Still time to book a Tree nominee this spring!

These nominees are still available. Book now to avoid disappointment. Please note: we've removed those from this listing who are fully booked:

Blue Spruce

Blue Spruce Nominee Willow Dawson has good availability in the GTA all spring. Subsidy eligible.

Blue Spruce Nominee Bill Slavin lives in Millbrook ON and has good availability this spring.

Blue Spruce Nominee Shane Peacock has days available in the GTA and Ajax/Belleville corridor the rest of this school year. Subsidy eligible.

Silver Birch

R.J. Anderson (Silver Birch Fiction nomineeA Pocket Full of Murder) has good availability in SW Ontario, the GTA and Niagara all spring. Subsidy eligible.

Casey Lyall, Silver Birch Fiction nominee, has good availability this spring. No travel fee if booking within 100km of London, or 150km if booking for a full day. Subsidy eligible.

Ellen Schwartz, Silver Birch Fiction nominee, is available May 15 and 19. Subsidy eligible.

Silver Birch Express Nominee, Liam O'Donnell, has good availability this spring in the GTA. Subsidy eligible.

Philippa Dowding, Silver Birch Express Nominee has good availability in the GTA and surrounding areas this spring. Subsidy eligible.

Silver Birch Non-fiction Nominee Kira Vermond of Guelph has good availability all spring in the GTA, and areas surrounding Guelph. Subsidy eligible.

Double Silver Birch Non-fiction Nominee, Helaine Becker has limited availability spring in the GTA and surrounding areas. Subsidy eligible.

Sue Irwin, Silver Birch Non-Fiction nominee who lives in Grimsby, has good availability this spring in Niagara, Hamilton area, and the GTA Subsidy eligible.

Nikki Tate, Silver Birch Non-fiction nominee, is available on May 18th but is otherwise FULL. Subsidy eligible.

Etta Kaner, Silver Birch Non-fiction nominee, is available in the GTA this spring. Subsidy eligible.

Le Prix Peuplier

Le Prix Peuplier Nominee Mireille Messier of Toronto is available in the GTA and surrounding areas in June and in the fall. Subsidy eligible.

Red Maple

Red Maple Fiction Nominee  Karen Bass, is available in GTA May 9 & 10. Subsidy eligible.

Red Maple Fiction Nominee, Richard Scrimger of Toronto has good availability in the GTA and surrounding areas this spring. Subsidy eligible.

Red Maple Fiction Nominee, Caroline Pignat of Ottawa is available in Toronto on Wed May 17th. She has good availability in Ottawa this spring. Subsidy eligible.

Red Maple Non-fiction Nominee Robin Stevenson is available Toronto during the week of May 15. Subsidy eligible.

Red Maple Non-fiction Nominee, Ella Burakowski of Toronto has good availability in the GTA and surrounding areas this spring. Subsidy eligible.

Red Maple Non-fiction Nominee, Simon Shapiro of Toronto has good availability in the GTA and surrounding areas this spring. Subsidy eligible.

Red Maple Non-fiction Nominee  Kari-Lynn Winters, is available in the GTA, Niagara, Hamilton regions this spring. Subsidy eligible.

Red Maple Non-fiction Nominee Ishta Mercurio is available in the GTA, Niagara, Hamilton regions this spring. Subsidy eligible.

White Pine

White Pine Nominee S. J. Laidlaw will be flying in from Asia for the month of May. She will be in Toronto and available for speaking engagements from Friday, April 28 - Friday May 26th and  still has excellent availability for library and school visits. Travel fees are waived in the GTA and Guelph. She will be in the Ottawa area May 4 - 6th, so travel fees for that National Capital Region are waived during that period. Fifteen Lanes was just named a Booklist Editor’s Choice for 2016! Subsidy eligible.

White Pine Nominee Lena Coakley of Toronto is available in the GTA and surrounding areas. Many dates in April are open! May 1-5. Subsidy eligible.

Golden Oak

Golden Oak Nominee Judith Graves is available in Toronto from May 27 to June 3. Subsidy eligible.

Golden Oak Nominee Michelle Barker is available in the Toronto area the first week of June, 2017. Subsidy eligible.

Golden Oak Nominee John Spray has good availability in the GTA and Prince Edward County all spring. Subsidy eligible.

Golden Oak Nominee Melanie Florence has good availability in the GTA all spring. Subsidy eligible.

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Hazel Hutchins (Canmore AB)

Blue Spruce nominee for Snap. Writers' Union Member. $500 for two sessions, $725 for three sessions and $900 for four sessions plus HST and a flat fee for travel and accommodation of $100 per day. Hazel's spring 2017 Ontario schedule is now FULL.

