1st Jun, 2019

Unplugged Summer

Unlike everyone in this picture, I am unplugging for the summer as I travel around. I have brought a lot of stationery with me, and got stamps yesterday, so I’m set. Have a great summer! I hope you find some time to unplug, too.


20th May, 2019

Looking for Victor?

If you’re friend, fan, or family and you’ve come here looking for the pieces I wrote about Victor, I’ve made them private. Please feel free to email me and I will happily share the links, but I decided it was time to take them down from public view.

Expansive Writing with Joëlle Anthony

Sat, May 11th – 10-3pm Arts & Heritage Centre, Gabriola Island, BC

We’ll start small using writing prompts and timed writing exercises. Over the course of the day, we’ll learn how to expand what you do quickly into something longer…maybe even a start on a novel! You never can tell. This is a fiction workshop, although, if you write memoir or essay, you can probably tweak it a bit and get something useful out of it.
Beginning to Advanced writers. Teens and Adults.

$60 Pre-register: workshops@joelleanthony.com

19th Feb, 2019


Busy writing. Hope you’re doing the same if that’s what you do, or reading if that’s more your speed. And music, there’s always music. All is well. Choose joy.

http://joelleanthony.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/me-and-kelly.jpgAs many of you know, I took the name J. M. Kelly partly from my own name, and partly from best friend, Kelly B., who passed away suddenly seven years ago today at the age of twenty-two. She was many things to me, and if you’re interested, you can read about them here and here.

As you might imagine, it took a long time for me to have enough distance from the event of her death to be able to write about her, but I did it not too long ago, and I am very, very excited to say that I recently found out that the piece I wrote about teaching her to cook, called Sous Chef, won First Place in the Writer’s Digest 87th Annual Writing Competition! It will be published later this year in their special magazine for the award winning pieces.

So, as we remember Kelly, I just want to say that while I wouldn’t say I’ve quite lived up to her nickname for me, “Famous Author!” (which she used to yell across parking lots to embarrass me!), I am still writing, and I’m still thinking about her, and loving her, and feeling blessed to have known her every single day!

Feel free to share any blessings you’ve received, whether from a tragedy or just in general. I’m always happy to hear them!


3rd Jun, 2018

So Honoured!


Also, shortlisted for the Violet Downey Book Award!

Here’s my schedule for the Festival of Trees in Toronto May 15-16. Don’t forget, I will be listed under my pen name J. M. Kelly for all events!

Hope to see some of you there!

May 15th –

10-11am – The White Pine Award Ceremony, Concert Stage

12:30-1pm – Workshop (Get Unstuck – get those ideas moving!), Main Loft

1:10-2pm – Signing, Tent C1/D

3:30-5pm – Reception (this is not a public event, but I’ll be there, so if you are too, come say hello!)

May 16th –

10:45-11:00am – Speed of Life: Inspirations and Process, Main Round Stage

1:00PM-1:30PM – Signing, TCAF Tent K

1:30PM-2:00PM – Reading and Q&A, TCAF Tent H

BONUS! I have a limited number of Ford Mustang cookie cutters paired with “J. M. Kelly’s Mum’s famous butter cookie recipe cards” to give out to teen readers or librarians who find me and ask for one! First come, first served!


Lots of good news already this month for Suze and A MONTH OF MONDAYS. I’m so thrilled to announce:

The book is an Ontario Library Association Best Bet 2018 Read.

And today it won a VOYA Award.

And I was interviewed here by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre for their newsletter.

There are three more Mondays this month, who knows what will happen?


For those of you who have stopped by to get the new Discussion Questions for A Month of Mondays, they are under the Study Guides and Articles tab or here.


I’m very excited to announce the launch of The Write Potential 

This is something I’ve been planning with the fabulous writer and story editor, Eileen Cook, for a while now and we’re thrilled to put our plan into action. If you’re a writer looking for professional mentorship, we’ve got several options to choose from. We also offer query letter edits and manuscript editing. Pop on over to the new site and see what you think!


7th Jan, 2018

2017 Books

Time for my favorite books of 2017 post. I read about 87 books during the year, some I didn’t finish, but that’s a fairly accurate number. Some I read aloud to Victor, which was fun. Sometimes I do a long list of favourites, in 2016 I simply picked one book (A Gentleman in Moscow). This year, I’m going to just list a few of the greats I read by category.

Favourite Nonfiction for Kids

Lizards in the Sky by Claire Eamer – fun, fact packed, and a great read with fabulous illustrations. Interesting for adults as well as kids.

