PEI’s Dave Atkinson is spending Education Week in the GTA! Subsidy/grant eligible!

Subsidy eligible Prince Edward Island author, broadcaster, and cartoonist Dave Atkinson is touring GTA schools during Education Week, May 1-5, and he still has a few spaces left! Dave’s Hackmatack-nominated middle-grade novel Wereduck, and it’s hilarious sequel Cure for Wereduck, will have your students in stitches. Dave’s presentations are fast-paced, funny, and a lot of fun. Dave loves to talk to kids in Grades 3-6 about where ideas come from and how to turn them into stories. He’ll also teach them to love the red ink of an editor or teacher. Dave can help your kids find their own voices and learn to quack at the moon!
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Ellen Schwartz for Kitchener-Waterloo and Toronto in May!

Silver Birch Fiction nominated author Ellen Schwartz is available and eager to visit the Kitchener-Waterloo area the week of May 15. Ellen will bring her “how I condensed 3,000 pages of research into a gripping middle-grade novel” presentation to share with kids. Book a full day and she’ll share Japanese recipes from the book, which has been named to VOYA’s Top Shelf list! Subsidy eligible! Book now while there's still time!
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Subsidies still available for a Judith Graves visit!

Schools and libraries -- act fast before the funding is snapped up! Golden Oak Nominee Judith Graves is available in Toronto from May 27 to June 3.

An author and screenwriter, Judith gives a multi-media presentation, drawing on clips from music videos, TV and film to illustrate the concepts covered. Grade 3 to adult.

“Judith Graves has a very cool, hip personality that students gravitate towards and gets them excited about writing.”

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Melanie Florence has a new book! (visits subsidy eligible!)

TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award winner and Golden Oak nominee Melanie Florence has a new book and two new writing workshops!

Invite Melanie to your school or library to work with your students on one of her new workshops - In Exploring Your Culture Through Writing, Melanie will lead students through exercises to discover their unique culture and background and work with them on how to find the story in their own background and experiences. Or choose to explore The Importance of a Good Opening Line with Melanie and look at what makes opening lines good or bad and then write the first paragraphs of a story using exciting writing prompts.

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Lena Coakley award news (visits subsidy eligible)

Both Quill and Quire magazine and and the CBC have chosen Lena Coakley’s Worlds of Ink and Shadow as one of the best books of 2016! Add this to the previous recognition for her book:
White Pine Nominee
OLA Best Bet
Starred Selection, Canadian Children’s Book Centre
4/4 Stars, CM Magazine
Lena would love to come to your classroom to talk about the Brontë sisters and her book celebrating their life. Subsidy eligible!
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A pizza party with Arthur Slade!

Arthur Slade, Red Maple Fiction nominated author, is in the GTA area the week of May 15th. He will bring his dynamic “rocking” audio/video presentation of silent film era factoids, creativity tips and literary inspiration. Book a full day and he’ll stay for a pizza party/lunch with Red Maple Kids. Travel fees waived for Toronto bookings. Subsidy eligible!

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Simon Shapiro Award News – he’s available now in the GTA

The OLA has chosen Simon Shapiro’s book Faster, Higher, Smarter, as one of the Top Ten Best Bets of 2016 Junior Nonfiction. This is a nice addition to previous recognition for this book

2017 TD Summer Reading Club Recommended Reads
Starred selection, Canadian Children’s Book Centre
Association American Association for the Advancement of Science 2017 SB&F Prize finalist
2017 Rocky Mountain Book Award nomination
2017 Red Maple Award nomination

Simon would love to come and talk to your students about Sports, Innovation and Science, and how much fun they all are.

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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.

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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Etta Kaner (Toronto)

Award winning author of over two dozen books for children ages 5 to 12, mostly non-fiction. Etta’s rate is $250.00 for a one hour session, and $450.00 for two sessions. Travel charges waived if the venue is in the GTA. Writers' Union member.

