Danielle Younge-Ullman (Toronto) (White Pine)

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.

Presentations:

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.

Topics:

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.

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Fonda Lee (USA) (White Pine)

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.

Presentation Requirements:

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.

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Heather Camlot (Toronto) (Silver Birch Fiction)

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.

PRESENTATIONS

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

Workshops are available for 16 or so participants.

Topics include:

  • Page one, line one: Students will listen to a few examples to learn the basics of crafting the all-important first line, first paragraph, and first chapter, and then write their own.
  • Ready, set, research: Students will learn about the research process, including primary vs. secondary sources, fact vs. fake news, where to look, and how to pull it all together.
  • All the news: Students will learn about different types of articles and structure, and will write their own journalistic work.
  • Getting down to business: After discussing the 10 business basics Joey follows in Clutch, students will work on a business idea and marketing plan.
  • Customized topic: Heather can tailor a workshop to your needs and audience, including adults and educators. Please contact her for more details.

All venues, library preferred

Equipment required:

  • Table and water
  • Flip chart and markers
  • Screen and projector (depending on presentation)
  • Microphone and podium (for large rooms)
  • Paper and pencils (for workshops)

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Nadia L. Hohn (Toronto)

The Writers Union member. Picture book. All ages. $250 for 1 session (60 min) $450 for 2, $350 for 2 x 30 minute sessions (great for JK to 1). Full day (4 sessions) $800. + kilometrage.

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.

Presentation Details

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.

Regretfully, because she is a TDSB employee, Nadia is not currently able to accept visits within that school board, but she welcomes all other inquiries.

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Melanie Fishbane (Toronto)

Toronto. Writers’ Union Member. Author of the young adult novel, Maud: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M. Montgomery.

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.


Book Talks

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 Workshops

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.

 

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Marty Chan (Edmonton) AB)

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

Equipment needs:

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.

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Mike Deas (Salt Spring Island, BC) (Silver Birch Express)

Writers' Union Member. Author/illustrator of graphic novels. His rate is $275 for one session, $525 for two, $750 for three, and $950 for four plus travel from downtown Toronto.

Mike will visit the Toronto area May 14 - 18, 2018 -- use the contact form at the bottom of this page to connect with him about coming to your school or library!

Mike has illustrated over 14 Graphic Novels and books for young readers including Tank and Fizz and the Graphic Guide Adventure series. His passion for illustrative storytelling comes from an early love of reading and drawing while growing up on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. Mike also works as a concept artist in the Video Game industry.

Mike’s presentation for grades 3-8 takes the audience through the production of his work (from doodles to publication), he provides drawing advice, tips on story development and hands on artistic demonstrations.

Through humor, Mike offers an inspirational glimpse into the creation of a graphic novel and the ongoing journey of education, trial and error, and experience in the world of illustration. Mike does an interactive multimedia presentation which details a step by step description of Liam O’Donnell and his joint process creating the Tank and Fizz series including; story, character design, thumbnail sketches, pencils, inks, color and finally publication. Several live drawing demonstrations with audience participation highlight the power of visual story telling and an open imagination.

His interactive presentation encourages literature through the Graphic Novel medium to even the most reluctant readers. The one hour (flexible) presentation includes time for questions and answers.

Set up Requirements: projector (to connect to a PC laptop), screen, easel or flipchart for drawing demonstrations and table to display books.

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Simon Shapiro (Toronto ON)

Toronto. 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 within 30 kms of Toronto. Standard kilometrage applies outside that area.

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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Casey Lyall (Strathroy ON)

Middlesex County and London, ON. Writers’ Union Member. Author of books for grades K - middle grade. $250 for one session, $450 for two sessions, $650 for three sessions, $800 for four (a full day). Each session is approximately 1 hour and for younger grades, two 30 minute sessions = a single session fee.

Besides being the author of a range of stories for children, Casey is a library branch assistant experienced in running programs for both elementary and high-school-aged students. Casey aims to entertain and inform while leaving her audience excited about creating their own stories.

Writing Workshops: $400. (Approximately 90 minutes each.)

Virtual Visits: 60 minute Skype visits are also available for $150 a session.

