Ella Burakowski (Toronto)

ella-burakowskiwp1aHiddenGold_cover2.inddToronto. Writer’s Union Member.2017 Red Maple non-fiction nominee for Hidden Gold, A True Story of the Holocaust. Regular columnist for The Canadian Jewish News.

Middle grade author. $250 for one session, $450 for two sessions, $650 for three sessions, $800 for four (a full day). (Each session which includes a question and answer period, is approximately 1 hour.)

Ella is a second-generation survivor, whose mother and father both suffered through the Holocaust. Ella’s mother died when she was 14 years old, before she could share her story. Ella's uncle David Gold, her mother’s brother, was able to describe their family’s terrifying struggle during the Holocaust. Ella feels that she is a unique link to the past and the future.

Ella’s presentation includes two parts.

She discusses Hidden Gold by first reviewing the basics of the Holocaust and its historical significance, then segues into how the Holocaust directly affected her family. She also describes how their affliction affected her growing up. Her presentation includes a film,in which Ella’s uncle, David Gold recounts their harrowing story of near misses with death.

The second part of the presentation reviews how Ella went about writing Hidden Gold as narrative non-fiction.She explains the different elements involved in verifying and interlacing her family’s story with historical facts and scientific data. Finally, Ella discusses the emotions of her characters, her family, as they stared death in the face repeatedly.

A question and answer period follows the 40-minute presentation.

The presentation requires audio/visual availability, either by projector, smartboard or television. Ella brings her laptop and has most cabling for connections.

The presentation can be tailored for grades 6 through high school and there is a free Study Guide available on her website, as well as on the Publisher’s website.

Ella has done presentations for children in one classroom, as well as presenting to the entire intermediate division of a school. She does presentations for adults and has spoken at libraries, book clubs, women’s groups and seniors’ residences where other Holocaust survivors were present.

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Simon Shapiro (Toronto ON)

Nominated for 2017 Red Maple and Rocky Mountain Book Awards. Writers Union member. Passionate about sparking an interest in Science. $275 for one session, $475 for two, $650 for three, $800 for four (full day). Full day price can be split between neighbouring schools. Travel fee waived for Toronto and GTA.

Simon majored in Math, Applied Math and Computer Science and later completed an MBA at York University. After retiring from a career as an Information Technology professional, one of his interests has been writing books for children. He believes that it’s important for students to be STEM-literate (Science Technology Engineering and Math). He loves to spark kids’ interest in Science.

 

Presentations

Simon’s latest book, Faster, Higher, Smarter: Bright Ideas that Transformed Sports, nominated for both 2017 Red Maple and Rocky Mountain Book Awards, and is also a finalist for the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) 2017 SB&F Prize, shows kids that basic science concepts are highly relevant to sports. He tells fascinating stories of people who came up with bright ideas which had a huge impact on various sports. For each innovation, he explains the science of why the innovation was so effective.

Some innovators were athletes, many of them quite young (the youngest was twelve!) But other backgrounds include scientists, a farmer and a security guard. The human interest in the stories is compelling and inspirational. A clear message is that being inquisitive and exploring can result in significant discoveries.

By telling the story of several innovators, a presentation can be tailored to demonstrate the widespread significance of basic scientific concepts such as:

  • Energy and the conversion between kinetic, elastic and potential energy.
  • Fluid resistance (air and water).
  • Centre of gravity.

Other themes that can be highlighted:

  • Disabled sports. The inventors of the sports wheelchair and the blade prosthetic were both young adults who were injured in sporting accidents. They were both determined not to let their injuries prevent them from active lives. They were dissatisfied with the quality of wheelchairs and prosthetic legs, respectively. And both came up with radically new inventions to meet their own needs.
  • Innovation as a result of crossing fields of expertise. Examples include using fiberglass fishing poles to develop vaulting poles; hang gliding technology for wheelchairs; aircraft technology for skis.

For all presentations it would be extremely helpful to have computer projection available to show a Powerpoint presentation and / or images and video. Simon will bring these on a USB (‘thumb’) drive.

The scientific concepts are best for grades 7 and up.

 

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Lorna Schultz Nicholson (AB)

Alberta. Writers' Union Member. Fiction and NF. Red Maple Nominee.Multi nominations and awards.K-12.Adults.

$300 plus HST for 1 session, $550 for 2, $750 for 3 and $900 for 4. Travel will need to be negotiated. She always has accommodations in Toronto and Niagara.

