“The Reader I Was, The Writer I Am”

Kathy Stinson as reader and writerHow could I say no? It was an honour to be asked, back in February 2019, if I would “consider speaking at the Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books in Toronto” as the 33rd annual Helen E. Stubbs memorial lecturer in the fall of 2020.

“This lecture series,” Martha Scott wrote, “is held in the memory of Helen E. Stubbs (1907-1987), who began her career as a children's Librarian in Toronto Public Library’s Boys and Girls Division, and became the Acting Head of Boys and Girls Services before her retirement. Through a generous bequest made by Ms. Stubbs, we are able to finance special purchases for the collection, and host an annual lecture. It was Helen's wish that the topic of the lectures focus on some aspect of children’s literature, and be given by people “of outstanding ability, interest and originality.” Past speakers include Susan Cooper, Lois Lowry, Michael Rosen, Kenneth Oppel, Deborah Ellis and Jan Thornhill.”

I immediately said Yes -- once I'd picked myself up off the floor.

Martha’s letter that day went on to detail the honorarium and expenses that would be paid for: travel to Toronto, accommodation, per diem costs. And then covid struck. The lecture was postponed. A year later, hosting the lecture virtually still seemed the best option.

Much as I enjoy meeting children’s book enthusiasts in person, I’m not entirely sorry that the lecture will be conducted online. Over the course of the pandemic, I’ve enjoyed a number of events, including launches for The Lady with the Books and The Girl Who Loved Giraffes, that were attended by people far from where they would have been held in person. Zoom, Crowdcast, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, and other platforms have opened up all kinds of workshops, meetings, classes, conferences, and the like to a global audience.

I hope you will join us on November 11 when I’ll be exploring connections between my reading as a child and my writing as an adult, between the world as I knew it then and the world as I know it now. You can tune in at 7pm ET that day, but why not register now so you’ll get an email reminder!

A recording of the event is available until November 18.


  1. trudee on October 27, 2021 at 1:40 pm

     Hey, Kathy! So great to hear your lecture is going ahead!

    Unfortunately, I’m booked as a speaker that evening, so I won’t be able to tune in to hear what I’m sure will be a marvellous lecture.

    I’ll have to keep an eye out for info on watching the recording after the fact. 😊

    • Kathy on October 27, 2021 at 2:29 pm

      Happy to know you’d like to tune in, Trudee. Where are you speaking? Will it be recorded so I can hear you too?

      • trudee on October 27, 2021 at 4:20 pm

         Hey, Kathy!

        Thanks for asking. I *think* it’s being recorded? I’ll have to find out. I’m speaking with another Barrie playwright who’s written about World Wars. We’ll be talking about our plays, reading a few short excerpts and answering questions about writing on this subject.

        It’s a special Remembrance Day edition of the monthly writers group called WordUp that is located in Barrie, so I feel quite honoured to have been asked.

        I wish you all the best with your lecture, and I’ll follow up with details on whether my panel will be recorded. 😊

        • Kathy on October 28, 2021 at 8:29 am


  2. wendy mason on October 29, 2021 at 11:33 am

    Fabulous Kathy! I am so happy for you. Well deserved for sure. Wendy Mason

    • Kathy on October 29, 2021 at 11:46 am

      Thanks Wendy. 🙂

  3. Wendy Mason Geoghegan on October 29, 2021 at 12:18 pm

    I am still ordering copies of Red is Best for all the new young ones entering this world. Lady With The Books is one that I treasure too. If Red is Best, YOU are even better and the reading world benefits from your skilled and astute writings. Thank you.

    • Kathy on October 29, 2021 at 2:25 pm

      Wendy, I am blushing! 😚

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