Stephanie Simpson McLellan

Contact Stephanie Stephanie is available for bookings in your area.

Stephanie Simpson McLellan

Newmarket, ON

The Mr. Christie Award Gold - The Chicken Cat (Winner, 2001)

The Ruth Schwartz Award - The Chicken Cat (Winner, 2001)

The Blue Spruce Award - The Chicken Cat (Short-listed, 2001)

The CNIB Tiny-Torgi Print Braille Award - The Chicken Cat (Short-listed, 2001)

The Blue Spruce Award - Leon's Song (Short-listed, 2006)

The Chocolate Lily Award - Leon's Song (Short-listed, 2006)

The Crystal Kite Award - Hoogie in the Middle (Short-listed, 2014)


Picture books


Stephanie&;s first picture book, The Chicken Cat (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2000), won both The Mr. Christie Award and The Ruth Schwartz Award and was a finalist for two others. Leon’s Song (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2004) was a finalist for both The Blue Spruce and Chocolate Lily picture books awards. Hoogie in the Middle (Pajama Press, Spring 2013), a finalist for the Crystal Kite Award, and noted as a Canadian Children&;s Book Centre and Resource Links Best Book, was followed up by a companion book, Tweezle into Everything in Fall 2013. Stephanie&;s newest picture book, The Christmas Wind, was released December 2017 by Red Deer Press.

In 1995, Stephanie began a mail order children’s book company, She&;s written several scripts for the Gemini nominated children’s television series Roll Play, volunteered as a writer/mentor for The Neighbourhood Diaries project in 2009, and wrote the children’s book reviews (and other columns) for Today’s Parent Magazine for 12 years. In January 2012 she had the privilege of interviewing Maurice Sendak for this magazine before he passed away in May.

Throughout 2015-2017, Stephanie conducted a unique literacy experiment with students from every province and territory of Canada. This project had students from JK-Grade 6 listening to a story (her forthcoming book, The Christmas Wind) in a format akin to an old, serialized radio show. Each week, for 8 weeks, an audio portion of a story was uploaded to their class webpages and they were asked to illustrate what they imagined. Because the book they drew pictures of is not yet on the shelves, the students had a clean, uninfluenced slate to start from. Fuelled by a desktop computer in Newmarket, Ontario, this project brought students back in time to when things were un-googleable, and wonder and wait weren’t foreign words. The project was profiled extensively in newspapers and on radio across the country, and was a Top 10 Idea in the 2016 CST Inspired Minds Learning Project Contest, winning $1,500.00 for The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Learn more at:

Besides being a member of The Writers’ Union, Stephanie is a member of The Canadian Children’s Book Centre, CANSCAIP, PEN Canada and SCBWI. Her BA in English Literature is from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and her MBA from the University of Toronto. Stephanie currently lives in Newmarket, Ontario with her husband, two daughters and one son.

In her school presentations, Stephanie encourages children to look for and understand their own creativity by sharing the stories behind her stories, how these stories/ideas turn into books, and what it’s like to write for a living. Visit Stephanie’s website at

Inquire about this presentation


During my school presentations I encourage children to look for and understand their own creativity by sharing the stories behind my stories, how these stories/ideas turn into books, and what it’s like to write for a living. Specifically, I have four goals with each school presentation:

  1. To entertain students with a dramatic reading of my books so they will come to know and care about my characters and about the value of story
  2. To stir the writer/creator inside each student by sharing the stories behind my stories, thus empowering them to see the connection between their own lives and their own potential works of art
  3. To create a natural bridge to relevant, valuable and interesting learning (E.g. Hoogie in the Middle - a simile exercise; Leon’s Song - a mini science quiz on how frogs survive the winter)
  4. To give students a sense of what goes into the creation of a book and what it’s like to write for a living

Each presentation lasts an hour for 50-60 students.

Ahead of each school visit I create a school specific page on my website to help teachers and students prepare for my visit. You can find a sample HERE

See HERE for Teacher Feedback on my School & Library Presentations


Presentation type: Reading

Recommended levels: Junior kindergarten, Senior kindergarten, Primary (1-3)

Fees: OAC Writers-In-The-Schools Program Subsidized Fees: 1 session:$200 2 sessions:$400 3 sessions:$600 4 sessions:$850