Fiction for Young Readers

Considered an authority for middle readers and early chapter books, I am fascinated by tree forts, volcanoes rockets, monster lobsters and creepy graveyards. I support new writers by delivering tailored presentations at conferences and workshops as well as appearing at literary festivals, library events and schools.
I also offer mentorships and regularly jury national writing competitions. In addition to fiction, I freelance for travel magazines about my family's sailing adventures aboard our boat, Cape Fear. More information about me can be found in my really short bio or my compilation of frequently asked questions.

My Services

Schools and Library Events

My visits include props, audience participation, writing exercises, short readings and video clips sure to keep students engaged and glued to their seats.

Literary Festivals and Presentations

I support new writers by delivering tailored presentations at literary conferences, teachers’ in-service days and creative writing events.      

Writing Workshops

I offer writing workshops for adults and for children on a variety of topics including cultivating story ideas,  character development, and how to write a series.


I  have served as a judge for many national and Atlantic Canadian writing competitions, including the prestigious Governor General's Literary Award.

Mentoring and Editing

Do you seek coaching and feedback on your manuscript for children's fiction? I offer expertise for picture books, chapter books and middle readers.

Freelance Articles

I accept freelance assignments (fiction and non fiction) for children's, travel and sailing magazines.

Kind Words

All of the students begged me to read more each day as I read one of Jessica’s novels. Jessica has a way of writing that gets into the minds of young readers.

Springvale Elementary

My class was enthralled with Jessica’s presentation and keenly interested in what writers do and how they do it.

LeMarchant St. Thomas Elementary

Jessica was informative and friendly. Our school is a special needs school, but they remained interested to the very end.

Dr. Oakley School

Jessica writes with unusual perception about the emotional lives of young people.


Selected Books

Recent Appearances

Character and Setting Research for New Manuscript

Reykjavik, Iceland

I spent two weeks in Iceland undertaking research for my latest novel. Central to my new story is the late Canadian/Icelandic poet, Stephan G. Stephansson. One of my stops was to visit his monument, located on the northern coast of Iceland where he grew up. Stephansson later emigrated to Southern Alberta. His homestead has been designated as a historic site, and I spent a summer there during my undergraduate degree as an interpreter.

Grande Prairie Children’s Literature Roundtable

Grande Prairie, Alberta

In January, I visited 10 Grande Prairie elementary schools, the Grande Prairie Regional College and the Grande Prairie Public Library, and over the course of my one-week tour, I presented to over 2,700 students! Thanks to the Roundtable for organizing this tour as well as  the Canada Council for financial support.

MASC Young Authors/Illustrators Conference

Ottawa, Ontario

The MASC Young Authors and Illustrators Conference turned 25 this year and I participated as one of the writing workshop leaders in April! I spoke to 150 students from grades four to eight who had a passion for writing. The conference took place in Ottawa at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum. Learn more by watching this video.

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My clients

Dear Reader


Dear Macy, Your ATV looks like a hoot. I’ve seen many coming out of the woods around here caked in mud, just like you’ve described. I grew up with cousins […]


Dear Tim, I just learned that Pokemon has been around for 22 years. Twenty-two years! I must confess that I’ve never played it, but, like Pokemon, I do enjoy role-playing […]

Sky Diving

Dear Christian, There are lots of new things I would like to try, but skydiving is not one of them. However, I would certainly love to read about someone else […]

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a writing workshop leader or presenter?
Contact me