Ella Burakowski (Toronto)

ella-burakowskiwp1aToronto. Writer’s Union Member. Red Maple Honour book. Middle grade. $250 for one session, $450 for two sessions, $650 for three sessions, $800 for four (a full day). (Each session which includes a question and answer period, is approximately 1 hour.) Author of Hidden Gold, A True Story of the Holocaust. Regular columnist for The Canadian Jewish News.

Ella is a second-generation survivor, whose mother and father both suffered through the Holocaust. Ella’s mother died when she was 14 years old, before she could share her story. Ella's uncle David Gold, her mother’s brother, was able to describe their family’s terrifying struggle during the Holocaust. Ella feels that she is a unique link to the past and the future.

Ella's book Hidden Gold won the Ontario Library Association's 2017 honour book award in the Forest of Reading Red Maple Non-Fiction category.

Ella’s presentation includes two parts.

She discusses Hidden Gold by first reviewing the basics of the Holocaust and its historical significance, then segues into how the Holocaust directly affected her family. She also describes how their affliction affected her growing up. Her presentation includes a film, in which Ella’s uncle, David Gold recounts their harrowing story of near misses with death.

The second part of the presentation reviews how Ella went about writing Hidden Gold as narrative non-fiction. She explains the different elements involved in verifying and interlacing her family’s story with historical facts and scientific data. Finally, Ella discusses the emotions of her characters, her family, as they stared death in the face repeatedly.

A question and answer period follows the 40-minute presentation.

The presentation requires audio/visual availability, either by projector, smartboard or television. Ella brings her laptop and has most cabling for connections.

The presentation can be tailored for grades 6 through high school and there is a free Study Guide available on her website, as well as on the Publisher’s website.

Ella has done presentations for children in one classroom, as well as presenting to the entire intermediate division of a school. She does presentations for adults and has spoken at libraries, book clubs, women’s groups and seniors’ residences where other Holocaust survivors were present.

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Kate Blair (Toronto)

kateblairwp1Toronto. 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.

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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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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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Vicki Grant (NS) (Red Maple)

vickigrant Halifax, NS. Writers' Union Member. YA fiction, mysteries, comic thrillers and high/low novels. Multi awards including Red Maple, Arthur Ellis and CBC Young Canada Reads. Grades 5 through 12.

Vicki's fees are $300 plus local travel and HST for 1 session, $575 for 2, $800 for 3 and $1000 for 4. Neighbouring schools can split discounts for multiple sessions.

Vicki Grant has been called “a superb storyteller” (The Canadian Children’s Book Centre) with “a wonderful sense of comedy” (CM Magazine). She began her career creating award-winning ads for Chiat-Day and McCann-Erickson, moved on to writing for Theodore Tugboat, Big Comfy Couch and her own Gemini–winning series, Scoop & Doozie, before finding her true calling as a YA novelist. Her comic mysteries and high/low novels have been shortlisted for a slew of awards in Canada and the US. Her latest novel, 36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You, has been sold to 17 territories worldwide. Vicki has also written, directed and produced three CBC-TV documentaries.

Presentations and workshops

Vicki’s presentations have also consistently won rave reviews from students, teachers and librarians.

“Down-to-earth, funny, and informative.” Dan Rolo, Monsignor Uyen Catholic School

“An excellent combination of telling about a writer's creative journey and sharing some of the practical realities of a writing career.” Colleen Pierce-Price, Gloucester High School

“A wonderful rapport with students of any age.” Tracy Hamilton, Ellenvale Junior High

The idea here is to have fun so Vicki likes to gear presentations to the interests of the class (and sneak in some of the stuff the teacher’s interested in too…) She speaks primarily about novels and what goes into making them funny and/or scary and/or enough to break your heart, but is also delighted to discuss her experience in television, documentary and advertising writing.

Presentations are generally one-hour long and workshops, two hours. Vicki has a particular interest in comic fiction, mysteries and reluctant readers.

Ages: Students Grades 5 through 12. Vicki also gives workshops for educators on teaching creative writing.