Favourite Middle Grade – It’s a tie

Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess by Shari Green – Shari is a friend of mine, so I was looking forward to reading this book in verse and the whole time I was reading it, I kept thinking, “I’m soooo proud of her! This is amazing!” Victor loved it too.

Lemons by Melissa Savage – I hope this book gains traction as I think it’s a really amazing book. I have to admit, I stopped after about 30 pages because it seemed as if I knew where it was going. But then I kept thinking about it, so I picked it up again and it surprised me. By the time I was done, I was completely in love with it.

The YA I Loved

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – I was not a fan of her earlier, extremely popular book (I’ve even forgotten the name), so I started this with some trepidation. I absolutely loved it. Really. A whole lot.

Best Adult Nonfiction

Indigenous Writes by Chelsea Vowell – a must-read for Canadians and Americans could get a lot out of it too. Answers to all those questions those of us who aren’t indigenous want to know, but have been afraid to ask. Entertaining, tongue in cheek humour, and incredibly accessible and informative.

Just a Really Great Read

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George – A novel I devoured and then Victor blew through in two days, too. A wonderful story, beautifully written.

The Novel I wish I’d Written

Beautiful Ruins  by Jess Walter – Amazing. And inspiring. I read this once myself and once aloud to Victor in the same year. It’s that good. And it really made me up my game as far as my own writing. You will love it, no matter who you are or what you like to read.

The Most Beautiful Book I Read

Small Beneath the Sky by Lorna Crozier – I had the opportunity to do a literary event with Lorna and we got this poetic memoir to read aloud. Absolutely stunning.

Victor’s Favourite Read

The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide – a novella translated from Japanese to English. He loved the library copy so much, Santa brought him his own.

My Favourite Book Released in 2017

A Month of Mondays by…ME!

Through Sunday (Dec 17) my publisher has A MONTH OF MONDAYS for 40% off (Canadian…if you buy it with US dollars, that practically makes it free…okay, not quite, but still it’s an awesome deal).



15th Nov, 2017

PNBA Shortlist

I’m extremely honoured to share that Speed of Life has been included on the Pacific Northwest Bookseller Association 2018 Shortlist. Out of 420 nominated books, they chose 12 and only one Young Adult novel! To find out more about it, visit their site.

Here is a list of the nominated books:


You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me
A Memoir
Sherman Alexie

American War
A Novel
Omar El Akkad

This Is How It Always Is
A Novel
Laurie Frankel

All’s Faire in Middle School
Victoria Jamieson

The Hope of Another Spring
Takuichi Fujii, Artist and Wartime Witness
Barbara Johns

Speed of Life
J.M. Kelly

Little Blue Chair
Madeline Kloepper, Illustrator
(words by Cary Fagan)

The Selected Short Fiction of Ursula K. Le Guin
Boxed Set: The Found and the Lost; The Unreal and the Real
Ursula K. Le Guin

The Book of Mistakes
Corinna Luyken

Dead Feminists
Historic Heroines in Living Color
Chandler O’Leary and  Jessica Spring

A Novel
Emily Ruskovich

The Science and Spirit of the Ocean
Jonathan White


3rd Nov, 2017

Ontario Tour Dates

I will be touring in Ontario twice in 2018 (Jan & May), which means reduced travel fees for those of you in Ontario. Also, there’s some assistance available through the Writers Union of Canada.

Info about workshops, offerings, fees, and travel are under the Have Me Visit tab along the top. My tour dates are now available here. 

24th Oct, 2017

Writers Social

If you’re looking for info on the November Writers Social, it’s under the Events, Appearances, & Workshops tab.

I’m very honoured to be included on the Ontario Library Association’s White Pine Award Nominee list for 2018. Speed of Life is one of ten books, and I can’t wait to read the other nine! Congratulations to everyone on the list. I’m particularly excited about being on this list because it’s a Reader’s Choice Award. Those are pretty awesome. And in May, I’ll be going to Toronto for the Festival of Trees to meet readers!

Here’s the list.

 Writing & Whiskey

A fun evening of writing—unleash your creativity the way thousands of writers before you have—with whiskey! No writing experience necessary. Snacks will be provided to help absorb the alcohol, but please make sure you have a safe way home!*

13 October, 7pm – 9pm, Arts & Heritage Centre

Space is limited, pre-registration REQUIRED


*Don’t imbibe or are the Designated Driver, but you want to participate? The DD rate is $35 and alternate non-alcoholic beverages will be provided. Please let me know when registering.

