Passionate About Books.

Sylvia Olsen is a writer and public speaker living on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. She’s the author of several picture books, a number of first readers and books for young adults and one non fiction–so far. Most of all she is a mother and grandmother and aunty to dozens of nieces and nephews.

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Readers
Translations
Awards
Case studies

Awards and Recognition

  • Working with Wool: A Coast Salish Legacy and the Cowichan Sweater
    2011 – Winner of the Lieutenant Governors Medal for Historical Writing – BC Historical Federation
  • A Different Game
    2011 – Honour Book Award Winner, Silver Birch Express Award Ontario Library Association
  • Counting on Hope
    2010 – Winner of the City of Victoria Bolen Children’s Literature Prize City of Victoria
  • Which Way Should I Go?
    2009 – Winner of the Ontario First Nations Communities Read Award Ontario First Nations Public Library

About Sylvia Olsen

Sylvia has spent most of her life living in Tsartlip First Nation, where her children and grandchildren now live.

Because Sylvia is native and her children are of mixed heritage nearly all of her stories are all about the location–the time–the experience of where different kinds of people come together.

That’s one of the things which interests her the most. It is one of those things she knows the most about–and like most authors–Sylvia writes about what she knows.

It was such a pleasure to read, that I couldn't wait and started reading it all over again.
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Emerson Palmer

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Things to know before Writing a Book

Things to know before Writing a Book

Writing a book is no easy task, there are several things you need to consider before you start to write a book. You might have a brilliant idea or a story that you would like to share with others but when you take a pen and a piece of paper and sit down to write the words wouldn’t just flow out of your mind.

So if you want to write a book, then the following are some of the things to know before you start:

Be clear on what you are going to write:

Deciding upon the topic is one of the first things you need to figure out before starting to write. Only when you have a clear idea, you will know what to write, and you will come up with various things that are related to the subject. Sometimes you might have a topic and it might be a great topic but you might not like the subject personally, and thus no words will come out when you sit down to write about that matter. So choose a topic which you will like and also pick a topic in which you have a vast knowledge so that you can share your experience with others through your book.

Ask yourself if your book is unique and it is has a place in the market:

There is no point in writing a book which is not useful for people. If there are plenty of other books on the market with the same topic, then it is not entirely enjoyable to write about the same subjects in different words. Try to figure out if your topic is unique and if it will be beneficial to the people who are reading the book. Only when people find it interesting and beneficial, they will buy your book, and it will have a place in the market.

Create an outline of what you are going to write:

Before you start, you can roughly jot down points on what the book is going to be. You can create a game plan before you start to write the book so that you will have a rough idea of what each chapter will contain. When you have an outline, it will be easier for you to write and you will not have to worry about knowing when to stop.

Set a word count goal daily:

Motivate yourself to write daily. Set a word count and make sure that you achieve that word count on a daily basis. You can allocate a part of your time during the day and consider writing down your thoughts about the book. A page might just be about 300 words, and you can write about 600 words a day or more depending on your schedule. When you achieve your daily word count goals, you will be able to complete writing the book in the time that you wanted.

Popular Sylvia Plath Books

Popular Sylvia Plath Books

Sylvia Plath is an American writer who was born in the year 1932 in Boston, Massachusetts. She received an acclaim as a poet and writer from the University of Cambridge. Sylvia’s work was brilliant, and her poems are lovely to read. She was clinically depressed, and she committed suicide in the year 1963. She was said to be taking electroconvulsive therapy, but she couldn’t be treated for the depression. Sylvia won the Pulitzer Prize for her collective pomes in the year 1982. Her husband removed some of her works, but many editors came forth to compile the complete edition of her work.

The following are some of the best books of Sylvia:

Ariel:

Ariel is, without doubt, one of the best works of Sylvia Plath. She wrote Ariel after she was separated from her husband in the year 1962, the year before she committed suicide. It is known that she would wake up early in the morning before her child would wake up and start to write. Sylvia Plath’s husband rearranged the contents of the book after her death and even omitted some poems. But her daughter released the book Ariel in a restored version where the book is how Sylvia Plath had intended it to be.

The Bell Jar:

The Bell jar is the only novel that is written by Sylvia Plath. The Bell Jar is about delusional young men and women, and it is a must-read for every teenager who is suffering from mental illness and battling with failure and cynicism. The Bell Jar was rejected many times by both the American and the English publishers because the book was mostly autobiographical.

