Previous Projects

Libres comme l’art

With young people from Riverdale High School, Monique Polak will create a collective work, inspired by the ideas of the students, which will deal with the subjects of autism, depression and marginality.


Behind every book there is a story. Hate Mail is the fruit of an exciting project called Libres comme l’art. It makes it possible for an artist to do a residency at a local school – and create a work of art with the students’ input. This year, Monique Polak was writer-in-residence at Riverdale High School. With Karen Scott’s Grade Nine English class, they brainstormed ideas for a novel involving autism and depression. Though both are issues affecting many of us, they are not easy to talk about.  Monique was deeply touched – and inspired — by the students’ insights and openness. They were involved in almost every chapter of this book as she was writing it. They laughed, but also groaned or made suggestions whenever things needed fixing. She shared with the students the ins and outs, and ups and downs of the writing process.

During the Blue Met Festival, we launched the booklet including five chapters from the second draft of Hate Mail. The complete book will be released in September 2014 by Orca Book Publishers.

The author

Quebec Authors photographed at Quebec Writer's Federation May 15, 2010

Monique Polak is the author of 15 novels for young adults. Her historical novel What World Is Left won the 2009 Quebec Writers’ Federation Prize for Children’s and Young Adult Literature. Her most recent novel is Straight Punch (Orca Book Publishers).

Monique’s next YA novel, Hate Mail, will be released in fall 2014 by Orca Book Publishers. She is a frequent contributor to the Montreal Gazette and is also a columnist on the Radio-Canada show, Plus on est de fou, plus on lit! Monique has been teaching English literature and humanities at Marianopolis College since 1985.

She produced many writing workshops to high school students across the country. She has been involved in Blue Met’s educational program since 2006.

To learn more, visit

Participating school

Riverdale High School
5060 Sources Boulevard
Pierrefonds, Quebec  H8Y 3E4

Karen Scott’s Grade

With the Financial support to the Conférence régionale des élus de Montréal, and the Conseil des Arts de Montréal, and la Fondation du Grand Montréal.