Tim Beiser (Toronto)

timbeiserwp1Toronto ON. Writers' Union Member. Picture books, Blue Spruce & Governor General’s Award nominee. JK to Grade 3.

$250 plus HST per 50-min session. $0.42/km travel fee for presentations not accessible by Toronto TTC.

If you’re looking for a lively, entertaining presenter for younger students, Tim Beiser is a great choice. This bestselling author of rhyming picture books educates as he entertains with a high-energy mix of stories, songs, puppets, and projections. Tim is comfortable presenting to any size group -- be it 30 or 300 students -- in any sized venue.

Tim Beiser’s appearances are often extemporaneous, based on the time allowed, the size of the audience, and the venue – and they’re always fun.

Here’s an example of one of his typical 50-minute presentations:

Tim starts by telling the children the curious story of how Bradley McGogg the Very Fine Frog came about, and then shows them a karaoke-style video and sings a new song crafted from the original comic poem that the book was based on. This is followed by a recitation of the published version of Bradley McGogg while showing projected animations of the illustrations.

As he leads the children in a discussion about the differences between the original poem and the finished story, they talk about the basics of storytelling and identify the major building blocks of narrative fiction.

The presentation concludes with a puppet theatre production of The Frog Prince with the aid of several children chosen from the audience.

Tim is happy to create other kinds of entertaining presentations to fit the specific audience size, venue size, or time limits desired.

His appearances are geared to students in Nursery to Grade 3.

Audience size limits: 30-300. All venues.

Equipment and other requirements:

Tim Beiser uses Windows Media Player video files in his presentation. He brings his own laptop would appreciate it if a projector with a screen (or a SmartBoard) would be available. An amplified sound system, if the venue is a gymnasium or auditorium, would be welcome as well.

Please note: BEISER rhymes with EXERCISER and TRANQUILIZER, not wheezer or sneezer.


To book Tim Beiser, please email us:

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Helaine Becker (Toronto)

Toronto. Writers' Union Member. National Bestseller. 2+time Silver Birch winner. Multi awards. K-8. Please note: Helaine is fully booked for the 2016-17 school year. Booking now for fall and spring 2017-18.

Helaine’s rate is $375 plus HST for one session, $650 for two, $850 for three and $1000 for four, plus travel from Toronto.

Helaine is an experienced and passionate presenter - and so funny that she is often told she should be a stand-up comedian. She can do up to four side-splitting and inspirational presentations in the same school or area in a day. As the author of picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, non-fiction and YA novels, she routinely presents to an entire school over the course of a day. She also loves speaking to adult groups and showing off her underwear (her underwear puppet, that is).
Helaine is a very versatile presenter. She adapts every presentation to the age and interest level of her audience, and will shift topics on the fly if kids seem especially keen on a particular subject. Every presentation includes both funny bits and serious bits - about the power of literacy and the importance of hard work and determination. Her goal: to make sure every kid leaves with at least one inspiring new idea.

Here is an example of her themes by grade:

JK to 2: two 30 minute storytelling sessions for the price of one full session ($375+HST) using The Haunted House That Jack Built, Little Jack Horner: Live from the Corner, Ode to Underwear and/or Juba This, Juba That (Christmas books, seasonally) + Q and A

2 to 4: 45 to 60 minutes: How and Why We Write/The Power of the Written and Spoken Word Intro plus free-wheeling Q&A, discussion/reading of assorted titles as per kids interests. (Zoobots, Dirk Daring:Secret Agent, The Insecto-Files, quiz books, and picture books may all feature; Christmas books, seasonally)

4 to 8: 45 to 60 minutes. How and Why We Write/The Power of the Written and Spoken Word Intro plus free-wheeling Q&A touching on Writing Techniques (the dreaded Rough Copy, How to Come Up with Ideas, The Power of Punctuation, Knowing Who Your Audience Is); Dealing with Rejection/disappointment, What Science Is, and Creating Humour.

(Zoobots, Dirk Daring:Secret Agent, Gottika, Trouble in the Hills, quiz books, and picture books may all feature)

Maximum group sizes for presentations: 45 for JK to 3. 100+ for everyone else.

