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.
Melanie is an animated speaker who enjoys bringing props to her presentations, which may or may not include her first writings (and most definitely not her journal from when she was 12-years-old). Geared to grades 5 and up, her presentations can be adapted to the grade level and/or size of group. All presentations discuss path to publication, writing life, with a focus on research best practices, and the writing process. Depending upon the length of the book talk, details to be explored can also include any or all of the following:
• The life and times of L.M. Montgomery, author of Anne of Green Gables
• L.M. Montgomery as Teen Writer
• History of women during late-19th century Canada – L.M. Montgomery and her contemporaries
• Larger discussion on how to write historical fiction
Writing Historical Fiction: This 1 to 2-hour writing workshop provides an outline and framework on best practices in writing historical fiction, including the difference between primary and secondary sources, important questions to consider, as well as focusing on plotting, character, structure, description and dialogue. Workshop can be adapted for time requirements.
Journal Writing: Many writers, such as Anne Frank and L.M. Montgomery, used journal writing to explore their feelings about the world and work on their writing. This workshop shows how journal writing can not only be the first step in the writing journey, but it also be a tool for self-exploration and examination. This 1 to 2-hour writing workshop gives students the opportunity to tap into their creativity, while also exploring freewriting, discussions on the inner critic and strategies for writer’s block.
Equipment and Other Requirements
For lectures and talks, 30 to 50 students, but will take larger groups for lectures. For writing workshops, 16 or so.
I’ll require a table, water, laptop & projector for PowerPoint, and access to a microphone for larger groups or in the gym.
For writing workshops, a white board or flip paper with markers. Students should come with a notebook and pencil or pens. No laptops or cell phones, please.
Booking Nov 7 to 9, 2017. Writer’s Union member. Writer of YA, Middle Grade, Poetry, Picture Books, Plays, Fiction & Non-Fiction.
Amanda’s rate is $300 for 1 workshop/presentation, $500 for 2, $750 for 3, plus HST. Travel costs from Perth. Travel and accommodation costs negotiable for multiple day residencies.
Amanda combines careers as a writer, theatre director and calligrapher. Over the course of 30 years, she has combined these skills to present workshops and readings to children, youth and adults in schools and libraries across Ontario.
Readings/Presentations: Grades 5 – 12. Audience up to 300. 50 – 60 minutes.
Workshops: Grades 1 – 12. Participants up to 30 per session. 1 – 2 hours.
“War From Both Sides” tells the story behind the story, revealing the true events and people that inspired the novels September 17 and The Pact. Slides show the children from England and Germany that are represented in the books, illustrating the challenges faced during wartime. The focus is on an empathetic understanding of World War 2 from a child’s perspective view. Topic discussed include propaganda, indoctrination, racism, and survival. Readings from both books are followed by a Q & A.
“Jazz and The Tempest” explores the creation of a novel in verse and prose. Manuscript examples explore how sound and rhythm can reflect character and pace. Slides show historical influences and aid a discussion on research. A reading from a work-in-progress, These Are Not the Words, is followed by a Q&A.
Equipment And Other Requirements: A projector compatible with a MAC or a computer for a memory stick.
“The Look and Sound of Words”: Working with sound and visual clues, and drawing on aspects of theatre improvisation, the workshop moves participants into character creation, point of view and dialogue. The workshop focuses on playing with words as the basic building blocks of writing.
“Illuminated Letters”: The workshop starts with writing exercises to create simple poems based on participants’ names. Participants are then shown how to draw Versal letters in the style of 15th Century Books of Hours. Small accordion fold books are created using the poems as text, starting each with an illuminated letter. The workshop helps to develop a love and passion for letters, combining writing skills with artwork.
“The Story Behind the Picture”: A picture can tell you a lot about a person. But it’s the writer who discovers who that person is and how they fit into a story. This workshop will use photographs and pictures to get participants creating characters and inventing unique and vibrant stories.
Workshop Equipment And Other Requirements: Students require paper and pencil/pen. Amanda will bring markers, coloured pencils, additional paper and handouts as appropriate.
Booking for May 2018 Writers Union Member. A professional liar since 1988, Marty writes books for kids and plays for adults. He’s also a keynote speaker, television screenwriter, radio dramatist, and raconteur.
