Membership pending. In the meantime, you are welcome to use the form below to connect with Beth to discuss a potential visit to your school or library.
Contact Beth Goobie:
Membership pending. In the meantime, you are welcome to use the form below to connect with Beth to discuss a potential visit to your school or library.
Contact Beth Goobie:
Writers' Union Member. Nelson, BC. Middle reader non-fiction, multiple awards and nominations. Ages 8 and up.
Available in the GTA May 14-18, 2018. $225 for one session, $400 for two, $1,000 for a full day visit -- schedule as many sessions as can fit into the regular school day. No travel charges within Toronto.
Antonia immigrated to Canada from Zambia when she was four. As one of the only “outsiders” in her school, she often escaped into fictional worlds. Her love of writing started early with her first story in Grade 2.
Since then, she has earned two degrees in writing and has worked in book publishing and graphic design. She has written or co-written an adult novel, three middle reader non-fiction books, and poetry.
Antonia can tailor her presentations to different age groups. Both presentations begin with a discussion about research, the writing process and revision. She uses visuals (PowerPoint slide show) and student participation to engage the audience with the subjects.
She has co-written two infographics for middle readers which touch on a range of subjects from science, math concepts, media studies, history, social studies and contemporary global issues.
Unpack Your Lunch
Antonia's latest book, Eat Up! An Infographic Exploration of Food (co-authored by Paula Ayer, illustrated by Belle Wuthrich) received an honourable mention from the Green Book Festival Awards, was a starred selection for the CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens, and has been nominated for the Silver Birch Non-Fiction Award.
This presentation shows kids how something so simple, like their lunch, connects them to the world. Topics covered include how food is marketed to children, the science of nutrition, the global network of the food industry, and the environmental impact of food. Sometimes serious and sometimes silly, this presentation will be an eye-opener either way. Suitable for grades 4-7.
Water Around the World
The first infographic by the Ayer / Banyard / Wuthrich team won the Children's Science Communication award from the American Institute of Physics, and the EUREKA! Nonfiction Children's Book Award from the California Reading Association. It was nominated for the Norma Fleck award, Silver Birch Non-fiction and Red Cedar Non-fiction awards, and is a starred selection for the CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens, and a Skipping Stones honor book.
This interactive presentation gives students an overview of many water-related issues. Antonia explores topics such as where water first came from, water distribution, how much water is in everyday things (water footprints), and the massive scale of water engineering projects. Antonia keeps students engaged with questions and fun throughout. Suitable for grades 3-7. This presentation can also be tailored to Grade 2.
Antonia is happy to speak to Grades 2-7, ideally in a library or classroom.
Audience size: Up to 75 is preferred.
Technical requirements: Laptop, projector and screen. Antonia will bring her PowerPoint presentation on a USB (“thumb”) drive. In large or noisy rooms (ie. gym), please provide a microphone (wireless preferred). A table to display books and props, if possible.
Contact Antonia Banyard:
Sigmund Brouwer will be in Ontario Nov 29 – Dec 9. One of the few presenters on our list who can accommodate large audiences and a wide range of grades, Sigmund is once again offering his very popular Rock and Roll Literacy presentation. He is also available for classroom visits via video at any time through his Story Ninja Rocks program.
Click here to visit Sigmund's page for more information and to access his contact form.
Danielle Younge-Ullman, Toronto. Writers Union Member. Author of two YA novels, Lola Carlyle’s 12 Step Romance and Everything Beautiful Is Not Ruined, which is nominated for the Governor General, White Pine Award, ALA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults and Prix de Libraires du Quebec awards.
Danielle's fees are $300 + HST for 1 hour presentation; $500 + HST for 2, $800 for 3, plus travel for locations outside Toronto. She is happy have two neighbouring schools split the fee. Skype rate: $100 + HST for a 50 minute session.
Danielle is a confident and dynamic presenter who loves talking about books with people of all ages. She attained a BA from McGill, worked for years as an actor before turning to writing, and has had a wild variety of jobs—everything from acting, to dubbing English voices for Japanese TV, to temping, to teaching Pilates, to freelance writing. Danielle lives Toronto with her husband and two daughters.
