Adrienne Kress (Toronto)

Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Writers’ Union Member.Middle Grade, YA.Winner Heart of Hawick Award (UK). Adrienne Kress’s The Explorers has been optioned by Walt Disney Film Studios.

$300+HST for a single session; $500+HST for two sessions; $900+HST for a full day. Prices for larger groups, workshops, panels, etc., to be negotiated*. Outside the Toronto area, add kilometrage and accommodation as necessary.

Adrienne Kress is a Toronto-born actor and author with six novels to her credit, as well as essays, plays and short stories. She has spoken to children and adults in a large variety of circumstances, from school assemblies and classroom workshops to writers’ associations and conference panels. Her presentations have taken her across Canada, the United Kingdom and the US. Adrienne is a dynamic, skillful speaker, insightful, knowledgeable and fun to be with.


Readings based on middle grade books are geared towards children in grades 4, 5, 6 and 7.  They are 45 minutes to 11⁄2 hours in length depending on needs.  The preferred group size is up to 60 children, and the preferred site is the library, but Adrienne can speak to larger groups in other venues.  She has spoken to small groups in a cozy huddle on the floor in a library and to large groups of a couple of hundred in gyms and auditoriums.

As a passionate author, professional actor and teacher, Adrienne brings a large array of skills to her readings.  She starts with a short talk about “how a book gets published” and “working with your editors is like working with your teacher,” continues with a dramatic reading from one of the books and ends with a question period and a book signing opportunity. When her session arises from one of her more swashbuckling books, Adrienne is happy to add a fencing lesson.


Presentations can be geared to any audience, for example, Writer’s Craft classes, writers’ groups, book clubs.   The length of the presentation varies according to the needs of the group, but is most often 1 to 11⁄2 hours in length.  The content can be individualized to suit the interests of the group, but usually covers topics like the trials and tribulations of getting published (including how to get a literary agent), the writing process, working with an editor, identifying your audience, trends in modern literature and the importance of studying past works and authors.


Workshops can be geared to any audience, for example, elementary school students, Writer’s Craft classes, writers’ groups, book clubs. The length of the presentation varies according to the needs of the group but is most often 11⁄2 hours to 3 hours in length, though it can be expanded.  The content usually covers topics like honing your writing skills, creating your own voice, creating a “world” for your writing, the use of dialogue, humour – its types and where to use it­­– identifying your audience, etc.


Shortlisted for Red Cedar (BC), Audie (US audio book awards), Manitoba Young Readers Choice Awards, The Quill Awards. Winner of The Heart of Hawick Children’s Book Award (UK)


Middle Grade Novels:

The Explorers – The Door in the Alley (Delcourte Random House) (optioned by Disney)

Hatter Madigan – Ghost in the H.A.T.B.O.X. (Automatic Publishing, with Frank Beddor)

Timothy and the Dragon’s Gate(Scholastic)

Alex and the Ironic Gentleman(Scholastic)

Young Adult Novels:

Outcast (Diversion Books, Paranormal Romance)

The Friday Society (Dial Penguin, Steampunk)

Short Stories: In Wow! 366 (UK) and Corsets and Clockwork(USA/UK)

 Essays: Collected in The Girl Who Was On Fire,The Secret Loves of GeekGirls, and CompleteGuide to Writing for Young Adults

 Plays: Sleepy Hollow (Solar Stage Children’s Theatre)  A Weekend in the Country (Adult – TorontoSummerworksFestival  and Edinburgh Festival Fringe)

To book Adrienne, contact Cynthia Kress:

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Dave Atkinson (PEI)

Dave Atkinson. Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.  Writers' Union Member. Dave is a fun and funny Hackmatack-nominated Middle Grade author, journalist, and broadcaster.

One session is $225, two for $400, three for $550 and 4 for $700. Plus HST and local travel.

Dave Atkinson is a children’s author, journalist, columnist, and broadcaster. His first novel for middle-grade readers, Wereduck, was nominated for the 2016 Hackmatack Children’s Choice Award. Dave is a multiple award-winning journalist whose work for the CBC has appeared on The Current, Atlantic Voice, Tapestry, Maritime Magazine, and regional radio programs across the country. He and his wife are homeschooling their three silly kids in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

Dave’s presentations are fast paced, funny, and a lot of fun. A professional broadcaster, he is able to freely flow from animated readings of his books to discussions about writing, publishing, and how to take the mystery out of the creative process. Dave can grab the attention of students and pull them into his stories, but still allow for a fluid, student-led conversation with lots of questions. Discussions often touch on where ideas come from, how to turn those ideas into tangible stories, and how to learn to love the red ink of a teacher or editor. Dave is available year-round in the Maritimes. He tours through Ontario in the fall and spring. Contact him for dates or to make special arrangements.

Dave’s presentations are geared towards Grades 3 through 6. He is comfortable with individual classes and groups as large as 90. Dave requires a bottle of water and a microphone when speaking to larger groups.