Travel fees: No travel fee if booking within 100km of London, or 150km if booking for a full day. Neighbouring schools can split the full day cost.

Presentation Details:

Casey takes students on an in-depth, behind the scenes look at her path to publication. She shares every part of the process: elementary school writing, failed projects, rejection and editorial letters, as well as revised and finished manuscripts. She offers tips and tricks for finishing a story and how to tackle the dreaded revisions. Other topics Casey will touch on include developing characters, the elements of a mystery, writing with humour, surviving rejection, the value of persistence, and how to find your voice as a writer.

Casey is a very flexible presenter and will adapt her program to suit any audience of grades K and up.

Writing Workshops are also available for smaller groups and run for approximately 90 minutes. (Maximum size is one class.)

Workshop topics available:

Building Your Story - focus on creating a story arc, writing dialogue that crackles, and developing characters and setting.

Making Your Story Shine – focus on pacing, building tension, deepening relationships between characters, and sticking the ending. (Students should have an in-progress story to work on during the session.)

Venue: Casey prefers to present in a classroom or library space.  Maximum group size per session is 3 classes or approximately 100 students. A librarian, teacher, or other school representative should be present throughout the presentation (or workshop if the group is a full class.)

Equipment required: a glass/bottle of water and a table. A microphone for larger groups if the room acoustics require it. Lunch if booked for a full day presentation.

Casey will also deliver presentations for adult writers as well as educators looking to start a student writers’ workshop. Listed pricing would apply.

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Irene Luxbacher (Toronto)

Irene Luxbacher photoToronto ON,  Author/Illustrator, fiction and NF.  Governor General nominee, USBBY winner and Disney Adventure Awards winner.  Multi awards and nominations

$300 plus HST for 1 session.$500 for 2, $650 for 3 and $800 for 4 + travel. Fees include art supplies.

Irene has more than 17 years experience making presentations and teaching visual art to children and adults.  Her specialty is presenting for primary ages, but enjoys making presentations to all when requested. She tailor makes her presentations to compliment teacher lesson plans and current classroom topics or interest.  As the author and illustrator of both art activity books and picture books, she usually presents to 1-2 classes at one time, with groups ranging from 20-30 children.  Because Irene often brings art supplies for demonstrations and craft projects, it is preferable for classes to rotate over the course of the day if more than one presentation is requested.

Presentations by grade

Irene is easy going and flexible with her presentations. She is understanding, warm and engaging. She always makes sure students are drawn into her world of storytelling and art making. A typical presentation usually begins with a brief introduction and the reading or sharing of one of the books she’s either illustrated or written and illustrated.  After some discussion, a theme or idea is arrived at and an art demonstration or workshop follows.  Irene always tries to leave behind a class art project that will keep kids thinking about her books and leave readers with a reminder of the fun that can be had when inspiration and imagination are at play.

Here is an example of her themes by grade:

JK to 2: A 10-15 minute reading of “The Imaginary Garden” by Andrew Larsen followed Q&A on topic of your choice (i.e. gardens, seasons, environment, relationships), Ending with 30 minute group art activity such as a class garden mural project

2 to :4 A 20 minute reading of “Mr. Frank” followed by Q&A on topic of your choice (i.e. different jobs/occupations, fashion history, relationships with elderly family members).  Presentation with students creating a miniature tailor shop of the ages using collage materials.  What time period would you create clothes for? What ages? Why?

4 to 8: A 20 minute reading of “Malaika’s Costume” by Nadia Hohn. Q&A on topics such as immigration, empathy, differing cultures/customs. Presentation ending with the creation of a carnival headpiece reflecting each students own style, interests or emotions.

7 to 12: Irene would do workshops involving students in the art of storytelling through words and images for this age group.  Simplifying text and adding visual content would be discussed and demonstrated.  Some drawing techniques would be shared and students would work on the 32 page format that most picture books come in to be completed in class or at home. Students would have a chance to look through many of Irene’s books and ask questions about the process of coming up with an idea and turning it into a book.