Because of her background in theatre, Danielle is very comfortable in front of an audience and loves engaging with readers. Though she writes teen fiction, she can also adjust her presentations for groups as young as grade 5 and 6. For smaller groups (25 and under) presentations can be done as workshops if requested, with the exception of How to Pursue a Career as a Novelist, which instead will have extra time built in for questions. All presentations and workshops will begin with a short read, and end with time for a Q&A.
Age range: grades 5 and up, but ideally grades 7-12. Danielle also loves presenting to and working with adult groups.
Pantsters, Plotters &Making Soup: A discussion of the essential elements of fiction, and explanations of some of the different techniques used by writers to craft story and write fiction.
Turning Real Life Into Fiction: How to mine your experiences and then apply them to fictional circumstances to create works of fiction, using Everything Beautiful Is Not Ruined as an example.
How to Pursue a Career as a Novelist: A presentation that explains the process of becoming a professional writer, from beginning writing through searching for an agent, to going through the process of being published. This presentation is great for students who are interested in the arts, and in the process of making decisions about their futures.
Equipment: podium or desk, microphone for groups larger than 40
Maximum group size: 40-60for optimum interaction, but Danielle is also comfortable in front of larger groups. 25 or fewer for workshops.
Contact Danielle Younge-Ullman here:
Membership pending. In the meantime, you may use the form below to connect with Claire Eamer about your booking needs.
Email to contact Claire:
Membership pending. In the meantime, you may use the form below to connect with J. M. Kelly about your booking needs.
Email to contact J. M. Kelly:
Born and raised in Calgary, Fonda Lee is now a US resident residing in Portland, OR. For this reason, Fonda cannot provide a Canadian VSS clearance. She will, however, obtain an Oregon background check if that is required by a booking host.
Fonda Writes science fiction and fantasy for teens and adults. Multiple awards including Junior Library Guild Selection, Andre Norton finalist, ALA Top 10 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, White Pine Award nominee. Grades 8-12.
$325 plus local travel expenses for one session, $500 for a half day, $1000 for a full day (max 4 sessions). 30-minute Skype visits for $100. Booking visits during the week May 14 - 18.
Fonda Lee is the author of Zeroboxer and the Exo series, both Junior Library Guild Selections and shortlisted for multiple honors including the White Pine award. She is also the author of the Green Bone Saga, an epic fantasy series for adult readers. Fonda’s books have been praised for their intense action, moral complexity, immersive world building, and appeal to reluctant readers. Fonda is a black belt martial artist and former corporate strategist.
About Fonda’s Presentations:
An experienced and dynamic public speaker, Fonda Lee has made appearances at conferences and conventions around the country. She speaks to students in grades 8-12 about the writing and publishing process, the role of research, and the science and scientific issues in her novels. She also conducts writing workshops on idea generation, story planning, and writing action scenes. She is happy to work with educators to adapt presentations for their needs.
From Spark to Shelf
A behind the scenes look at the writing and publishing process, from an idea in the author’s head to a book on the shelf. Fonda will take the audience through her own experience and those of other authors, examining how books are inspired, written, sold, and published, with an emphasis on research, revision, and perseverance. She’ll talk about why she writes science fiction and fantasy, how she made a dramatic career change in becoming an author, and answer student questions.
Science and Science Fiction
An author talk that can easily fit into the science curriculum as well. Fonda discusses the scientific issues, ideas, and ethics she explores in her fiction, including space travel and planetary colonization, genetic engineering, and other future technologies. Fonda will talk about the role of science fiction and why she writes it, the importance of doing research and getting the science right, and interesting new advancements science fiction writers are tackling today.
The Story Only You Can Write
A creative writing focused lecture and workshop on how to generate ideas and turn those ideas into unique and personal stories, how to plan a piece of irresistible writing, and the good habits writers need to have. Includes short writing exercises and student participation in sharing their creative ideas.
Fonda speaks to audiences of all sizes. She will bring her own computer and adapter. Please provide a projector and screen, audio system, a bottle of water, and a microphone for large rooms or audiences.
Contact Fonda Lee:
Membership pending. In the meantime, you may use the form below to connect with Illustrator Brooke Kerrigan about your booking needs.
