David A. Poulsen

David A. Poulsen

Claresholm, AB

Sakura Medal (Winner, 2011)


Young adult (YA) Fiction (Ages 12 and up)


David A. Poulsen has been a broadcaster, teacher, football coach, rodeo cowboy, stage and film actor and — most of all — writer. His writing career began in earnest when his story The Welcomin’ won the 1984 Alberta Culture Short Story Competition. Now the author of more than 20 books, many for middle readers and young adults, David recently completed his Masters degree in Creative Writing at UBC. He divides his time between his small ranch in the Alberta foothills southwest of Calgary and a second home in Maricopa, Arizona. He was the recipient of an Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005 for “service to Alberta and Albertans.”

In 2011 David’s young adult novel Numbers was selected for the Sakura Medal (awarded by English speaking high school students in Japan to their favourite novel of the year). As a result David toured International Schools in Japan and Korea in the fall of 2011. Numbers has since been added to the new English curriculum for Grade 10 in Saskatchewan. His novel, Old Man, a YA/Adult crossover novel was launched in January 2013 to excellent reviews from CanLit, CCBC, Quill & Quire and the National Post, among others. And his most recent book--his first foray into the world of adult mystery/suspense writing--is called Serpents Rising. Set in Calgary, this fast-paced, often funny, often moving novel is the first in the Cullen and Cobb Mystery series and reached on the Calgary bestseller list and on the Saskatoon list. It has been equally popular wirh teen and adult readers. David served as the Writer in Residence at the Saskatoon Public Library in 2012/13. He lives in the foothills west of Claresolm, Alberta..

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David’s one-hour presentations with students are high energy, informative, infused with his passion for reading and writing and, most of all, they’re fun. He begins by sharing his journey to becoming a writer; it is sometimes hilarious (“The world’s worst rejection letter” and “The scariest moment of my life” are two examples), sometimes poignant (his first successful story was inspired by the tragedy of the Battle of Dieppe), sometimes inspiring (“if I can get my picture on the back cover of a book, so can you”) and always entertaining. Next, David’s reading will focus on a recent book written for the age group to whom he is presenting and as a former actor, he admits to ‘performing’ his readings. And finally, there is David’s favourite part of the presentation—the Q and A as audience members pepper him with questions that ‘never fail to amaze and delight.’ It is an hour that student and adult audiences alike have called everything from “inspirational” to “totally a blast.”

Presentation type: Reading

Recommended levels: Junior (4-6), Intermediate (7-8), High school (9-12)

Fees: $650.00/day plus GST plus travel expense.

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Making the Lie Believable

Award winning author David A. Poulsen’s writing workshops will give students useful, easy-to-understand strategies they can use in creating their own stories. The one and 1/2 to two hour workshop focuses on helping young writers create real, believable stories that include all of the elements of good story writing including (and focusing particularly on) character and setting. The workshop content is David’s response to seeing too many students’ stories that focus only on plot, as kids—surrounded by superhero films and video games--try to create an action movie on paper. The best part of the workshop is that the students not only have fun but take hold of the hints and tips David gives them and “head off in directions I hadn’t even thought of.”

Presentation type: Workshop

Recommended levels: Junior (4-6), Intermediate (7-8), High school (9-12)