Professional Development Workshops:

Irene loves to involve primary teachers in art making workshops that demonstrate how to make the most of a few supplies and how to ensure a successful lesson.  Ordering art supplies can be daunting and expensive if you’re not sure where to begin. Irene will bring in basic, inexpensive tools and materials and demonstrate their many uses. Irene’s professional development workshops are fun, interactive and lively and will offer teachers valuable information.  Providing a solid foundation of simple techniques that can be applied to any topic will help teachers enjoy using visual art as a teaching and learning tool on a regular basis.

Maximum group sizes for presentations: 20-30.  Workshops are ideal with 7-15 people at a time.

Classrooms or library preferred

Equipment required: A glass of water, A table to organize art supplies and books on.  Irene loves to read her books in a circle, on an open floor area with young children. A large plastic drop-sheet or two to protect desks or work areas from possible paint/glue spills.

*Irene uses art materials that are non-toxic and tools that are age/skill appropriate.

Virtual Visits: $150 plus HST, 60 minutes, Skype.

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Mahtab Narsimhan (Vancouver)

MahtabNarsimhanDLPSWriters' Union Member. Silver Birch winning author available for school, library and conference visits.

Mahtab’s rate is $250 plus HST for one session, $475 for two, $700 for three and $925 for four sessions, plus travel per Canada Council mileage rates.

Mahtab, in Persian, means moonlight. She won the Silver Birch award for her debut novel, The Third Eye. Mahtab enjoys connecting with her readers in interactive presentations and encourages discussions about diversity. She’s comfortable with an adult audience as well as Grades 1-3 for her picture book and Grades 4-8 for her middle-grade/YA novels. As Writer-In-Residence at the TDSB (2014-2016) and presenter at TPL (Sophie’s Studio workshops 2011 and 2016), she has given numerous writing workshops and loves it!

Presentations:

Mahtab tailors her presentations to the age of her audience and makes them fun and interactive. Her talk is peppered with personal anecdotes about the challenges she faces when she writes, as well as tips and tricks she uses to meet her daily goal of 1500 words.  Each presentation is 50 minutes in duration with 10 minutes for Q&A. She also talks about the catalyst that took her from a high-powered corporate executive to becoming a writer.

Mahtab’s books include a strong element of her Indian roots and she encourages discussions and questions on world cultures, and especially diversity.  She immigrated to Canada in 1997 and is happy to  share the struggles she faced while trying to fit into Canada.

She describes the research and planning that goes into each book. She’s writing one about Mars at the moment and hopes to get funding to do first-hand research.

Writing Workshop Topics:

  • Creative writing - Fiction
  • The Danger of a Single Story
  • New Immigrant and Fitting into Canada
  • Myth and Magic

Equipment: A mike, table, projector screen and multi-plug power socket. Flip-chart and markers for workshops.

Venue : All, though libraries and classrooms preferred.  

Maximum number of students per session:  100 for presentations and 16 for workshops. This is slightly flexible so please contact her to discuss.

Virtual Visits:  $150 plus HST, 60 minutes, Skype

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R.J. Anderson (Stratford ON)

Writers' Union Member. Author of thrilling yet thought-provoking speculative fiction for children and teens. $300 for one hour-long session, $525 for two, $750 for three, and $900 for a full day, plus mileage for visits outside local area. Willing to travel anywhere within a 150 km radius from Stratford (which includes most of the GTA); open to travelling further if accommodation and meals are provided.

R. J. (Rebecca) Anderson was born to missionary parents in Uganda, grew up in various parts of Ontario, and has become a bestselling author in England, to her great surprise and delight. Having endured years of bullying in primary school, she loves to encourage creative young minds and inspire readers to think deeply about prejudice and discrimination.

Presentations and Workshops:

Rebecca is a dynamic public speaker with 20+ years’ experience. Her passion is to inspire and educate young and upcoming writers, helping them find their creative voice and take their storytelling to the next level with practical, down-to-earth advice. She also gives lively dramatic readings — no droning or mumbling here!

Although she writes fantasy, Rebecca’s stories are grounded in real-world history, folklore and science, and many of her books feature distinctly Canadian characters and settings. Ultraviolet is set in Sudbury, its companion novel Quicksilver in Kitchener-Waterloo; and A Pocket Full of Murder and its sequel A Little Taste of Poison take place in an alternate-universe version of Toronto during the Great Depression. Her books also touch on serious discussion topics such as prejudice and discrimination (Pocket), disability (Knife), mental illness and neurodivergence (Ultraviolet), and Quicksilver has been widely praised for its frank but sensitive portrayal of asexuality.