The Unabridged Journals:

Sylvia kept a remarkable record of her private thoughts. She is an obsessive diarist, and she always held a record of what had happened to her. In the year 1982, a book was released, but it did not contain many details as her mother, and her husband had omitted some of the works considering it to be messy. But in the year 2000, an editor named Karen V. Kukil restored those journals and included all the omitted records, and it includes the part where she was in the mental institution, he letters to her ex-boyfriend and her struggle to become a great poet.

Letters Home:

Sylvia was quite connected with her mother, and she often wrote many letters to her mother. She wrote about her mother and recorded each incident that happened from the time she was living at home and when she was away from home for the first time at Smith College and Cambridge and then later in her married life with Hughes. It is quite fascinating to read all her letters. You will be able to understand what is going on in her life as opposed to what she writes to her mother.

 

 

Frances Backhouse, Sylvia Olsen win city’s top literary prize

Greater Victoria writers Frances Backhouse and Sylvia Olsen won the city’s top literary prizes last night.

Backhouse received the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize for her non-fiction book, Children of the Klondike, published by Whitecap Books. The book was judged best in a general category that included poetry, fiction, non-fiction and biography. She was awarded a $5,000 cheque.

Backhouse’s book chronicles the stories of children who grew up between the discovery of Yukon gold in 1896 and the emergence of Dawson City as a post-gold-rush town in the early 20th century.

Olsen won the $5,000 Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize for Counting on Hope. Published by Sono Nis Press, her novel is about the complex relationship between a First Nations girl and a British girl during the British colonization of British Columbia. Alternating between prose and free verse, Counting on Hope also explores a naval assault on Kuper Island in 1863.

The awards ceremony, held at the Union Club, featured readings by all eight finalists for the prizes.

“I’m truly in shock,” Backhouse said, accepting her award. “There’s so many good writers in this city,” she said, adding she was humbled to be chosen for the prize.

Olsen said she loved inspiring young people with her novels.

“I get to be with teenagers and kids and get to see that inspiration,” she said. “I’m never going to grow up and write adult novels.”

The event was hosted by Jo-Ann Roberts of CBC Radio’s All Points West.

The Victoria Book Prize Society establishes the policy and criteria for the prizes, appoints the juries and administers the competitions.

Author and Historian Sylvia Olsen Wins Prestigious Award

Award Winner: Sylvia Olsen’s Working With Wool Wins Lieutenant-Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing

Winning the Lieutenant-Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing for her recent book, Working With Wool: A Coast Salish Legacy and the Cowichan Sweater is a double thrill for Sylvia Olsen. “As a writer and a historian, how much better does it get?” Olsen said after receiving the news of her win. Awarded annually by the BC Historical Federation, the Lieutenant-Governor’s Medal recognizes the best non-fiction book representing any aspect of BC history published in a given year.

Sylvia Olsen is well known for her award-winning books exploring the complex territory that lies in the place between First Nations and non-First Nations culture. Olsen is also a knitter who was involved for many years in all aspects of the production and marketing of Cowichan sweaters. After moving to the Tsartlip First Nation almost forty years ago, Olsen was drawn to the woolworking taking place in almost every home. “My mother-in-law, Laura Olsen, was an amazing knitter and she taught me to make wool and spin.”

Blending her own experiences working with knitters and sweaters from the late ‘70s to the early ‘90s, her desire to learn as much as possible about how government and business intersected with knitters and purchasers, the stories of the knitters themselves, and more than a hundred archival photographs, Olsen has woven a fascinating narrative, a cross cultural story that involves all British Columbians, First Nations, settlers, governments, and churches. “We have all been touched by, or involved with the sweaters in one way or another,” she says.

Working With Wool has also been nominated for the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize. The award recognizes the author of the book that contributes most to the enjoyment and understanding of British Columbia and will be announced on April 21, 2011 at the 27th annual Lieutenant Governor’s BC Book Prize Gala, at the Kay Meek Centre in West Vancouver.

This year the BC Historical Federation’s awards banquet will be held on May 7 from 6-10pm at Dwight Hall in Powell River.

Vincent J. Bertram

Vincent J.Bertram is a regular contributor to this blog page. He has been a part of this blog since the beginning days. We mainly focus on providing insightful information about books and importance of intensive reading habits. Backing up the efforts of Sylvia Oslen, Vincent, being a book lover himself, has given his best all these days and has contributed a lot to this blog.


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