Email to contact Brooke:
Writer’s Union Member. La Ronge, SK. Writer and Illustrator. Picture Book and MG/YA. Northern life-style and history, sled dogs, adventures, trap-line life.
$350 for one session, $500 for two, $700 for three and $800 for four sessions including travel for Toronto bookings in mid May. Miriam will travel by Go Transit to venues in the GTA but requests a pick-up/drop-off at the GO station.
Skype rate: $ 125 for a 45 minute presentation.
Miriam loves to share her passion for northern Canadian wilderness, sled dogs, adventures and life in the north when sled dogs were the only winter transportation for many northern peoples. She has travelled thousands of miles by dog team and canoe in Canada’s Far North and her stories come to life through sharing her own adventures and the deep respect for the people she meets along her journeys. The lessons learned by listening to the land, to the people who make it their home and her journey to find how she fits into this emerging country – how we all fit in – weave into her writing and storytelling.
Miriam’s presentation to Yellow Dog (Grade 4 to 8) includes a slideshow highlighting what inspired her to write Yellow Dog, the process of becoming a writer (or nearly not becoming a writer), and why she loves to live in a remote northern community. She will also read from her novel and engage students in a Q+A discussion.
When the Trees Crackle with Cold (co-authored by Bernice Johnson-Laxdal) (k-4) includes a powerpoint presentation of the picture book with oral storytelling to each moon/month, practicing of the Cree moon names (y-dialect), insight into the illustration process and an engaging Q+A discussion.
Writing (k-12): From Story Idea to First Draft. Miriam offers writing/storytelling workshops adaptable from k -12. She creates a collaborative story with each group. By the end of a sixty-minute (40 minutes for k-2) workshop students will have developed characters, story arch and understand the difference between a character’s wants and needs. Her unique method brings out unexpected stories (for her and the students) and taps deep into the creative process.
Writing & Illustrating: This 40-60-minute workshop is adaptable for k-6. It is based on the picture book When the Trees Crackle with Cold(a book about a family’s traditional activities according to the Woodland Cree moon calendar, that won the 2017 Gold Medal in the Moonbeam multi-cultural non-fiction category), but no prior knowledge is necessary. The students will create a page of their own favourite seasonal activities setting it into context with nature’s cycle and then create an illustration to accompany their writing.
Maximum group size: Presentations to younger grades: 40-50. Presentations to older grades: 80-100. Workshops: Class size (maximum 30).
Equipment required: a table, water, laptop & projector for Powerpoint, microphone for larger groups or in the gym.
For writing and illustration workshop: Arts materials for each student. (Media depends on teacher’s preference and age-group). Please ask for a material list.
Contact Miriam Körner:
Membership pending. In the meantime, you may use the contact form below to reach Illustrator Mike Lowery about a potential booking.
Contact Mike Lowery:
Membership pending. In the meantime you may still email Shelly to discuss bookings using the contact form below.
Email to reach Shelly Becker:
Writers’ Union Member. 2018 Silver Birch nominee for Clutch. Writing for Children Competition winner. Heather’s rates are $250 for one session, $450 for two, $650 for three, $800 for four/full day (may be shared with a neighbouring school). $150 for a virtual visit. HST applies. No travel costs within Toronto.
Clutch has been called “powerful, moving, and wonderful” by Kirkus and a “superb story” by Quill & Quire. A veteran journalist who is passionate about children’s literature, Heather writes about books for leading publications, volunteers with the Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators, and Performers (CANSCAIP), and works with children’s bookstore Mabel’s Fables. In her presentations, she aims to entertain and educate, leaving the audience interested in writing fiction and non-fiction, as well as looking into their own history for inspiration.
Set in the heart of Montreal's impoverished Plateau neighbourhood in 1946, Clutch follows 12-year-old Joey Grosser, who vows to make money any way he can after his father dies and leaves the family with nothing more than a money-losing corner grocery store. But when he turns to the wrong man for help, Joey may lose more than just the opportunity of a lifetime to see Jackie Robinson play ball. Clutch explores ideas around family, friendship, poverty, racism, dreams and disillusionment, and of course baseball.