In addition to visiting numerous schools, libraries, festivals, and after-school book clubs in person and via Skype, Rebecca has taught writing workshops at a wide variety of events including Packaging Your Imagination, SCBWI Canada East, Write!Canada, Book Camp London, and the Young Authors’ Conference. She is able to tailor her content to the needs and interests of her audience, including Christian and other conservative religious schools, and is happy to work with any age group from Grade 4 to adult.

Sample presentations for general school and library audiences:
- From Brainstorm to Bookstore: The Life Cycle of a Novel
- I Became an Author – You Could Too!
- The Real-World Roots of Fantasy and Science Fiction

Sample writing workshops:
- Finding Your Character’s Voice
- Revision: The Magic Key to Successful Writing
- Writing Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction
- Get (Un)Real: Writing Authentic Fantasy and SF
- Time Management and Motivation for Struggling Writers

Further topics available on request.

Needs:

Microphone for large audiences or rooms with poor acoustics. A small podium or note-stand and a table for books and other items used in the presentation. Bottled water or hot tea appreciated, and for full day bookings, a simple bagged or cafeteria lunch.

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Jeyn Roberts (Windsor ON)

JeynRoberts White Pine winner 2016 & 2013. Young Adult: ages 12 and up. Jeyn is located out of Windsor, Ontario for the next six months and will be happy to travel around the province for school and library visits.

Jeyn's fee: $500 for a half day. $800 for a full day + travel. Multiple school visits - Price negotiable for more than one location to a school district. The more schools involved, the lower the cost.

Jeyn has done school visits and talks for over five years. She comes highly recommended and can provide references on request. She’d been a regular speaker for the Vancouver Library Book Camp and has done events such as ComicCon, the ALA, and the AWP.
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Jeyn Roberts (pronounced Jen - the Y is silent) started writing at an early age, having her first story published when she was 16. When she was 21, she moved to Vancouver with dreams of being a rock star. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in Writing and Psychology. She also lived in England where she received her MA from the prestigious Creative Writing graduate course at Bath Spa University. Jeyn is a former singer, songwriter, actress, bicycle courier and tree planter.

Jeyn mainly does talks to students ranging from 12+. She focuses on discussions on her life as an author, how publication works, and how she got involved in writing. She likes to include her audience with a Q&A system and has never had trouble getting students to engage with her.

She will do workshops on request. She’s done events focusing on plot development, character centered writing, and how to come up with original ideas when everything’s been done to death.

She’s worked with both small groups and large audiences.

Coffee is always appreciated.

$300 an hour for Skype visits.

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Sue Irwin (Grimsby ON)

Writers’ Union Member. Niagara, ON. Teacher. Grades 3 to 8. $250 for one session, $400 for two, $600 for three, $800 for four, plus travel. Happy to do multiple visits in the same school or area in a day. Sessions are 45 to 60 minutes long. Skype visits $150 (45 to 60 min).

Sue Irwin enjoys every step of the writing process. A proud Canadian and avid hockey fan, she’s especially interested in the lives of her fellow-citizens, both famous and not-yet-famous. And she loves to share newly discovered facts with kids. Her work has appeared in AppleSeeds and Highlights for Children magazines. She has also written for Reading A-Z. Safety Stars: Players who fought to make the hard-hitting game of professional hockey safer is her first book.

Nancy Kettles (Grimsby Public Library) recently had this to say about Sue's visit there: "We had a wonderful afternoon with Sue Irwin. They were very engaged by her presentation and asked a lot of questions about hockey, injury, and her experiences as a writer. Her visit was a wonderful addition to Ontario Public Library Week."

An elementary school teacher, Sue is comfortable doing presentations with children from JK to Grade 8, but the subject matter of her book Safety Stars is most suitable for students in Grades 5 to 8. (Resource Guide.)