Marty charges $400 plus HST for one hour-long session, $600 for two presentations, and $825 for three. He charges $1,000 for a full day visit, which allows you to schedule as many sessions as you like into the regular school day. Marty’s fees cover his travel and accommodation from Alberta, and he will offset travel costs through The Writers Union of Canada’s reading program.
If you book a full-day visit and want a family literacy event on the same day, Marty will waive the costs for the evening presentation.
The son of immigrants, Marty grew up in a French-Canadian town where he was the only Chinese kid at school. Bullied and friendless, he found sanctuary in the school library where a teacher-librarian inspired this reluctant reader to fall in love with books. Using his sense of humour, Marty turned bullies into buddies and transformed his passion for literacy into a lifelong career as a writer.
A versatile presenter with a background in theatre, Marty can present to any age and any size audience. He tailors his presentations according to grade levels, creating a unique experience for each group he visits. His sessions incorporate storytelling, humour, games, stage magic, and improv that ignite a passion for literacy in audiences from age 5 to 55. Marty has presented keynote speeches for teachers and librarians, led writing workshops for adults, performed at children’s festivals, and emceed large-scale cultural events.
Venues: Marty is able to present in any venue, but he prefers the library.
Some of his sessions include:
JK to 1: For the price of one full session ($400 plus HST), Marty will deliver two 30-minute storytelling sessions featuring Chinese folktales and stage magic. He’ll also reveal the real-life cats behind his hilarious picture book, True Story. (Maximum audience: 50.)
Grades 2 – 3: With a dose of humour, Marty recounts the real-life childhood experiences that inspired The Mystery of the Frozen Brains and improvises a scene with a few students as the stars of the story. (Maximum audience: 100+)
Grades 4 – 6: Keep the lights on for this thrilling talk about Marty’s scary series, Keepers of the Vault, which was inspired by his haunted elementary school. This session is sure to make a few kids jump out of their seats. (Maximum audience: 100+)
Grades 7 and up: Marty reveals the research he did to write The Ehrich Weisz Chronicles, a steampunk fantasy series featuring magician and escape artist Harry Houdini as the protagonist. Marty will show kids all types of shackles as well as a regulation straitjacket, from which he will attempt to escape. (Maximum audience: 100+)
Keynote sessions: Marty can present a keynote session for mixed grade levels or a family literacy night. His keynotes incorporate elements of humour, storytelling, stage magic, and inspiring stories of overcoming discrimination. (Maximum audience: 400).
Writing workshops: Want to go behind the scenes? Marty shares tips on writing thrillers, creating conflict, and crafting plays. He presents workshops for grades 3 – 12 as well as writing seminars for adults. (Maximum audience: 30.)
Virtual visits: $100 plus HST for a half-hour Skype session.
Teachers and librarians have this to say about Marty’s sessions:
“Wow! What a performance! It is hard to say who enjoyed it more, the students or the staff. We were all captivated with Marty Chan and his engaging, entertaining, and informative presentation. The students were asking for him to come visit us again minutes after the presentation ended. From the moment he began to speak, he enthralled us with details of his journey to become an author. His interactive presentation style and use of humour made his writing process come alive for the students, and murmurs of “I want to become a writer” could be heard rippling through the audience…pure gold to a teacher’s ears!” - Nikki Haight, Prince Philip Public School
“Marty engaged a very difficult group of junior high students the ENTIRE presentation. We have never had a presenter come in who was able to capture and hold their attention. This was awesome. Students were even commenting on their way out the room how amazing he was. It was so great to hear them excited about something related to learning. Students were talking about his presentation for days after. The students say he was the best author they have ever seen.” – Janet Kraft, Ralston School
Marty Chan was able to mesmerize children from kindergarten to grade three with his combination of magic, sketching, story-telling and total body language. His inclusion of Chinese folk tales was a good fit for our grade threes, as they were studying different cultures and traditions as part of the Social Studies curriculum. In choosing children from the audience to act out his tales, the performance aspect of the Language Arts curriculum was enhanced. All the students were willingly engaged in listening, another component of the language arts curriculum. Our staff were delighted by his revision demonstration, using his “magic book”. The next day when a student was asked to add details to his story draft, he smiled and said,” Just like Marty Chan, right?” – Susan Schneider, I.F. Cox School
Marty needs a table to set his props and a glass of water. In a larger venue like the gym, Marty will need a microphone and stand as well as a projector and screen.
