Thursday, 8 September 2016


Incredible news today:

The Wolf-Birds, my picture book about wolves and ravens, has been nominated for The 2016 TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award AND The Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award!!!


And Avis Dolphin, my novel/graphic novel hybrid with the wonderful Frieda Wishinsky has been nominated for The Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People!!

A super special thank you to Daniel Stahler, the Ecologist at Yellowstone National Park, who provided his thesis on wolf / raven interactions in the wild and who consulted on the story and art in The Wolf-Birds; to my wonderful Editors and Art Directors, John Crossingham, Karen Li and Barb Kelly at Owlkids Books; and Sheila Barry, Nan Froman and Michael Solomon at Groundwood Books. Thanks to all the wonderful people at both publishers who work tirelessly to bring the most beautiful, thoughtful, intelligent, diverse books to small people everywhere. This is a whirlwind and a huge honour. Thanks for believing in me and in these two magical books!

Congrats to all the finalists! It is truly an honour to be among so many fine books and brilliant creators. The list this year is impeccable, go and buy all the books. They are each so deserving!


Good luck to everyone!

Friday, 2 September 2016


After 2.5 years raising two little hatchlings into tiny, mighty humans I have decided to take the leap back into full-time freelance! I have a few small teaching gigs lined up and I'm currently illustrating LOST FAIRY TALES with translator Shelley Tanaka for Knopf Canada (more on this dream project soon) but I am looking to line up more projects and work for Fall / Winter / Spring / Summer and on.

If you'd like to work with me or if you know someone who would, please PM me:

Over the past few years, I was very fortunate to be able to work with some exceptional people on some pretty awesome projects. Here are a few highlights:

-My picture book THE WOLF-BIRDS (Owlkids Books) received a School Library Journal starred review, made it onto The New York Public Library's "100 Titles for Reading & Sharing" list, and The Writers' Trust of Canada "Best Books of the Year" list, and is a finalist for The Children’s Literature Roundtables of Canada’s Information Book Award.

-My book AVIS DOLPHIN with Frieda Wishinsky (Groundwood Books) was translated into italian by Mondadori Press and has been shortlisted for The IODE Violet Downey Book Award!

-I adapted the late Carol Shield's screenplay SUSANNA MOODIE: ROUGHING IT IN THE BUSH into a graphic novel manuscript for Xenophile Media and Second Story Press.

-I edited an upcoming graphic novel for Doubleday.

-I illustrated MY GIRLFRIEND'S PREGNANT! (Annick Press) and a handful of other smaller illustration gigs, including Ryan North's ROMEO AND/OR JULIET (Riverhead Books).

-I've continued to teach COMICS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS at the University of Toronto and lead workshops at schools and libraries.

I am open to any illustration or design work, or perhaps you have a graphic novel manuscript that needs a good substantive edit. If so, I'm your girl!

Teachers and librarians, I am available this month most morning's and starting next month, I will be available afternoon's too! Please contact my awesome booking agents Valerie Sherrard and Marsha J. Skrypuch at
Rates and information here:

Thank you in advance for thinking of me, and for any leads. It's an exciting time!

Monday, 22 June 2015


Do you have an idea for a comic or graphic novel that you'd like to workshop? Interested in the nuts and bolts of scriptwriting and/or art production, pitching, publishing or self-publishing comics?

If so, then this course is for you!

University of Toronto, School of Continuing Studies
Instructor: Willow Dawson

From scriptwriting to artwork to publishing and self-publishing, this 5-day intensive covers pretty much everything you need to know to get yourself started in the wonderfully diverse world of comics and graphic novels. (Ability to draw is NOT MANDATORY but an appreciation for words and images is a must)

GUEST Jennifer Lum, Design Director at Random House has worked with some of the top talent in today's comics industry and she will take students through the pitching and publishing process.

July 13-17, 2015
9:30am - 3:00pm
Course can be applied toward an SCS certificate in Creative Writing

More info, including how to register, can be found here:

Hope to see you there!