Having been a fan of the sport for as long as she can remember, Sue thought she knew the game well. But as she conducted her research for the book, she was excited to learn more about the history of the game, its rules, and the competitors themselves. All of the hockey players featured in Safety Stars are Canadian citizens, and many grew up in Ontario. When Sue comes to your school, she’ll highlight the hockey heroes from your hometown, whenever possible. Prepare to be surprised by the fun facts that she’ll share!

Sue’s presentation topics include:

– how she became interested in hockey. She’ll share memories of her first (embarrassing!) game experience.

– the exciting world of nonfiction

– the process of writing for publication (includes researching, writing, and revising)

– Ha, Ha! Hockey Talk (includes hockey trivia and funny quotes from professional players)

– how students’ actions can make a difference in the lives of others

– concussion safety (includes ways to reduce injury risk, concussion symptoms, the importance of reporting injuries, and treatment of concussions)

Sue enjoys interacting with her audience, and will intersperse opportunities for Q & A throughout her presentation.

Equipment and Other Requirements -

A table to display books and other items, a screen for PowerPoint, and a mic for larger groups or questionable acoustics

Venues: Flexible, but the library or a classroom is preferred.

 

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Elly MacKay (Owen Sound)

EllyMacKay Owen Sound ON. Writers' Union Member. Author, illustrator, picture books, Forest of Reading, lightbox, paper, children’s books, primary, workshop, art project.

Elly’s rate is $275 for one session, $475 for two, $675 for three and $800 for four, plus local travel from Toronto when in the area (either taxi or being picked up by a teacher to accommodate her in bringing her miniature theatre and supplies).

Elly’s presentations are a lot of fun and very hands-on. She has a Bachelor of Education and loves teaching all ages.

She will design her presentation to suit the size and age of the group. Her story telling and her unique way of creating illustrations will inspire students. Elly makes her illustrations by setting up layers of paper, lighting the scenes and photographing them. Each group will have an opportunity to see her miniature stage and build a scene together. If the group is smaller in size, they create their own piece of art. With larger groups, materials are left for teachers for an extension activity. A beautiful print of the groups illustration is later sent to the school or library as a keepsake.

Elly requires a small table, outlet, laptop and projector.

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Anne Dublin (Toronto)

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Toronto ON. Writers' Union Member. Historical novels and biographies, multi awards and nominations. Ages 8 and up.

Anne’s rate is: $250 for one session, $400 for two. No travel charges will be incurred within Toronto. Transportation/accommodation fees will apply for presentations outside the Toronto area.

Anne is an experienced and passionate presenter. As the author of historical novels and biographies with Jewish themes and a former teacher-librarian, she adjusts her presentations to various age groups and school curricula. She also enjoys speaking to adults and has shared her stories in retirement homes, churches, synagogues, cafés, and public libraries.

Presentations:
Anne writes historical novels, biographies, and Holocaust literature. She likes to begin her talk with the reasons why she writes and why she chose a particular topic.

Anne uses pictures (PowerPoint and/or hard copies) to help tell the story as she reads from her books. She brings real objects about people and events, and often tells the students about how she found these objects.
Anne talks about the process of doing research: Where she’s travelled, how she learned peculiar and interesting facts, how serendipity often happened along the way.

Anne ends with a Q&A period, and a book signing if requested.

More details:

Grades 4 – 8: The majority of Anne’s books are for this age group. 45 to 60 minutes. Here are themes by book:

44 Hours or Strike: activism, anti-Semitism, clothing trade, employee rights, garment workers, Great Depression, labour unions, strikes, Toronto, women’s prison, women’s rights. Living in the 1930s.

Here is a Teacher's Guide for 44 Hours or Strike.

Odyssey Through Hell: Escape from the Warsaw Ghetto (co-written with Helen Drazek): hidden children, Adolf Hitler, Holocaust survivors, immigration, memoir, Montreal, Nazism, Poland, Righteous Gentiles, Warsaw, Warsaw Ghetto, Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, World War II.

Stealing Time: ancient Egypt, atomic clock, Bandoran (Ireland), clocks and watches, divorce, Sandford Fleming, John Harrison, London (England), medieval China, medieval France, monastery, Ottawa, Plymouth (CT), Prague, remarriage, step-brother, Eli Terry, time travel.