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)
Available Oct 16 to 20. Alberta. Writers' Union Member. In Canada, Natasha’s family found refuge from the political and racial violence of Guyana, South America. Her experiences as a child of two nations are the foundation for her dynamic presentations, which help students find the story and power that lives inside them. She routinely speaks to an entire school during the course of a half day, and travel costs are included in her fee. $550 + GST for half day (2 sessions, or entire school in one), $1000 + GST for a full day.
“You captured the attention of over 500 students in grades 4-8 from the moment you said your first sentence. You did not simply give a talk, but a gift, to our children.” ~ Kari-Ann Ellery, Teacher-Librarian
Natasha Deen’s books have been described as “gripping” (School Library Connection), “engaging” (CM Magazine) and “feel good” (VOYA). Students enjoy her sessions because she makes them laugh and help them see it’s okay to be different. Teachers appreciate the presentations because they connect with curriculum and showcase writing skills in easy to implement ways.
"Don't split your infinitives, careful of dangling participles, i before e -- except after c, know the difference between its and it's." Writing is difficult work, and often, by the time students are done learning the mechanics and rules, they've forgotten the best part of writing: it delivers STORY and stories change the world!
Natasha's dynamic sessions celebrate the funny, sometimes sad, moments of being a kid and being part of an immigrant family. She uses her experiences to connect with students on the universal moments of growing up: feeling different, wanting friends, being bullied, and hilarious moments when the grown-ups act more like kids.
During her visit, she also talks about why Canada is the most amazing country to live in (her family moved to Canada from Guyana to escape the country’s political and racial violence), falling in love with the book she assured her mother she would hate, and her hilarious (and often, disastrous!) attempts to make friends in school. Through the presentation, she weaves in literacy tips as well as themes of inclusion, diversity, resiliency, and embracing individualism.
Students will come away with two important lessons:
Writing is a way to deliver the part that's most fun: STORY
In life, just as in writing, it's not about where you start, but where you end.
Natasha has specific presentations for FDK, Grades 1-3, Grades 4-6, Grades 7-9, Grades 10-12, as well as presentations for mixed-age audiences (i.e. K-8). She is also happy to customize her presentations/workshops per your students' needs.
A speaker, projector, and microphone for presentations or large rooms/audiences
Whiteboard/smartboard, projector for writing workshops
Middlesex County and London, ON. Writers’ Union Member. Middle grade author. $250 for one session, $450 for two sessions, $650 for three sessions, $800 for four (a full day). (Each session is approximately 1 hour.)
Casey is the author of the middle grade mystery series, Howard Wallace, P.I. She 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.
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.
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 three and up. Each presentation is approximately 1 hour with time allowed for student Q&A throughout.
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. Please contact her for more details.
Writers’ Union Member. GG finalist. MG, YA Fiction. $325 for one presentation, $575 for two, $850 for three, $1000 for four, + travel (no travel costs within GTA). Full day fee can be split between two neighbouring schools. Out of town visits require two or more bookings.
Deborah Kerbel was born in a police station, smack-dab in the centre of London, England. She moved to Canada before she was old enough to cultivate a posh accent or a love of marmalade. She grew up in Toronto and is now the author of six highly-acclaimed novels for kids and teens. From school groups to large events and international festivals, she’s an experienced presenter and enthusiastic speaker who uses an interactive style to engage her audience. Deborah loves visiting schools, travelling, sharing her passion for books, and meeting readers and writers of all ages. Based in Thornhill, Ontario, she’s the proud mom of two book-loving kids, both of whom continue to inspire many of her story ideas.
Deborah’s 60 min presentation consists of:
-details about her Middle Grade and/or Young Adult novels (depending on ages present)
-motivation, rejection, determination, and the rocky road to publication
-interactive PowerPoint quiz about famous children’s authors
-discussion about where ideas come from
-personal anecdotes about writing
-reading and Q&A session
-each student receives a signed bookmark
Grades: 4 - 8
Maximum number of students per session: 60-80 (flexible)
Venue: All acceptable, but library preferred.
