Manuscript Portfolio

Manuscript Title: The Haiku Connection
Category: Young Adult
Word Count: Approximately 98,000 Words
Format: Novel
  Jess, a Canadian teen of Caucasian descent who has lived half her life in Japan, returns home to Canada, and on her first day of school, inadvertently offends Kei, a Canadian girl of Japanese ancestry whom she hopes, and mistakenly assumes, is Japanese. After a rocky start, the parallel stories of the two protagonists intersect and weave together, and their friendship grows along with their affection for Kei’s grandmother–Obāchan–who helps them answer a question they frequently ask of themselves: “Who am I?” Honourable Mention, 32nd Annual Atlantic Writing Competition. (Title: All Shook Up.)


“You have woven so much into this story–history and nostalgia, coming-of-age angst, information on Japanese language and culture…and it worked!”–32nd Atlantic Writing Competition Judge.

You have great bones for a strong story here, Peggy. I hope you are open to refocusing your narrative…you should take heart that you already have the necessary ingredients for something wonderful.”–(From a freely offered, four page evaluation by a former agent of Transatlantic Literary Agency) 

Manuscript Title: Boot Scootin’ Boogie Bud
Category: Children’s, Ages 5-8
Word Count: 1499
Format: Storybook Text.
  While dog-sitting Bud–a golden retriever who has been diagnosed with hemophilia–Emma staunches his excessive bleeding after an accident by giving up her most meaningful possession, a parting gift she’d received from her best friend Katie, whose move to the far side of the country has left her feeling lonely. (No submissions made since reducing the text from 3000 words to less than 1500 in response to the comment below.)


“You’ve constructed an engaging text that describes many of the issues associated with hemophilia in an easy-to-appreciate fashion…  Having said that [manuscript ‘too long’], we do think your story would appeal to kids.”–Annick Press ltd.

Manuscript Title: Green Glass and Gum Wrappers
Category: Children’s, Ages 4-6
Word Count: 629
Format: Picture Book Text
  When Christopher overhears his mother and her friend talking about their plans to sell antiques and collectibles, he leaves the room to scavenge for objects (sea glass, birds’ feathers, and so forth) then holds an impromptu sale, after which he buys treats for his friends with the proceeds. When he returns home, he finds the adults are still talking.

“Your story is imaginative, and the child’s misunderstanding of various words is quite amusing…”Editor, Scholastic TAB Publications.


Manuscript Title: Little Like Me
Category: Children’s, Ages 4-6
Word Count: 1,165
Format: Picture Book Text
  After Megan asks her mother, “Were you ever little like me?” she checks out the family’s baby records and photo albums, and finally spots the answer in a photograph that includes an antique highchair. Just as they finish creating a scrapbook together laying out Megan’s proof, her grandmother arrives for a visit, which is followed by her dad’s return from work. Megan confronts them both and repeats the question. This time, an old wooden cradle provides the clue.


“Thank you for sending me another of your stories.  I can certainly see the appeal…I wish you success with it.”A Former Children’s Books Editor, Orca Book Publishers

Manuscript Title: Silly Sea Songs and Other Poems: Nonsense Verse to Rock Your Boat
Category: Juvenile
Word Count: 22-25 Poems
  These nonsense poems, collected under the title above, are thematically related to the sea, though some are loosely so. A few of them would work well as a board book or picture book, since they each possesses a distinct story arc that has a beginning, middle and end.

Sample Poems:


The Silly Sea Songs remind me of Dennis Lee’s work for children: they are funny, playful, and ‘hang together’ well…  One Fateful Foggy Day is funny and original.”–Atlantic Writing Competition Judge.

Manuscript Title: A Tale of the Tenth Planet
Category: Middle Grade/Young Adult
Word Count: 52,006
Format: Novel
  Three boys–Bill, Jiro and Shridat–meet while on vacation, and are later transported to a remote Earth-like planet where they attempt to save it from destruction by a vindictive princess. The story is the working out, in the present, of a Japanese legend with roots in the far past.


3rd Place, 11th Annual Atlantic Writing Competition submitted under the title, Orbus; or, A Tale of the Tenth Planet.

“Interesting contrast between the ‘every-day-ness’ of the children’s lives–the market, the bath, painting the boat and the marvellous adventures awaiting them … Good to have a Canadian hero.”–Atlantic Writing Competition Judge.

“Very well-written, well-developed and interesting ms. The devices used to pull the various parts of the tale together seem to work well. The characters are generally well-developed; the boys’ dialogue believable… Enjoyed reading this.”Atlantic Writing Competition Judge.