Heather engages students with a fun and interactive presentation. She starts by discussing the pressure to succeed – how it affects the lives of her characters, herself, and her audience. She shares the rather odd way she came to be a writer (both journalist and novelist), how she was inspired to write Clutch by delving into family history, and the lengthy process to becoming a published author. She also touches on the basic elements of a story, how to give it life through research, and why historical fiction is so important.
Presentations are one hour with question period and suitable for Grade 3 and up. They can be adapted to audience and interest; possible topics as related to Clutch include 20th-century art history, baseball history and Jewish immigration to Canada.
Workshops are available for 16 or so participants.
All venues, library preferred
Email to contact Heather:
Malaika’s Costume (2016) and Malaika’s Winter Carnival (2017).
Nadia L. Hohn B.A. (Hon.), B.Ed., M.Ed. is an author and illustrator who delivers interactive presentations with arts and culture.
Toronto-born of Jamaican parents, Nadia L. Hohn is passionate about diversity in the children's book industry. Nadia L. Hohn is a teacher and the author of two picture books-- Malaika’s Costume (2016) and Malaika’s Winter Carnival (2017), illustrated by Irene Luxbacher and published by Groundwood Books. She is also the author of Music (Grade 5) and Media (Grade 6) books in the Sankofa Black Heritage Collection series published in 2015 by Rubicon Publishing Inc. Nadia has an upcoming early reader about Harriet Tubman to be published by HarperCollins in 2019 and she is currently working on other books.
Caribbean Playground (Malaika’s Costume/Malaika’s Winter Carnival) K to Grade 3, Educator version also available, 30-90 minutes
Explore Caribbean songs, rhymes, and games that Malaika would learn and play in her schoolyard. This is an interactive, lively and musical workshop featuring a reading of Malaika’s Costume or Malaika’s Winter Carnival, musical instruments, and storytelling as well. Educators will gain African-Caribbean songs, rhymes, and games that you can share with your Kindergarten to Grade 3 students.
Carnival Adventure (Malaika’s Costume/Malaika’s Winter Carnival) K to 12, 60-150 min
Come join the Carnival! Learn about the history of Carnival in the Caribbean through dance, costume, a slideshow, and music. Who can’t forget the limbo? Depending on group size, we’ll even get to design our own costume as a group or individually or design your own Carnival headpiece. This is an interactive, lively and musical workshop featuring a reading of Malaika’s Costume or Malaika’s Winter Carnival. (Materials cost is extra for crafts.)
Beyond Black History Month: African-Canadian Experiences through the Arts (Sankofa Media and Music, Malaika’s Costume, Malaika’s Winter Carnival) Grade 5 to 12, Educator, 45-120 min
Songs, images, and other forms of media create windows into the Caribbean peoples who have made contributions to Canada. Through the Sankofa series books, Music and Media, as well as Malaika's Costume, students will take part in dramatic arts activities such as role playing and readers’ theatre. In addition, they will deconstruct video and audio clips that explore the history and experiences of African descended people in Canada and the diaspora and enhance their understanding of the book.
Write-Your-Own or Customized Workshops available upon request, Grades 1 to 12, Adults 60-180 min
Have you ever wanted to write your own children’s book? Song? Rap? Or an alternate genre? I can help you. This workshop helps you to come out with a finished piece.
African-Caribbean OR Diverse Children and Young Adult Authors Panel, Adults 60-90 min
This would be a panel of 3 to 5 children and young adult authors discussing such questions. What is the importance of diverse kidlit in 2017? What are some barriers for diverse children and young adult authors (if any)? What are your books about? Do your main characters deal with issues of diversity (e.g., racism, identity, prejudice, islamophobia)? What diverse books do we need in 2017?
Malaika’s Costume and/or Malaika’s Winter Carnival STEAM Day
STEAM or STEM are existing programs and curricula that integrate science, technology, engineering, arts, and math into critically engaging with students and helping them to reach their full-potential. The workshop includes Carnival arts and history, drafting, design, exhibition/community sharing, and discussion.
