• Books

    Bernice and the Georgian Bay Gold

    Bernice and the Georgian Bay Gold cover

    This is a story inspired by my own family and my great-Aunt Bernice. She was like a grandmother to me. It was a joy to imagine their lives on the island (a mile from where my parents have a home today). The story is fiction. It’s a way for people of all ages to learn more about a Métis family in Ontario before they hid their identity for protection and to stay together.

    “A treasure map sparks a coastal Canadian Métis eight-year-old’s search for gold in an exuberant, richly detailed novel from a Métis author sharing her family’s fictionalized history…. A sweet historical fiction pick for fans of well-intentioned young protagonists with enlightening Indigenous representation.” Booklist

    “This is a novel for young teens, featuring historical fiction depicting life on this part of Georgian Bay in the early 1900s, and a history of the Indigenous people, the voyageurs and the settlers who came later to these islands. It is also a compelling novel about an adventurous girl who finds that the real gold on Georgian Bay is right where she lives.” Charlotte Stein, ParrySound.com

    “Author Jessica Outram has given us a story with a difference: a book that incorporates many phrases in the Métis language, Michif.” Helen Norrie, Winnipeg Free Press

    “An excellent complementary read for indigenous or Canadian history studies. It is a worthwhile and thoughtful read and an admirable way of paying tribute to past generations. Highly Recommended.” Canadian Review of Materials

    “As a story, it will interest readers of all ages, moving deftly between the warm family scenes, industries across the water, and the dangerous storms of Georgian Bay.” Historical Novel Society

    Bernice and the Georgian Bay Gold is an amusing and informative story that serves both to entertain and educate the reader. It would be a positive addition to any home or school library.” Anishinabek News

    Bernice and the Georgian Bay Gold is now available in hardcover as a Junior Library Guild selection.

    Follow me on social media to learn more about some of the people and places who inspired the book.

    Brave Bernice is ready for an adventure!

    It’s the summer of 1914. Eight-year-old Bernice lives with her family in a lighthouse on Georgian Bay. One day Bernice wakes up to find a stranger named Tom Thomson sleeping in their living room. When she overhears him talk about gold on a nearby island, Bernice is determined to find it. Inspired by her beloved Mémère’s stories of their Métis family’s adventures and hardships, Bernice takes the treasure map the stranger left behind and sets out in a rowboat with nothing more than her two dogs for company and the dream of changing her family’s fortunes forever.

    Click here to Order Now!

    Product Information: Bernice and the Georgian Bay Gold

    • Release: May 16, 2023
    • Second Story Press
    • $12.95 Paperback
    • 190 Pages
    • 5.25″ x 7.5″
    • Children’s Fiction
    • Ages 9-12 / Grades 4-7
    • ISBN: 9781772603187
  • Books

    The Thing with Feathers

    The Thing With Feathers by Jessica Outram

    Piquant Press

    A collection of poetry available to purchase from the publisher or on Amazon.

    Books are also available from Let’s Talk Books in Cobourg and Caversham Booksellers in Toronto.

    Hope is the thing with feathers
    That perches in the soul

    Emily Dickinson

    This is a story of becoming whole by reassembling broken pieces of self, holding onto hope in the darkest moments, and seeing everything in a new light.

    The Thing With Feathers takes you on an intimate journey of truth, transformation, and healing of spirit. From cherry blossom tree trunks to the shores of Georgian Bay, these poems evoke reverence, recalling past lives and ancestral Metis blood memory passed down from grandmothers.
    ~ Sarah Lewis, Poet Laureate, Peterborough ON

    Poetry that’s both affective and effective in recognizing the power of expression as a means of revealing the human spirit. There is clarity of language in these poems, and in that clarity the reader finds what it means to feel alive.
    ~ Antony Di Nardo, Poet

    Click here to read Anthony Di Nardo’s full-length review of The Thing with Feathers.

    Here are poems that show a way to build belonging. With clarity and sharp imagery, Outram’s poetry aches with the will to transform. They swirl beyond the whirlpool of rules because it’s all possible. Slowly, a new self emerges by breaking down threads / pulled by uncertainty. Through the deliberate act of seeing, facing, and confronting, a knowing, more integrated self comes to light. A fresh, vivid and heartfelt debut.
    ~”Catherine Graham, Poet, Aether: An Out-of-Body Lyric and The Celery Forest

    Click here to read Kate Rogers’ review of The Thing with Feathers.

