Tag Archives: canadian childrens book news

My First iBook: Darkness Between the Stars Has a New Format

It’s finally happened! The Darkness Between the Stars a book that I am very proud of is now available to download at iTunes. From Goodreads: This book should be read by every parent and teen. This is a story that shows how teenagers can have much stress and pressure to succeed which could lead to depression and thoughts of suicide when life becomes to overwhelming. Parents should not ignore signs and strange behavior and try to seek help before their child gets totally out of control. This book would be great for a must read book in high school. Discussions should be held regarding how to get help for depression and also how suicide effects entire families for the rest of their lives. I myself have learned a lot from reading this and hope many others will read it too. This can possible save lives.


Award winning author Julie Burtinshaw has written compelling and provocative novel about the realities of teen suicide. This is a gritty, honest heartfelt book that is ultimately filled with hope. And not easily forgotten.

Now available to download at your iTunes store.

Pages: 219
Size: 1.0 MB

1 Comment

Filed under Events and Readings, My Books Reviewed

Children’s Writing Camp VPL 2010 Almost at an End

I have to say this week has flown by and I can hardly believe it is already Thursday and I’ve had the opportunity to spend writing time with two groups of kids. Tomorrow, is the gala event when parents, friends and families will have the chance to listen to some of the kids reading from their own work, and I’m 100% sure, they will be totally blown away.

I am having so much fun in the workshops that we have (at the kids’ suggestion) gone over time and today we were actually told we had to wrap it up! I love that – it means the teens are as happy as I am.

This particular group have such an amazing sense of humour blended in with a shocking amount of talent and a willingness to do what so many writers find so painful – share their work with a group – first draft work, that it!

So wait for it! These kids are tomorrow’s Lit Stars and you heard it from me first 🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under Events and Readings, Writing Tips

Bookcamp Next Week! VPL Writing and Reading for Kids

Monday is day one of the Canadian Children’s Book Camp and I’ve spent this week creating some really fun workshop materials. I’m quite excited about the prospect of meeting and working with all the young talent in my workshops and seeing all the magic in their imaginations! It’s only one week, but it’s one of the most fun weeks of the summertime.

There are three Teen Mentors this year: Myself, Chris Humphries and Maggie De Vries! I admire both of these writers so much and really look forward to working together.

The Keynote Speaker lineup is equally impressive as are the workshop leaders for the younger crowd. Look for blog posts on the the bookcamp next week!

Leave a comment

Filed under Stuff to do, Writing Tips

Canadian Book Camp 2009

A little while ago, I blogged about how excited I was to be invited to run a week-long workshop for teens at the Canadian Book Camp beginning next Monday and running through to Friday August 14.

I had really hoped that in spite of my cracked ribs, I would be able to fulfill this commitment, but yesterday I had not choice to make the decision to step down as one of the 2009 teen workshop leaders. It was especially difficult because I was told that some of the students and requested they specifically enroll in my workshop.

When my first book came out, I didn’t have any idea that I would be invited into schools to do readings and eventually run writing workshops. Over the past eight years, this has become something that I have come to really treasure and enjoy. I have seen unbelievable talent and enthusiasm in so many teens all across Canada. Making the decision to turn down this amazing opportunity was not easy and I wish all of the campers a week filled with literary wonder. If possible, I hope to drop in one morning to meet some of you and listen to one of the amazing keynote speakers.

It’s taking forever for my ribs and shoulder to heal. I am stuck in a limbo between boredom and pain while feeling grateful that I did not end up with a far worse injury. Today, for the first time, I managed to walk a whole block – my destination, it won’t surprise you, the library at the end of the street. I didn’t take out a book, as I’m in the middle of (and loving) Ludmila’s Broken English by DBC Peirre. I have also finished book three in the Twilight Series and didn’t enjoy it as much as the first two. Bella is starting to get on my nerves. I mean, isn’t it important to retain some of oneself in a relationship? Come on, Bella. Let’s hope you smarten up in the next installment.

I digress. I also missed our suite101 beach picnic this week…arg and the food and company is so great.



Filed under Events and Readings, Give Me a Break

Perfect Cut Reviewed Again!

My publisher just sent me great news. The Perfect Cut has been reviewed in in Canadian Children’s Book News (Fall 2008 volume), and it was highly praised! I need a copy if any of my Vancouver friends should come across one.

Feedback is so rare, and I am always thrilled when one of my books gets noticed. I have heard from lots of teen readers and the comments are generally really encouraging. Thanks, Readers.

Fall 2008 issue of Canadian Children’s Book News:

After the death of his older sister Michelle, Brian has difficulty coping and begins withdrawing from his parents, school, and his friends. His only solace comes with cutting. In the few seconds it takes for the razor to break the skin, he feels alive, and it’s only when he takes things one step too far, and another tragedy nearly occurs, that Brian is able to confront his feelings and to live without cutting.

In her latest novel, author Julie Burtinshaw has created a raw and realistic look at cutting, which has become increasingly popular among young adults as a form of stress relief. The story is told primarily from Brian’s perspective and the reader will be drawn in by his bluntness and his genuine anguish as he spirals deeper out of control.

Not just another teen issue story, this rich, multi-layered plot peels back slowly, revealing another dimension with each layer, adding to the richness of the characters, and demonstrating that surface appearances don’t always give a complete picture.

While Brian’s ultimate breakdown was easily foreseeable, it is his journal revelations as part of his therapy that are the most heartwrenching and revealing, and the strong support network of friends and family that rally around him end the novel on a hopeful note, without succumbing to a happily-ever-after tidy ending that some readers might expect.

Suitable for teens ages 14 and up, this novel works well for opening up discussion about this important topic, and could be studied in conjunction with Monique Polak’s novel Scarred, published as part of James Lorrimer’s SideStreets series last spring, which also addresses teenage cutting.

— Rachel Steen


Filed under Events and Readings