IDEAL AUDIENCE SIZE: 10-60
MAXIMUM AUDIENCE SIZE: 200
GRADES: Kindergarten-Grade 12, staff-specific workshops
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: Not required but it is often the most fun if we have a flip chart. For larger audiences, a projector and screen is very helpful.
You will also require a stereo-system or CD player to play music that will be part of the presentation.
A table for display purposes.
Voice projection is needed for larger groups, especially if the presentation is in a gymnasium.
For arts and crafts workshops, the materials will need to be provided by the school. Otherwise, the author can provide these for a nominal material cost.
Email Nadia to book a visit:
Melanie’s rate is $250.00, two is $450.00, three is $700.00 and four is $900.00, plus travel. Skype visits available.
An experienced teacher, lecturer and presenter, Melanie has internationally presented on children’s literature, historical fiction and the life and work of Canadian author L.M. Montgomery to people of all ages. Her presentations are adaptable to the skill and knowledge of the group and she incorporates her experience as an English college teacher to engage students in writing about what they are interested in.
Melanie is an animated speaker who enjoys bringing props to her presentations, which may or may not include her first writings (and most definitely not her journal from when she was 12-years-old). Geared to grades 5 and up, her presentations can be adapted to the grade level and/or size of group. All presentations discuss path to publication, writing life, with a focus on research best practices, and the writing process. Depending upon the length of the book talk, details to be explored can also include any or all of the following:
• The life and times of L.M. Montgomery, author of Anne of Green Gables
• L.M. Montgomery as Teen Writer
• History of women during late-19th century Canada – L.M. Montgomery and her contemporaries
• Larger discussion on how to write historical fiction
Writing Historical Fiction: This 1 to 2-hour writing workshop provides an outline and framework on best practices in writing historical fiction, including the difference between primary and secondary sources, important questions to consider, as well as focusing on plotting, character, structure, description and dialogue. Workshop can be adapted for time requirements.
Journal Writing: Many writers, such as Anne Frank and L.M. Montgomery, used journal writing to explore their feelings about the world and work on their writing. This workshop shows how journal writing can not only be the first step in the writing journey, but it also be a tool for self-exploration and examination. This 1 to 2-hour writing workshop gives students the opportunity to tap into their creativity, while also exploring freewriting, discussions on the inner critic and strategies for writer’s block.
Equipment and Other Requirements
For lectures and talks, 30 to 50 students, but will take larger groups for lectures. For writing workshops, 16 or so.
I’ll require a table, water, laptop & projector for PowerPoint, and access to a microphone for larger groups or in the gym.
For writing workshops, a white board or flip paper with markers. Students should come with a notebook and pencil or pens. No laptops or cell phones, please.
Alex Lyttle (Calgary, Alberta) Middle grade author, pediatrician, nominated for 2018 Silver Birch award.
$250 per session
Alex Lyttle is a pediatrician living in Calgary, Alberta with his wife and three children. He was raised in London, Ontario - the setting of his first novel, From Ant to Eagle, which he wrote based on his experiences working in the Pediatric Oncology unit. When he is not working, writing or playing basketball, he enjoys learning new magic tricks to perform for his young patients.
Alex Lyttle is an engaging presenter and has extensive experience working with children. After working as a camp counselor for several years, he pursued a career in pediatrics with a sub-specialty in allergy. His presentations touch on both his experience as a doctor and as a writer, and he is happy to answer students' questions on either.
No audience size limits for presentations.
Equipment required: a table, microphone for larger groups.
Email to contact Alex Lyttle:
Amanda’s rate is $300 for 1 workshop/presentation, $500 for 2, $750 for 3, plus HST. Travel costs from Perth. Travel and accommodation costs negotiable for multiple day residencies.
Amanda combines careers as a writer, theatre director and calligrapher. Over the course of 30 years, she has combined these skills to present workshops and readings to children, youth and adults in schools and libraries across Ontario.
Readings/Presentations: Grades 5 – 12. Audience up to 300. 50 – 60 minutes.
Workshops: Grades 1 – 12. Participants up to 30 per session. 1 – 2 hours.
