The world just got spookier!

Join Asim, Rokshar, and Max on their latest adventure! Don’t Go Near the Water is available for sale now.

A strange woman seems to have eerie control over people. Is it science . . . or strange and ghostly? 

Asim’s field trip is freaking him out! His class is on a boat, exploring the Salish Sea, when he sees a pale, scowling woman staring at him from under the water. Asim’s friend Rokshar thinks it’s just a seal. She always finds a scientific explanation for the strange things that happen in town.

But when Asim’s dad hears otherworldly music coming from the water, he feels so drawn to it that he tries to throw himself in! Could a fairmaid—a mermaid from Guyanese folklore—be to blame?

Find out . . . if you dare!


The Writers Community of Durham Region presents ASK AN AGENT with ALI McDONALD
Saturday February 11
9:30 to 11:30 am EST


IN PERSON: St. Mark’s United Church, 201 Centre Street S, in Whitby ON

Enter through the south-facing door of the church. The meeting is in the upstairs hall. There is free parking on weekends in the church lot and in the town lot across the street. The building is wheelchair accessible on the west side.


Ali McDonald answers your questions about agenting, query letters, and the business side of the writing world. You’ll want to register early for this one—we’ll collect questions for Ali ahead of time!

Ali has worked in publishing for 14 years, leading the children’s division at The Rights Factory before launching 5 Otter Literary with her partners in January 2021. She represents bestselling, award-winning, emerging, and debut children’s authors and illustrators, in a range of formats and genres from board books to young adult literature and everything in between. Her specialization is in genre fiction—speculative, thriller, horror, science fiction, and fantasy—particularly from underrepresented and marginalized creators.

QUESTIONS? Please contact


Registration is Open for U of T course 1717-91

I’m excited to be back with the University of Toronto’s SCS, teaching course 1717 – Writing for Children: Introduction. Webinars will be held on Wednesdays from 12:30-3:00 pm ET. They’re also recorded for those who can’t attend live. Please see below for the class description and register here.

This course is the first step in the children’s writing stream of the Certificate in Creative Writing. You’ll explore the vibrant world of children’s literature, absorb basic literary technique and emerge with a draft of a picture book, story or opening chapter. You’ll meet a community of writers working in your genre and pick up advanced tips on writing picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels and young adult fiction. There will also be a primer on how to get published.

Understand the structure and techniques of telling stories for children.
Know trends and innovations in Canadian children’s literature.
Understand the publishing process.
Complete a draft of a picture book or early reader, or the opening chapter of a middle grade or young adult novel.

Cutest coworker support

So, I’m on the computer and can’t figure out what the apps aren’t working, why the screen is acting weird, then realized Himself was snoozing with his paw on my trackpad. Not gonna lie, this is the kind of sabotage I can live with. ♥️


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