All Venues, library or classroom preferred.

Equipment required: A glass of water and lunch if staying for the day. A microphone for larger groups. A screen and projector for powerpoint.

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

 

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Sylvia McNicoll (Burlington)

sylvia2

Burlington. Writers' Union Member. Silver Birch Winner, Creative Writing Instructor  Grade 2-Adult

Her rate is $250 for solo sessions or $225 for multiple presentations + travel.

Sylvia recently represented Canada at the Seoul International Book Fair in Korea, also speaking on creativity at Seoul Metropolitan Library and presenting in schools on her Korean translated novels. She's toured for the Canadian Children’s Book Centre many times and spoken at Teacher and Reading Conferences as well as Family Literacy Nights and literary festivals such as Word on the Street (Saskatoon, Vancouver and Toronto) and Telling Tales and Kingston Writers’ Festival. She has also acted as a Writer in Electronic Residence (WEIR) for several school boards. Sylvia enjoys sharing her passion with all age groups; her most recent published works are targeted at junior and intermediate students.

Sylvia has toured for the Canadian Children’s Book Centre many times and spoken at Teacher and Reading Conferences as well as Family Literacy Nights and literary festivals such as Word on the Street (Saskatoon, Vancouver and Toronto) and Telling Tales and most recently Kingston Writers’ Festival. She has also acted as a Writer in Electronic Residence (WEIR) for several school boards. Sylvia enjoys sharing her passion with all age groups; her most recent published works are targeted at junior and intermediate students.

“Sylvia’s sense of humour and extensive knowledge of the writing profession are what allow her to have a natural ability to connect and build positive rapport with the students,” says Lisa Hayes, teacher at Corpus Christi Catholic Secondary School.

Involving the student, generating reading excitement and sharing writing tips, these are Sylvia’s goals. From idea to finished book, she takes her audience through her writing process as it relates to an age appropriate book, using slides and humorous anecdotes, and calling on students to demonstrate props, read scripts or participate in a writing activity, and fielding questions.

Presentation: 55 minutes.  Audience size: 60-200+.

Setup Requirement: a projector suitable for Power Point hookup, a microphone for auditorium or gym presentations.

Writing Workshops

Smaller numbers of students (20-40) work better with a minimum of 90 minutes to facilitate feedback. Creation of Dialogue, Character and Mood are three topics she addresses in these but can design a special workshop depending on the educator’s needs.

Some sample workshops she has designed:

Bring your own zombie to life: Lurching, moaning monsters are cliché.
Learn how to create an irresistible demon, vampire, ghost or zombie.

Let your characters speak: Work with a partner to write a script that gives us action, conflict and a resolution.

Blog your passion: You need to tell the world how you feel. Learn how to enchant as you rant.

Life is like a box of chocolates: What is life like for you?  Practice using the five senses to create powerful metaphors, poetry and evocative scenes of description.

Literacy Nights: These can be designed to a theme and are usually aimed at a multi generational audience. Some reading, some activity, lots of fun and laughter.

Download free Teacher's guide here: best-friends-through-eternity_guide

 

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Arthur Slade (SK)

Saskatoon, SK. Writers' Union Member.  Fiction & Graphic Novels, Governor General’s Award Winner, TD Children’s Book Award Winner. Grades 4+. $375 plus HST for 1 session, $600 for 2, $850 for 3 and $1000 for 4. Travel fees waived for Toronto bookings. Arthur will travel by Go Transit to venues in the GTA but requests a pick-up/drop-off at the GO station.

Arthur Slade is a dynamic presenter and the author of seventeen novels for young adults and one graphic novel. His books have been sold worldwide and include DUST, JOLTED, MEGIDDO’S SHADOW, and THE HUNCHBACK ASSIGNMENTS series. He has done over a thousand presentations in Canada, the United States, and Europe both in person and virtually.

Arthur Slade is a self admitted “geek” who is completely committed to entertaining and educating his audience. His audio/visual presentations are a mixture of music, video, images and creativity and, most importantly, content: where do ideas come from? How is a book created? How does one become an author? Arthur has a large variety of books and topics to choose from, everything from steampunk, fantasy and horror to World War One and the creation of graphic novels. He designs his presentations for the specific age ranges and interest of his audience. His books are most popular with grades four to eight, but he has done numerous presentations with higher grades and adult groups. He will speak to any size audience. He has taught workshops in Banff and worked as the Writer in Residence for Regina Public Library so he also enjoys giving workshops to children and adults.

All venues, library preferred.
Equipment required: screen and projector & a glass of water

Virtual Visits: $250.00 + HST, 60 minutes, Skype/Google Talk/iChat

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Robert Priest (Toronto)

Robertpriest 7Toronto ON. Writers' Union Member. Poetry, song and Y/A fiction. People's Poetry Award. SOCAN airplay award. Multi-awards All ages.

$300 for one session, $550 for 2, $800 for 3 and $1000 for 4, +travel.

Robert is an experienced and entertaining poet, singer-songwriter, and Y/A novelist for all ages. His ability to do up to 4 presentations in the same school or area in the same day makes him an ideal economic choice. With his repertoire of picture books, children's songs and poems, Y/A novels and adult songs and poems he is comfortable with large groups and can do up to 4 of them a day. For smaller groups he has a variety of workshops in poetry, prose and lyric writing.

Robert is known for his energetic thoughtful and entertaining performances. Interactive songs and poems meant to engage the audience in the process are a feature. A good question and answer session is also a mainstay. Robert's most important job is to make sure to enthuse as many students as possible about writing and reading literature.

Here is an example of his themes by grade

JK to 2: two 30 min. song/poetry sessions for the price of one. ($300) using material from Day Songs Night Songs and Rosa Rose. Themes of play, cooperation, ecology and mutual respect.

2 to 4: 45 to 60 min. poetry/interactive song session plus Q&A on a variety of curriculum appropriate themes. (Rosa Rose, Day Songs Night Songs, The Secret Invasion Of Bananas plus songs from Summerlong.)

4 to 8: 45 to 60 min. Most of Robert's poetry, children's songs and Y/A novels are for this age group. Poems serious and humourous on topics of social justice, bullying, the environment, technology and fantasy. Can include some poems from his adult books as well. Robert loves to talk about the writing process and where he gets his ideas. (Rosa Rose, The Secret Invasion Of Bananas, Y/A fantasy novels The Paper Sword and Second Kiss.)

7 to 12 Robert has 3 Y/A fantasy novels, a repertoire of poetic rock songs, 2 books of Y/A poetry and selections from his 10 acclaimed books of adult poetry for this age group. Themes of literacy, war, repression, oppression, rebellion, friendship, bullying, the use of power, poetry, military force, coming-of-age and romantic love to name a few.

Maximum group sizes for presentations : one classroom for JK to 3. 100+ for other ages.
Writing workshops work best with no more than 15 participants.

Workshop topics:
Poetic animation—creating fun narratives and characters from real world objects.
How to write a line–some techniques for generating micro-poems and beginning lines of poems and/or lyrics
How to write a fantasy series—a talk with lengthy Q&A on Robert's process writing his Spell Crossed fantasy series.
Song lyric writing—strategies for developing new song lyrics or for writing lyrics to existing melodies. Robert likes to talk about writing his number 1 hit Song Instead of a Kiss and other aspects of the music business. Venues. Library preferred.

Equipment required—solid surface to display books and hold papers. A microphone for larger groups or in the gym, a blackboard or other large writing surface.

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Sharon McKay (Burlington)

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Burlington, ON. Writers' Union Member. Sharon travels across Canada several times a year. Sharon E. McKay (Mick-EYE) writes fact-based fiction for young adults. Multi-awards, all ages.

Sharon is available in Ontario, January 1 to April 1, 2018. Flat fee of $900 for a full day, four sessions and includes a free (optional) brown-bag lunch for anyone interested in writing. Flat fee of $600 for an afternoon. Parents and media are welcome in all sessions.

Sharon would like to hear about your hopes for an author visit as well as the special needs of individual students. She has done two tours of Afghanistan. Sharon has had a child in the classroom who had lost a family member in Kandahar. Another student had an uncle who was severely injured. War Brothers, a novel and a graphic novel, is about child soldiers in Uganda. She has had a child soldier in a classroom. The list goes on…

In January 2008 Sharon was accepted into the Canadian Forces (War) Artists Program or CFAP. She is the first children’s writer to hold the title. In 2009 and again in 2013 she went to Afghanistan to, in the words of the program description, “capture the daily operations, personnel, and spirit of the Canadian Forces.”

The content of presentations is adaptable although all are tailored to the needs of the classroom/school.  All grades, 1 hour writing workshop. ‘Beat the Blank Page.’ Maximum group size: 45 for JK and 100, or three classes for the rest.

Length: 60 min. or one class period.
Venues: Classroom, Library, Gym and Theatre
Equipment and other requirements: To be discussed with teacher.
Notes: Students do not have to read the book in advance. Teacher’s Guide’s available for most books.

Venues: Classroom, Library and Theatre
Visits kindergarten and grade one during breaks. Fifteen minutes Focus: fun.

Grade 1-2 Read-a-loud. 30 min. Focus: Story telling vs story reading.

Grade 2-4 The Boy-Girl Challenge. 30 min. “Would a boy read a book dubbed Our Canadian Girl? Let’s vote.”
Focus: Judging a book by its cover.
End of the Line, hidden children, Amsterdam, WW2. 1939-45
Focus: Courage, loyalty, WW2.

Grade 5 -6 Charlie Wilcox, flexible time
Focus: literacy, history, role of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment in WW1 in changing Canadian history. Teacher’s Guide available.

Grade 7 and up, flexible time
Thunder Over Kandahar, girls in Afghanistan
Prison Boy, street kids, worldwide. (Amnesty International)
War Brothers, child soldiers worldwide
War Brothers the Graphic Novel, with Dan Lafrance
Esther, Jews in New France. Canadian history.
Whispers from the Ghetto, Hiding, Camps. With Kathy Kacer.

Virtual Visits: $150, 60 minutes, Skype.

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Gail Sidonie Sobat (AB)

GailSidonieSobatwp1Alberta, Writers’ Union Member. YA, New Adult, 2x White Pine Honour. Multi-awards. Grades 4-adult. Booking Sept 2107

$375 for 1 session, $600 for 2, $850 for 3 and $1000 for 4, plus travel and accommodation.

Gail Sidonie Sobat is an award-winning author of eleven books, and many educational and academic articles. She is the creator/coordinator of YouthWrite®, camps for kids who love to write…just about anything!©. A dynamic performer, speaker, international workshop presenter and writer in residence, she has toured across Canada, the US, and has worked in Helsinki, Finland; Doha, Qatar; Hanoi, Vietnam; and Istanbul, Turkey and with the Metro Edmonton Federation of Libraries.

Presentations and Workshops

When Gail presents or gives a reading, she chooses and performs excerpts that are dramatic in nature. She has a background in performing arts, professional speech and singing training, and often peppers presentations with personal anecdotes and music, sometimes inviting the students to join in.

As an award-winning arts educator who has worked in elementary, junior high, high school and university settings, and as writing mentor and writer in residence, Gail has worked extensively with people of many ages and from diverse backgrounds, including at-risk youth.

Gail is comfortable with large groups or workshops with smaller groups, and is very familiar with the rigours and requirements of the elementary or secondary school teacher (Grades K-12). An ideal workshop size is 15, but she can work with groups of 20-30 people.

She is very familiar with Writer’s Workshop and 6+1 Trait® Writing.
Any workshop, reading or presentation can be tailored to meet your needs or requests. E.g. Presentations may consist of a 20-30-minute reading, followed by Q&A (total of one hour) OR of a 20-30 minute reading, followed by Q&A, culminating in creative writing exercises (half-day). Discussions may include the writing process from brainstorming to writing drafts to finished product, and/or may focus on young adult markets and requirements for student submissions.

Readings/discussions can be tailored to fit within current English/Language Arts area of study, matching objectives for curricula (K-12), or appropriate to AP or IB English studies.
Longer sessions may include several classes to a full-week or longer residency (writing creatively, incorporating drama into the creative process, working on editing and proofing skills, working one-on-one, facilitating student/staff anthology creation, or facilitating a culminating activity such as café readings or school-wide student presentations.

Gail is also happy to work/meet with any staff interested in writing and/or publishing or PD presentations.

Some possible themes:

Writing in Role
Finding a Voice
Found Object/ Found Poetry
Wordplay
Poetic Licence
Fantastic Voyages & World Building
Get Cracking! Get Creative
Gimme Goose Bumps
Life of the Writer (or any presentation on any of her titles)
Graphic Novels
YouthWrite

All venues, but library is preferred
Equipment required:

· glass of water
· table for displays
· microphone & sound system for larger groups or in the gym
· LCD projector & speakers
· Internet access during presentations

Virtual Visits: $150, 60 minutes, Skype

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Patricia Storms (Toronto)

PatriciaStormsNewPhotoToronto. Writers’ Union Member. Fun and funny cartoonist, children’s illustrator and picture book author and ukulele lady.

$300 + HST for 1 session, $500 for 2, $800 for 3 and $1,000 for 4. I’m very happy to do 2 one half hour JK-K sessions for $300 + HST. No charge for travel within Toronto and the GTA.

Patricia Storms is a picture book author, and an award-winning cartoonist and illustrator specializing in humorous illustrations for children and adults. She can do illustration and writing workshops for JK all the way up to college level.

Presentation Details

Humour is essential in Patricia’s workshops! Laughter & learning go hand in hand. Doodling and drawing cartoons is a great way to in enhance memory, focus, and independent thought. Creative children become great problem-solvers. Patricia is very versatile and will tailor each talk to the age level of the group. Original drawings are always donated to the class at the end of the session!

JK-K:
Patricia performs an entertaining and dramatic reading of The Pirate and the Penguin, as well as a cartoon demonstration.

K- Grade 2 classes:
THANKFUL PRESENTATION
Patricia sings the song ‘If You’re Thankful And You Know It’ from her new illustrated book with the help of her ukulele and the class. There will be discussion of the holiday Thanksgiving and most important, what we all are thankful for in our lives. A drawing workshop ends this presentation, showing kids how to draw fall images such as pumpkins, scarecrows, leaves and squirrels!

THE GHOSTS GO SPOOKING PRESENTATION!
Singing with a ukelele! Drawing! Puppets! Cute ghosties! In this fun Halloween book, THE GHOSTS GO SPOOKING, written by Chrissy Bozik, little ghosts go trick-or-treating by ones, twos and up to ten in this spooky and fun-filled take on ‘The Ants Go Marching’. After the presentation, Patricia engages the audience in a ghost drawing workshop.

NEVER LET YOU GO PRESENTATION
Patricia shows a slide presentation of her picture book NEVER LET YOU GO, along with a quick drawing demo showing the class how penguin families are similar to people families. After the slide show Patricia demonstrates to the group how to draw a penguin. Time permitting, Patricia encourages the kids to make their penguin look like someone within their family or themselves.

Grades 3-6:
CREATE A CHARACTER WORKSHOP
This workshop engages the class into drawing and creating characters as well as introducing concepts such as setting, characters and action in creating a story.

Patricia invites the students to be her art directors, providing ideas of what kind of hair, eyes, nose, clothes, etc., to draw, in order to create their unique character. In the second half of the session Patricia becomes the art director and editor of a picture book. She presents a short silly story and then encourages the audience to illustrate all or part of the story explaining the concepts of setting, characters and action.

Grades 5-12:
CREATE A BOOK COVER WORKSHOP
The first half of the presentation is a slide show demonstrating the development process in creating book covers for publishers. In the second half of the presentation the class gets to create their own book cover, with guidance and inspiration from myself, if needed.

Grades 7 to college level:
The art of writing a picture from an illustrator’s perspective.
or
The step-by-step process of illustrating a picture book.

Maximum group size for presentations: 45 for JK to 2, 100+ for everyone else

Patricia is comfortable presenting in a classroom, library, auditorium or gymnasium.
Equipment required: Easel, flip chart, and coloured markers. and for the students if they are drawing: paper, pencils and erasers. A table at the front of the group in order to showcase books and art.

Data or media projector and laptop for slide presentations, and a sound system or microphone for large group presentations. A librarian, teacher or other school representative should be present throughout the presentation. Water and lunch would be lovely for a full day presentation.

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Don Aker (NS)

DonAker1.jpg Nova Scotia-based, Writers' Union Member. White Pine Award-winning YA author.

$575 + HST + $110 travel for half a day (2 sessions); $1100 + HST + $200 travel for full day (4 sessions)  Please note that Don’s travel fee pays only a portion of his total travel costs, which include airfare, accommodation, meals, local transportation, etc., so he kindly requests that his hosts collect him at—and return him to—whatever subway/bus/train station is nearest their location.

Don Aker is internationally known for hard-hitting stories that address social issues such as youth crime, teen suicide, and gambling. Don’s most recent books include a mystery thriller set on Nova Scotia’s Bay of Fundy, a historical novel for Scholastic’s I Am Canada series, and a novel for Pearson Education’s classroom series on mental wellness. A former classroom teacher, Don enjoys speaking to students in grades 6-12, and his enthusiastic presentation style and sense of humour make him a hit with both teenagers and adults.

Although he prefers presenting to groups of 40 or fewer to facilitate interaction with his audience, Don has successfully presented to groups as large as 400 in auditoriums and theatres. However, larger group sizes lessen the opportunity for meaningful dialogue with students.

Don requires his hosts to provide the following items:
· an LCD projector (Don will bring his PC laptop to run his PowerPoint)
· an external speaker he can plug into his laptop (to amplify audio in film clips)
· a viewing screen
· a table for his presentation materials
· a bottle of water
· a microphone and amplifier if he is speaking in large, echoing venues or to very large groups

Author Presentation
TITLE: Backstory and Beyond: One Writer’s Journey
AUDIENCE: Students in grades 6-12
LENGTH: 1 hour

DESCRIPTION: In this informative and entertaining presentation, Don describes the circuitous route that took him from a classroom in a small Nova Scotia school to one of the largest publishing companies in North America, and provides behind-the-scenes accounts of the experiences that have shaped both his fiction and his professional writing. Accompanied by a dynamic PowerPoint presentation, Don gives a brief overview of the books he has written, followed by a discussion of his writing process—where he gets his ideas, and the three questions he needs to answer before he can begin writing any story. He briefly describes the genesis of some of his novels and talks about his most important writing tool—his writer’s notebook. He always provides time for his audience to ask questions and, if time and interest permit, he may give a brief reading. Don is completely comfortable tailoring his presentation to the needs of a particular group (e.g., focusing on a particular novel that students have read or are reading), but he requires three weeks’ notice in order to prepare.

Writing Workshops

Don offers half-day and full-day writing workshops, the length of which depend on the particular needs and previous experience of attendees. Don prefers to limit the number of participants to 20, but he is willing to increase that number if a host requires it. Fees for his half-day and full-day writing workshop bookings are the same as those for his author bookings.

A Sampling of Don Aker’s Writing Workshops

Inside Story: Writing Fictional Narratives
We Are Our Stories: Writing Personal Memoir
Writing Poetry: Distilling the Essence of Experience
Image Is Everything: The Art of Writing Screenplays
Writing Strong Essays: The Power of Persuasion

Professional Development Workshops

A former educator with 33 years of classroom experience that includes teacher-mentoring as well as instruction at the university level, Don offers a number of half-day and full-day professional development workshops for teachers of students in grades 5 to 12. Fees for his half-day and full-day PD workshop bookings are the same as those for his author bookings.

A Sampling of Don Aker’s PD Workshops

Strategic Reading: Making Meaning of Text
The Poetry Roundtable: Talking Toward Meaning
Team-ing With Success: Cooperative Learning in the Classroom
Managing the Bundle: Responding to Students’ Writing
Polishing the Lens: The Power of Point of View

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

 

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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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Richard Scarsbrook (Toronto)

richardscarsbrookwp1Toronto ON. Writers’ Union Member. Young Adult, Adult Fiction, Poetry.  White Pine Winner, Multi Awards.  Grades 6 to Adult.

Richard’s rate is $275 plus HST for one session, $525 for two, $775 for three, and $1000 for four, plus travel from Toronto.

Richard is an experienced, flexible, passionate and entertaining presenter who receives consistently excellent reviews as a speaker and teacher.   As an award-winning author, an OCT-certified teacher,  an instructor at George Brown College and the respected Humber School for Writers, and the Writer in Residence for a number of institutions, Richard can create a presentation or workshop for almost any group’s needs.

Presentation Details

Richard can present in a variety of ways, depending on the needs of each teacher and group of students.  No group is too large or small!  Richard has run creative writing workshops with groups as small as five students, and has given readings and Q+A sessions to audiences of hundreds. He is comfortable in any venue, from classroom to library to auditorium.

As a college, high school, and middle school teacher with over 25 years of experience, Richard is quite comfortable presenting to students of any age, although his books lend themselves best to groups from grade 6 to Adult.

Richard’s usual “large group” presentation will start with an entertaining reading from of his books, followed by an inspirational discussion of the creative writing process driven by questions from and interactions with the students involved.

For smaller groups, particularly High School English, Grade 12 Writer’s Craft classes, and Book and Writers’ Clubs, Richard can run a variety of workshops according to the needs of the class, based on one of the many writing classes he teaches at George Brown College and the Humber School for Writers.  Smaller groups (under 25) tend to work best for workshop-style presentations.

Richard is also available to speak at Professional Development Workshops for teachers, and can give entertaining readings and presentations on writing to just about any group.

No audience size limits for talks, up to 25 for Creative Writing Workshops

Will present in any venue

No special equipment needs

 

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Robin Stevenson (BC)

B.C. Writers’ Union Member. Silver Birch winner, Stonewall Honor winner, Governor General’s finalist and Red Maple finalist. Writing instructor and editor. Fiction and Non-fiction. Grades 3-12.

Robin will be available for Toronto visits Jan 29 - Feb 4, 2018, and possibly also in May 2018.

Robin’s rate is $350 for one session, $600 for two, $800 for three and $950 for a full school day, plus travel if applicable. (Travel fees waived for Toronto bookings. Robin will travel by Go Transit to schools in the GTA but requests a pick-up/drop-off at the GO station.)

 

Robin is an experienced and passionate presenter, and an award winning author of 21 books for children and teens. Her work has been translated and sold in a dozen countries. She is also a former social worker and counsellor, a creative writing instructor, and a freelance editor. As the author of early chapter books, middle grade books, and YA novels, she presents to elementary, middle and high school students levels. She loves giving writing workshops that inspire students to tell their own stories.

Presentation Details- grades 3-12; 60 minutes

School Visits

Robin is available for author visits, school and library presentations, author-in-residence programs, writing workshops and conferences. Her school presentations are appropriate for older elementary students (grade four and over), as well as middle school and high school students. She is also available for professional development workshops for teachers and librarians on a number of issues (Schools As Safe Spaces- Supporting LGBTQ students; Engaging Reluctant Readers and Writers; Using Fiction to Build Emotional Literacy). All presentations, workshops and programs can be tailored to the needs of the particular group.  Please contact Robin to discuss your group’s needs and for information about my rates and availability.

Pride: Celebrating Diversity and Community (grades 4-12)

How did Pride come to be? And what does Pride mean to the people who celebrate it? In this engaging and interactive presentation, Robin draws on her non-fiction book, Pride: Celebrating Diversity and Community. She talks about the history of the LGBTQ rights movement and the challenges still faced by LGBTQ people and communities today. Using images and anecdotes from the book, Robin shares historical photographs, stories of contemporary kids and teens, and images of Pride celebrations from around the world. In this presentation, Robin emphasizes the important role of allies and the idea that we all have a part to play in making our world a better place for everyone.  This session would be a good choice for schools focussing on inclusiveness and equality, and for groups working to prevent bullying.

 Becoming a Writer: Finding & Telling Your Stories (grades 4-12)

In this engaging presentation, Robin shares how she became a writer, where her ideas come from and what her creative process looks like. She discusses some of the challenges she experiences and share some tips for young writers. She also facilitates a group brainstorming exercise to illustrate how to develop a story through an understanding of its characters. Students will work together to develop a character, explore possibilities for conflict, and uncover the myriad of story possibilities that this leads to. In this session, Robin’s goals are to share her passion for the writing process and to inspire students to pursue their own creative interests.

 Creative Writing Workshops (grades 6-12)

Robin is available to facilitate hands-on creative writing workshops for small groups. Participants will explore how they can use their own experiences and curiosity to create compelling writing and convincing characters; discuss strategies for finding story ideas; develop their skills at creating complex and believable characters; and discover how well-developed characters can help uncover new story possibilities.

Maximum group sizes for presentations: Any size group. Robin prefers to have no more than a three-grade spread for a single presentation (eg. Grades 4-6, 6-8, 10-12).

Writing Workshops work best with small groups (maximum size 30)

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 need will need a projector and screen.

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Aubrey Davis (Toronto)

aubreydaviswp1

Toronto. Writers’ Union Member. Fiction picture book storyteller multi-awards all ages.

Aubrey’s rate is $375 for one session, $600 for two, $850 for 3 and $1,000 for four plus HST plus travel from Toronto.

For over 35 years, Aubrey has presented to people of all ages across North America. He loves to tell and rewrite traditional tales that make people think. Bottomless and often very funny, these ancient stories have endured because they’ve helped us understand our selves and our world. They still call to what’s best within us all. Perhaps this why his books have received so many glowing reviews and awards.

"Aubrey Davis defies superlatives. His repertoire is amazing and his ability to hold the audience’s attention is legendary. He can tell stories to preschoolers and elementary school students as well as their parents….He is very creative and chooses his stories to match the audience in front of him. The adults (teachers, parents, older students) were as mesmerized as were the children."   Penny Fransblow, Head: Norman Berman Children’s Library, Montreal, April 2012

Presentations: Aubrey tells stories from his books together with other traditional tales to people of all ages. He adapts his programs to suit the listener. With younger children, he tells simple, enticing participatory tales together with lively poems, chants and language games. For older audiences he tells more thought provoking stories, often laced with humour. With Jewish audiences he tells the tales unique to Jewish culture and those they share with other peoples.

Workshops: Humans are storytelling creatures. At all times and places people have told stories to communicate, understand and learn. It’s our nature to do so. Aubrey’s workshops build on innate, often unrecognized abilities to teach participants how to tell, write or learn through oral narrative. He adapts his workshops to suit the audience.

No limit on audience size, but I may have to adjust fees for groups over 75. I’ll need a small display table or stand, armless chair or stool and water. With large audiences I’ll need a microphone: headset, lapel or on a stand. Not handheld.

Aubrey is also available for virtual visits. Contact him to discuss details.

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Helaine Becker (Toronto) (Silver Birch Non-Fiction)

Toronto. Writers' Union Member. National Bestseller. 2+time Silver Birch winner. Multi awards. K-8. Please note:

Helaine’s rate is $750 + HST for two sessions, $1000 + HST for three and $1200 +HST for four, plus travel from Toronto.

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

Here is an example of her themes by grade:

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

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

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

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

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

Writing Workshops work best wish 16 so so participants

Writing Workshop Topics:

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

All Venues, library preferred.

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

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

 

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