My Writing Bio


Literary Resume

24 Minas View Drive, Wolfville, Nova Scotia  B4P 2H7


The Pocket Pig (2022, Pandamonium Publishing House)

PUBLISHED (or forthcoming) WORK (hovering over titles will reveal links to most books)

  • Anna Maria & Maestro Vivaldi (2022, Red Deer Press)
  • THE HERMIT, middle grade novel (2020, Nimbus Publishing)
  • KARISSA & FELIX, picturebook I’ve both written and illustrated!!
  • SAY WHAT YOU MEAN, middle grade novel (2019, Nevermore Press)
  • DANCING  WITH DAISY, picture book (2019, Running the Goat Press)
  • A HALIFAX TIME-TRAVELLING TUNE, picture book (2018, Nimbus Publishing)
  • TALKING TO THE MOON, middle grade novel  (2018, Red Deer Press)
  • LOST IN THE STORY (2017, Caramel Tree)
  • SKY PIG, picture book (2016, Pajama Press)                            Atlantic Book Awards Winner (2017 Lillian Shepherd Award for Excellence in Illustration)
    • Willow Awards Finalist (Sask Young Readers’ Choice Award)


THE KING OF KEJI, picture book (2015, Nimbus Publishing)

 ROCKET MAN, 2014 middle grade novel(Red Deer Press) YALSA Quick Pick, 2014                                                     Woozles Battle of the Books, 2014/15

THE FLEA MARKET, 2014 storybook app, (Houghton Mifflin)

BRUNO AND THE BRAZILIAN RUBBERASER, (2013, Caramel Tree Readers -I use pen names for Caramel Tree)

MR. BEETHOVEN AND ME , (2013, Caramel Tree)

  • THE POWER OF HARMONY, middle grade novel (2013, Red Deer Press)
    • Ontario Library Association (OLA) Best Bets List;
    • Hackmatack (Children’s Choice Awards) Finalist;
    • Violet Downey Award Finalist;
    • Ann Connor Brimer Atlantic Book Award Finalist
  • MR. BEETHOVEN AND ME , (2013, Caramel Tree)
  •  FIVE CHILDREN AND IT, retelling of classic novel (2013, Caramel Tree)
  • FIFTEEN MINUTE FILLERS, Volume 2(2012, Editions de l’Envolee)
  • PINOCCHIO LEARNS A  LESSON (2012, Caramel Tree)
  • TURNING TRASH TO TREASURE (2011, Caramel Tree)
  • UNCLE BOBBY AND THE PIRATES (2011, Caramel Tree)
  • THE CHEESY MAN GIANT (2011, Caramel Tree)
  •  IF DOGS COULD TALK (2011, Caramel Tree)
  • SARAH SNOW, STAR OF THE SHOW (2011, Caramel Tree)
  • THE WITCH’S FINGERS (2011, Caramel Tree)
  • QUEBEC STORIES, ESL Comprehension workbook (2011, Editions de l’Envolee)
  •  A HARE IN THE ELEPHANT’S TRUNK, young adult novel, (2010, Red Deer Press)
    • Governor General’s Literary Award Finalist 2011
    • starred Kirkus Review;
    • IPPY Silver Medal (Independent Publishers Book Awards, US);
    • Finalist, Ann Connor Brimer Atlantic Book Award;
    • Saskatchewan Young Readers Choice Awards(SYRCA) Snow Willow Award finalist;
    • USBBY Honor List of Outstanding International Books 2011;
    • Skipping Stones Honor List.
  • WHAT WILL MOMMY DO?,  e-book, (2010, Story Something)
  • THE  IMPOSSIBLE DIVE, chapter book (2010, Caramel Tree)
  • THE QUEEN AND MR. CUNNINGHAM (2010, Caramel Tree)
  •  RAINBOWS IN THE DARK, picture book (2005, Second Story Press)
    •  (Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese and Braille translations with Korean rights sold);
    • Our Choice Book, 2006, Canadian Children’s Book Centre;
    • IBBY International’s 2007 Outstanding Book for Young People With Disabilities.
  • “A Library Cat”, short story, (2011, R.E.A.L. Canadian Kids Magazine)
  • Atlantic Writing Competition 2009, Honourable Mention, Writing for Young Adults, for early version of A Hare in the Elephant’s Trunk
  • “The Queen and Mr. Cunningham,” (2008, short story) Stories for Children
  • “Jacob’s Story,” (2007, article) Acadia Alumni Bulletin
  • “Goodbye to Wollypoggle,” (2007, picture book manuscript) 3rd place, WFNB Competition
  • “Walking the Wolfville Dykes,” (2002, personal essay, The Chronicle Herald)
  • “The Music Festival Revisited” (2001, First Person Singular) CBC Radio,
  • “Winter Rhapsody” (2001, personal essay) Canadian Living Magazine,
  • “Sam’s Magic Cape,” (2000, picture book manuscript) 2nd place, Atlantic Writing Competition


