MASC Young Authors & Illustrators Festival

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

The MASC Young Authors and Illustrators Festival is back in person again this spring at an exciting new venue. Students in grades four to six will have the opportunity to meet award-winning Canadian authors and learn valuable tips from the pros. MYAIF2023 takes place on Tuesday, April 4, 2023 at the Canada Science and Technology Museum (1867 St. Laurent Blvd. in Ottawa) for a day of inspiring literary activities, including artist presentations and hands-on master classes, working with a professional author or illustrator of their choice. Bring your imagination. Leave inspired!  Contact us for more information!

Artists and Masterclasses

Get to know the award-winning authors and illustrators presenting at the 2023 Festival!


Read all about the following masterclasses and decide which ones you'd like to sign up for. Some are available for grades four to six; others are available for grades six to eight.

  • Let's Get Writing!

    Philippa Dowding

    Philippa guides you through a series of games and prompts to help you tap into your imagination and get you writing. In this master class you will discover Philippa’s Ten Top Tips for writers, learn interview techniques, develop characters with deep secrets and silent passions, and find out how to pick a topic that will sustain you and carry you to the end of your story. Grades four to six.

  • Create your own comic!

    Kean Soo

    Kean shares his process of creating characters, writing stories, and drawing for comics and graphic novels using FUNdamental writing and drawing techniques. Under Kean’s expert guidance, participants will create their own characters, craft story ideas and then turn them into a fully realized comic! Grades four to six.

  • Freewrite into Fiction

    Catherine Austen

    Through a series of prompts and mini-lessons, this hands-on master class will inspire you to launch your next great story. First you’ll create characters in conflict, build worlds where trouble brews, and launch plots with questions begging to be answered. Then you’ll review, revise, and expand your drafts into a story, with lots of time for workshopping your creations. Grades four to six.

  • Cover of a novel by Adrienne Kress, as part of the Young Authors and illustrators festival. There is an old school Disney cartoon style person with a small body and enlarged feet and hands. They are reaching forward with one hand. The title reads Dreams Come to Life.

    Creating worlds out of thin air

    Adrienne Kress

    From fantasy to horror, every genre has its unique world that inspires us. In this master class we will play with expectations, find tools to get creating even when facing a blank page, and use all the senses to create rich thrilling worlds for our characters to live and adventure in. Grades six to eight.

  • Telling the story in Images: Illustrating Children’s books

    Soyeon Kim

    Soyeon Kim will share her experiences as a children’s book illustrator and demonstrate how she captures a story in images. Inspired by Soyeons’ unique diorama art creations, students will craft a 3D illustration and learn how to create a captivating scene by exploring colour, size, contrast, movement and more. Dress to get messy! Grades four to six.

  • The Game of Writing

    Tim Wynne-Jones

    Author Tim Wynne-Jones works hard at writing – takes it seriously. But he tries never to forget that a lot of what got him into writing was the fun of it. So there will be a whole lot of playing at writing in this master class. There are stories everywhere, even in your name, and that’s just for starters! Grades six to eight.

Schedule of Events

  • Students Check In

    8:30am-9am — Event Hall, Canada Science and Technology Museum, 1867 St. Laurent Blvd. in Ottawa

  • MASC Welcome / Meet the authors and illustrators

    9am-9:35am — Theatre

  • Masterclass with author or illustrator

    9:40am-11:40am — Workshop studios

  • Lunch / Bollywood dance with Kuljit Sodhi

    11:45am-12:30pm — Event Hall

  • Author readings and presentations

    12:35pm-1pm — Theatre

  • Return to Masterclass

    1:05pm-2:25pm — Workshop studios

  • Author readings and presentations / Door prize draw

    2:30pm-2:55pm — Theatre

  • Book fair with author signings

    3pm-3:30pm — Event Hall

What people are saying

Today has been one of the BEST days of my life! I have been going for 3 years and I know for sure that I'm going to have some great book ideas as soon as I get home!

— Participant

Thank you so much for this opportunity to express our creativity. I hope that the MASC Young Authors and Illustrators Festival continues for years after this and that my kids can come here one day.

— Participant

Thrilled to learn that my MYAI participant secured a publishing deal with Amazon!

— Amanda West Lewis, Author

Books have been an oasis for many people, especially over the past couple of years. Books provide us with the opportunity to use our imaginations, to think creatively, to explore different worlds, and to relate to others, both like and unlike us. Being able to meet with the artists behind these books is such a treat for young people craving that deeper connection.

— Faith Seltzer, Artistic Director, MASC Young Authors and Illustrators Festival

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