Falling Into Autumn

Like this photo, this fall seems to have a lot going on. So thankful I am that I am able to engage in all this…

  • I’m taking a fitness class that has me working on cardio, strength, and balance, to supplement what walking the dog does for me.
  • I’m singing with a women’s choir, Just Sing, for the first time in several decades. We’ll be singing at the Cambridge Christmas Market on December 9.
  • I’m working on my poetry and have even submitted a few poems to a literary journal.
  • I’m also back at work on my adult novel.
  • I’m acting as editor on someone else’s novel.
  • I’m attending, usually virtually, a lecture series on AI.
  • I’ve been working on our garden, in part aiming to reduce how much work it needs!
  • I’m preparing to participate in a Victoria Festival of Authors panel (with Robin Stevenson and Christy Jordan-Fenton, moderated by Danny Ramadan) on diversity, censorship, and children’s books.
  • I’m excited about developments happening with upcoming picture books.
  • I’ve had good visits with my sister and with good friends.
  • And I’ve just enjoyed some wonderful Thanksgiving weekend visits with family, including a gregarious grandson and effervescent granddaughter.
  • I’m looking forward to the Secret Cinema series starting up at the Bookshelf again for the first time since March 2020.
  • Speaking of which, I’ll soon be getting my next covid vaccination.
  • I’ve found myself wondering if there’s anything that you, dear reader of my blog, hope I’ll write about here in the coming months. Because although this post has been about “I…” “I…” “I…” — this blog is meant for you!

Please tell me! Is there a topic you’d like me to consider in the coming months? Feel free to have a look at some of my past posts and let me know if there’s a category you’d like more of — or less of!


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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. Wendy Mason Geoghegan on October 11, 2023 at 10:52 am

    How wonderful just as all of your books are. Picture books are my passion so anything you can write about what’s happening in the picture book world will be most appeciated. I thank you.

    • Kathy on October 11, 2023 at 3:30 pm

      I will keep that in mind, Wendy. I don’t do as well as I used to at keeping up with what’s happening in the broader picture book world, but I’ll definitely keep you posted about what’s happening with mine! Two scheduled for publication in 2024 and another in 2025!

  2. Ann Benedek on October 11, 2023 at 11:23 am

    Phew!!!! Kathy, how do you do it all . . .
    Something to write about . . . well, I have just received my first ‘rejection’ of my first, finished, thoroughly mentored YA novel. Told myself to soldier on, when I received it. Told myself there’d be more to come. Reminded myself of all those wonderful authors who had received many rejections too . . . but all the same Kathy, I have to admit . . . IT HURT!!!!
    So, maybe other writers would like to know how to handle those first-time ‘rejections’ they will probably receive.
    Something else that I found a real struggle: THE SUMMARY . . . that publishers always want. Compressing 40,000 words into between 500 and 700 words is daunting . . . any tips, Kathy?
    Ann Benedek

    • Kathy on October 11, 2023 at 3:54 pm

      Thanks for weighing in on this question, Ann.

      It’s probably small comfort to know that I tell myself all those things too, when I get a turn-down, and it still (all these years after the five turn-downs of Red Is Best before Annick picked it up), never ever feels anything but rotten to get one! (I call them “turn-downs” because they’re slightly easier to bear than “rejections.” Slightly.) The only things that help me more than that are knowing who I’m going to send a ms to next before the almost inevitable turn-down comes in, and getting involved in a new project I can pin new hopes on.

      I also struggle with those summaries/synopses/outlines that are part of novel submissions and many grant applications too. Ugh!

      I’ll try to expand on both ideas in future posts. In the meantime, take whatever time you need to lick your wounds, get that novel out on another editor’s desk, and get back to your writing. Thanks again for your great suggestions!

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