Jan L. Coates

Jan L. Coates

Wolfville, NS

Governor General's Literary Award for Children's Fiction (Text) (Short-listed, 2011)

Ann Connor Brimer Award (Short-listed, 2011)

USBBY International Honor Book (Commended, 2011)

Ann Connor Brimer Award (Short-listed, 2014)

OLA Best Bets List (Short-listed, 2014)

Violet Downey Award (Short-listed, 2014)

Hackmatack Award (Short-listed, 2015)

USBBY Honor List of Outstanding International Books for Young People with Disabilities (Commended, 2006)


Rainbows in the Dark (Second Story Press, 2005)

Fifteen-Minute Fillers, Volume 2, ESL book (Editions de L'Envolee, 2013)

Bruno and the Brazilian Rubberaser (Caramel Tree Readers (ESL publisher for Korean English language learners), 2013)

Mr. Beethoven and Me (Caramel Tree Readers, 2012)

Five Children and IT (Caramel Tree Readers, 2012)

Stop Complaining, Chicken Little! (Caramel Tree Readers, 2012)


Beginning Readers, Early chapter books, Junior fiction (Ages 8-12), Intermediate Fiction (Ages 10-14), Picture books


Winston Stilwell (publicist) (Fitzhenry & Whiteside/Red Deer Press)


I’m still eleven years old on the inside (although I look slightly older on the outside), and that’s why I write books for young readers. Reading and writing were always my favorite parts of school, but I never dreamed I’d actually get to have books with my name on them as AUTHOR some day! Other than being nosy and reading and writing, I like to play badminton, shop at used clothing and junk stores, travel, be lazy at my cottage, go the gym and snuggle my Golden Irish, Charlie. I live in Wolfville, NS with my husband, Don; my two kids, Liam and Shannon, are (sadly) grownups now.

I&;ve been writing for young readers (seriously, that is) since 2000, and I write every single day - for hours! One of my favorite parts of being a writer is meeting readers, especially young readers - so please get in touch!

Inquire about this presentation

The Nosey (Curious) Writer


Jan L. Coates


School Presentations

            I’m a member of the Writers’ Council of the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia, and as such, I’ve participated in the Writers in the Schools (WITS) program for the past seven years, during which time I’ve visited over 40 schools.

           Each year, I visit between 4 and 12 schools, for half-day or full-day visits.  Most often, I present to between 75 and 150 students during a visit, and the students range in age from 5 to 16. I spend between 30 and 60 minutes with each class-size group, although I am also comfortable working with combined classes. My goal is to share my passion for writing and books, while also providing a participatory experience to encourage young readers and writers to have fun with writing.

            Occasionally, I do picture book creation workshops, which are lots of fun, but take a lot of the teacher’s time following my visit.

Most often, my visits consist of three parts:


 I show my writing PowerPoint, and answer questions about anything and everything, mostly to do with writing:) My PPT takes about 15 minutes, and I incorporate anecdotal stories about life as a writer and the stories behind my books, as well as a discussion of W.R.I.T.E.R.S., an acronym of writers’ tools we all possess: Words, Reading, Imagination, Thesaurus, Experience, Rewriting and Senses.


I read, either from a published book, or a work-in-progress.


 I always have the students do an activity, depending on the age-group.  For students in grades 2 and up, I usually get them to do a shared writing activity wherein they have to think of either a thing  or place and describe it using their four senses other than sight. Students then share their descriptions with the group, and the other students try to guess the presenter’s object or place. This is usually lots of fun and the kids come up with really good ideas, and they’re encouraged to think beyond what things look like when writing, thereby involving their readers completely in their story.

For students in grades primary and one, I have a rainbow activity involving ROY G. BIV (the order of the colours in rainbows), and I’ve also had them write group poems about experiencing one of the four seasons with all five of their senses.

Presentation type: Workshop

Recommended levels: Not applicable, Primary (1-3), Junior (4-6), Intermediate (7-8)

Fees: $250/day plus travel