• Biography

    Jan Coates lives in Wolfville, NS with her husband and their Golden Irish. She has two young adult children and loves visiting schools through the Writers in the Schools (WITS) program. Jan's interest in writing for children grew out of her own love of words and stories and a passion for helping kids become lifelong readers and writers.

    In her free time, Jan can be found on the badminton court, travelling, at the gym, the cottage, or Frenchy's. Her first picture book, Rainbows in the Dark (Second Story Press, 2005) has been translated into Spanish, Catalan, and Braille, with Korean and Brazilian rights also sold. She has also written sixteen ESL illustrated chapter books for Caramel Tree, a Korean-based English Language School, and two non-fiction workbooks for Quebec ESL students. Her debut novel, A Hare in the Elephant's Trunk (Red Deer Press, 2010), was a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award (Children's Text) in 2011, as well as an Ann Connor Brimer Award finalist. She has also written three middle grade novels, Talking to the Moon (2018),The Power of Harmony, also a Brimer finalist, and Rocket Man, a YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers  (Red Deer Press, 2014). Jan's picture books include A Halifax Time-Travelling Tune (Nimbus, 2018), Sky Pig (Pajama Press, 2016), The King of Keji (Nimbus, 2015), and Rainbows in the Dark (Second Story Press, 2005). Her current passion (other than learning to illustrate) is writing a work of creative non-fiction for young readers about Canadian landscape painter (and all-around interesting person) Doris McCarthy (1910 - 2010).

    • The Power of Harmony: Finalist, Violet Downey Award 2014; Ann Connor Brimer Atlantic Book Award Finalist; OLA Bets Best Book 2014; Hackmatack Book, 2014/15.

    • A Hare in the Elephant's Trunk: Finalist, 2011 Governor General's Literary Awards; Finalist, Ann Connor Brimer Award; starred Kirkus Review; USBBY Honor List, 2011.

    • Rainbows in the Dark: USBBY Honor List of Outstanding Books for Young People with Diabilities, 2006. 

    • Rocket Man (Woozles Battle of the Books, YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, 2015)

    • Sky Pig (winner of Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration; artist, Suzanne Del Rizzo)