Writing Workshops work best wish 16 so so participants

Writing Workshop Topics:

Funny Business: How to Write, Draw, Direct or Sing Seriously Funny Stuff. This session teaches tried-and-true comic techniques, plus idea development for writers (of any age)

All Venues, library preferred.

Equipment required: A glass of water, lunch and coffee if she’s staying for the day. A table to spread her things out on. A microphone for larger groups or in the gym, or if the room acoustics are questionable. A chair.

Virtual Visits: $200 plus HST, 60 minutes (may be divided) Skype


To book Helaine Becker, please email us:

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Protected: PR

How can I get more bookings?

Have you noticed that during the school year we have been tweeting, google-plussing and facebooking about you every day? When we have no news, we simply promote an author page and we're currently working alphabetically from the bottom up.
The single most important thing that you can do to get more bookings is to consistently give us stuff that we can promote you with. Got a new book out? Send us a news item, 25 words or so, plus an image. Got a deal we can promote? Ditto. Are you going to be in a particular area and you can waive travel fees for extra bookings? Let us know that, in the same format.

Some members include a link to their personal ABS page in their automatic email signatures.

It would also help us tremendously if you would share our bits on social media. Please follow us on twitter:


Join our facebook group:


And google+ us:


Share share share! It helps all of us.

Also, our fledgling TDSB page is up, and as more approvals come in, more will be added. Keep a watch on this page and if you think you've gone through all the hoops and you're not on it yet, let us know:


You can also subscribe to a TDSB dedicated feed:

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Linda DeMeulemeester (BC)

linda demeulemeester wp1 jpgFees: When Linda visits Ontario she would love to plan a visit to your school or library. Her rate is $250 per session. There is no travel charge within the GTA. For travel outside the GTA the standard kilometrage applies.

Linda DeMeulemeester is a west coast author. Inspiration for the Grim Hill books came to her while she was watching her son play soccer at Halloween. Linda is thrilled that her new publisher, Heritage Book’s Wandering Fox, will be reissuing the series. The Secret of Grim Hill will be out in fall 2015. Grim Hill: The Secret Deepens, Grim Hill: The Forgotten Secret and Grim Hill: The Family Secret will be out in spring 2016!

Linda has presented at numerous schools, the Junior Author’s Conference and toured for TD Children’s Book Week, and for Kootenay Library Association Red Cedar readers.

Presentation Details:

How to you provide reader cookies to an audience?
What should you feed a plot bunny?
Who in the story gets ‘save the cat’ scenes?
Something a writer really hates is...

The answer to these questions and more are revealed as Linda weaves stories and pointers about her writing process into a visual and interactive power point presentation. Throughout the presentation she uses colourful power-point slides to focus the audience’s attention.

Though this presentation is ideally enjoyed by Grades 4-6, she has also presented to Grade 3 students and Grade 8 students. Maximum number of students per session is flexible, but she prefers to use a microphone for groups over sixty. The presentations can be tailored from thirty to forty to sixty minutes in length depending on audience size.

Equipment requirements are a projector and a screen for a PowerPoint presentation. She brings a lap top. She also appreciates a librarian or teacher to be present throughout the presentation.

Please email us to book Linda DeMeulemeester:

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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.


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.

To book Karen Bass please email us:

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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.

Please email us to book Linda Bailey:

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J. Torres (Whitby)

Whitby ON, award-winning comic book and graphic novel writer. Middle grades.

J.’s rate is $350 for one session, $650 for two, $950 for three, plus travel outside of GTA.

J. has written for all the major North American comic book publishers including Archie, Dark Horse, DC, Image, and Marvel Comics. He currently writes the Chirp comic in Chirp Magazine. His creator-owned graphic novels include Alison Dare, Bigfoot Boy, and DoGooders among others. He has also written for children’s books and magazines, as well as animation and television.

His presentation is intended for grades 3 to 6. He talks about writing comics and graphic novels, how stories go from script to art to the printed book, and ends with a fun reading involving audience participation. He requires a projector or smart board and preferably a laptop although he can usually bring his MacBook.

He prefers groups of no larger than 60 students per presentation but is flexible. Presentation time is approximately 45-60 minutes with optional Q&A, signing, and book sales upon request.

Email us to book J. Torres:

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Protected: Invoice info

We invoice you after the presentation has taken place. Please let us know if you have not received an invoice by the end of the week of your event.

