Upcoming Events

Now booking for Summer and Fall 2024!

Ontario Writers-in-the-Schools (WITS) 
Thanks to funding from the Ontario Arts Council and the Government of Ontario, funding is now available for Ontario-based school presentations taking place between September 1, 2024 – March 28, 2025. Contact Jen by July 1st for more information. Applications must be received by July 15, 2024.

Past Events

School Visit: Eardley School, Gatineau, QC

May 9-10, 16, and 24, 2024 – These MASC activities over 3 weeks in May were so much fun! It was lovely to get to know the students in the entire school. The K-4s read This is the Boat that Ben Built with me, and the 5-6s did a writing workshop that used animals as story starters.

Jen presents at the front of a class of grade 4 students.

Explore a Book! Explore an Ecosystem! presentation

Jen shares her book with young students in the school library.

Library storytime session with This is the Boat that Ben Built

School Visit: Brookfield High School, Ottawa, ON

May 28, 2024 – In this adapted MASC activity for grade 9 students, we explored the process of writing picture books and did a story starter exercise to kick off their summative illustrated children’s book projects. I loved chatting individually with them about the things they noticed while exploring the picture books I brought along, and about the results of the writing prompt!

School Visit: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School, Ottawa, ON

April 11, 2024 – The grade 5s explored the creative writing process from idea generation through word choice and story structure. We brainstormed living and nonliving things they might find in a northern river ecosystem. They learned about energy transfer within the ecosystem and how humans harness the energy of a river. We touched on the impacts of this use on animals and humans, and the ways in which scientists and engineers are designing solutions to reduce the negative effects.

Made possible with funding support from the Ontario Writers-in-the-Schools program (Ontario Arts Council / The Writers’ Union of Canada).

School Visit: Bayview Public School, Ottawa, ON

A "Thank you" message on a screen behind a presenter's chair and a row of stuffed animals.April 10, 2024 – This full day of presentations to grades k – 4 had kids sharing the names of animals and plants they knew in river ecosystems (they knew so many!), finding secret animals on the story spreads, and enthusiastically joining in with the reading as they caught on to the story’s cumulative pattern.

Explore a Book! Explore an Ecosystem! – a MASC activity.

World Read Aloud Day, February 7, 2024

For the second year, I virtually read aloud to classrooms and libraries across North America. This year, I enjoyed reading with:

PreKs from Fox Elementary School in Spring, TX

Grade 1s from John Lymon Elementary School in Middefield, CT

Grade 1s from Tyson-Schoener Elementary School in Reading, PA

Grade 3 and 6 from McNair Upper Elementary in Herndon, VA

Thanks for exploring the river with me!

School Visit: Ottawa Christian School, Ottawa, ON

June 9, 2023; made possible with funding support from the Ontario Arts Council through The Writers’ Union of Canada.

Had such fun reading with the kindergarten class, and building poems with the grade ones using our poetry toolkits!  Who knew an ordinary water bottle could become poetry? Thanks, OCS!

School Visit: Pinecrest Public School, Ottawa, ON

May 16, 2023; made possible with funding support from the Ontario Arts Council through The Writers’ Union of Canada.

What a great time with grades 1/2 (and a couple 3s!) at Pinecrest Public School today, sharing THIS IS THE BOAT THAT BEN BUILT. These readers were full of questions about the animals in the story, they enthusiastically named all the fish they knew (!!!!), and kindly greeted each of the toy animals I brought with me at the end. Thanks, readers!

Jen Lynn Bailey leans in to hear a question from a grade 1/2 student.

School Visit: St. Bernard School, Ottawa, ON

May 15, 2023; made possible with funding from MASC.

This grade 3 class proved to be great partners to “Explore a Book! Explore an Ecosystem!” with. We explored picture books, the river ecosystem, and even added two new animals to the story. It was a pleasure to spend time with these young readers and writers!

School Visit: Elmwood School, Ottawa, ON

February 24, 2023 – Junior School Assembly

Had such fun exploring my picture book and the northern river ecosystem with the enthusiastic grade 1-5 students! Their March theme was curiosity, and they really lived up to it with their thoughtful questions about the creative process and the animals in the story.

Jen stops, mid-book signing, for a photo with a young student who requested the signature.

World Read Aloud Day

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Virtual presentations scheduled with:

Grade 1 at Miller Elementary School, Canton, MI

Grades 1/2 at Hume Elementary School, Nelson, BC

Grade 1 at Todd Elementary School, Briarcliff Manor, NY

Read about it here.

