Watt is Reading Local at Point Grey Library

As part of the Read Local campaign, I will be reading The Girl Who Writes and The Boy Who Paints to an enthusiastic audience at Point Grey Library in Vancouver.

Join us on April 15th at 1:30 as we talk about crafting these books and sending them out into the world.

For more information on Read Local events, see http://books.bc.ca/read-local-bc/



Workshopping The Girl Who Writes at a Wonderful Place

We are happy to be conducting workshops on The Boy Who Paints and The Girl Who Writes over the next month with students from Hillcrest School in Surrey.

The day was warm.  Spring was in the air, and the warmth of the sun outside went right through to our bones after the winter.  And if that wasn’t enough, look what we found when we rolled into the parking lot with our canvases, our paints, and our load of kids books.  Our place was reserved by librarian Bonnie Chapman with this amazing sign.

It is a wonderful place, filled with the buzz of inspired minds.


Alberta Bound with The Girl Who Writes!

We are bound for Alberta on Friday, to tour bookstores in Calgary and to officially launch The Girl Who Writes at Canada House Gallery in Banff on Saturday, November 8th between 1:00 and 3:00.  We will be doing a presentation and reading at 2:00.  Families are welcome.

What does Richard’s painting of an owl have to do with our new children’s book on writing and the importance of choosing great words?

Lots, in fact.  As we worked on the design vocabulary of the new book, and tried to think what a perceptive young woman in early-twentieth century rural Canada might see around her in the river and in the town she was familiar with, we knew we needed to include a beaver.  Richard drew one, then we decided it needed to be a smart little critter, so he made sure he was reading.

This process of considering and drawing wildlife for our new book put Richard on the path to painting giant portraits of wildlife — hence the owl. It also puts me in mind of something The Girl says:

I know that with a bit of ink and 26 letters, I can make new worlds.

We are looking forward to seeing you all at Canada House this weekend! Here’s the link.  http://www.canadahouse.com/dynamic/exhibit_artist.asp?ExhibitID=273

Richard Cole: New Paintings

Artist and children’s book designer Richard Cole has been busy this summer — painting people close to him, and journeying into landscape through acrylics.  The featured image is a new painting: Prairie, 2014 — and its reminiscent of the one he used for the last page of our new book, The Girl Who Writes.  It’s a stunning page — one of my all-time-favourites.  It makes me want to leap out of my chair — and then sit down again and write.

He has also been making movies of the evolution of his paintings.  See one here www.colestudio.ca.

But that’s not all — he has revived and improved our beloved Boy Who Paints site (see it here at http://boywhopaints.ca/wp/) and is painting feverishly to get ready for his fall and winter shows.


Back to the Books! Reading The Girl Who Writes at Black Bond

It’s back to school and back to the books — kinda — here in BC.  To launch us into the groove of fall reading, Richard Cole and K. Jane Watt will be reading from our new book and talking about how it came together at Black Bond Books in Ladner

We’d love you to join us at Black Bond Books

5251 Ladner Trunk Rd, Delta on Sunday September 7 at 2:00.

We will also dip into our audience favourite of 2013 The Boy Who Paints.

We look forward to seeing you there — kicking off our fall season of public appearances and doing what we love — talking to readers about books and the wonder of words.

Print off this blog post and bring it along for a special prize.

For more information, see Black Bond’s site at www.blackbondbooks.com

Canada Day Schedule of Readings

Come and join us at the Fort Langley Festival of the Book between 11 and 3 at Fort Langley Community Hall.  The place will be a-buzzing with book lovers of all ages.

We know it is going to be sunny, so here is our roster of readers for the outdoor stage:

11:00 Betty Sinclair

11:10 Bruce Kilby

11:20 Debra Purdy-Kong

11:30 Darlene Foster


11:50 Philip Sherwood

12:00 Watt and Cole

12:10 Mark Alexander

12:20 Sheila Nickols

12:30 Gail Banning

12:40 Chantelle Saumier

12:50 Georgia Hunter

1:00 Patricia McCuaig

1:10 Jennifer Lott

1:20 Barbara Boldt

1:30 Harrison and Fairweather

1:40 Envy Louis

1:50 David E. Burnell

2:00 Fern Hinse

2:10 Larry Jacobsen

2:20 Selma Turner

We’re excited about our first Fort Langley Festival of the Book.  Hope to see you there.

Nice Poster! Festival of the Book

We have been busy getting ready for the festival and excited about welcoming book lovers to our town. We are especially excited about reading our new book, The Girl Who Writes, to a crowd for the first time. It has something for everyone: stunning paintings of the Fraser River (oops, Richard doesn’t like to name places in his paintings so specifically), visual references to history, and plenty to see for all ages.  We worked hard to craft the words and tell a story that we know will have a long life.

Stay tuned for an updated schedule of events.


Fort Langley Festival of the Book

Celebrate Canada Day in Fort Langley!

We are now registering authors for the Fort Langley Festival of the Book to be held on July 1, 2014 at the Fort Langley Community Hall in beautiful downtown Fort Langley. This free family event will run from 11-3.

Our feature image, above, shows the preliminary work artist Richard Cole has done on our poster. He is cooling his heels while waiting to launch our second children’s book, The Girl Who Writes at the Fort Langley Festival of the Book.

The place will be hopping with book lovers.  We looking forward to hosting — along with Vivalogue Publishing — independent writers and their books as well as the national winners of the Alcuin Book Design competition.  The Fraser Valley Regional Library is one of our core sponsors at this site, and the Bard in The Valley will be performing Julius Caesar on its outdoor stage in front of the hall starting at 3.

The Fort Langley Festival of the Book is one of seven venues celebrating Canada Day in Fort Langley: The Langley Centennial Museum, the British Columbia Farm Machinery Museum, Langley Heritage Society CN Station, Fort Langley National Historic Site and Sxwimela gifts, and lelem’ arts and cultural cafe.

Authors — find registration information here.  Don’t be confused by the name!   http://www.raindancebookfestival.com/

Stay tuned for updates.



Shortlisted! Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award

We are pleased as punch that The Boy Who Paints is one of five book shortlisted for the 2014 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s book award organized by the Ontario Arts Council in the Children’s Picture Book category.

And even cooler is the fact that the final selections are made by a panel of grade 3 and 4 students who take their job as judges very seriously.

Check it out here: http://www.arts.on.ca/Page5438.aspx


Recommended by Canadian Materials! The Boy Who Paints

We are delighted to be “recommended” by CM Magazine. 

 “The Boy Who Paints is a positive, inspiring story with wonderful illustrations.”  Sabrina Wong, University of Calgary.

We’ve been having great success engaging with readers and learners of all ages, from K to 12.  We encourage readers far beyond the primary grades to be inspired by this book that speaks to the process of becoming an artist and the confidence and self-definition such a decision requires.

He makes a sign for his bedroom door: Art Studio.

In readings and workshops we ask readers to consider narrative voice: intermediate readers, in particular, find the narrative’s direct address to them quite hilarious, and a little unnerving:

Has your mother ever told you to do something you just can’t do?  Have you ever answered, “in a minute!” and shrugged your shoulders or rolled your eyes? Well the boy did.  And you know what? He kept on painting.

We heartily thank the community of readers and thinkers and doers based at the University of Manitoba that creates CM Magazine and encourages made-in-Canada reading material. For the full text of the review, and to read Ms. Wong’s detailed critique of our work, please visit The Boy Who Paints.