We use Square to generate invoices so that you can pay online with a credit card. If you prefer to pay with an email transfer or cheque instead, that's fine.

For email transfers, send it to Marsha at marsha@calla.com instead of the abs email address.

For cheques, please send to:

Amdox Company Ltd, 19 Davern Road, Brantford ON N3T 1R6

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Protected: FAQ on Invoicing

FAQ on invoicing

When you have confirmed a booking, you should email an invoice to your contact. Ideally, this should be done at least four weeks before your visit. Here's a sample in docx for you to modify for your own use:

Invoice sample

Before sending it, export it into a PDF format.

WITS (Writers-in-the-Schools) and NPR invoicing answers:

Just in case this is the first time you've submitted invoices to the Writers' Union for National Public Readings grants or for Writers-in-the-Schools subsidies, here are examples of each for your reference.


NPR sample infoice
NPR Sample invoice

Here's an example of an invoice to a school with the deduction from WITS taken into consideration:


When we invoice you:

We invoice you after the presentation has taken place, usually at the end of the week. We use Square to generate invoices so that you can pay online with a credit card. If you prefer to pay with an email transfer or cheque instead, please deduct the $1.50 bank fee from the total.

For email transfers, send it to Marsha at marsha@calla.com instead of the abs email address.

For cheques, please send to:

Amdox Company Ltd, 19 Davern Road, Brantford ON N3T 1R6

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Protected: Pages

Member Page: Please follow these instructions carefully.

Take a look at this page as a guide:

(Browse others on the site too)

Here’s what we need to build yours:

One interesting/illuminating photo of yourself plus up to 6 other jpgs of similar size either of recent books or of yourself in action. Label the photos as follows:

yournamewp1.jpg, yournamewp2,jpg etc

We also need the following info in a docx file, and please use the above link as your guideline:

Your Name (Your location)

Writers Union Member – include this immediately after your location ONLY if you are currently a member of TWUC

One line with a highlight or two about yourself/your work

30 or so words about fees.

60 or so words about you, in third person

375 or fewer words about your presentations and workshops, in third person

Information on audience size limits, writing workshops, set-up requirements

List out all of the following categories below that apply:
Intermediate presenters
Middle grade presenters
Presents to adults
Secondary presenters
Virtual Visits
Writers’ Union Members
Presents to all ages
Presents in French
Primary Presenters
Touring Ontario
VSPC (vulnerable sector police check has been registered with TDSB)

List your tags, being sure to separate them with a comma. Here are some examples of tags (you can use the any of these tags that apply to you too, or use them as a guide to create others of your own). The point is to make you findable:

addiction, adult, AIDS, all grades, Africa, anorexia, Asia, author, award winner (specify awards), books for boys, books with female leads, bulimia, bullying, Canadian, coming-of-age, date rape, death, discrimination, diversity, dyslexic, dystopian, eating disorder, educator, fantasy, fiction, free verse novels, gifted, student writers, grade 1, grade 2, grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, grade 6, grade 7, grade 8, grade 9, grade 10, grade 11, grade 12, grief and loss, hate mail, historical fiction, illustrator, immigration, international, Islamophobia, JK, LGBT characters and themes, large audience, literacy, middle grade, mystery, non-fiction, orphan, picture books, picture books that rhyme, poetry, poverty, presents in French, presenter, professional development workshops, racism, reluctant readers, secrets, self-editing techniques, sexuality, shame, social issues, Steampunk, suspense, teacher, thriller, travel, truth, Ukrainian, Vietnam, World War I, World War II, writers craft, writing workshops, young adult, YA, your name

Read your page carefully to be sure it’s accurate and error-free before sending it to us.

Last thing – please provide a postal code for our presenters’ map. This helps educators figure distance for travel costs. Most members send a postal code for a nearby business, rather than their personal address.

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Eric Zweig (Owen Sound)

ericzweigAuthorPhotoOwen Sound ON. Writers' Union Member. Hockey historian and author, Silver Birch nominee, available for school and library visits.

Eric’s rate is $250 for one session, $450 for two, or $650 for three, plus HST. Mileage costs can often be negotiated for multiple bookings, for presentations in the GTA, or for visits to the Barrie/Orillia area.