Dave will facilitate workshops for adults on writing for kids, getting noticed by a publisher, working with an editor, and promoting your work in traditional and social media. Fees are adjustable by the length of the workshop.

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Hazel Hutchins (Canmore AB)

Blue Spruce nominee for Snap. Writers' Union Member. $500 for two sessions, $725 for three sessions and $900 for four sessions plus HST and a flat fee for travel and accommodation of $100 per day. Hazel's spring 2017 Ontario schedule is now FULL.

Hazel enjoys giving lively presentations to students from kindergarten through grade six. She is an experienced author whose award winning picture books and middle grade novels (over fifty titles in all) have taken her to schools, libraries, young writer's conferences, literary celebrations and young reader programs all across Canada. Carefully adjusting her presentation to the ages, interests and attention levels of the students before her at any given time, Hazel's lighthearted approach passes along useful information while building enthusiasm for reading and writing of all kinds.
“.... we all learned something – children and adults alike!” Taleblazers Festival, 2012.

Ages: Kindergarten to Grade 6.

Please keep students within one or two grade levels of each other in any one session.

JK and K are best together, without older grades, and for 45 minutes rather than the full hour.

Numbers: 60 to 100 students per session works best. Larger numbers negotiable but please ask.

Location: A library, music room or multiple-use room always works better than a gymnasium if at all possible. Please seat students on the floor, carpet or mats rather than in chairs. Thank you!

Equipment: A screen (or white wall), an extension cord, a table, and two ordinary chairs.

If it is necessary to use the gym then a sound system is needed please. (Try to avoid the gym if possible.)

Presentation Descriptions:

Story Fun for K - Grade 2

What makes a story special? How do stories become books? Using engaging visuals and lively storytelling—as well as chants, finger plays and active involvement from the students themselves—Hazel gives a fun introduction to story building for this youngest of audiences.

Tips, Tricks and Keeping it Real for Grades 3 - 6

By sharing her writing experiences from creating stories of all kinds—picture books, chapter books, a YA novel and beyond—Hazel helps readers and writers in the middle grades see the stories within themselves in new light. Topics include discovering ideas that work, building stronger characters, coming up with great endings, the painful necessity of rewriting, unusual research and enjoying the process along the way.

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Diane Carmel Léger (New Brunswick)

D.C. Léger-1Writers’ Union member. Award-winning Acadian author, who does her own translations. Former French Immersion Teacher. Primary, middle grade and intermediate presenter. Three 60 min. presentations a day: $325 for 1, $575 for 2, $775 for 3. For K-1, two 30 min. presentations count for 1.  Plus travel expenses.

Diane is eager to share her latest picture books, My Two Grandmothers and Mémére Soleil, Nannie-Lune, which are playful and loving comparisons of her Acadian and Scottish grandmothers.
A polished presenter in both languages, Diane has toured schools and libraries in Canada and the U.S, since 1991. All of her presentations prove that it is easier to write about what you know.

1-K-1 30 min. / 30 students max.

My Two Grandmothers or Mémére Soleil, Nannie Lune
-Reading with projected illustrations

2- Gr. 2-4   60 min. / 60 students max.
a) Maxine’s Tree, Who’s in Maxine’s Tree? or L’arbre de Maxine, Qui est dans l’arbre de Maxine ?
-Reading of one of the books with projected illustrations
-Slide show of the real Maxine’s Tree* depicting her family’s efforts to save a rainforest
-Comical excerpts from My Two Grandmothers

b) Emily Carr’s Attic or Le grenier d’Emily Carr
-Reading with projected illustrations
-Brief slide show of Emily Carr’s menagerie, attic art, and paintings
-Author’s experiences living in Emily Carr’s house
-Comical excerpts from My Two Grandmothers or Mémére Soleil, Nannie Lune
3- Grades 5-6   60 min. / 60 students max.

Piau’s Potato Present or La patate cadeau ou la vraie histoire de la poutine râpée
Since studying Acadian History at the Université de Moncton, Diane’s passion has been to make this little known part of our history more accessible. She succeeded in doing so with La butte à Pétard, which has  been continuously published and studied in Canadian and Cajun schools for over 25 years. Recently, this novel has been optioned for a film.

-Brief reading
-Dynamic interactive version of Acadian History, with slides of historical sites such as Port-Royal, Louisbourg, Fort Beauséjour, Île-à-Piau and the butte à Pétard hideout.

4- Gr. 7-8 60 min. / 60 students or 100 if in an auditorium

La trilogie de la butte à Pétard  à  La patate cadeau
-An adapted version of the Gr. 5-6 presentation
Requirements: Projector or smart board, table for books and props, lapel microphone

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Darren Groth (Vancouver)

Darren Groth 3Vancouver BC. Writers’ Union Member. YA. Aussie adopted by Canada; GG Finalist,  BC Book Prizes, multi awards in Australia. Fees: $300 for 1 session, $500 for 2, $700 for 3, $850 for 4 (plus HST). Because. A day can be shared between two cooperating schools.