  • 2020, Arts Nova Scotia Creation Grant, “Charley & Maple: The Snoop and Scoop Mystery” -illustrated chapter book
  • 2018, University of Toronto, Scarborough, Doris McCarthy Gallery symposium presenter,  “Doris McCarthy, Storyteller – Sharing the Joy”
  • 2016, Canada Council and Arts Nova Scotia Creation Grants for “Breathless With the Beauty of the World,” a book about iconic Canadian painter, Doris McCarthy
  • 2015, Jury member, Governor General’s Literary Awards (Children’s Text)
  • 2015, Artist in Residence, Fool’s Paradise (former home of artist Doris McCarthy, now an artist’s retreat administered by Ontario Heritage Trust)
  • 2014, Arts Nova Scotia Grant (to work on middle-grade novel, “Across the Spectrum”)
  • Member, Writers Union of Canada
  • 2013m Access Copyright Research Grant (“Across the Spectrum”)
  • 2012, Canada Council Creation Grant, (to work on middle-grade novel, “The Power of Harmony”)
  • 2011, Access Copyright Foundation PD Grant to attend Carver/Stinson workshop
  • 2011, Reader/judge, Atlantic Writing Competition
  • 2009, Mentorship through WFNS to work on Lost Boys of the Sudan novel, with Gary L. Blackwood, Winter
  • 2008, Presenter, Port Medway Young Readers’ Festival
  • Member, WFNS – Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia (Writers Council Member involved in school presentations)
  • Member, CANSCAIP, Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers
  • Participant, workshop/retreat led by well-known children’s author, Kathy Stinson, and Peter Carver, Children’s Editor, Red Deer Press, September 2007, August, 2008, September, 2011.
  • PD Grant, Lost Boys of the Sudan novel, NS Department of Tourism, Culture & Heritage (to work on manuscript at Stinson/Carver workshop, as above)
  • Judge, Ada Mingo Teen Writing Competition, Colchester East Hants Library 2007-present
  • Participant, Children’s Writing Workshop led by Norene Smiley, WFNS, Winter, 2002
  • BA (English, 1981), BEd(Secondary, 1986), Acadia University, Wolfville, NS


  • School Writing Presenter, through the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia’s Writers in the Schools (WITS) program
  • Substitute teacher, Annapolis Valley Regional School Board, 2010 – 2013; ESL tutor, 2006 – 2010, AVRSB

9 thoughts on “My Writing Bio

  1. Diane Jones

    I find your writing bio very interesting, and your ESL background. I’m a retired ESL instructor (King Edward Campus, VCC), and a former regional advisor for the Western Canadian chapter of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators). I’ll be away from my desk from February 1 to March 17, but I’d like to learn more about your career and writing for ESL. Could you please contact me in March? Thanks.

  2. Colleen Glasgow(North River Elementary)

    We would like to plan an author’s day for the school for February15 or February22. Would you be available for either of those dates?
    Thank you

  3. Verity Leach

    Hi Jan:

    Looks like you are so vitally fulfilled with writing. This is wonderful. I enjoy your
    video clip about The Power of Harmony. I will get this for the Oxford Library for sure. Keep up the amazing work.

    your admirer,

    Verity (Reading group dinner last June.)

    1. Thanks, Verity, for stopping by my blog. From FB, it looks as if you’ve had some interesting travels this year? I’m nervously awaiting the birth of The Power of Harmony…

  4. After you left my reading this afternoon some of the folks at Box of Delights explained to me who you were and I got super intimidated. Thanks so much for coming along! If you are actually looking for an agent (and I can’t imagine why with this impressive body of work) I’m sure mine would climb over barbed wire to get you.

    1. That’s a very nice visual – an agent climbing over barbed wire to get to me! I really enjoyed hearing the background to your story – public appearances are not my favuorite part of being a writer so I always admire people who do it well! Safe travels home.

    1. Hi, Siena: There’s a fair amount of info here on my blog, but basically I grew up in Truro where my parents owned a bookstore (The Book Nook) and a music store (Mingo Music), I’ve lived in Wolfville for more than half my life, and my Mingo and Langille ancestors settled in River John upon arriving from France in the early 1800s:) Besides writing, my interests include: my two young adult kids, my Golden Irish (Charlie), playing badminton, ice cream and potato chips! How’s that? Thanks!

  5. Pingback: Sky Pig by Jan L. Coates - Raising Mom

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