 

Lorna is a passionate, energetic and experienced presenter who will make sure that every presentation suits each group. She is the author of picture books, (Puckster is always a hit with the primary grades), middle grade fiction and non-fiction, YA fiction and reluctant readers. She loves writing about diversity. She also loves speaking to adult groups and leading writing workshops for grades 4 to adult. FragileBones

Presentations by Grade: Lorna’s presentations and workshops are lively and fun and can be tailored to fit the age and the group. She can present to all age groups, is open to groups of 100 or less and is definitely open to travel. Lorna’s books deal with many aspects of the school curriculum.

K-2 - Lorna will discuss her Puckster characters (they’re all animals), and how she gets her ideas for her stories. She will work with the students on story comprehension, (and fun), by having the children pretend they are at hockey game. Using her characters, she will talk with the students about family and friend dynamics and how to resolve conflicts. She would prefer two 30 minutes story sessions for the price of one full session.

Grades 3-8 - Lorna will talk about her middle grade fiction books and her characters and their problems and relationship choices and ups and downs. We all have them, right? Then she’ll discuss the process of getting a book published. How she goes from idea to finished product, including editing and editing and editing. Yup, editing.She will encourage the students to listen to their teachers and edit their own work. Yeah!!!! A reading and Q and A will end the session.

High school classes - Lorna will engage the students by discussing Fragile Bones and how the world is full of diverse people. For this group, (depending on the size, location and if school has technical needs), she has a fun but enlightening Power Point presentation to keep the students engaged. She will also discuss how she develops a story, moves from idea to finished product and different research techniques. Students will be encouraged to rewrite their work. A reading (yes, she loves to read to high school students) and Q and A session will end the presentation.

All questions will be answered except, “How old are you?”

Writing Workshops (grades 3-12, adults) $500 for a half day (two hours). Or can be negotiated depending on group and needs.

Let’s Make a Story – Every student gets to pick a character and a setting out of a hat. Then the trade game begins. If the student wants to trade either setting or character they can, but the game is controlled and only one trade is allowed. This gets them thinking about a story to write about, and if they really do want to trade, makes their brains start working. Of course, every story also needs a problem. This workshop is hands on. If time permits the students will read their stories aloud!

Creating Cool Characters - Let’s develop some cool characters through an interactive workshop. It’s all about pretending to be someone else. In this workshop, students will learn how to create characters that will jump off the page. Lorna brings a suitcase full of costumes and students will get to put them on and pretend to be a character. Then the entire class will write sentences to describe the characters being portrayed. Emphasis will be on creating a picture using description. This workshop is for grades 3-6.

Mystery Writing - This hands-on workshop is all about the Who-dunnit. Emphasis will be on developing the main sleuth and his/her supporting cast. Plus, Lorna will work on the pace of a mystery story and adding red herrings to make a plausible mystery that will keep readers guessing. This workshop works for grades 3-8. Time permitting, stories will be read aloud.

Telling Tall Tales - Are you interested in true stories? Do you like reading about fascinating people? Writing non-fiction is just as creative as writing fiction. In this class you will learn how to interview, gather information and write incredible stories that will keep your reader turning the page. Be prepared to have fun writing about someone else! This is a great workshop for junior and high school students.

Virtual Visits: $100 plus HST, 50 minutes (may be divided into two 30 minutes) Skype

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Arthur Slade (SK)

Saskatoon, SK. Writers' Union Member. Red Maple Fiction Nominee for Flickers. Fiction & Graphic Novels, Governor General’s Award Winner, TD Children’s Book Award Winner. Grades 4+. $375 plus HST for 1 session, $600 for 2, $850 for 3 and $1000 for 4. Travel fees waived for Toronto bookings. Arthur will travel by Go Transit to venues in the GTA but requests a pick-up/drop-off at the GO station.

Arthur Slade is a dynamic presenter and the author of seventeen novels for young adults and one graphic novel. His books have been sold worldwide and include DUST, JOLTED, MEGIDDO’S SHADOW, and THE HUNCHBACK ASSIGNMENTS series. He has done over a thousand presentations in Canada, the United States, and Europe.

Arthur Slade is a self admitted “geek” who is completely committed to entertaining and educating his audience. His audio/visual presentations are a mixture of music, video, images and creativity and, most importantly, content: where do ideas come from? How is a book created? How does one become an author? Arthur has a large variety of books and topics to choose from, everything from steampunk, fantasy and horror to World War One and the creation of graphic novels. He designs his presentations for the specific age ranges and interest of his audience. His books are most popular with grades four to eight, but he has done numerous presentations with higher grades and adult groups. He will speak to any size audience. He has taught workshops in Banff and worked as the Writer in Residence for Regina Public Library so he also enjoys giving workshops to children and adults.