Manuscript Title: Prince Nicolai and the Empty Box
Category: All Ages
Word Count: 1482
Format: Storybook Text (An original fairy tale)
  A Prince chooses an unusual way to make a decision on whom to marry by inviting maidens of eligible age in the kingdom to attend a party, each with an empty box that she believes will be the right size and shape for his future bride’s wedding gift. Only one young lady from among them is smart enough to guess what that is!

Excerpt & Illustrations:

Long-listed by the Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers (CANSCAIP) 2018 Writing for Children Competition.

Long-listed by the The Writer’s Union of Canada (TWUC) Writing for Children Competition 2012, from among eight hundred and sixty-nine submissions.

Beautiful, a lovely story, well told.  I loved the playfulness throughout.”–A TWUC (The Writer’s Union of Canada) 2012 Writing for Children Competition judge.

“What a beautifully written fairy-tale!  This story has all the elements of a traditional fairy-tale with just enough hints of more modern sensibilities to make it contemporary and original i.e. the fact that the prince had so many female friends that it was difficult for him to choose one… What an absolutely satisfying, and perfectly lovely tale! I think children + adults alike will be as enchanted as I was with The Empty Box.”Annual Atlantic Writing Competition Judge.

“This is a charming story…we are not currently seeking fairy tales. I encourage you to try another publisher.”–A Former Children’s Book Editor, Orca Book Publishers

Manuscript Title: The Gift Horse
Category: Children Ages 4-8
Word Count: 1,972
Format: Storybook Text
  When Liam is disappointed by the hobbyhorse he receives for Christmas, his grandpa tells him a tale that illustrates the expression “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”. This original story reads like a folktale within a contemporary framework.


“I enjoyed reading ‘The Gift Horse’.  You do tell a story well.”A Former Children’s Book Editor, Orca Book Publishers

Manuscript Title: The Great Figley Kumquat
Category: Children’s, Ages 4-8
Word Count: 1464
Format: Picture Book Text
  Figley Kumquat offers to help his neighbour with yard work after Mr. Logan breaks a leg, and during the Logans absence the following day, Figley secretly completes Mrs. Logan’s list of chores, during which time his first disastrous efforts finally meet with success. In the end, Figley is happy by the change this makes in his life, but his father is not!



Manuscript Title: The Tale of Tuatara
Category: All Ages
Word Count: 1486
Format: Storybook Text (An original fairy tale).
  A tuatara–a spiny lizard with a vestigial third eye–is abandoned on the doorstep of a home and adopted by the owners, a childless couple. His mother suggests practical ways for him to overcome his lack of confidence, and he quickly develops his talents, thus becoming a household name throughout the land. Consequently, his self-esteem grows. There is a plot twist at the end of the tale, and all ends happily ever after.




Manuscript Title: Upside-Down Cherry Pie
Category: Children Ages 4-8
Word Count: 1,581
Format: Picture Book Text
  Jen and her mother have a ritual of remembering Gran by following one of her grandma’s dessert recipes every Wednesday. When her mom is unable to be there and postpones the event for that week, Jen proceeds on her own. The result is a mess, but it’s a tasty mess! Includes a recipe for Upside-Down Cherry Pie at the end of the book.



Manuscript Title: Where is Far, Far Away?
Category: Children Ages 4-8
Word Count: 1446
Format: Storybook Text
  A young girl leaves behind her home in Ontario for a new country, Japan, and learns the power of loss and friendship along the way.



“Your story is touching, but we have just published a story about a child’s journey that has a similar feel to it.”–A Former Children’s Book Editor, Orca Book Publishers

Manuscript Title: I See the Moon!
Category: Children Ages 3-6
Word Count: 1000
Format: Picture Book Text
  A light, warm-hearted story in rhyme about Christopher, whose excitement at seeing the lights come on in a barbershop, a park, streetlamps and his Aunt Mel’s house causes him to exclaim, “I see the moon!” Text must be synchronized with page turning for best effect. The final verse has Christopher being tucked into bed from where he looks up and says, “I see the moon!” (The illustrator, of course, shows that Christopher is absolutely right.)


Manuscript Title: A Trace of a Squeak
Category: Children 4-8
Word Count: 2,100
Format: Storybook Text
  A young boy and a professor oversee a research experiment with “volunteer” mice who get into trouble because of their curiosity.

“This is an original way to introduce a small child to scientific research in a university laboratory.”–Annual Atlantic Writing Competition Judge.

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