The Baby Experiment: Amsterdam (Netherlands), anti-Semitism, experiments on people, Hamburg (Germany), Leibnitz, orphans, orphanage. Living in 1700s.

Here are Teacher's Guides for Stealing Time and The Baby Experiment.

The Orphan Rescue: anti-Semitism, child labour, orphans, orphanage, poverty, Sosnowiec (Poland). Living in 1937.

Dynamic Women Dancers: activists, ballet, Bharatanatyam, biography, choreographers, flamenco, modern dance, overcoming problems, women dancers.

June Callwood: Avro Arrow, biography, Canada, Casey House, Digger House, Globe and Mail, Great Depression, human rights, Jessie’s Centre, journalist, Macleans, Nellie’s, Toronto, Trent Frayne, women aviators.

Bobbie Rosenfeld: arthritis, athletes, Barrie (Ontario), biography, Canada, coming to Canada, Globe and Mail, Great Depression, hockey, Jewish, immigration, sports writers, Summer Olympics, Toronto, track and field, women athletes.

Presentation Details:

Anne is happy to speak to Grade 4 and up, and prefers to be in a library or classroom.

Audience size: 50 – 75 is preferred; 150 maximum

Technical requirements: Laptop, projector and screen. If room is overly large or noisy (gym), please provide a microphone (wireless preferred) and a lectern. A table to display books and materials is helpful.

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Rona Arato (Toronto)

 

RonaArato2Writers Union Member. Historical fiction, non-fiction and biography. Multiple award winner and accomplished speaker.

Rona’s rate is $250 per one-hour session, $450 for two sessions, $700 for three sessions and $900 for a full day. There is no travel charge within the GTA. For travel outside the GTA, the standard kilometrage applies. Virtual visits are $250 for a one-hour presentation.

Rona is an accomplished speaker. She is comfortable with audiences of children and adults. Rona has spoken at schools, libraries, historical societies, and conferences. She conducts writing classes and workshops for all age groups.

As a former teacher, Rona understands what teachers and school librarians want from an author’s visit. She uses an interactive reading/discussion approach to involve children and excite their curiosity. Rona links her presentations to current issues such as immigration, bullying, and social responsibility. A theme that runs through much of her work is that one person can, and often does, make a significant difference. By involving the children in examining these issues, she helps them think about the way they interact with friends, family and the community at large.

Rona has a PowerPoint presentation for each book, with images that bring the stories to life. For example, for The Last Train, a Holocaust Story, she has pictures taken by the American soldiers who liberated the death train. Her presentation for Working for Freedom, the Story of Josiah Henson, includes pictures that are excellent for Black History month.  For Ice Cream Town, her pictures include historic photos of New York’s Lower East Side, and Ellis Island. For her latest book, The Ship to Nowhere, on Board the Exodus, her presentation includes pictures of the historic ship, the refugees on board and her protagonist, Rachel and her family.

Rona’s presentations are PowerPoint and she requires an LCD projector (provided by the school or library), a screen, and a microphone if speaking in an auditorium or gym. If a laptop is available, she will bring her presentation on a USB flash drive. If not, she will bring her own laptop.

Rona teaches several workshops including one on the difference between fiction and non-fiction and a creative writing workshop that she calls “Painting with Words,” on how to make stories come alive.

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Sigmund Brouwer (AB)

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Alberta. Writers’ Union Member. Sigmund delivers fun and motivating large-group presentations via his Rock and Roll Literacy Presentation, and on-going classroom workshops with his Writer In Residence program. He also has a multi-media presentation on The Battle of Vimy Ridge, based on his new title, Innocent Heroes: Animals in War and The Battle of Vimy Ridge.

Audiences of up to 400. One session at $475 plus GST with discounts for multiple presentations in a single location. More details on fees can be found below the photo gallery.

As one of the authors of the Seven Series, the Seven The Sequel series and The Seven Prequel Series, Sigmund’s Rock and Roll Literacy uses a mixture of story and music and video for entertaining large-group presentations that deliver simple but key points about reading and writing skills, and that motivate students to want to put stories on paper.