All venues, library preferred.
Equipment required: screen and projector & a glass of water

Virtual Visits: $250.00 + HST, 60 minutes, Skype/Google Talk/iChat

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Kari-Lynn Winters (St. Catharines)

St. Catharines. Writers’ Union Member. World traveling picture book and non-fiction author, storyteller, and performer

$300 for one session (50-55 min.) $550 for 2, $750 for 3. + travel.
30 min. sessions for kindergarten are $150.00 when booked with at least of one full 55 min session. Discounts when you refer/rebook.

Kari-Lynn Winters is an award-winning, children's author, playwright, presenter, and academic scholar. Twenty-five of her picture, non-fiction, and poetry books have been published or accepted for publication. She is also an experienced teacher of writing, who has taught a range of students in Canada and the United States. Kari-Lynn is currently an associate professor at Brock University.

Presentations and Workshops

LARGE GROUP PRESENTATIONS
Kari-Lynn’s tailor-made 50 min. interactive presentations are both educational and engaging. They include readings from her books, puppetry, props, games, songs, strategies for literacy and drama, visuals, audience participation, and a book signing.

She can present to large (up to 400) and small audiences, and for a range of ages (birth – grade 8, and adult).

WORKSHOPS:
Kari-Lynn also leads workshops in reading strategies, writing, publishing, drama, multi-modal literacies, or any combination.

Some workshop examples include:

HUNGRY FOR MATH
Do dragons play hockey and stomp their feet? Are shapes found in your environment? Participants use storytelling, movement, improvisation, and fingerplays to create understandings about math and poetry. (Preschool-Grade 3) (Teacher and Parent workshops also available) (60 min.)

WRITING WITH AND BEYOND WORDS
Show, don't tell. Keep the plot moving. Develop your characters. Explore the musicality of the language. These are concepts that many authors grapple with every time they write. How might authors layer these ideas in order to create a better story? In this workshop, Kari-Lynn demonstrates some of the ways you can make your writing leap, sing, and dance off the page. (Grades 4-adult) (60 min.)

KEEP THEM LAUGHING: WRITING FUNNY FICTION
Humour is a tremendous tool for writers. Skillful humour can make your stories more memorable, improve your writing, and earn you financial and personal rewards. Drawing on her own writing, as well as the writing of others, Kari-Lynn demonstrate eight concrete ways to hone your humour writing and keep them laughing. (Grades 6-Adult) (60 min.)

GETTING YOUR ACT TOGETHER
We’ve all heard the phrase, “No drama please!” But this isn’t the case with writing fiction. Drama strategies can help a writer build tension, create authentic characters, and develop better dialogue. In this interactive workshop, participants will learn page-to-stage strategies for animating and improving their writing. (Grades 1-Adult) (60 min.)

 

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Richard Scrimger (Toronto)

Toronto based. Writers’ Union Member. Funny-serious novelist. Multi awards.

$350.00 for one presentation, $600.00 for two, $850.00 for three, or $1000.00 for four. HST and maybe a rental vehicle (moving back to the city, he gave away his car) extra.

Richard Scrimger has written more than 20 books for children and adults, and been awarded and translated a lot. Recent novels feature a magic camera, an upside-down world visited through a city sewer, a War of 1812 that may be happening right now, and a depressed zombie. (Fortunately, confusion is Richard’s natural state.) Alongside the humour in all his stories are serious life issues. The magic camera helps our hero understand what it is to be gay. The upside-down world unites a grieving boy and his dead dog.  The zombie has to deal with prejudice in school and parent council, national media, and family. The War of 1812 – no, actually, that one’s just wacky.

Richard’s presentation for grades JK-2 suggests a simple formula: experience + ideas = story. The group crafts a story together, and the audience participates in a raucous read-along.

For middle grades (3-5) Richard recounts an event from his own life to model techniques of story-building. Then he and the audience create their own story using some of those techniques. He uses a power-point to show how pictures can tell a story.

Presentations to seniors (6-8) start with the dark places inside us where stories are born. Richard shows how to twist dark truths to make convincing stories. He and the audience put together a story from pieces of truth, and discover how and why it works.

High-school students get a more formal approach. Richard introduces the four kinds of writing necessary to tell a story, the three basic plots, the different types of protagonist and antagonist, the role of the narrator, the importance of voice. If the group is small enough, Richard uses shared exercises to facilitate character and plot.

