Jessica Scott Kerrin

Jessica Scott Kerrin

Author
Halifax, NS
Awards

Rocky Mountain Book Award (Alberta's Readers' Choice Award) (Short-listed, 2015)

Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Award (Short-listed, 2015)

John Spray Mystery Award - Canadian Children's Book Centre (Short-listed, 2014)

Book of the Year for Children Award - Canadian Library Association (Short-listed, 2014)

Best Books of Exceptional Calibre - Canadian Children's Book Centre (Short-listed, 2014)

New York Public Library's Top 100 Children's Books (Short-listed, 2013)

Hackmatack Award (Atlantic Canada's Readers' Choice Award) (Short-listed, 2014)

Best Books of Exceptional Calibre - Canadian Children's Book Centre (Short-listed, 2012)

Best Books of Exceptional Calibre - Canadian Children's Book Centre (Short-listed, 2010)

Best Books of Exceptional Calibre - Canadian Children's Book Centre (Short-listed, 2009)

Hackmatack Award (Atlantic Canada's Readers' Choice Award) (Short-listed, 2009)

Best Books of Exceptional Calibre - Canadian Children's Book Centre (Short-listed, 2008)

Best Books of Exceptional Calibre - Canadian Children's Book Centre (Short-listed, 2008)

Hackmatack Award (Atlantic Canada's Readers' Choice Award) (Short-listed, 2008)

Notable Books List - American Library Association (Short-listed, 2006)

New York Public Library's Top Books of 2005 (Short-listed, 2005)

Genres

Beginning Readers, Early chapter books, Junior fiction (Ages 8-12)

Biography

Jessica Scott Kerrin is a Canadian children’s writer who is best known for her fiction books for boys, including an eight-book series called Martin Bridge, a trilogy called The Lobster Chronicles, two mysteries called The Spotted Dog Last Seen and The Missing Dog is Spotted, and her new adventure novel, The Things Owen Wrote. Literary critics from Horn Book, Kirkus Starred Reviews, School Library Journal, the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail claim that she adds much-needed male protagonists to early chapter-book readers.

Her work has been a finalist for the Book of the Year for Children Award by the Canadian Library Association, the John Spray Mystery Award (Canadian Children’s Book Centre), the Manitoba Young Readers Award, and Atlantic Canada Children’s Choice (Hackmatack) Awards. Her work is also included in the New York Public Library’s Top 100 Children’s Books, the Association of Canadian Publishers’ Top Grade Canlit for Classrooms, Best Books of Exceptional Caliber by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre, Best of Books by Horn Book, the Junior Library Guild Premier Selection and the Notable Books List by the American Library Association.

Jessica’s initial bucket list included having an astronaut autograph her first book about rockets. Having accomplished that feat, she’s now added new items to her bucket list like having her stories translated into many different languages, seeing her work performed on stage or on screen, and meeting a published young writer whom Jessica  helped inspire as part of a school book tour. That would be awesome!

Born and raised in Alberta, she completed a degree in political science and psychology from the University of Calgary. She then moved to Halifax to study at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Upon graduation with a fine arts degree, she later completed a graduate degree in public administration from Dalhousie University. She now resides in downtown Halifax, surrounded by shipyards, fog and historic cemeteries, where she writes full time.

Presentations
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Presentation and Reading for Children

Jessica’s jam-packed presentation to chapter-book readers is a behind-the-scenes look at the everyday experiences she writes stories about. Her hour-long presentation  involves props, writing exercises, short readings and video clips sure to keep students engaged and glued to their seats. Jessica brings her own technical equipment.

Jessica uses humour and poses questions to students about similar experiences they might have had that her main characters face. In so doing, she demonstrates how they, too, have had experiences worthy of writing about. In terms of curriculum outcomes, students will:

  • identify sources for creative inspiration
  • understand how brainstorming works to launch a writing assignment
  • discover how to take an idea and shape it into a story
  • and, develop an appreciation for all the stages of editing and good writing habits

Reported outcomes following her visit have included: an increase in library borrowing; an enhanced understanding of the writing process; a surge in creativity; and the application of new techniques for creative writing. Often, students will declare that they’ll be writers when they grow up, too!

Jessica is in high demand and has presented to schools across Canada and the United States. She enjoys book tours, especially in remote locations.

Presentation type: Workshop

Recommended levels: Primary (1-3), Junior (4-6)

Fees: $250 per presentation (no maximum audience size) plus travel expenses

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Presentation for Adult Writers (various topics)

Jessica is a dynamic and accomplished speaker and is considered to be an expert on writing for boys. She offers presentations and workshops for adults on the following topics:

  • Creating characters for young male readers
  • The importance of conflict
  • Cultivating story ideas
  • How to write a series
  • Location, location: why setting matters
  • Writing habits, time management and you

Jessica has presented across Canada and the United States, including the International Readers’ Association  conference, the annual conference for the Canadian Society of Authors, Illustrators and Performers, and the annual conference for the Association of Teachers of English of Nova Scotia.  She has taught writing workshops in partnership with the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia. In addition, she has served as a judge for many national and Atlantic Canadian writing competitions, including the 2014 Governor General Award for Children's Text.

Presentation type: Workshop

Recommended levels: Not applicable

Fees: Negotiable fee plus travel expenses