Coffee Shop Author

Could I write a book in a coffee shop? I’ve always thought of myself as a writer who needs a quiet room, free of distraction. I have trouble resisting the sound of human voices. So how could I possibly write anything more challenging than a shopping list in a coffee shop? Why would I even consider it?

Because a new literary contest has been announced, challenging authors to “write the bulk of a novel, short story collection, poetry collection or a work of creative non?fiction at a coffee shop between November 2009 and April 2010.” I like the sound of the prizes being offered. And maybe shaking up how I normally write would help break me out of the writing funk I’ve been in lately. (No big deal, it happens.) I wonder, does it matter that I don’t drink coffee?

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Kathy Stinson is the author of the classic Red Is Best and the award-winning The Man with the Violin. Her wide range of titles includes picture books, non-fiction, young adult fiction, historical fiction, horror, biography, series books, and short stories. She has met with her readers in every province and territory of Canada, in the United States, Britain, Liberia, and Korea. She lives in a small town in Ontario.

Kathy Stinson


  1. zoom on November 24, 2009 at 9:14 am

    I think I could do it if I had either a car or a neighbourhood coffee shop. In the absence of both, I don't think I'd want to squander my precious writing time commuting to a distant coffee shop.

    But yeah, tempting prizes.

  2. Kathy Stinson on November 24, 2009 at 11:59 am

    Zero commuting time is certainly one of the great perks of working at home. Happy writing, and happy knitting too.

  3. Randal on December 1, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    Thank you very much for the plug. If the truth be known, I rarely drink coffee in coffee shops, it is usually tea for me after eight o'clock in the morning. People are encouraged to drink coffee, tea or whatever inspires them in Coffee Shop Author.

    On a side note, my ten-year-old daughter is exctied that the author of one of her favorite childhood books (Red is Best) blogged about something directly related to her life.



    p.s. We're glad the prizes are tempting.

  4. Kathy Stinson on December 2, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    It was fun to contemplate becoming a Coffee Shop Author through my blog, Randal. I hope your daughter will have a look around the rest of my site to see if anything else there catches her interest. All the best to you both.

  5. Randal on December 2, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    Thank you Kathy, I enjoyed browsing your other works and Love Every Leaf appealed to me particularly. I just emailed an order for it to our local bookstore to get is as a gift for my daughter, its content is all things of interest to her. Coffee Shops often lead to interesting things.

    Thank you.


  6. Kathy Stinson on December 3, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    I love it when kids who've enjoyed my picture books go on to read my other books as they become more sophisticated readers.

    I was telling a fellow dog-walker this morning about Coffee Shop Author. I haven't committed to doing it (yet?) but there are now two of us in Rockwood Ontario thinking about it. 🙂

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