There is no maximum number of students per session: Typical would be 60-100. Fewer students means more interaction. Over a certain number, Richard might charge more.

Richard is on the faculty of the Humber College School For Writers. He offers interactive workshops and writer-in-residence programs, working with class-sized groups over several sessions to produce a finished product.

He and Ted Staunton – part of the highly successful ‘7’ series of linked novels — have developed a collaborative approach to writing they call Story Team. The 2 authors present in tandem, giving hands-on support to pairs of students crafting narratives together.

Richard offers Professional Development Workshops for teachers, educators, story builders. He has given key-note addresses across Canada, and conducted story workshops on 4 continents.

He is comfortable in any venue – classroom, library, auditorium, gymnasium, concert hall, phone booth.

Richard requires: Coffee.

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Robin Stevenson (BC)

BC. Writers’ Union Member. Silver Birch winner and GG finalist. Writing instructor and editor. Fiction and Non-fiction. All ages. Available for Toronto visits Jan 30 - Feb 4, and again in May 2017.

Robin’s rate is $300 for one session, $550 for two, $750 for three and $850 for a full-day, plus travel if applicable.

Robin is the award winning author of nineteen novels for children and
teens, as well as the non-fiction book Pride: Celebrating Diversity and
Community. She is also a former social worker, a creative writing
instructor, a freelance editor, and an experienced and passionate
presenter. As the author of early chapter books, middle grade books, and
YA novels, she presents to all age levels. She especially loves giving
writing workshops.

Presentation Details- grades 4-12; 45-60 minutes

School Visits

I am available for author visits, school and library presentations, author-in-residence programs, writing workshops and conferences. My school presentations are appropriate for older elementary students (grade four and over), as well as middle school and high school students. I am also available for professional development workshops for teachers and librarians on a number of issues (Creating LGBTQ-Inclusive Schools; Supporting Queer-Straight Alliances; Engaging Reluctant Readers and Writers, etc).

All presentations, workshops and programs can be tailored to the needs of the particular group.  Please contact me to discuss your group’s needs and for information about my rates and availability. I am happy to provide reference letters on request.

Pride: Celebrating Diversity and Community (grades 4-12)

For LGBTQ people and their supporters, Pride events are an opportunity to honor the past, protest injustice, and celebrate a diverse community. The high point of Pride, the Pride Parade, is spectacular and colorful. But there is a lot more to Pride than rainbow flags and amazing outfits. How did Pride come to be? And what does Pride mean to the people who celebrate it? In this engaging and interactive presentation, Robin draws on her new non-fiction book,Pride: Celebrating Diversity and Community. She talks about the history of the LGBTQ rights movement and the challenges still faced by LGBTQ people and communities today. Using images and anecdotes from the book, Robin shares historical photographs, stories of contemporary kids and teens, and images of Pride celebrations from around the world. In this presentation, Robin emphasizes the important role of allies and the idea that we all have a part to play in making our world a better place for everyone.  This session would be a good choice for schools focussing on inclusiveness and equality, and for groups working to prevent bullying.

 Becoming a Writer: Finding & Telling Your Stories (grades 4-8; grades 9-12)

In this engaging presentation, Robin shares how she became a writer, where her ideas come from and what her creative process looks like. She discusses some of the challenges she experiences and share some tips for young writers. She also facilitates a group brainstorming exercise to illustrate how to develop a story through an understanding of its characters. Students will work together to develop a character, explore possibilities for conflict, and uncover the myriad of story possibilities that this leads to. In this session, Robin’s goals are to share her passion for the writing process and to inspire students to pursue their own creative interests.

 Creative Writing Workshops (grades 6-12; maximum 30 students):

Robin is available to facilitate hands-on creative writing workshops for small groups. Participants will explore how they can use their own experiences and curiosity to create compelling writing and convincing characters; discuss strategies for finding story ideas; develop their skills at creating complex and believable characters; and discover how well-developed characters can help uncover new story possibilities.

Maximum group sizes for presentations: Any size group. I prefer to have no more than a three-grade spread for a single presentation (eg. Grades 4-6, 6-8, 10-12).

Writing Workshops work best with small groups (maximum size 30)

All venues (classrooms, libraries, auditorium, gymnasiums etc.)

Equipment and other requirements: I like to use power point if possible– can bring my own laptop but need will need a projector and screen.