To register contact me at workshops @ joelleanthony dot com

Email me to join the mailing list to hear about future workshops & appearances!

6th Jun, 2017

Send Down the Elevator

I once heard an interview with a comic who was talking about when you reach the top, you shouldn’t forget to send the elevator down to all your friends and colleagues who you like/admire in order to help them succeed. Two writers have really gone out of their way for me in this respect. Both Eileen Cook (her latest,With Malice is out in paperback today!), and Joelle Charbonneau have been great about mentioning my books, in particular Speed of Life. In this video interview with Joelle, she talks about her new book Dividing Eden (out today), but she also sends that elevator down to me. Thank you, my friends!

Joelle Charbonneau #BookConLive

Join us for a chat with Joelle Charbonneau, author of DIVIDING EDEN, at #BookConLive!

Epic Reads 发布于 2017年6月3日

If you’re not on FB (like me!), then simply click on “not now” when the sign-in page comes up. You should be able to watch it after that.


6th Jun, 2017

How to Help an Author

I would also like to add: Request your library buy the book (if they don’t have it already). My book budget doesn’t stretch to everything I want, so I often do this. It actually helps the author even more than you buying it, because libraries often buy multiple copies!

Enter to win one of five copies of A Month of Mondays here. And while you’re there, you can get a sneak preview of the first three chapters.

Did you know I’m also a freelance editor? You can hire me to give you editorial feedback on your manuscript. I prefer to stick to the genres I’m most familiar with and enjoy reading, so if you have a manuscript that falls into any of the categories below, and are interested in getting more information about my services, please email me through the contact page. I’m about to finish up a new book of my own, and am scheduling clients for June, July, and August now.

Genres I edit: Middle Grade fiction, Contemporary YA fiction, Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction, Memoir, and general Fiction. As you’ll see, there’s nothing too dark here…no Horror, Thrillers, Mysteries, or Science Fiction/Fantasy. I prefer to stay away from excessive violence and bullying as well. This is not a judgement on those topics, I simply have to consider my own mental well-being and so I give those a miss. If I don’t do what you’re looking for and you would like a referral, my favourite person to recommend (for some, but not all of those genres) is the wonderful writer and editor, Eileen Cook. She’s the person I use myself!

Canada has lost a great writer this month, and while I have always enjoyed interviews with him, I will admit I haven’t worked up the guts to read his writing because in his own words, “it will tear your heart out” and I like my heart firmly in place. I know I’m missing one of the greats, and someday the time will be right for me to read him. In the meantime, in honour of both Richard Wagamese and the Cubs…it’s time for baseball! And as Mr. Wagamese said in Embers:

Every year, once spring has sprung, my world regains proper proportion because baseball is back. I love the central metaphor of the game—all of us helping each other to make it home. Funny how a game can teach us so much about life…

Thank you to my friend Susan for writing this quote out on a post-it note and getting it to me. As I do every year on opening day, I will wear my grandfather’s Cubs jacket that I inherited from him, but this year…underneath it, I will also be wearing my Cubs 2016 World Series Champion tee!

On that note, let’s play ball! Go Cubs Go!

A fun time was had by all! And if you want to win a signed copy of A Month of Mondays, my good friend the writer Alexa Barry is giving one away (Canada, US, UK) on her instagram page.

Also, if you’re in the US and you’ve tried to order it and seen the 1-2 month delivery time, I’ve been told that they’re still waiting for delivery at the distribution centres, but it shouldn’t really take that long. Alternatively, you can order from Amazon.ca and even with shipping, the exchange rate is so much in your favour right now that you should come out okay.

19th Mar, 2017

What He Said…

7th Mar, 2017

Release Day!

Happy Book Birthday to A Month of Mondays!

As is my tradition, I’m celebrating the release of my book by posting my Thank Yous.


Thank you so much to everyone at Second Story Press. Your enthusiasm and kindness is much appreciated, as is the charming cover. Thank you to my mother who has been with me (and Suze) every step of the way. Also big helpings of thanks to Cheryl Tradewell and Mark Shaw for research assistance, and Alexa and Eileen, fellow Brouhahas. I must include Will Barry here, too (for no other reason than he’s an awesome kid and a reader). Michael Bourret – merci beaucoup! And as always, Victor Anthony…this is the first thing of mine you ever read and you believed in it way back then. You’re my shining star.