Etta is an animated, experienced educator and presenter who enjoys interacting with children of all ages. Etta has a particular interest in animals and architecture from a unique perspective. Her short-listed 2017 Silver Birch non-fiction book Friend or Foe: the Whole Truth about Animals That People Love to Hate is a book about point of view and persuasive argument, both components of all strands of the Ontario Language curriculum.

Rats, cockroaches, leeches, snakes, vultures – these are just a few of the animals that are discussed during Etta’s interactive presentation. After presenting both the negative and then positive sides of some of these animals, students are asked for their opinion: Is the animal friend or foe?

Etta then shares the secrets of how written voice and book design are used to persuade the reader to agree with a certain perspective. She also involves the children in an activity in which partners discuss and draw the positives and negatives of having unusual pets.

Time is given for Q and A about being an author, book publishing and about Friend or Foe in particular.

This presentation is suitable for students in grades 3 to 6 in the GTA. I prefer to meet in a library or classroom with space for children to work in pairs.

Group size: two classes at one time

Materials needed: Chart paper on easel or board, marker, pencils and poster paper for students, large table to display my books, water, a chair

Expectations: teachers are expected to stay with their students during the presentation and help with pairing students for the workshop component of the presentation

Follow-up Activities: I’m happy to provide teachers with follow-up activities that develop point of view using other books and activities.

 

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Natasha Deen (AB)

In Canada, Natasha’s family found refuge from the political and racial violence of Guyana, South America. Her experiences as a child of two nations are the foundation for her dynamic presentations, which help students find the story and power that lives inside them. She routinely speaks to an entire school during the course of a half day, and travel costs are included in her fee. $500 + GST for half day, $700 + GST for a full day. Writers' Union Member.

“You captured the attention of over 500 students in grades 4-8 from the moment you said your first sentence. You did not simply give a talk, but a gift, to our children.” ~ Kari-Ann Ellery, Teacher-Librarian

Natasha Deen’s books have been described as “gripping” (School Library Connection), “engaging” (CM Magazine) and “feel good” (VOYA).  Students enjoy her sessions because she makes them laugh and help them see it’s okay to be different. Teachers appreciate the presentations because they connect with curriculum and showcase writing skills in easy to implement ways.

PRESENTATIONS

"Don't split your infinitives, careful of dangling participles, i before e -- except after c, know the difference between its and it's." Writing is difficult work, and often, by the time students are done learning the mechanics and rules, they've forgotten the best part of writing: it delivers STORY and stories change the world!

Natasha's dynamic sessions celebrate the funny, sometimes sad, moments of being a kid and being part of an immigrant family. She uses her experiences to connect with students on the universal moments of growing up: feeling different, wanting friends, being bullied, and hilarious moments when the grown-ups act more like kids.

During her visit, she also talks about why Canada is the most amazing country to live in (her family moved to Canada from Guyana to escape the country’s political and racial violence), falling in love with the book she assured her mother she would hate, and her hilarious (and often, disastrous!) attempts to make friends in school. Through the presentation, she weaves in literacy tips as well as themes of inclusion, diversity, resiliency, and embracing individualism.

Students will come away with two important lessons:

  1. Writing is a way to deliver the part that's most fun: STORY
  2. In life, just as in writing, it's not about where you start, but where you end.

Natasha has specific presentations for FDK, Grades 1-3, Grades 4-6, Grades 7-9, Grades 10-12, as well as presentations for mixed-age audiences (i.e. K-8). She is also happy to customize her presentations/workshops per your students' needs.

 

Equipment Needs:

A speaker, projector, and microphone for presentations or large rooms/audiences

Whiteboard/smartboard, projector for writing workshops

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Ellen Schwartz’s Top Shelf Book!

We’re thrilled to announce that Silver Birch nominated book, Heart of a Champion, has been named a VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocacy) Top Shelf book. This coveted honor represents fiction titles that raise the bar for outstanding storytelling for middle-grade readers.

