Jocelyn Shipley

Jocelyn Shipley

Toronto, ON

US Gold Medal Moonbeam Award for YA Fiction - Mature Issues (Winner, 2012)

Surrey International Writers’ Conference Writing for Young People Award (Winner, 2011)

BC Stellar Book Award (Short-listed, 2007)


Intermediate Fiction (Ages 10-14), Short stories, Young adult (YA) Fiction (Ages 12 and up)


Born and raised in London, Ontario, Jocelyn graduated from York University and has attended the Humber School for Writers.  Her books for teens include How to Tend a Grave, Getting a Life and Seraphina’s Circle.  Her work has been translated into Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish and German for Stabenfeldt’s tween girl book club GIRL:IT.  She is also co-editor of the story collection Cleavage: Breakaway Fiction for Real Girls.  Jocelyn lives in Toronto and on Vancouver Island.  

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How to Write a Book (Grades 8 – 12)

Using the journey of her YA novel, How to Tend a Grave, Jocelyn will take students through the publishing process, from the initial idea to first draft to finished book. Topics covered include how to get started, develop characters and build a plot, create effective dialogue and scenes. The focus is on the importance of editing, revising and rewriting. Jocelyn will read from her work, share her writing process and answer questions. She will also discuss the rapidly changing world of traditional publishing, and other options such as indie publishing and ebooks.

Writing and Editing Short Fiction (Grades 8 – 12)

Jocelyn writes for adults as well as teens, and her award-winning stories have been published in anthologies, newspapers and magazines. This presentation is geared towards those who want to work toward submitting their work for publication. Jocelyn will talk about the elements that make up a good story: beginnings and endings, point of view, voice, character, dialogue and setting. Using her experience as co-editor of the story collection Cleavage: Breakaway Fiction for Real Girls, as a writing contest judge, and her own success in winning or being shortlisted in over fifteen story contests, Jocelyn will discuss how to edit and strengthen short fiction, how to get stories published, where teens can submit their work, and what grabs an editor’s attention.

Please contact me through Authors&; Booking Service for Ontario presentations, June - December.

I&;m also available for presentations on Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast, Vancouver and Lower Mainland from January - May.  


Presentation type: Workshop

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

Fees: $250 for 1 hr. session, $400 for 2 sessions, plus travel from Toronto or Parksville, BC

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I&;m available for readings of my work from June - December in Ontario and from January to May on Vancouver Island.

Presentation type: Reading

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

Fees: $125 (can possibly be covered by The Writers' Union of Canada's National public reading program)