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Charis Cotter

Location: Western Bay

Charis Cotter is a writer, editor, storyteller and actor. She has been working in Canadian publishing as a freelance editor and writer for over 20 years.

Her most recent book is The Swallow: A Ghost Story, published by Tundra Books (Random House) in September 2014. This spooky gothic novel, set in Toronto in the 1960s, is partially based on Charis’s childhood experiences living behind a cemetery. A German translation has been published as Das Unsichtbare Mädchen (The Invisible Girl).

In 2005 Charis won the Heritage Toronto Award of Excellence for her book, Toronto Between the Wars: Life in the City 1919–1939. Since then she has written several critically acclaimed children’s books, including a series of biographies about extraordinary children and an illustrated book about international ghosts. Born to Write: The Remarkable Lives of Six Famous Authors was a finalist for the 2010 Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-fiction.

Charis has toured Canadian schools and libraries from coast to coast, entertaining children with her alter egos: Queen Elizabeth II (complete with gown, crown and royal attitude) and the Scottish Silky Ghost, who dusts everything in sight, including children. Her lively, engaging presentations have been warmly received by teachers, librarians and most importantly, kids!

In 2013 Charis founded her own publishing company, Baccalieu Books, to publish The Ghosts of Baccalieu. She created this book with the students from Tricon Elementary School in Bay de Verde, with funding from ArtsSmarts. Students contributed drawings and traditional ghost stories collected from the community. Charis continues to do ghost storytelling and writing workshops at schools, community centres and book festivals. She reviews children’s books for the National Reading Campaign, Quill and Quire and The Canadian Children’s Book News.