Celebrate Reading Week at Turnbull School, Ottawa, ON

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Celebrating “Snow and S.T.E.A.M.” through presentations for kindergarten to grade 6 students.

What fun it was to share the creative process and northern river ecosystem connections with these bright students! They made such astute observations about the text and illustrations in This is the Boat that Ben Built. And, they told me they love WORDS. What more could an author ask for?

AELAQ Holiday Book Fair – Concordia University, Montreal, QC

Saturday, November 5, 2022 from 1:00 – 1:30pm

Book signing, together with illustrator Maggie Zeng

A fantastic day signing at the Librairie Paragraphe Bookstore table – thank you for coming out!

School Visit: Charles H. Hulse Public School, Ottawa, ON

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Funding provided by the Ontario Writers-in-the-Schools program – many thanks to the Ontario Council for the Arts and The Writers’ Union of Canada.

What a fantastic visit with grades 1 and 1/2 classes! You were such fun to read with!

School Visit: Ottawa Christian School

Friday, June 17, 2022 9 AM – 11 AM (EST)

What fun it was to share This is the Boat that Ben Built with kindergarten and grade 1 students, and on such a special day, too! (It was the SK graduation day! Congrats, SKs!) Thanks for being such great readers and writers – I loved writing silly alliterative sentences with you.

Book Signing & Activities – Indigo Innes

Here’s my blog post about how it went!

Saturday, June 4, 2022 – 11 AM – 3 PM (EST)

Join local author Jen Lynn Bailey for a book signing with free crafts and activities for kids!

Indigo Innes is located at: 2025 Mer Bleue Road, Orleans, Ontario, K4A 3T9

VCFA Book Birthday

March 23, 2022, 8pm EDT

With all book tours going remote in 2020, Vermont College of Fine Art’s MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults program began a series of celebrations, Book Birthday Parties! Join program staff in celebrating these incredible books and amazing achievements of our beloved community.

Book Launch hosted by Pajama Press

March 16, 2022, 7pm EDT

Hurray, the book is here! Join us online for an interview with Jen and Maggie, a reading, an inside look at the illustration process, and a Q&A session for young readers and adults alike!


Book an Event

Jen is an experienced teacher, workshop leader, and presenter who loves introducing kids to the animals of the northern river ecosystem through fun, interactive in-person and virtual sessions. She also enjoys teaching students both young and young-at-heart about writing and about how picture books are made.

For school and senior’s bookings in Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec, please contact MASC at reservations@masconline.ca or visit www.masconline.ca. For booking outside of this geographic area, please visit Authors Booking Service.

Here are a few sample program descriptions*:

Explore a Book! Explore an Ecosystem! Age level: Grades K-6; Duration: 40-60 minutes

Students will explore the picture book This is the Boat that Ben Built through the lens of a
reader, writer, scientist, and artist. They’ll discover how the author and illustrator work
together to create a picture book, and how the animals of the northern river ecosystem are
interconnected in the story and real world. The presentation will begin with an overview of
Jen’s early artistic development and creative process, and end with a Q&A period.

Key concepts: ecology, species diversity, food webs, STEM, picture book creation, writing process, cumulative stories, science

Key themes: curiosity, natural world, exploration 

Witty Words, Awesome Animals: A Poetry Workshop Age level: K – grade 6*; Duration: 40-60 minutes

Kids will use their “poetry toolkits” to uncover meaning and music in a variety of animal
poems, then generate their own. Includes an exploration of poetic techniques such as
similes and metaphors, alliteration, consonance, assonance, and onomatopoeia, as well as a look into animal behaviour, habitats, and adaptations. The workshop will begin with an overview of Jen’s early artistic development and the creative process, and end with a Q&A period.

Library Storytime Age level: preschool – grade 1; duration 30-45 minutes

Following a participatory reading of This is the Boat that Ben Built, Jen will lead kids in a simple craft about the animals in the northern river ecosystem.

*If you are interested in writing workshops for students in grades 7 – 8, secondary school, or college, or in workshops for adults, please contact Jen about your group’s needs.

“My students loved Jen Lynn Bailey’s visit to our classroom.  They were excited to learn about the different animals in the story.  Her book connections were engaging and they have enjoyed rereading her story during our quiet times. Thanks for a great visit!” — JV, kindergarten teacher, Ottawa, Ontario

“Jen Lynn Bailey captivated my students attention from beginning to end. They loved looking for all the animals in the story as Jen brought the story to life through facts and connections. They also learned more about being an author which was the perfect addition to our Author’s Day!” — RdH, grade 1 teacher, Ottawa, Ontario