For the GTA (and Toronto bookings near GO stations), Darren can GO TRAIN (not buses or subway) travel both ways all day; he requires pick up and drop off at the GO stations. Where GO Trains are not feasible, car or taxi pick-up from Darren’s hotel is requested.

Bio: Darren is a Canozzie (Canadian-Australian), ex-PE teacher, proud ASD parent and author of five novels, including the acclaimed YA work ‘Are You Seeing Me?’, winner of the 2016 Adelaide Festival Award for YA Literature (Australia) and finalist for seven major prizes on both sides of the Pacific including the Governor General’s Literary Awards and the BC Book Prizes.

Presentations: Despite his occasional confounding accent and Aussie-isms, Darren is a brilliant speaker and presenter for schools, libraries and writing organizations. Presentations include:

  • ‘Seven Pieces of Priceless Advice from Perry’; an entertaining insight into the decorated YA novel ‘Are You Seeing Me?’ and an exploration of life lessons provided by protagonist, Perry Richter; includes two interactive games with prizes: ‘AYSM Numbers’ and ‘Jackie Chan or Ogopogo’; Grades 5-12; 60 minutes; suitable for individual classes or large groups.
  • ‘Coming to Canada’; a reflective and humourous look at cultural difference in Darren’s fiction, teaching and real life; includes one interactive game with prizes: ‘Aussie Interpretations’; Grades 5-12; 60 minutes; suitable for individual classes or large groups.

Workshops: Darren is a facilitator highly skilled in co-operative learning techniques. His sessions are designed to not only produce great writing, but also great collaboration. Workshops include:

  • ‘Authorship: The FAQ’; a comprehensive and interactive overview of ‘insider’ author knowledge; includes five co-operative group exercises; half-day, only for creative writing groups (max. 16); suitable for secondary students and adults.
  • ‘Seeing is Believing’; a flyover of the ‘Are You Seeing Me?’ journey, from conception to publication; includes two co-operative group exercises; 60-90 minutes; only for creative writing groups (max. 16); suitable for secondary students and adults.
  • ‘Small Stories, Big Dreams: Adventures in Flash Fiction’; a deep dive into the world of flash fiction, its craft, its creation and its publishing opportunities; includes multiple writing exercises, an open mike session, and a competition/prizes; half- or full day; only for creative writing groups (max. 16); suitable for secondary students and adults.

Equipment requirements: Water, tea, lunch (Vegemite sandwich lol) if staying for the day. A screen and projector for Power Point.

Virtual Visits: $100 plus HST, 30 minutes; $150 plus HST, 60 minutes Skype.

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Natalie Hyde (Cambridge)

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ON, Cambridge. Writers’ Union Member. Middle grade and YA author. Fiction and non-fiction. 3x Silver Birch Express nominee. Award nominations in Canada and U.S. Grade 3 and up.

Natalie’s rate is $250 for one session, $450 for two, $600 for three, and $800 for four, plus travel from Cambridge.

Natalie Hyde is the author of over forty-five books, from middle grade and YA novels to non-fiction on a wide range of topics. An engaging and enthusiastic presenter, she encourages audience participation with interactive presentations.

"Natalie's warm personality and open smile engage elementary students to listen and learn from her experience creating both fiction and non-fiction material. Her visual presentations allow students to see how a book is compiled from concept ideas to the final product. Natalie's wide range of titles for Elementary students offer the high interest of Non-Fiction for reluctant readers with her works of fiction that entice students to simply enjoy the pleasure of a good book,” says Cambridge Libraries outreach coordinator, Sandra Sydor.

Presentation Details

Setup Requirements: Natalie requires a projector suitable for Power Point hookup. For auditorium or gym presentations a microphone would be appreciated. She requests that a librarian, teacher, or other school representative be present throughout the presentation.

Grades 3 – 6: (approximately 40 minutes) Natalie starts by talking about what it’s like to be an author, her writing process and her path to publication including the value of rejections. Then, students are taken on a ‘behind the pages look’ at the research and writing of the text, where they discover the real stories behind the story. Using the example of the seed idea for one of her novels, they have fun learning how to turn everyday happenings in story ideas. She invites and enjoys answering questions.

Grades 3 – 6: (approximately 50 minutes) Writing non-fiction is like going on a treasure hunt to find the truth of a subject. Natalie likes to give some examples of things she has learned about our fascinating world through her own non-fiction research and then present the journey a manuscript goes through from rough first draft through many rounds of revision to finished book using visuals of actual examples of her non-fiction books, Cryptic Canada and Glow-in-the-dark Creatures. Finally, she invites questions.

Grades 5 - 8: (approximately 50 minutes) Natalie likes to start by talking about what it’s like to be an author, her writing process and her path to publication including the value of rejections. Then she likes to reveal the real hockey girls that inspired the novel, Hockey Girl. With the help of a PowerPoint presentation, students look at differences in hockey from the time of the original hockey girls until today. She ends with a question and answer session.


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