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Caroline Pignat (Ottawa)

Ottawa. Red Maple Fiction nominee for Shooter. Writers' Union Member. Two-time GG winner, Two-time Red Maple Honour, CLA Book of the Year Honour. Gr 4 to 12. $350 plus HST for 1 session, $600 for 2, $850 for 3 and $1000 for 4, + local travel. Virtual Visits: $250.00 + HST, 60 minutes, Skype

Caroline Pignat is the award-winning author of seven highly acclaimed novels. She writes contemporary YA, historical fiction, and free verse novels that dig into her characters through multiple forms and points of view.

Back in high school, Caroline wrote a short story that years later became her novel GREENER GRASS, 2009 GG winner. THE GOSPEL TRUTH won the GG in 2015. With over 20 years experience as a teacher and author, Caroline loves exploring the craft and power of story as she engages readers and writers of all ages.

The Power of Story Presentation:

Learn Caroline’s recipe for rich characters and meaty plots as she talks about her writing experiences and explores how to:

  • make the most of your inspiration
  • deal with your inner critic
  • use research in writing
  • create believable characters
  • start your story…and where to end it

This presentation can be tailored to focus on a specific novel or form depending on the needs and interest of the audience. She presents to any size audience.

Creative Writing Workshop

— 1 hour / grades 3-12 / maximum one class

Learn how to crate your inner critic and unleash your creativity. Through prompts, props, and activities, you’ll pick up tips for creating characters with vivid voices, engaging motives, and dramatic conflict. The workshop includes Caroline’s insights on the writing process, writing time at the stations of your choice, and a reading circle.

 

Creative Writing Sessions

afternoon session(s) — depending on content / grades 6-12 / maximum one class

In these customized workshops, Caroline teaches specific techniques using the Writer’s Craft framework of investigate, practice and reflect on topics such as:

  • Knowing and Showing Characters
  • Plot and the 3 Act Structure
  • Plot and the Hero’s Journey
  • Empathy in Writing
  • Dialogue and Voice
  • Historical Fiction
  • Journalism
  • Poetry
  • Making the Most of Peer Editing

Together they will explore what enriches our writing, try it out in drafting sessions, and then share and reflect through peer editing and/or reading circles.

Caroline has given workshops for grades 4-12 through MASC’s Young Authors Conferences, MASC Teen Authors Conference, Carleton University’s Creative Writing Camps and TD Book Week.  She is a confident and engaging presenter with years of experience teaching students from grades 4-12. For the past seven years, she has been teaching grade 12 Writer’s Craft, but she is off this 2016-17 school year and will be available for more visits outside of the Ottawa area.

Requirements: projector, screen, speakers.

Ask us for Caroline’s free 40+ page novel study guides for EGGHEAD, GREENER GRASS, and THE GOSPEL TRUTH or her Book Club Guide for SHOOTER.

 

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Karen Bass (AB)

Alberta. Writers' Union Member. Teen fiction, WWII, German perspective, YA, Geoffrey Bilson, CLA YA, multiple award-winner.

Karen’s rate is $300 for one session, $500 for two, $700 for three, and $800 for a full day (four sessions). Travel costs included. No HST. The full day fee can be split between two schools.

Karen is passionate about reading and loves making history come alive for readers. She frequently shares her broad WWII knowledge with groups of people from 10 years old to seniors. And she has done workshops with students as young as grade three, though usually focuses on secondary students and adults. She not-so-secretly loves action and adventure, with a splash of fantasy.

Presentations:

Karen is an enthusiastic presenter and likes to interact with students. She brings props and loves to bring her WWII history knowledge to life by showing teens would they have experienced. Almost all presentations touch on the writing process and, especially, the importance of revising.

Examples of presentations by grade:

3 to 6: Writing Workshop – Details & Descriptions. A sixty-minute interactive romp that encourages students to improve their storytelling using metaphors and strong verbs & adjectives.

5 to 12: The WWII history in Karen’s stories, with age-appropriate anecdotes. With Powerpoint pictures & props.

Uncertain Soldier: identity, immigration, coming to Canada, bullying, racism, WWII, prisoners of war, living in the 1940s.

Graffiti Knight: freedom of expression, protest movements, graffiti as protest, WWII, Soviet Zone, post-WWII Germany, living in war-torn countries.

Run Like Jager: friendship, bullying, student exchange programs, immigration, WWII, Germany, Eastern Front in WWII.

7 to 12 & Adult Workshop Topics: characters, plot, dialogue, writing action. Other topics upon request.

Maximum group size: 40-50 for optimum interaction in talks, 100 with microphone. 16 or so for workshops.

All venues. Libraries preferred.

Equipment required: a table, water, laptop & projector for Powerpoint, microphone for larger groups or in the gym.

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