“War From Both Sides” tells the story behind the story, revealing the true events and people that inspired the novels September 17 and The Pact. Slides show the children from England and Germany that are represented in the books, illustrating the challenges faced during wartime. The focus is on an empathetic understanding of World War 2 from a child’s perspective view. Topic discussed include propaganda, indoctrination, racism, and survival. Readings from both books are followed by a Q & A.
“Jazz and The Tempest” explores the creation of a novel in verse and prose. Manuscript examples explore how sound and rhythm can reflect character and pace. Slides show historical influences and aid a discussion on research. A reading from a work-in-progress, These Are Not the Words, is followed by a Q&A.
Equipment And Other Requirements: A projector compatible with a MAC or a computer for a memory stick.
“The Look and Sound of Words”: Working with sound and visual clues, and drawing on aspects of theatre improvisation, the workshop moves participants into character creation, point of view and dialogue. The workshop focuses on playing with words as the basic building blocks of writing.
“Illuminated Letters”: The workshop starts with writing exercises to create simple poems based on participants’ names. Participants are then shown how to draw Versal letters in the style of 15th Century Books of Hours. Small accordion fold books are created using the poems as text, starting each with an illuminated letter. The workshop helps to develop a love and passion for letters, combining writing skills with artwork.
“The Story Behind the Picture”: A picture can tell you a lot about a person. But it’s the writer who discovers who that person is and how they fit into a story. This workshop will use photographs and pictures to get participants creating characters and inventing unique and vibrant stories.
Workshop Equipment And Other Requirements: Students require paper and pencil/pen. Amanda will bring markers, coloured pencils, additional paper and handouts as appropriate.
Contact Amanda West Lewis:
Olivia Longo. Toronto. K to 12.
Mobile Planetarium Shows:
$500 for one for up to 30 students, $650 for 2, $750 for 3, $885 for unlimited number (20-45 min sess). + HST.
Olivia is an accomplished outdoor stargazing and planetarium presenter with a universe of experience hosting thousands of people under the stars.
Olivia has worked at the flagship facility, The Jasper Planetarium in the Alberta Rockies, presenting popular astronomy content to visitors to Jasper Dark Sky preserve in a variety of locales (mountain tops, canyons, etc…)
An accomplished world traveler, Olivia holds an honours degree in Cognitive Science from Carleton University (which she sometimes puts to use when asked questions about our perception of the night sky and the universe overall.)
To contact Olivia Longo.
Bernice Hune. Toronto. Storytellers of Canada. 金山Gold Mountain Stories. Traditional Asian folklore & Canada’s immigrant history (FDK - 12). Per session, 80-100 students. Three Sessions $625 + travel from Toronto.
A seasoned performer, Bernice has presented at 1001 school and festival events, from Vancouver Island for the TD Canadian Children’s Book Week Tour to Halifax for the Canadian Museum of Immigration - Pier 21, as well as at the Singapore International Storytelling Festival.
Bernice shapes each presentation to the listeners. What languages are students hearing at home? In Bernice’s childhood Toronto home, voices talked in Cantonese. Elders told enchanted fables as well as personal stories about the railway, the head tax and the struggle for the rights of full citizenship. Her performances delight and inform audiences of all ages.
“Excellent stories - younger students appreciated the humour, enjoyed opportunities to join in on story chants and movement. Great multicultural emphasis!!” - Tamara Clark, Literacy Coordinator, Warren Park
Bernice displays an iron spike, silk cocoons, moon calendar animals, sumie brushes & other items for interactive programming. K to gr 8 guide:
For youth and adults, Bernice tells historical stories with fictional characters that she has created, including:
"Outstanding and thought provoking -our history of Canada includes such diversity and should be embraced. Students were completely engaged and very excited to hear the stories. "Ghost Train" gave a captivating backdrop of Canadian Chinese history during the CPR creation. Thank you for sharing your own personal stories also!"- Jennifer Mohamed, Teacher-Librarian, Donview Middle School, Toronto
Each Session tailored to the participants. Three Session Fee $625.
Solo concert, family literacy evening, workshop and guest speaking engagements available, the fee for these specialty events varies with venue.
Bernice is a storyteller, actor, radio broadcaster and arts educator. Her presentations highlight the Autumn Moon Festival, Lunar New Year & Asian Heritage month in May.