Ellen Schwartz, still has a few days available in May and is Subsidy eligible. Contact us now to avoid disappointment!

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Don Aker coming to Toronto!


With his latest book Scars and Other Stories about to go to print, Don Aker has already begun accepting invitations from schools and libraries for author visits in the spring. Don will be in the GTA from May 8 to 12 and still has a few openings remaining during that week. Subsidy eligible.

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The Young Girl Who was inspired to Write a Book!

A parent wrote to us:
My daughter had a presentation by Sigmund Brouwer at her school - she came home with his message of "she can do anything, never stop using your imagination".  With that, she wanted to write a book. She told me the story, I wrote it for her and then she copied it.  We attached her pages to construction paper and used ribbon to tie it together.  She didn't want to draw pictures as she wanted people to "use their imagination".  She read her story to her class this morning.  She was a bit shy, but her excitement got her through it.  His visit was approximately 1 week ago - she created her own story, wrote it out, read it to her class and can't wait to write more stories off of her original one!  Thank you for helping to inspire my kindergarten girl!!

Ayla holding 'Faerie Land'. She wrote it in her lined writing book and we took the pages out an glued them on construction paper, binding it with ribbon. We made a craft project of writing and "publishing" her book!

 

Here's what Sigmund had to say:

Hearing about Ayla’s new book and seeing the smile as she held it up is what all of us authors LOVE about going to schools! Much as I’d like to take credit for this, I’m always aware that every day teachers and librarians are teaching students like Ayla how to use the alphabet to put stories on paper, so thanks to all of you at schools how are doing this, and thanks for letting me be a part of the literacy journey at your schools. P.S.: I’m back in the area from March 20-24, and May 1-5! (he's subsidy eligible for the May dates).

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Julie Burtinshaw (Vancouver)

Award winning YA author, storyteller, speaker, workshop leader, ideas person, traveller. Writers Union Member Julie’s rates are $275 per session, $500 for two sessions, $900 for four sessions. Julie will be in Toronto in September and October 2017. Julie's partner is a pilot and therefore she is able to be in Ontario with very little notice. Travel, $150 per day.

Julie was born and raised in Vancouver where she still lives. She loves to travel the world and is passionate about the health of our oceans.  She attributes her fascination with teenage resilience and courage to her own experiences to a tragic family loss. Her books reflect her admiration for the choices teens make when facing impossible situations.

Julie writes both historical fiction and coming of age stories set in current times. Her previous eight novels explore the issues that face young adults and in particular young men in a candid style that engages readers and encourages discussions and exploration.

When not writing, Julie teaches creative writing workshops, and is an active participant in the writing community. She has served as a judge for the BC Book Awards, Red Cedar Awards, Illinois Women's Press Association Communications and mentored many emerging and upcoming writers.

Presentations: Readings and writing workshops for grades seven to college/university. Julie’s ability to engage even the most reluctant teens in discussion and conversation has earned her the praise of many high-school teachers.  Julie employs a series of highly interactive creative writing prompts, games and exercises to ensure that every student leaves her workshops armed with a strong sense of accomplishment, and a newly a discovered passion for the written word in its various forms.

All venues

Depending on the length of the presentation, the size of the class and the goals of the educator, possible topics include (but not exhaustive):

The process of writing
Sourcing ideas
Accessing creativity
Research
Plot development
Character development
Publishing tips and tricks
Poetry
Writing dialogue
Writing Memories

Julie customizes her workshops, readings and presentations depending on the ages, group size and goals of audiences and requests a short email exchange with educators prior to in-classroom visits.

For readings and presentations Julie is comfortable with large groups. For creative writing workshops group sizes should not exceed thirty, although smaller groups are ideal.

Students attending creative writing workshops should bring pen, paper and their imaginations.  Julie will need a flip board, a white board, water, desk or table and a microphone for larger groups.  She uses Keynote format for large group presentations so will require a screen and computer table.

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