Hazel enjoys giving lively presentations to students from kindergarten through grade six. She is an experienced author whose award winning picture books and middle grade novels (over fifty titles in all) have taken her to schools, libraries, young writer's conferences, literary celebrations and young reader programs all across Canada. Carefully adjusting her presentation to the ages, interests and attention levels of the students before her at any given time, Hazel's lighthearted approach passes along useful information while building enthusiasm for reading and writing of all kinds.
“.... we all learned something – children and adults alike!” Taleblazers Festival, 2012.

Ages: Kindergarten to Grade 6.

Please keep students within one or two grade levels of each other in any one session.

JK and K are best together, without older grades, and for 45 minutes rather than the full hour.

Numbers: 60 to 100 students per session works best. Larger numbers negotiable but please ask.

Location: A library, music room or multiple-use room always works better than a gymnasium if at all possible. Please seat students on the floor, carpet or mats rather than in chairs. Thank you!

Equipment: A screen (or white wall), an extension cord, a table, and two ordinary chairs.

If it is necessary to use the gym then a sound system is needed please. (Try to avoid the gym if possible.)

Presentation Descriptions:

Story Fun for K - Grade 2

What makes a story special? How do stories become books? Using engaging visuals and lively storytelling—as well as chants, finger plays and active involvement from the students themselves—Hazel gives a fun introduction to story building for this youngest of audiences.

Tips, Tricks and Keeping it Real for Grades 3 - 6

By sharing her writing experiences from creating stories of all kinds—picture books, chapter books, a YA novel and beyond—Hazel helps readers and writers in the middle grades see the stories within themselves in new light. Topics include discovering ideas that work, building stronger characters, coming up with great endings, the painful necessity of rewriting, unusual research and enjoying the process along the way.

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Bill Slavin (Millbrook)

Millbrook, ON, fiction and non-fiction, Award-winning author/illustrator including the Blue Spruce and Silver Birch Awards, Grades 2-6

$300 + HST per 1 hour session, and $250 + HST for additional sessions, plus transportation/accommodation.

Bill Slavin has illustrated over one hundred children’s books, fiction and nonfiction. Titles include Stanley’s Party by Linda Bailey, winner of the 2004 Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award and Transformed, winner of the 2006 Norma Fleck Award. Recently he has published the third book in his graphic novel series, Elephants Never Forget. Today he is lives in Millbrook with his partner, Esperança Melo, who is also an artist and book illustrator.

Illustration as Story-telling

Bill Slavin's school presentations revolve around a discussion of illustration as a form of story-telling, with the intention of inspiring students to go ahead and create their own stories. He shares his early work with the kids, including his very first book he did back in Grade 3, Zok the Caveman (possibly the most important thing he shows them, as it gives context!) He also discusses the process he goes through to create a picture book, from manuscript through thumbnails and pencil drawings to finished art and usually includes a reading from one of his books in conjunction with showing the original art. His presentation ends with his doing a character sketch for the kids (which will be left with the school), along with a discussion of some basic drawing principals.

Each presentation lasts for about an hour, with slight change ups in the above description depending upon the age of the audience. His preferred audience is Grades 2 - 6 and audience size can be up to 125 children. During the presentation he shows original book art and sketches and reinforces what he's showing with projections of the art (if the AV equipment is available), leaving room for lots of Q & A.

Bill's aim in the presentation is to demystify kids' relationship with art and make it real, tangible and immediate so they can go forward and have the confidence to create their own stories.

Audience Size:  125 maximum (it's best if the kids are seated on the floor or on mats)
Preferred Grades Grades 2-6
AV Requirements:  A laptop linked to a projector. If available he will bring his presentation as a Powerpoint document on a key.
Venues: All, library preferred
Other Requirements A table to organize his work on and a glass of water to wet his whistle!

Signed Books
A signed book can be a chance for kids to make a lasting connection with a visiting author. If any of the kids would like to order a book before the visit, Bill can put you in touch with his local book distributor who would be pleased to provide order forms and make arrangements to have books shipped to your school prior to the presentation.

Please note: Bill's surname is pronounced SLAY-vin.

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Shane Peacock (Cobourg)

Cobourg, ON. Writers' Union Member. Fiction, Governor-General’s Award nominee, 3 x TD Children’s Literature Award nominee. All ages.

His fees are: $400 for one presentation to a small to medium sized audience, $550 for two presentations or one to a large audience, $750 for three presentations, and $950 for four.

Shane is the author of the critically-acclaimed, bestselling “Boy Sherlock Holmes” series and “Last Message” in the groundbreaking “Seven, the Series.” His first picture book, “The Artist and Me,” the first novel in his YA horror trilogy, “The Dark Missions of Edgar Brim” and “Separated,” the prequel to the “Seven Series,” are his latest works. He is also a playwright, documentary screenwriter and journalist.