Prefers a Library setting, but adapts to any space.
Needs a table, chart board with a ledge (marker & masking tape), world map and microphone for some settings.
Email us to book Bernice:
Booking for May 2018 Writers Union Member. A professional liar since 1988, Marty writes books for kids and plays for adults. He’s also a keynote speaker, television screenwriter, radio dramatist, and raconteur.
Marty charges $400 plus HST for one hour-long session, $600 for two presentations, and $825 for three. He charges $1,000 for a full day visit, which allows you to schedule as many sessions as you like into the regular school day. Marty’s fees cover his travel and accommodation from Alberta, and he will offset travel costs through The Writers Union of Canada’s reading program.
If you book a full-day visit and want a family literacy event on the same day, Marty will waive the costs for the evening presentation.
The son of immigrants, Marty grew up in a French-Canadian town where he was the only Chinese kid at school. Bullied and friendless, he found sanctuary in the school library where a teacher-librarian inspired this reluctant reader to fall in love with books. Using his sense of humour, Marty turned bullies into buddies and transformed his passion for literacy into a lifelong career as a writer.
A versatile presenter with a background in theatre, Marty can present to any age and any size audience. He tailors his presentations according to grade levels, creating a unique experience for each group he visits. His sessions incorporate storytelling, humour, games, stage magic, and improv that ignite a passion for literacy in audiences from age 5 to 55. Marty has presented keynote speeches for teachers and librarians, led writing workshops for adults, performed at children’s festivals, and emceed large-scale cultural events.
Venues: Marty is able to present in any venue, but he prefers the library.
Some of his sessions include:
JK to 1: For the price of one full session ($400 plus HST), Marty will deliver two 30-minute storytelling sessions featuring Chinese folktales and stage magic. He’ll also reveal the real-life cats behind his hilarious picture book, True Story. (Maximum audience: 50.)
Grades 2 – 3: With a dose of humour, Marty recounts the real-life childhood experiences that inspired The Mystery of the Frozen Brains and improvises a scene with a few students as the stars of the story. (Maximum audience: 100+)
Grades 4 – 6: Keep the lights on for this thrilling talk about Marty’s scary series, Keepers of the Vault, which was inspired by his haunted elementary school. This session is sure to make a few kids jump out of their seats. (Maximum audience: 100+)
Grades 7 and up: Marty reveals the research he did to write The Ehrich Weisz Chronicles, a steampunk fantasy series featuring magician and escape artist Harry Houdini as the protagonist. Marty will show kids all types of shackles as well as a regulation straitjacket, from which he will attempt to escape. (Maximum audience: 100+)
Keynote sessions: Marty can present a keynote session for mixed grade levels or a family literacy night. His keynotes incorporate elements of humour, storytelling, stage magic, and inspiring stories of overcoming discrimination. (Maximum audience: 400).
Writing workshops: Want to go behind the scenes? Marty shares tips on writing thrillers, creating conflict, and crafting plays. He presents workshops for grades 3 – 12 as well as writing seminars for adults. (Maximum audience: 30.)
Virtual visits: $100 plus HST for a half-hour Skype session.
Teachers and librarians have this to say about Marty’s sessions:
“Wow! What a performance! It is hard to say who enjoyed it more, the students or the staff. We were all captivated with Marty Chan and his engaging, entertaining, and informative presentation. The students were asking for him to come visit us again minutes after the presentation ended. From the moment he began to speak, he enthralled us with details of his journey to become an author. His interactive presentation style and use of humour made his writing process come alive for the students, and murmurs of “I want to become a writer” could be heard rippling through the audience…pure gold to a teacher’s ears!” - Nikki Haight, Prince Philip Public School
“Marty engaged a very difficult group of junior high students the ENTIRE presentation. We have never had a presenter come in who was able to capture and hold their attention. This was awesome. Students were even commenting on their way out the room how amazing he was. It was so great to hear them excited about something related to learning. Students were talking about his presentation for days after. The students say he was the best author they have ever seen.” – Janet Kraft, Ralston School
Marty Chan was able to mesmerize children from kindergarten to grade three with his combination of magic, sketching, story-telling and total body language. His inclusion of Chinese folk tales was a good fit for our grade threes, as they were studying different cultures and traditions as part of the Social Studies curriculum. In choosing children from the audience to act out his tales, the performance aspect of the Language Arts curriculum was enhanced. All the students were willingly engaged in listening, another component of the language arts curriculum. Our staff were delighted by his revision demonstration, using his “magic book”. The next day when a student was asked to add details to his story draft, he smiled and said,” Just like Marty Chan, right?” – Susan Schneider, I.F. Cox School
Marty needs a table to set his props and a glass of water. In a larger venue like the gym, Marty will need a microphone and stand as well as a projector and screen.