By the age of ten Eric Zweig was already a budding sports fanatic who was filling his school news books with game reports instead of current events. He’s been writing professionally about sports and sports history since 1985. Eric has also been a guest on many television and radio programs, appearing as a “Hockey Philosopher” in the CBC series Hockey: A People’s History in 2006.

Since 1999, when Eric began writing books for children, he has made many presentations in schools, libraries and bookstores. His presentation is very low-tech and tends to be somewhat informal. His talks have more energy when he doesn’t keep to a rigid script. However, he always has a general plan prepared for each presentation.

Eric likes to emphasize to schoolchildren that writing does not just mean thinking up creative stories. Most of the writing we do in our lives – for school or for work – will be non-fiction. Though he has written two novels, and can speak to that too, for Eric, working mostly on historical non-fiction, writing can be like detective work. Often, he has to do a lot of research to find the truth behind the legends in sports. This is the best part of what he gets to do. He likes to discover things that no one else knows. In talking about research, Eric always explains how the Internet can make this so much easier … but that a researcher has to be very careful about what type of sources to use.

Eric likes to leave a lot of time for questions. If there are a lot of questions, it’s hard to cut off any children. If there aren’t a lot of questions, he can pick up the talk again, or do more readings, with a better idea of what the children want to hear about.

Length of Visit
Generally, Eric’s presentations last for one hour, though they can be shorter to accommodate the time of your school periods. He is happy to do two, or even three talks per school visit, or combine two or three talks between different schools in the same area.

Eric’s preference is to present to grades 4 to 6, but he’s comfortable with anything from grades 3 to 12.

Classrooms or libraries with groups ranging from 30 to 90 people are best. Gymnasiums can be difficult due to the acoustics, but Eric is happy to present to larger groups in a school gym or auditorium if need be.
Please note: Eric’s surname is pronounced zwEYEg.


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Jean Little (Guelph)

Guelph. Writers' Union Member. Novels and picture books. Canada's best loved children's author. All grades.


Jean’s ideal presentation day is three sessions long. Her rate is $350 for one session, $600 for two, $750 for three, or $1100 for four, plus HST and kilometrage from Guelph, Ontario. She can travel to Toronto, London, Stratford -- basically a 120 km radius of Guelph. She is also available for areas beyond if several days are booked in a cluster.

Jean writes her award-winning titles by using a talking computer. “My computer reads back what I write letter by letter, or word by word, or whole sentences, or it will even read an entire file aloud if I tell it to. You just have to punch in the right command. It will also read the punctuation, the menus, e-mail letters, etc. It will read Googled things too. I usually have it reading out the letters as I type and then I get it to read back what I have done only in whole words. It is tricky! The most important thing is that it will read back to me what I write,” she explains.

Presentation Details

Jean is comfortable with a variety of venues and she does not mind large groups but she prefers students to be within three grades of each other. Jean’s talks can be tailored to your needs. She can talk about a specific book or about her life as a writer. She is an ideal keynote speaker.


A chair and a glass of water

And, if I am forced to speak in a gym, a mike that works

I supply my own Seeing Eye dog.

Since I have written for all ages except older teenagers, I am willing to speak to all of them. My preference is for the middle grades, 4, 5 and 6.

I ask for an hour, which gives me time to talk and then answer questions. I change the speech every time depending on the children, which books they already know, whether they want most of all to hear about my guide dog or how I write when I cannot see. I also speak about the actual work involved in writing.

Although I do not write Young Adult fiction, I am happy to talk to high school kids about the craft of writing.

I also speak to conferences of teachers, librarians, parents or just people. I have been called a “motivational speaker” and I have talked to inmates in jails about stuff like making choices.

I am happy speaking to large groups – up to 200 for instance. I want the audience to be big enough that I can hear them laughing at my jokes. Eighty to 100 is probably ideal. If the school wants me to speak to kindergartners, I talk about the dog and one picture book and cut the session shorter.

I usually bring books with me which I autograph for anyone who buys one. I will NOT sign pieces of paper but I will bring a sheet of autographed messages like “Keep reading a Little. The best place for your nose is inside a book. Jean Little” which the teacher can run off and hand out after I am gone.

I will bring an autographed poster to give to the school or library.
If at all possible, a parking spot close to the school entrance would be appreciated.

Send us an email to book Jean Little:

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