Ellen Rae Schwartz

Ellen Rae Schwartz

Burnaby, BC

Rocky Mountain Book Award Gold Medal (Winner, 2013)

Silver Birch Fiction Award; Red Cedar Award; Chocolate Lily Award (Short-listed, 2001)

Silver Birch Express Award; Chocolate Lily Award (Short-listed, 2007)

Pennsylvania School Librarians Association YA Top 40 Non-fiction 2002 List (Commended, 2003)

New York Public Library Best Books for the Teen Age (Commended, 2004)

Booklist Top Ten Sports Books for Youth; Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Award; Sydney Taylor Notable Book; Red Cedar Award (Short-listed, 2007)

BC Book Prizes; Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award; Shining Willow Award; Elizabeth Mrazik Cleaver Award (Short-listed, 2007)

Book of Note, Tri-State Reading Council (Commended, 2011)

Silver Birch Fiction Award (Short-listed, 2017)


Early chapter books, Junior fiction (Ages 8-12), Intermediate Fiction (Ages 10-14), Non-fiction, Picture books, Teen Fiction (Hi-Lo) (Ages 12 and up)


Ellen Schwartz is the author of 16 books for children and one adult non-fiction book. (She doesn&;t like writing for adults very much.) Her books for children include picture books, chapter books, middle-grade fiction, tween non-fiction and young adult novels.

In addition to writing books, Ellen writes magazine articles on subjects ranging from how to get your kids to read more to how to train exotic wild animals for movies. She often gets to interview other authors about their books, which she loves. (Her all-time favourite interviewee was Alice Munro.)

Ellen teaches writing for children courses at Douglas College. She lives in Burnaby, BC, with her husband and their elderly dog, Maggie. Ellen has two grown daughters and a brand-new granddaughter. 

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Ellen Schwartz: From the Story Idea to the Published Book

In my presentations, I take the kids through the writing process, from when I got the idea for the story to the publication of the book. I tell them about the research I did, the decisions I had to make as I shaped the story, the writing of the first draft, the changes I made as I wrote subsequent drafts, and what it was like to work with the editor. I show them my research materials, my writing tools, and my messy drafts. And of course I answer questions.

I prefer a group of no more than 60 students plus teachers, although this is negotiable. I require a projector for PowerPoint presentations; I provide the laptop and cables. My preferred location is a library, classroom or auditorium.


Presentation type: Reading

Recommended levels: Primary (1-3), Junior (4-6), Intermediate (7-8), High school (9-12)

Fees: $250 per one-hour reading to up to 60 students, plus travel costs

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Ellen Schwartz: Good Writing is All About Rewriting!

My writing workshops start with a short reading in which I illustrate what I am trying to do in that passage. I give the students a writing prompt and take them through the process of making notes and then writing a short scene. I then have them follow specific steps to revise their piece and make it stronger. They read to a partner, then share with the whole group.

For writing workshops, I take groups of up to 35 students, with their teachers. My preferred location is a library or classroom.

Presentation type: Workshop

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

Fees: $275 per one-hour session to up to 35 students, plus travel costs.