Helen Mason

Helen Mason

Wellington, ON

Bran and Bluma Appel Scholarship, The Humber School for Writers (Winner, 2016)

Pete McGillen Award (Winner, 1992)

Outdoors Writers of America Young Writers Scholarship (Winner, 1991)

The Greg Clark Outdoor Writing Award (Winner, 1987)




Helen Mason has worked as a strawberry and blueberry picker, salesclerk, snack bar attendant, cashier, money counter, teacher, freelance journalist, art model, business writing coach, farmer, and Affirmative Action coordinator. After 30 years working as an editor and project manager for educational publishers, in 2014 she closed her fulltime business and currently focuses on what she&;s always wanted to do–write books for young readers.

She has written 34 nonfiction books, most of them for young audiences. The ones still in print are listed here.

Helen is currently working on several non-fiction and fiction projects, including a a teen novel.

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Oops! Is That True?

Using examples from personal experience, Helen discusses how to find and check information, both online, using interviews, and during library research. The talk will include bloopers she&;s made and how to avoid them.

Presentation type: Workshop

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

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What Would You Pick?

Good information books include pictures that tell a story. During this collaborative workshop, participants get to look at the selection of pictures from which Helen had to choose for some of her published works. What would students&; use? Why did the publisher use the ones in the finished title? Junior-level students particularly enjoy this give-and-take discussion.

Presentation type: Workshop

Recommended levels: Junior (4-6)

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The Collaborative Process

Today, many books aren&;t the sole idea of the author. More are the result of collaboration between author and a publishing team. From idea to plan to publication, Helen uses her own works to illustrate the steps in this process. Illustrations include feedback from the publisher and production team, marked-up passes of the early book, and examples of pages that were changed just before publication.

This presentation can be geared to different audiences. I have used parts of it with kindergarten classes.

Presentation type: Other

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