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Colleen Nelson is a teacher and author from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her novels include Saskatchewan Young Readers Choice Award and McNally Robinson Book of the Year for Young people winner Harvey Comes Home, and Governor General’s Award finalist Harvey Holds His Own. Her most recent middle grade title, The Undercover Booklist was selected as one of CBC Books Best Books of 2021. Her latest novel, The Umbrella House, is out this spring. Colleen writes daily in between appearances at hockey rinks and soccer fields in support of her two sports-loving sons. The family’s West Highland Terrier Rosie adds an extra-lovable dose of liveliness, squirrel-chasing, and shoe-chewing to their lives.
Getting to Know You
To be honest, I didn’t have to hide anything from my parents! They were cool with me reading whatever I wanted.
That’s really hard because I read over a hundred books a year. How about this—I’ll pick the dedication Dave Robertson wrote to me in his book ‘Stone Child’. It reads: ‘For Colleen Nelson, because a bet is a bet.’ And no, I won’t tell you what the bet was!
LOL. Definitely a cluttered desk! There are sticky notes, a hundred loose papers with various story outlines, notes or checklists on them and a few more journals—all half-finished. Yet somehow, I can never find a pen! You’ll never see me post an Instagram-worthy picture of my writing space—I prefer to keep the ugly truth hidden!
I’m a teacher so I regularly have ‘showing up to school naked’ dreams starting in mid-August. Ask your teacher, I bet they have them too.
Hmmm, well, I was nominated for a Governor General’s Award which was one of my ambitions so I guess my next (not-so) secret ambition would be to win if I got nominated again!
Winnipeg is located in Treaty One territory, the traditional lands of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene Peoples, and the homeland of the Métis Nation. THIN AIR, the annual celebration produced by the Winnipeg International Writers Festival, strives to honour the First People’s rich tradition of sharing stories as the ground for building genuine community and restoring right relations.