    April 16th 2022 Launch: Art Gallery of Northumberland
    April 16th, 2022 Launch: Art Gallery of Northumberland
  • Community eChapbooks

    The Story of Water

    We continue the tradition for a third year of publishing an eChapbook to celebrate Earth Day. First, we published Light in My Eyes in 2020. Then we published Lessons from the Earth in 2021.

    Water is life. This year for our Earth Day eChapbook, I wanted to invite poets to reflect on the story of water. Poetry helps us to see in different ways. As you read this collection, consider the story of water in your life. How can we protect it? Respect it? What does water have to teach us? 

    I’m overwhelmed by the number of poems and the diversity of stories. As you read through this collection, pay attention to the ways water changes form, its relationship to people and other elements in nature, and how it travels.

    Find a quiet spot, maybe even outside, by the water to read a poem or two as a gift for the water. Let us thank the water for all it has given us.

    With this project, we also celebrate National Poetry Month.

    “In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans.” — Kahlil Gibran 

    The eChapbook was sent out via the Poetry Present subscriber list on Earth Day, Friday April 22, 2022.

  • Books

    Sunsets in Britt: A Georgian Bay Tradition

    Jessica Outram is a Métis writer and educator with roots in the Georgian Bay Métis Community. She is the 4th Poet Laureate of Cobourg, Ontario. For decades she has captured Georgian Bay summer sunsets with her camera. This project is for family and friends who share her love of sunsets. Anyone is welcome to purchase a book.

    • Primary Category: Arts & Photography Books
    • Project Option: Standard Landscape, 10×8 in, 25×20 cm
      # of Pages: 24
    • ISBN
      • Hardcover, Dust Jacket: 9781006416453
    • Published by Sunshine in a Jar Press
      • Using a print on demand service: Blurb. Since hundreds of copies were not printed, the cost per book is higher than hoped.
    • Limited Edition.
    • $55.00 plus tax and delivery

    If you know Jessica or live nearby, you can also purchase books directly from Jessica to avoid shipping costs (paying by cash or etransfer: $55 plus GST/HST $7.15 = $62.15).

    Sunsets in Britt is also available at Let’s Talk Books in Cobourg.

    To order online now with delivery click here.

  • Georgian Bay

    Southeastern Georgian Bay Landscape Photos

    Every summer I spend hours in the boat taking photographs of the landscape I love so much. It still amazes me how every day is different out on the bay.

  • Books

    The Writing Spiral by Jessica Outram

    Available at Let’s Talk Books in Cobourg, Ontario. Nearly sold out!

    About the Book

    In The Writing SpiralJessica Outram, an educator and writer, shares eight thematic spirals that explore how we can cultivate a writing life that guarantees growth and development.

    This book offers a theory about how writers learn. Using the contributions from 30 emerging and experienced writers, The Writing Spiral demonstrates the way learning about creativity, courage, solitude, community, ambition, perseverance, curiosity, and love develop mastery to make an expressive, inspired writer.

    A comprehensive learning program designed to call writers to action, this book utilizes research-based learning strategies, humour, metaphor, and interactive exercises to awaken the learner in you. To become a better writer, you need to become a better learner.

    A diverse collection of poems, stories, memoirs, and essays take you on a journey around layers of experience, knowledge, and inquiry to awaken your writing core.

    The Writing Spiral offers a new vision that encourages us to define our writing spirals: to embrace reflection and analysis, to love learning, and to courageously write our truths and share our stories.

  • Poet Laureate of Cobourg

    A Poem for the First Day of School

    The First Day of School
    On the first day
    possibilities thrive
    dreams come alive
    together we create and relate.
    Our classroom holds the universe
    in the eye of each child.
    We can learn on the moon
    dancing like a balloon in zero gravity
    reading about oceans
    as you float on the boat 
    that was once your chair
    in a classroom daring to become a jungle.
    Stretch your words
    taste each number
    go outside and notice
    what’s growing in the schoolyard. 
    Watch closely 
    when the seasons change.
    Write your story
    show your friends
    share who you are and 
    sing with your eyes.
    Every question is an adventure,
    an invitation to change the world
    to be kind, understanding this 
    is what it means to be human.
    We celebrate being alive
    with wonder and belonging
    everyone here a twinkling star
    in the system of our community.

    © Jessica Outram

    This poem was revised in September 2021.