Equipment requirements: Projector and screen, glass of water, microphone for larger groups
Deborah enjoys mentoring emerging writers through workshops, library visits, and short-story competitions. Her interactive workshop is designed to help emerging writers take their craft to the next level. Participants can expect to come away with a variety of creative new ideas and material for their writing as well as the tools to implement them. During the final part of the workshop, participants will take several minutes to write a scene using some of the character traits, setting ideas, and action scenes that were collectively brainstormed within the group.
Toronto 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.
Vancouver 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.
North Bay, ON, Writer's Union Member. Historical fiction for middle grade and YA readers. Red Cedar Nominee
$250 plus HST for 1 session, $450 plus HST for 2 sessions, $650 plus HST for 3 sessions, and $850 plus HST for 4 sessions, plus travel.
Heather is an experienced presenter with small and large groups. Thirty years of teaching have prepared her for settings that include the classroom, library, and auditorium.
What Teachers Can Expect
Heather believes in interactive presentations. She uses her middle grade historical fiction, Amelia and Me, to take grade 3 to 7 students on a trip to Harbour Grace, Newfoundland in 1932. From there, Amelia Earhart began her solo transatlantic flight. This location was also where she met Heather's aunt, Ginny. Their meeting was the beginning of an incredible adventure.
Students will be offered a hands-on experience in order to explore the geography, history, food, dress, music, and dancing of Newfoundland. Themes such as friendship, family, bullying, conflict, and early aviation can be explored further at the teacher's request. Heather is happy to examine topics that meet the curriculum expectations for a particular grade. Presentations are geared to the interests and needs of each group.
In grades 8 to 12, Heather uses her YA historical fiction, Taking Flight, to examine topics related to aviation, World War II, the Ferry Command, Amelia Earhart, Purdue University in 1936, women in higher education, and men and women in non-traditional roles. The impact of world events on family, relationships, and the community may be included. She is happy to explore the writing process with grade 8 to 12 students as well.
Because of her experience in curriculum writing, Heather is interested in collaborating with teachers. One of her sessions can be a noon hour or after school workshop which focuses on reading and writing strategies. This can be done in conjunction with school readings.
Equipment Required: A glass of water, a cup of coffee. 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 screen and projector for PowerPoint.
Hamilton. Writers' Union Member. MG + Teen fiction, Canadian history, Indigenous folklore, WWII, German perspective, YA, Geoffrey Bilson, CLA YA, multiple award-winner.
$275 for one session, $500 for two, $800 for a full day (max four sessions), plus HST and mileage.
Skype rate: $100 + HST for a 45 minute session.
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 costumes, and loves to bring her historical knowledge to life by showing students what they would have experienced, during WWII and in pre-Confederation Canada. 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.
Two Times a Traitor:(4 to 8) pre-Confederation, history, Canadian history, 7 Years War, life in 1700s, identity, French & English conflict. Powerpoint pictures with costume/props.
The Hill: identity, Indigenous stories, Indigenous folklore, Cree legend, Cree culture. Indigenous in modern society, cultural conflict, economic disparity. Powerpoint pictures.
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.
Toronto. Writers' Union Member. Kate's debut YA novel Transferral was nominated for multiple awards and optioned for a potential TV series. Tangled Planet is set for release in the fall of 2017.
$200 for 1 session, $375 for 2, $500 for 3, $600 for 4 sessions. Limited to visiting schools accessible by public transit, or where a teacher is able to provide transport from the nearest transit stop/station - no travel costs within Toronto; actual transit cost elsewhere in the GTA.
Kate's presentations are suitable for grades 5 to 12.
Kate Blair has been a museum curator, a clown and a ride operator at a theme park. She holds a degree in history and a masters in museum studies with a specialty in education.
Her first young adult novel, Transferral, is set in an alternative version of modern London, England, where criminals are punished by having the diseases of the innocent transferred to them. It explores ideas around justice, punishment and poverty. Her second, Tangled Planet, is set in the far future, on a generation starship that has just arrived at its destination planet, and deals with the struggles of the crew to adapt to their new home.
Kate loves to share her enthusiasm for reading, writing, and finding your place in the world. Presentations are tailored to meet the needs of the group, and are flexible, responding to the interests and curiosity of the students. She has years of experience in museums leading school workshops and presentations with all age groups, keeping students engaged and entertained.
Kate’s presentations can cover a variety of topics, adapted to suit the audience and their interests, including the following:
Writing a book: what does it take and how do you get started? Including: how to spark ideas; how to create characters; how to keep your reader reading; how to edit and how to research.
The importance of failing and how no one is any good at anything when they first start. The role of passion and time in cultivating success, rather than 'natural' talent.
Space colonization: Talking about the research that went into creating a believable, fact-based world in Tangled Planet, and the effort that goes into getting the science of stories right. Explaining issues that face future astronauts and space missions, from the trivial - such as using the bathroom in zero-gravity - to more serious challenges associated with long-distance space travel, exploring exoplanets and finding a home for humanity among the stars.
Crime and punishment: Talking about the research that went into Transferral and the odd and intertwined history of disease, poverty and punishment in England.
All venues, library preferred.
Maximum group size: 200
Equipment and other requirements:
A microphone and podium for larger groups, or if the presentation is in a gym or auditorium.
A glass of water.
Lunch (a sandwich is fine) if Kate is booked for morning and afternoon.
Millbrook, ON, fiction and non-fiction, Award-winning author/illustrator including the Blue Spruce and Silver Birch Awards, Grades 2-6
$300 + HST per 1 hour session, and $250 + HST for additional sessions, plus transportation/accommodation.
Bill Slavin has illustrated over one hundred children’s books, fiction and nonfiction. Titles include Stanley’s Party by Linda Bailey, winner of the 2004 Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award and Transformed, winner of the 2006 Norma Fleck Award. Recently he has published the third book in his graphic novel series, Elephants Never Forget. Today he is lives in Millbrook with his partner, Esperança Melo, who is also an artist and book illustrator.
Illustration as Story-telling
Bill Slavin's school presentations revolve around a discussion of illustration as a form of story-telling, with the intention of inspiring students to go ahead and create their own stories. He shares his early work with the kids, including his very first book he did back in Grade 3, Zok the Caveman (possibly the most important thing he shows them, as it gives context!) He also discusses the process he goes through to create a picture book, from manuscript through thumbnails and pencil drawings to finished art and usually includes a reading from one of his books in conjunction with showing the original art. His presentation ends with his doing a character sketch for the kids (which will be left with the school), along with a discussion of some basic drawing principals.
Each presentation lasts for about an hour, with slight change ups in the above description depending upon the age of the audience. His preferred audience is Grades 2 - 6 and audience size can be up to 125 children. During the presentation he shows original book art and sketches and reinforces what he's showing with projections of the art (if the AV equipment is available), leaving room for lots of Q & A.
Bill's aim in the presentation is to demystify kids' relationship with art and make it real, tangible and immediate so they can go forward and have the confidence to create their own stories.
Audience Size: 125 maximum (it's best if the kids are seated on the floor or on mats) Preferred Grades Grades 2-6 AV Requirements: A laptop linked to a projector. If available he will bring his presentation as a Powerpoint document on a key. Venues: All, library preferred Other Requirements A table to organize his work on and a glass of water to wet his whistle!
A signed book can be a chance for kids to make a lasting connection with a visiting author. If any of the kids would like to order a book before the visit, Bill can put you in touch with his local book distributor who would be pleased to provide order forms and make arrangements to have books shipped to your school prior to the presentation.
Please note: Bill's surname is pronounced SLAY-vin.
Toronto. Writers’ Union Member. Winner of the TD Children's Literature Award! Author of novels, non-fiction and picture books and recent winner of the Second Story Press Aboriginal Writing Contest.
Melanie’s rate is $300, two is $550, three is $800 and four is $1000, plus travel from Toronto. (No costs for travel within the GTA.)
Melanie tailors her presentations to the age of her audience and makes them fun and interactive. Groups can choose one of her books for her to do a short reading from and she discusses her experience as a writer, what led her to become a writer and where she gets her ideas. She also talks about the process of writing … from idea to publication.
Each presentation is 50 minutes in duration with 10 minutes for Q&A. She also talks about what drove her to write books with Aboriginal characters and issues, such as residential schools, racism and teen pregnancy.
Melanie can also gear her presentation to discuss Aboriginal issues, such as residential schools and missing and murdered Indigenous women.
Melanie’s most popular visit is a serious but enlightening history of residential schools and introduces students to what life in the residential schools was really like, which is a great addition to the Aboriginal studies curriculum.
Melanie’s books include a strong element of her Aboriginal roots and she encourages discussions and questions on Aboriginal history, residential schools, and especially diversity.
Melanie can tailor a writing workshop to your group but her favourites are Exploring Your Culture Through Writing where the group will explore their own unique stories and The Importance of a Good First Line, where Melanie and your students will look at famous first lines and talk about what makes them strong. Using a list of strong first lines, the workshop participants will choose one to start their own story.
All venues (classrooms, libraries, auditorium, gymnasiums etc.)
Equipment and other requirements: I like to use power point if possible– can bring my own laptop but will need a projector and screen.
Writers' 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!
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.
Trenton ON, Writers' Union Member. Canadian Disasters series, Red Maple Honour Book Leaving Fletchville, Fiction, Canada’s little known best-selling author.
Rene will charge $175 for one session, $300 for two, $500 for three and for $650 for four sessions. Free mileage within 100 km of Trenton.
Rene Schmidt is a man of wide experiences, from hard-rock mining to truck driving, construction work, crewing on freight ships, acting, teaching, and travels by bicycle, motorcycle, canoe, or truck through Canada and Europe. Rene is an award-winning author and engaging story-teller. Reluctant readers and book-shy individuals will find themselves drawn to his accessible and high-interest stories of both fictional and true events.
René’s best-selling books on Canadian Disasters have been in school libraries since 1985 and now include four editions. These Scholastic Canada books have many accurate and fast-paced stories of Canada’s dangerous past and present. René’s award-winning fiction novel, Leaving Fletchville, is a heart-warming tale that deals with racism, fatherhood, friendship, courage and dealing with authority. Leaving Fletchville was a Red Maple Honour book. Whatever the topic, small or large groups of students are held spellbound by René’s voices and accents. The recent discoveries of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror open the portal to René’s PowerPoint presentation on the fate of Sir John Franklin and his men. René has up-to-date details, compelling photos and proof of the accuracy of Inuit theories to share with your classes. He will adapt his presentations to whatever grade or curriculum needs you ask for, from Grade 4 to adult.
As a retired teacher René know how to engage and hold an audience’s attention. He can easily adapt to any size audience or age group and he loves to answer questions. He will use your Smart Board or data projector to enhance some of these presentations. Students enjoy original verse or poetry he creates to expound on his stories. The recently discovered wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror are the focus of his presentation on Sir John Franklin and the doomed Franklin Expedition. Rene has the little-know details, the gruesome photos and various contradictory theories to share with your class. Tell René what your curriculum needs are and wait for a pleasant surprise.
Stratford. Writers' Union Member. Sneaky artist! TD Award & Vicky Metcalf Award winner. All ages.
Marthe's rate is $400. for a one hour session, speaking or art instruction, or $700. for two sessions, plus HST. For art workshops there is also a flat fee for materials of $20. per group per session.
Travel costs from Stratford are negotiable. An overnight stay requires accommodation.
Marthe grew up in Toronto and lived in New York city for thirty years. She has published more than 35 books and has visited schools all over North America. Marthe is a versatile, congenial presenter with books for all readers - from primary grades through teens, from picture books to non-fiction and novels. She leads workshops in collage that result in triumph for every artist.
Due to Marthe's wide range of books and skills, she provides several different workshops. She likes to tailor her presentations to each audience and is extremely happy to discuss the content with educators beforehand. With younger children, she reads aloud from picture books, shares many visuals through power point, and talks about how a book is made. For book talks with middle grade students and teens, Marthe can present a survey of her many books or focus on just one or two, depending on the classroom needs and interest. All presentations contain lots of images and have room for dialogue depending on audience size. Topics can include: Where ideas come from, revision, getting from the idea to finished manuscript, doing research, and having a job that you can do in your pajamas.
Sneaky Art Workshops:
Is there a sneaky artist in you? Of course there is! This workshop - for grades 3, 4, 5 , or for teachers who are nervous about teaching art - is meant to encourage a new way of approaching art. Not just making it, but sharing it with friends and strangers by leaving it in unexpected places.
Marthe begins with a brief power point presentation of sneaky art that is already out there in the world, moves on to showing her own, and then have the kids - or grownups - create sneaky projects to be proud of.
Sneaky art is not: mean, defacing, ugly, hurtful, messy, or permanent.
Sneaky Art is not: graffiti or marking up someone else’s property.
Sneaky art is: funny, clever, thoughtful, temporary, subversive, playful, and surprising!
Equipment and other requirements:
(for school & library visits)
Projector for Power Point presentation with a screen and adequate extension cord. (This will be confirmed with each booking).
For art workshops, each participant needs scissors, white glue
(not glue sticks), and a table or desk (ie. not the floor) to work on.
Marthe provides most collage materials, but often teachers like to arrange for supplies to be brought from home as well.
A librarian, teacher or other school representative should be present throughout the presentation. During art workshops, more than one extra adult should be present.
Toronto. Writers' Union Member. YA and middle grade fiction. White Pine. Crystal Kite Winner. Writing workshops. Grade 4 and up.
Karen’s rate is $225 plus HST per session, plus travel from Toronto. Mileage within Toronto may be waived.
Karen Krossing is the author of seven successful novels for kids and teens, and she regularly mentors emerging writers through workshops for kids, teens, and adults. She’s been conducting book talks and workshops since 2002, including TD Canadian Children’s Book Week in 2005 and 2014. She loves meeting readers and writers of all ages.
Book Talks The purpose of Karen’s book talks is to promote literacy. Her talks usually include how she evolved as a writer, the writing life, an introduction to the work, a short reading, a discussion of issues raised by the reading, an oral storywriting exercise involving the audience, and questions and answers. She introduces her books by discussing how they were written, how a story is structured, and the writing techniques used. Her goal is to inspire audience members to share her passion for reading and writing.
For grades 4 to 6, Karen will showcase her middle-grade novels: Bog, The Castle Key, and possibly Cut the Lights. Issues such as tolerance and believing in oneself may be discussed.
For grades 7 to 12, Karen’s novels and short stories for teens will be highlighted, including Punch Like a Girl, Cut the Lights, The Yo-Yo Prophet, Pure, and Take the Stairs. Issues such as bullying, depression, social justice, and prejudice may be explored. Performance and visual arts are also featured in these titles.
Writing Workshops Karen delivers customized writing workshops for all ages – children, teens, and adults. Workshops typically include a discussion of specific story-writing techniques as well as inspirational writing exercises designed to generate story ideas and practise particular techniques. Her technique promotes intuitive writing using a variety of stimulating activities, including word games, masks, story dice, photos, and character games. Writing is then shared through peer critiquing, using positive and constructive feedback techniques. Workshops can include:
How to Create a Believable OtherWorld.
Stories Inspired by Real-Life.
How You Can Get Published and Other Mysteries Solved.
How to Revise a Work-in-Progress.
How to Structure a Story.
Karen will present to grades 4 to 12. Maximum number of students is 100 per session for book talks and 30 per session for writing workshops, although she will accommodate more in an auditorium situation.
Equipment and Other Requirements Karen is comfortable presenting in a classroom, library, or auditorium. She requires a microphone for large spaces or audiences, a bottle of water, and a table to display books. She may require a screen for presentations. She requests that a librarian, teacher, or other school representative be present throughout the presentation.
Her rate is $300 for one session, $550 for two sessions, plus HST and kilometrage.
Charis has an engaging, playful approach to writing and storytelling that draws an enthusiastic response from students. She has toured schools and libraries across Canada, thrilling audiences with her Newfoundland ghost stories and her unique, imagination-based writing workshops.
Haunted Newfoundland: Ghost Stories from the Rock
For some reason, Newfoundland has more ghosts than anywhere else. Ghosts in the ocean, ghosts on the barrens, ghosts in lighthouses, and ghosts at kitchen parties. Using stories she has collected herself, Charis takes her audience on a creepy tour of that very haunted island. Some stories go back hundreds of years, like the Old Hollies, said to be the victims of shipwrecks, who are heard screaming in the wind just before a bad storm. Charis tells the mysterious true story of her book, The Ferryland Visitor, about a family who has just moved to a lonely lighthouse. Then she describes an unsettling experience she had herself on the barrens one dark Newfoundland night. She finishes the performance with a dramatic story about ghostly footsteps in Bay de Verde in the 1920s. At the end of the presentation, Charis talks about her books and answers questions about writing and ghosts.
75 minutes. Grades 4 to 6. 125 students maximum. Classroom or library where students can sit in a group on the floor. Table. Chair.
Walk into Your Story: A Writing Workshop
Charis presents a writing workshop based on her novel, The Painting, where 12-year-old Annie walks inside a painting of a lighthouse in Newfoundland. After a dramatized reading from The Painting, Charis leads the students through a series of visualizations, using Annie’s experience of walking inside a painting as a model to illustrate how to imagine a story. Students create the details of an imaginary world, create a character and begin to develop the plot of their story. Along the way, Charis shares some thoughts about her inspiration and writing process for The Painting. At the end of the workshop, she talks about her books and answers questions about the writing life.
75 minutes. Grades 4 to 6. 60 students maximum. Classroom or library where students can sit in a group on the floor. Easel or whiteboard with markers, table, chair.
Alberta. Writers' Union Member. Fiction and NF. Multi nominations and awards. K-12.Adults.
$300 plus HST for 1 session, $550 for 2, $750 for 3 and $900 for 4. Travel will need to be negotiated. She always has accommodations in Toronto and Niagara.
Lorna is a passionate, energetic and experienced presenter who will make sure that every presentation suits each group. She is the author of picture books, (Puckster is always a hit with the primary grades), middle grade fiction and non-fiction, YA fiction and reluctant readers. She loves writing about diversity. She also loves speaking to adult groups and leading writing workshops for grades 4 to adult.
Presentations by Grade: Lorna’s presentations and workshops are lively and fun and can be tailored to fit the age and the group. She can present to all age groups, is open to groups of 100 or less and is definitely open to travel. Lorna’s books deal with many aspects of the school curriculum.
K-2 - Lorna will discuss her Puckster characters (they’re all animals), and how she gets her ideas for her stories. She will work with the students on story comprehension, (and fun), by having the children pretend they are at hockey game. Using her characters, she will talk with the students about family and friend dynamics and how to resolve conflicts. She would prefer two 30 minutes story sessions for the price of one full session.
Grades 3-8 - Lorna will talk about her middle grade fiction books and her characters and their problems and relationship choices and ups and downs. We all have them, right? Then she’ll discuss the process of getting a book published. How she goes from idea to finished product, including editing and editing and editing. Yup, editing.She will encourage the students to listen to their teachers and edit their own work. Yeah!!!! A reading and Q and A will end the session.
High school classes - Lorna will engage the students by discussing Fragile Bones and how the world is full of diverse people. For this group, (depending on the size, location and if school has technical needs), she has a fun but enlightening Power Point presentation to keep the students engaged. She will also discuss how she develops a story, moves from idea to finished product and different research techniques. Students will be encouraged to rewrite their work. A reading (yes, she loves to read to high school students) and Q and A session will end the presentation.
All questions will be answered except, “How old are you?”
Writing Workshops (grades 3-12, adults) $500 for a half day (two hours). Or can be negotiated depending on group and needs.
Let’s Make a Story – Every student gets to pick a character and a setting out of a hat. Then the trade game begins. If the student wants to trade either setting or character they can, but the game is controlled and only one trade is allowed. This gets them thinking about a story to write about, and if they really do want to trade, makes their brains start working. Of course, every story also needs a problem. This workshop is hands on. If time permits the students will read their stories aloud!
Telling Tall Tales - Are you interested in true stories? Do you like reading about fascinating people? Writing non-fiction is just as creative as writing fiction. In this class you will learn how to interview, gather information and write incredible stories that will keep your reader turning the page. Be prepared to have fun writing about someone else! This is a great workshop for junior and high school students.
Virtual Visits: $100 plus HST, 50 minutes (may be divided into two 30 minutes) Skype