Shane has a well-known reputation as a dramatic and effective speaker, and has appeared more than a thousand times in schools, at conventions and in seminars across Canada, the U.S., and Europe. He offers upbeat presentations about why reading and writing are among the most exciting things a kid can do. They appeal to all ages and genders, though teachers say they have a particularly positive effect on boys and reluctant readers.

During his visits, he usually discusses why it took him a while to get interested in reading as a kid, how he became a writer, and the wild and crazy things about which he’s written. He shows students how to tell stories by telling a few good ones – a favorite is his account of The Great Farini’s high-wire duel with Blondin over Niagara Falls, first told in his biography of the former. He also describes how he conceived and wrote the “Boy Sherlock Holmes” series, was involved in the “Seven Series,” and created the dark novels in “The Dark Missions of Edgar Brim.” He also reveals a few secrets of his trade and delivers a short, dramatic reading.

Sometimes, caught up in the strange stories he’s telling (and has told in print), Shane gives lessons in high-wire walking and sumo wrestling … believe it or not.

Though until this year his presentations have been for grades 4 to 12, beginning in early 2016 with the publication of “The Artist and Me,” he will offer a talk for Kindergarten to grade 3.

Shane also does workshops, Creative Writing seminars for high school students, and Skype presentations.

Libraries or auditoriums with theatre-like areas are the best venues, but Shane will also speak in your gym if that makes the most sense in terms of availability and audience size.

The only equipment Shane requires is a projector or Smart Board of some sort, with speakers, to which he can hook up his laptop.

There is no limit on audience size, though a single presentation to a very large audience will have a slightly higher fee.

 

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Vikki VanSickle (Toronto)

Toronto. Writers' Union Member. Dynamic writer and children's publishing professional. Interactive presentations, customization available. All ages.

$280 + HST for 1 presentation; $500 + HST for 2 + travel for locations outside Toronto.

Vikki is a dynamic and engaging presenter who mixes funny anecdotes with interactive activities to connect with audiences of all ages. She grew up in Woodstock, ON where she spent her childhood reading, figure skating, and watching the X-Files in the dark. In addition to writing, Vikki works in marketing at Penguin Random House and is an award-winning bookseller, playwright, former camp counsellor and musical theatre nerd.

Presentations:

JK- Gr 2

When a kitten sneezes it's adorable, but when a dragon sneezes it's a fire hazard! In this presentation students are asked to consider 5 objects from a bag of clues to determine what kind of pets may be in the book. Teacher's guide and printed activities available as well. A fun introduction to mythological creatures.

Works best in a classroom or library situation.

Offering 2 30-35 minute presentations for hourly rate of $280 + HST. Some travel costs may apply.

Gr 4-8

Vikki presents her journey from library kid to published author including a behind the scenes look at publishing, writing tips, and her famous backpack activity, which demonstrates how simple it is to spark a story.

Works best with groups under 60, can present in gym with mic for 300

Summer Days, Starry Nights Presentation

Gr 6-8

This presentation focuses on music and culture of the 1960s and includes trivia and a discussion of character building featuring music clips. Students will be asked to take part in the Summer Days, Starry Nights Playlist Project.

Works best with groups under 60, can present in gym with mic for 300

Req: projector, surface to project onto

Vikki can also tailor presentations for adults (especially teachers, librarians and writers' groups,) writers' craft students or schools that are interested in a class novel study. Contact her for more details.

 

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Willow Dawson (Toronto)

Toronto. Writers’ Union Member. Author / illustrator of Graphic Novels, Picture Books. Multi Awards. All ages.

550 for two sessions, $750 for three, and $900 for four plus HST and travel outside of the downtown Toronto core. Willow requests a minimum of two sessions, can be shared between two schools or libraries.

Willow Dawson has lots of experience giving presentations and workshops to kids and adults of all ages. Infact, she often presents to several different grades at the same school or library in a single day. She loves speaking about her books and more generally about comics and graphic novels, writing techniques and the illustration process. Each presentation is tailored to the needs of the group and is lively and educational with questions encouraged throughout!

Presentations by grade:

Willow likes to work with a general framework for her presentations informed by the teachers or librarians but which is open enough to accommodate the needs of the audience in the moment. She likes to let people ask questions throughout so that she is able to gauge interest areas and adjust as necessary. When she can, Willow tries to work in how she overcame the reading and writing difficulties she faced as a child only to become both an author and illustrator today! Teachers and librarians love her because her presentations are lively, informative and inspiring.

Here is an example of her themes by grade:

JK to grade 2 – two 30 minute storytelling sessions for the price of one full session ($375+HST) using The Wolf-Birds.

Grades 2 to 3 – 60 minutes: Storytelling session plus Q&A on The Wolf-Birds.

