shenaaz nanji profile pic


Award winning author of 11 books from picture books to novels, Shenaaz thinks of herself as a squid who lives in the sea but surfaces occasionally to read or write. She holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Vermont College, USA and has presented for many years to schools & libraries across Canada and USA. She has been on the jury for Canada Council of Arts three times & Writers Union & Writers Guild of Alberta.

She believes that diversity of cultures is strength and that words have power to change lives. More information:

Please check back in September 2023 for Shenaaz’s touring plans.



Virtual Visits:

  • $125 for 30 minutes
  • $150 for 45 minutes
  • $200 for 60 minutes

In-Person Visits (only in Calgary):

  • Half day: $300 for two 45-minute sessions.

Full day bookings are not available at this time.

Shenaaz will tailor her presentations to meet the needs of the audience. Some examples are:

Grades 2 to 6:

  • My picture books are on family, acceptance & identity, & folk tales.
  • Why read and write?
  • Read from one of my picture books chosen by teacher
  • Writing process
  • Story Elements
  • Writing Games
  • Q&A

Grades 7 to 9

  • Why Read?
  • Read excerpt from one of the novels chosen by teacher
  • How stories change us?
  • Why I write about Global Issues?
  • Why learn about Global issues?
  • Q&A


  • Why Read?
  • Read excerpt from one of my novels chosen by teacher
  • What is my world view?
  • How my world grew and changed?
  • How reading and writing change and stretch my worldview?
  • Q&A

Grades 9 to 12

  • What makes a good story?
  • Read excerpt from novel chosen by teacher
  • My Writing Process
  • Premise of Story
  • Story Structure, Story Arc, Emotional Arc of hero
  • Q/A


Child of Dandelions, Second Story Press, 2008

  • Governor General Children’s Literature: Finalist, 2008
  • C.B.C 100 Must Read Young Adult Books, 2017
  • Geoffrey Bilson Historical Fiction: Finalist, 2009
  • Manitoba Young Readers: Finalist, 2010
  • Exporting Alberta: Finalist, Canadian Authors Association, 2009
  • Best Books Teens: Canadian Children Book Centre, 2009
  • Rhode Island Teen Book: Finalist, 2010
  • Notable Book Global Society List:2009
  • Pennsylvania School Librarian Association. Top Forty, 20

Ghost Boys, Mawenzi Press, 2017

  • Saskatchewan Young Readers: Snow Willow Finalist, 2018

Indian Tales, Barefoot Books, 2007

  • Ross Annett: Finalist, Writer’s Guild of Alberta, 2009
  • Parent’s Choice Foundation: Silver, 2008

Treasure for Lunch, Second Story, 1999

  • Our Choice, Canadian Children’s Book Centre, 2001

Alien In My House, Second Story, 2003

  • Blue Spruce: Finalist, 2004
  • Writer’s Digest: Finalist, 2000

Old Fisherman of Lamu, T.S.A.R, 1994:

  • Brendon Donelly Children’s Lit: Finalist, 1994

Ring of Remembrance, Benchmark Education Publisher, 2019

Notre Dame, Weigl Publishers, 2014

Vatican City, Weigl Publishers, 2014

Teeny Weeny Penny, Toronto South Asian Review, 1993

Grandma’s Heart, Toronto South Asian Review, 1993

Other Awards & Honours

Shenaaz won the Immigrant of Distinction award in Arts & Culture in 2011.


“Quietly and crisply written, all of Nanji’s characters are beautifully realized, morally nuanced and compellingly crafted.”

Canada Council Governor General Finalist 2008

“Excellent historical fiction about a timely yet sad universal subject.”

School Library Journal U.S.A. 2008

One of 100 Young Adult Books that makes you proud to be a Canadian.”

C.B.C. 2016

“Many of us considered the book to be a page turner and we found it hard to put it down.”

International Reading Association 2009