Sigmund welcomes audiences of up to 400 in an assembly, and his rate is $475 plus GST for one session, $700 plus GST for two sessions, $900 plus GST for three sessions. These fees include his travel expenses of airfare and car rental and hotel and meals. Sigmund is a member of The Writers’ Union of Canada, so schools wishing to invite him maybe be eligible for a travel and subsidy fee to off-set the cost of his visit. If a school has booked Sigmund for a presentation during the day, and wishes to include an evening Family Literacy presentation, Sigmund’s evening fee is reduced and the fee is donated to Operation Smile on the school’s behalf, so that a boy or girl with a cleft palate will receive a new smile.

Each presentation includes a free ebook for every student at every age level, and a free novel in ebook format for the teachers. The librarian receives a Story Diva t-shirt as a present during the event; there is also a comprehensive pre-presentation package for each teacher to help get the most from the author visit, as well as story starters for after the visit. His rockandroll-literacy website is packed with teacher resources.

Sigmund also presents the The Battle of Vimy Ridge for large-group assemblies. By focusing on how war animals helped soldiers, he ensures it is a suitable presenation for grades 3 and up. It is a multi-media presentation with music and video that helps students understand the importance of this battle in Canadian history, how Canadian soldiers accomplished what few believed was possible, and how students can apply lessons from the battle into their own lives. (Along with great writing advice!)

Sigmund also has a successful Writer In Residence program for schools that gives unlimited access to his ebook collection, and virtual author visits.

Here’s what some who’ve seen Rock and Roll Literacy have to say:

"It is really challenging to find presenters who can engage the entire school, and Sigmund definitely did. He had great messages for the students e.g. always remembering writing for your audience and make your writing interesting, but he wrapped his messages up with cool short stories, engaging music, and active participation."

"Just to let everyone know we had author Sigmund Brouwer at our school this morning! HE WAS ONE OF THE BEST presenters we have ever had. The students and staff were thrilled, entertained and inspired by the presentation.”

Virtual Visits to the classroom: $75, 30 minutes. Includes a free ebook for each student and and the chat is turned into a souvenir video for students to watch at any time via private website link.

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Philippa Dowding (Toronto)

Toronto. Writers’ Union Member. Fiction writer. JK to 8. Philippa’s rate is $300 per session, $550 for two, or $750 for three sessions, + travel expenses outside GTA (for example, GO Bus and GO Train).

Philippa is an award-winning copywriter, a poet, and an acclaimed children’s author. She is a lively and entertaining presenter, often accompanied by her guitar and gargoyle puppet. Her presentations and writing workshops have been promoted and endorsed by the Toronto Public Library. Her children's books have been nominated for numerous literary awards, including the White Raven commendation from the International Youth Library in Munich.

Philippa can talk to groups large or small, from grades JK to 8, and will tailor her 1-hour presentation to your needs and students, as follows:

Lost Gargoyle Series (ages 8-12): includes a powerpoint presentation, textbook images, a gargoyle puppet, music, and author reading.  Students discuss gargoyles, medieval times, loneliness, friendship, homelessness, inclusion and difference, the writer's craft and more.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer? (All ages): Philippa combines the top 10 questions she gets asked by students into one interesting and colourful powerpoint discussion which answers questions like: when did you know you wanted to be a writer, who gets to pick what goes on the cover of your books, what does a manuscript look like and more.

Any presentation includes audience participation, Q&A, and for younger grades Philippa can also bring her guitar.

Maximum group sizes for presentations: 60 for JK to grade 2. 100+ for everyone else.

Writing Workshops work best wish 16 or so participants

Writing Workshop Topics:

Be the Beanstalk: Grow a story. How to tell a story which is more than just who, what, where and when.

Who is this character really? Techniques for character development beyond hair and eye colour!

Book covers, blurbs, bookmarks and bios. How to write like an artist and think like a copywriter.

Games, games, games: Let your students explore their creativity through these guided (and hilarious) writing games.

All Venues, including library, school, bookstore or outdoor event.

Equipment required: laptop to run powerpoint presentation if possible (she will provide the memory key), projector and screen (or suitable wall or surface). A table and microphone for larger groups or in the gym. A glass of water, cup of tea or coffee.

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