Grades 4 to 7 – 60 minutes. Presentations include an overview of the book of choice with a bit of historical background and information on how she creates a graphic novel, including: research, writing, illustrating, editing and revising.

Avis Dolphin: World War I, the sinking of the Lusitania, life in the 1910’s, friendship, the power of storytelling, survival. Collaborating with an author.

Hyena in Petticoats: Nellie McClung, The Famous Five, early Canada, feminism, women’s rights, suffrage, enfranchisement, The Persons Case. Life in the 1920’s – 1940’s.

No Girls Allowed: Hatshepsut, Mu Lan, Alfhild, Esther Brandeau, James Barry, Ellen Craft, Sarah Rosetta Wakeman, girls dressed as boys, women’s rights. Collaborating with an author.

Grades 7 to 12 – 60 minutes. Biography, autobiography and memoir. Willow uses the above books as well as her ongoing work on 100 Mile House (memoir) to discuss the differences and similarities, challenges and joys of writing biography, autobiography and memoir graphic novels. This presentation includes personal stories and anecdotes, including how she found her voice and became an author and illustrator.

Maximum group sizes for presentations: 45 for JK to Grade 3. 100+ for everyone else.
Workshops work best with smaller groups, around 15-20 participants.

Graphic Novel Workshop Topics:

Character Development
Creating Tension and Drama, Creating Humour
Panel Transitions
Words and Pictures
Writing Engaging Dialogue
From Script to Thumbnails
Art Stages: Penciling, Inking, Colouring (includes an overview of design and lettering)
Other topics upon request

These workshops can be adjusted to suit the needs of any age group. They also work well for Writers’ Craft classes.

Writer-in-Residence Program:

3-10 (or more) sessions. 60-120 minutes each. Participants get in-depth, hands on experience with each stage of the process of creating a comic or graphic novel, as well as a window into the worlds of self-publishing (‘zines and webcomics) and publishing (working with Editors, Art directors, and Publishers). Each stage of the process is handled in a separate session with an end goal of developing their stories into finished 1-3 page comics that are then photocopied and bound together as a small, collective comics ‘zine.

All Venues are acceptable.

Equipment required: A glass of water, a table for her presentation materials. A microphone for larger groups. A laptop, screen and projector for PowerPoint.

Willow sends her PowerPoint ahead of time. Please ensure it is set up and ready to go prior to her arrival.

Handouts will be sent for the teacher and/or librarian to photocopy in advance, along with a list of any materials the students may need if there is a workshop. Workshops require desks or tables and chairs for participants.

A librarian, teacher or other school representative should be present throughout the presentation or workshop.

 

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Linda Bailey (BC)

Vancouver BC. Writers’ Union Member and eligible for subsidies. Multiple award-winner across Canada & U.S. including Blue Spruce, Silver Birch and Arthur Ellis (x2) Awards. Linda is a current Blue Spruce and Silver Birch fiction nominee.

Rates: $350 for 1 session, $600 for 2, $850 for 3 (plus HST). Because Linda is from out of province, she must add $60 per session to help with out of province travel and accommodation. A day can be shared between two cooperating schools. Linda prefers to do a maximum of 3 sessions in a day.

For the GTA (and Toronto bookings near GO stations), Linda can travel by GO TRAIN (not buses or subway) that travel both ways all day; she requires pick up and drop off at the GO stations. Where Go Trains are not feasible, car or taxi pick-up from Linda's hotel is requested.

Linda is the author of more than 30 much-loved Canadian books including the Stanley-the-dog series. (Stanley at School is a 2017 Blue Spruce nominee). Other recent picture books include: If You Happen to Have a Dinosaur, When Santa Was a Baby and If Kids Ruled the World (Blue Spruce winner, 2015!). Her new middle-grade novel, Seven Dead Pirates, received starred reviews in Kirkus and School Library Journal and is nominated for the Silver Birch Award, 2017.

An experienced, dynamic presenter, Linda uses a combination of humour, personal stories, interaction, Q&A and appealing slide shows to engage her audiences. For grades 1 through 3, she tells “the story of Stanley” to explain the writing/publishing processes and asks “what if?” to inspire young readers/writers as they explore ideas and narratives. For grades 4 through 6, she tells the “stories behind” her new ghost story, Seven Dead Pirates, to show how a novel’s elements (character, setting, plot, theme) grow out of the writer’s life experience + active imagination. There is also a chance to explore genre: the characteristics and appeal of ghost stories and adventure stories.

Grades: 1 through 6
Maximum number of students per session: 60 for grades 1 & 2, 80 for older grades
Setting: school library or classroom (no gyms, please!)

Requirements: digital projector, screen or Smartboard, small table. Lunch, thank  you, on a full-day visit.

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