Photo Credit:
Photo credit
Bob McNicoll
Sylvia McNicoll
BIO
Biography

Concordia graduate and former creative writing instructor at Sheridan College and Living Arts Centre, Sylvia McNicoll has written 40 internationally published novels for young audiences and given writing workshops and talks across Canada as well as in South Korea and Colombia. She edited and wrote for Today’s Parent Toronto, was president of CANSCAIP (Canadian Society of Children’s Authors Illustrators and Performers) and a director at Access Copyright. In 2021 she co-edited Writing the Rollercoaster, Stories of Riding out the Pandemic. Her Burlington set Great Mistake Mystery Series features an anxious 12 year-old who counts and analyzes mistakes while walking dogs and solving mysteries and is available in Russian. Body Swap,winner of the 2019 Hamilton fiction award and available in Korean, features a 15 year-old and an 82 year-old who meet in a fateful accident that switches their souls. Releasing May 2022, What the Dog Knows tells the tale of an irresistible canine who communicates telepathically with his 13 year-old owner largely to help her change destiny.

ADDRESS
City: Burlington, ON, Province/Territory: Ontario
EMAIL
GENRE
Young adult and children's literature
LANGUAGES
English
PUBLICATIONS
Publications
Title
What the Dog Knows
Publisher
Dundurn Press
Year
2022
Title
The Diamond Mistake Mystery
Publisher
Dundurn Press
Year
2019
Title
Body Swap
Publisher
Dundurn Press
Year
2018
Title
The Snake Mistake Mystery
Publisher
Dundurn Press
Year
2018
Title
The Artsy Mistake Mystery
Title
Dundurn Press
Publisher
2017
Title
The Best Mistake Mystery
Publisher
Dundurn Press
Year
2016
Title
Best Friends through Eternity
Publisher
Tundra
Year
2015
Title
Revenge on the Fly
Publisher
Pajama Press
Year
2014
Title
Dying to Go Viral
Publisher
Fitzhenry
Year
2013
Title
crush. candy. corpse.
Publisher
James Lorimer & Company Ltd. Publishers
Year
2012
Title
Last Chance for Paris
Publisher
Fitzhenry & Whiteside
Year
2008
Title
Beauty Returns
Publisher
Fitzhenry Whiteside
Year
2006
Title
A Different Kind of Beauty
Publisher
Fitzhenry & Whiteside
Year
2003
Title
Bringing up Beauty
Publisher
Fitzhenry
Year
2000
Title
Grave Secrets
Publisher
Fitzhenry Whiteside
Year
1999
Title
Caught in a Lie
Publisher
Scholastic Canada
Year
2000
Title
Walking a Thin Line
Publisher
– Scholastic Canada
Year
1997
Title
Facing the Enemy
Publisher
ITP Nelson
Year
1992
Title
More Than Money
Publisher
ITP Nelson
Year
1990
Title
The Tiger Catcher's Kid
Publisher
ITP Nelson
Year
1989
Title
The Big Race
Publisher
Scholastic Canada
Year
1996
Title
Project Disaster Scholastic
Publisher
Scholastic Canada
Year
1990
Title
Dan Clowning Around
Publisher
Orchard Publishing
Year
1998
Title
Matt Heartbreak Hero
Publisher
Orchard Publishing
Year
1998
Title
Lauren Dating Dreams
Publisher
Orchard Publishing
Year
1999
Title
Abbi Secret Stranger
Publisher
Orchard Publishing
Year
1999
Title
Jenna Standing Tall
Publisher
Orchard Publishing
Year
1999
Title
Dan Double Drama
Publisher
Orchard Publishing
Year
1999
Title
Spellbound (ghostwritten for Sharon Siamon
Publisher
Hodder
Year
1999
Title
Mom and Dad’s Guide to Martial Arts
Publisher
(Coles Notes)Chapters Ltd.
Year
1999
AWARDS
Awards
Name
Hamilton Arts Award for fiction
Publication
Body Swap
Year
2019
Name
Hamilton Arts Award for Children and Young Adult Book
Publication
Last Chance for Paris
Year
2011
Name
Burlington Creative Arts Literary Artist of the Year
Publication
Last Chance for Paris
Year
2011
Name
Hamilton Arts Multimedia Award
Publication
Beauty Returns
Year
2007
Name
Korean War Veteran’s Award (Hamilton Arts) for short article
Publication
"A Note from Home" Today's Parent Toronto
Year
2006
Name
Hamilton Regional Arts Explora-toy Children’s Novel of the Year
Publication
Caught in a Lie
Year
2000
Name
Ontario Silver Birch 1996
Name
Manitoba Young Reader’s Award
Publication
Bringing Up Beauty
Year
1996
Name
Stephen Leacock Honorable Mention for limericks
Publication
There was a youngstockbroker...
Year
1994
PUBLIC PRESENTATIONS AND WORKSHOPS
Presentation details
Audience Size
Audience size
60-200
Presentation Genre
fiction, non-fiction
Presentation Length
55- 75 minutes
Presentation Description
Presentation description

In Person: The presentations details the writing process behind an age appropriate story and includes a  Powerpoint to project images of covers, characters and settings.  There is always an interactive component, where students try out props, act out scripts or do oral writing exercises. Usually I read a short passage and time is allowed for Q & A.

Online: similar to the in person visit I would  I would present powerpoint images with covers, characters and setting. I would also share a professional video of a reading in which I would act out the parts. 

Presentation Fee(s)
In person 300, online 150
Workshop details
Audience Size
30
Intended Audience
Either grade 3-6 or 6-9
Workshop Length
80 minutes
Workshop Description
Workshop description

Character, plot (structure), setting, dialogue are all segments of writing that I can create specific workshops.

 Plot: The Best Mistake Story creation, to go along with arhw Best Mistake mystery series —kids are invited to share mistakes they’ve made recently, embarrassing whoopses, things that turned out badly, or even well. We discuss how it’s important to make mistakes in order to grow just as it’s important for a story to have problems in order to have an arc.  We brainstorm how to turn some mistakes into a solvable problem that becomes a good story.  The students write and share.

Character Creation—students select photos of characters from a box and we discuss their secrets, problems and goals. From this story plan, they write.

Description and Mood— We list favourite and worst sights, smells, sounds, tastes and touches. With the list we experiment with similies and metaphors and then create either a poem or a setting for a story.

Dialogue team work—Students are paired to co-create conflict scenes where two characters argue cross purposes

 

 

Workshop Fee(s)
$300
School presentation details
Audience Size
60-200
Intended Audience
grades 3-6, grades 6-9, High school writers' craft
Presentation Length
55-75
Presentation Description
Presentation description

All presentation from grade 1 through highschool, Approximately one hour. the presentations detail the writing process behind an age appropriate story and include a  Powerpoint to project images of covers, characters and settings.  There is always an interactive component, where students try out props, act out scripts or do oral writing exercises. Usually I read a short passage and time is allowed for Q & A.

Presentation Fee(s)
$300 in person $150 virtual
Programs & Interests
Interested in participating Union’s Ontario Writers-in-the-Schools program:
All members are eligible for the Union’s Ontario Writers-in-the-Schools program. Are you interested in participating in this pro
Yes
Interested in participating in the Northern Ontario WITS program:
The Union’s Northern Ontario Writers-in-the-Schools program funds in-person visits to northern Ontario schools when possible. Ar
Yes