Paulette Bourgeois is best known for creating Franklin the Turtle, the character who appears in bestselling picture books illustrated by Brenda Clark. The series has been translated into 38 languages. An animated television series, merchandise, DVDs and full-feature movies are based on the character. She is also the author of award-winning books for children including Oma’s Quilt which was developed as a short film by the NFB, and more than two dozen non-fiction science books. She is a member of the Order of Canada, received an honorary doctorate degree from Western University, an award of merit from the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists and most recently graduated with an MFA in Creative Writing from UBC. Paulette frequently teaches and she has been the writer-in-residence at UBC, Whistler, B.C., and Terra Nova National Park, Newfoundland. She has a picture book forthcoming with Scholastic Canada, and Professor Goose Presents: Goldilocks and the Three Bears, illustrated by Alex Griffiths, the first in a series, comes out with Tundra Books in 2022.

Keynote Talks and Workshops

As someone who has worked in health care as an Occupational Therapist, in television and print as a reporter, and finally, as a writer of picture books, novels and science books for children and young adults, I understand the need to expand and explore our creative energies and constantly develop new tools. I’ve been told my workshops are engaging, and life-changing. I hope so, but I know that they are a heck of a lot of fun…and informative.

This workshop explores how professionals can guide children, or themselves, to develop and nurture their creativity through storytelling, physical activity, music and meditation. The content can be adjusted to suit different developmental stages.

A step-by-step guide to the process of writing a book for children from concept to publication.

A workshop that explores how the structures of writing for film can be applied to writing books for middle-grade readers and writers. A step-by-step guide to help reluctant writers find a way to create stories.

A talk about the lessons I’ve learned about life, writing, and publishing after having co-created, with illustrator, Brenda Clark, one of the most popular, and enduring, characters in Canadian publishing history.

For Health Care Professionals

I have often spoken to Health Care Professionals about how my training as an Occupational Therapist has informed all of my creative work. I would be delighted to tailor a talk, or workshop, about listening for story in client interaction and applying what is learned to a treatment plan.

To book Paulette Bourgeois, contact Rob Firing at