Email Marty now:
Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Writers’ Union Member.Middle Grade, YA.Winner Heart of Hawick Award (UK). Adrienne Kress’s The Explorers has been optioned by Walt Disney Film Studios.
$300+HST for a single session; $500+HST for two sessions; $900+HST for a full day. Prices for larger groups, workshops, panels, etc., to be negotiated*. Outside the Toronto area, add kilometrage and accommodation as necessary.
Adrienne Kress is a Toronto-born actor and author with six novels to her credit, as well as essays, plays and short stories. She has spoken to children and adults in a large variety of circumstances, from school assemblies and classroom workshops to writers’ associations and conference panels. Her presentations have taken her across Canada, the United Kingdom and the US. Adrienne is a dynamic, skillful speaker, insightful, knowledgeable and fun to be with.
Readings based on middle grade books are geared towards children in grades 4, 5, 6 and 7. They are 45 minutes to 11⁄2 hours in length depending on needs. The preferred group size is up to 60 children, and the preferred site is the library, but Adrienne can speak to larger groups in other venues. She has spoken to small groups in a cozy huddle on the floor in a library and to large groups of a couple of hundred in gyms and auditoriums.
As a passionate author, professional actor and teacher, Adrienne brings a large array of skills to her readings. She starts with a short talk about “how a book gets published” and “working with your editors is like working with your teacher,” continues with a dramatic reading from one of the books and ends with a question period and a book signing opportunity. When her session arises from one of her more swashbuckling books, Adrienne is happy to add a fencing lesson.
Presentations can be geared to any audience, for example, Writer’s Craft classes, writers’ groups, book clubs. The length of the presentation varies according to the needs of the group, but is most often 1 to 11⁄2 hours in length. The content can be individualized to suit the interests of the group, but usually covers topics like the trials and tribulations of getting published (including how to get a literary agent), the writing process, working with an editor, identifying your audience, trends in modern literature and the importance of studying past works and authors.
Workshops can be geared to any audience, for example, elementary school students, Writer’s Craft classes, writers’ groups, book clubs. The length of the presentation varies according to the needs of the group but is most often 11⁄2 hours to 3 hours in length, though it can be expanded. The content usually covers topics like honing your writing skills, creating your own voice, creating a “world” for your writing, the use of dialogue, humour – its types and where to use it– identifying your audience, etc.
Shortlisted for Red Cedar (BC), Audie (US audio book awards), Manitoba Young Readers Choice Awards, The Quill Awards. Winner of The Heart of Hawick Children’s Book Award (UK)
Middle Grade Novels:
The Explorers – The Door in the Alley (Delcourte Random House) (optioned by Disney)
Hatter Madigan – Ghost in the H.A.T.B.O.X. (Automatic Publishing, with Frank Beddor)
Timothy and the Dragon’s Gate(Scholastic)
Alex and the Ironic Gentleman(Scholastic)
Young Adult Novels:
Outcast (Diversion Books, Paranormal Romance)
The Friday Society (Dial Penguin, Steampunk)
Short Stories: In Wow! 366 (UK) and Corsets and Clockwork(USA/UK)
Essays: Collected in The Girl Who Was On Fire,The Secret Loves of GeekGirls, and CompleteGuide to Writing for Young Adults
Plays: Sleepy Hollow (Solar Stage Children’s Theatre) A Weekend in the Country (Adult – TorontoSummerworksFestival and Edinburgh Festival Fringe)
To book Adrienne, contact Cynthia Kress: