techniques–plotting, creating characters, etc.–and ones more specific to writing fantasy like world building.

(And did I mention that the first draft of my next novel, The Worlds Below, is due in January? Again: whew!)

Neither of these events is sold out yet, so click on the links below if you are an author or illustrator interested in the children’s and YA market.

In addition to these events, I can usually be found at the monthly #TorKidLit meetings on the first Wednesday of every month and at the monthly CANSCAIP meetings on the second Wednesday of every month.

Here’s my fall schedule so far:

Muskoka Novel Marathon Wrap Up and Workshop

Saturday, September 22, 2012
TBA, Huntsville, Ontario

The wrap up itself is from 1-2:30, then the workshop will be from 3-4.

I’ll be speaking with Sharon Ledwith about what to do with our Novel Marathon manuscripts now that we’ve written them.  Sharon will be focusing on the self-publishing and e-book options, while I’ll talk about my experiences with traditional publishing, especially how I got my agent, Steven Malk of Writers House, and my experiences with Simon & Schuster.

Because the venue has not been set yet, we’re not sure if this event will be open to the public or will only be open to Novel Marathon participants, but I’ll post that info as soon as I know.

SCBWI Fall Retreat in Ottawa

October 19-21, 2012
The Albert at Bay Suite Hotel
Ottawa, Ontario

I’m very delighted to be doing my first SCBWI presentation:

Write the Book That Will Change Your Life
How can we be true to our creative selves in this market-driven business and still succeed?  Author Lena Coakley will tell us how she walked the fine line between following the market and following her passion when writing this year’s SCBWI Crystal Kite Award winner for our region, Witchlanders.

And!!! I’ll be accepting my Crystal Kite Award at the conference.

World Fantasy Convention

November 1-4, 2012
Sheraton Parkway Toronto North Hotel, Suites & Conference Centre
Toronto, Ontario

Not sure if I’ll be on a panel yet, but I’ll certainly be there and signing books for anyone who’d like to get a signed copy of Witchlanders.

Packaging Your Imagination

Saturday, November 10, 2012
Victoria College
Toronto, Ontario

I’ll be doing an intensive, 80-minute workshop at PYI.  This conference generally sells out, so register now—and if you’re not tempted by my talk, sign up for the master class with Tim Wynne-Jones, which promises to be awesome!

Believing in Magic: Writing Fantasy Novels and Short Stories
Lena will examine the craft of fantasy writing, from general writing and plotting techniques to creating believable characters and compelling alternate worlds. Participants should expect to do a few writing exercises.

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