We Want to Rent Your Brain in Exchange for a Free eBook

We want to rent your brain. Or, you know, just borrow it for a little while. And for the favour, we’re offering a free eBook download of

The Mysterious Death
of Tom Thomson

The Mysterious Death of Tom Thomson

Interested? Great. Let’s start with a bit of a puzzle.


What does this mean? Well, you’ll need to brush off your visual literacy to figure it out. And teaching visual literacy is what this post is all about. What it says is…

Hi there! This is, admittedly, a bit of a strange outreach campaign, but it’s also a contest, and we are offering a bunch of nifty prizes at the end, so keep reading to find out more.


What we’re doing:


We are assembling a handy study guide that will use George A. Walker’s The Mysterious Death of Tom Thomson (2012) to teach wordless novels and visual literacy at the senior high school level. The guide will be provided (free) as a PDF download, to anyone who wants it, in June 2018.

The study guide is funded by the Ontario Media Development Corporation and the Ontario Ministry of Education as part of the Canadian Books in Ontario Schools Fund.

That means it’s legit.


How you can help:

iconWe would like to talk to high school English and/or Fine Arts teachers in the areas surrounding Algonquin Park, though anyone, from any region, teaching any subject, is welcome to participate.

We’re looking for:

  • ideas for group and individual exercises that encourage visual literacy;
  • discussion questions inspired by the visual narrative;
  • useful skills for students to develop over the course of the guide activities; and
  • anything else you think we should know!


What’s in it for you:

iconsYes, you’ll be helping create study materials that teachers can use for free in their classrooms, but we’ve also got prizes!

  • Each and every one of you is welcome to a complimentary digital copy of The Mysterious Death of Tom Thomson (PDF), just for reading this post.
  • Plus, anyone who offers up exercises, activities, insight, or advice on our study guide will receive a small gift—a beautiful fridge magnet featuring of one of the images from the book.

canoe magnet

Plus, the pièce de résistance

The four best ideas (as chosen by Publisher Tim Inkster) will win an artist’s proof from the limited edition of The Mysterious Death of Tom Thomson.

walker artist's proofs

Your brain power can win you one of these honest-to-goodness works of art!

How to get involved:


Have we piqued your curiosity? If so, here’s what you do:

1. Download your free ebook at using the coupon code TOM.

2. Come up with an awesome idea (or ideas) to share.

3. Contact us with your idea(s) and your mailing address for your prize.

4. Earn our unending gratitude!


Click here to share your winning idea!


Giveaway ends at 12:00 a.m. on December 15, 2017. Winners will be chosen by Publisher Tim Inkster and contacted via email. Open to residents of Canada.


PortraitThank you in advance for all your help. We want to make sure that we create something truly useful for all the teachers out there looking to encourage literacy and creativity, and your ideas will make that a reality!


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The Porcupine's Quill would like to acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts for our publishing program. The financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF) is also gratefully acknowledged.