Friday, 6 December 2013


Tonight's the night! I have two pieces in this wonderful illustration show. Come on out and celebrate winter with great people and beautiful art.

156 Augusta Ave in Toronto

And if you can't make it tonight, it will be on tomorrow as well and thereafter by appointment.

Show deets, including a list of exhibiting artists is below! Don't forget to check out the craft fair, too ...

Winter Fox

The Deers

Thursday, 10 October 2013


Hello fine people! Today is a day for celebration ...

I handed in the final edits on my picture book manuscript and a sample of the final artwork so the design department can see the direction I'd like to take the illustrations in. Now I get to sit back and relax while I await feedback on the rough illus and art sample ... Kidding (about relaxing, that is), I actually have to get back to work after I finish writing this post on another top secret project. Haha ... the life of an author / illustrator!

I am very excited about this project (which must still remain unnamed) because it will be my very first picture book! A picture book with sequential elements! It is a story that is very close to my heart and I'm working with an awesome publisher, a super incredible art director, and two of the greatest editors a girl could ever wish for. And I know from experience that this combo, and this combo only, of good people and shared excitement produces amazing books. So this book is going to be amazing. End of story.

Behold, a sample of the final art for your eyes only ... Enjoy!

Two Wolves and a Bird

Thursday, 19 September 2013


Hi everyone,

I'm teaching my comics course at UofT again this fall, starting Oct 1, and REGISTRATION IS STILL OPEN. Please forward the info below to anyone you know who may be interested, or take a look for yourself if this is something you think you'd like to try.

This iteration of the course is going to be pretty fantastic (if I may say so myself)... I've fine tuned it to give more time for students to workshop their own ideas and I've just confirmed the wonderful Ryan North as the guest speaker. See below for more info:

at University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies

Oct 1 - Dec 3, 2013
7 - 9 PM

"Creating Comics and Graphic Novels" is a combination of theory and practice, designed to provide students with an introduction to the amazingly diverse world of sequential storytelling and a space to develop their ideas for new comic works. All genres including fiction, non-fiction and even sequential poetry are supported in this course. Taught by graphic novelist Willow Dawson (Ghost Limb, Hyena in Petticoats, 100 Mile House), with guest speaker Ryan North: creator of Dinosaur Comics, writer of the Adventure Time comic book series, winner of at least one Eisner Award, and creator of the highest funded Kickstarter publishing project of all time: To Be Or Not To Be: That Is The Adventure (a Choose Your Own Adventure style retelling of Shakespeare's Hamlet). If you didn't click his name above, take a look at this interview:

Past guests have included Fiona Smyth (CHEEZ 100, The Never Weres), Francis Manapul (The Flash, DC Comics), Karen Li (Senior Editor of nonfiction and graphic novels, Kids Can Press) and Naseem Hrab (Institutional Marketing Manager, Kids Can Press), and most recently Jennifer Lum (Senior Designer and champion of the graphic publishing program at Random House).

Artistic genius is not a requirement but a passion for words and images is a must.

The course fee is $599. Registration is still open!

Registration and more course deets here:

Hope to see all your sweet smiling faces on October 1st!

Monday, 2 September 2013


You may have noticed I haven't been producing quite as much art over the summer as usual. This is because it's been a busy one! My good news is that I'm hard at work, writing my very first picture book! I'm also working on the writing component for a graphic novel adaptation of a late author's screenplay and her final remaining unpublished work...

Yes, I'm being cryptic on purpose because, for now, I cannot reveal any details about either of these projects! They are top secret. But, I assure you I will let you know exactly what they are as soon as I've been given the go ahead to speak about them. Thankyou for being patient and sticking with me through this inwardly inspiring, but outwardly quiet time. Shhhhhhh....

I leave you with these two new sketches in the hopes that you'll come back soon for more!


Bee Maiden