Amanda West Lewis (Perth, ON)

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.

PRESENTATION DETAILS

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.

READINGS/PRESENTATIONS:

 “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.

WORKSHOPS:

“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.

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Sue Irwin (Grimsby ON)

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

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

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

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

Sue’s presentation topics include:

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

– the exciting world of nonfiction

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

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

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

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

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

Equipment and Other Requirements

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

 

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Simon Shapiro (Toronto ON)

Toronto. Writers Union member. Passionate about sparking an interest in Science. $275 for one session, $475 for two, $650 for three, $800 for four (full day). Full day price can be split between neighbouring schools. Travel fee waived within 30 kms of Toronto. Standard kilometrage applies outside that area.

Simon majored in Math, Applied Math and Computer Science and later completed an MBA at York University. After retiring from a career as an Information Technology professional, one of his interests has been writing books for children. He believes that it’s important for students to be STEM-literate (Science Technology Engineering and Math). He loves to spark kids’ interest in Science.

Presentations

Simon’s latest book, Faster, Higher, Smarter: Bright Ideas that Transformed Sports, nominated for both 2017 Red Maple and Rocky Mountain Book Awards, and is also a finalist for the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) 2017 SB&F Prize, shows kids that basic science concepts are highly relevant to sports. He tells fascinating stories of people who came up with bright ideas which had a huge impact on various sports. For each innovation, he explains the science of why the innovation was so effective.

Some innovators were athletes, many of them quite young (the youngest was twelve!) But other backgrounds include scientists, a farmer and a security guard. The human interest in the stories is compelling and inspirational. A clear message is that being inquisitive and exploring can result in significant discoveries.

By telling the story of several innovators, a presentation can be tailored to demonstrate the widespread significance of basic scientific concepts such as:

  • Energy and the conversion between kinetic, elastic and potential energy.
  • Fluid resistance (air and water).
  • Centre of gravity.

Other themes that can be highlighted:

  • Disabled sports. The inventors of the sports wheelchair and the blade prosthetic were both young adults who were injured in sporting accidents. They were both determined not to let their injuries prevent them from active lives. They were dissatisfied with the quality of wheelchairs and prosthetic legs, respectively. And both came up with radically new inventions to meet their own needs.
  • Innovation as a result of crossing fields of expertise. Examples include using fiberglass fishing poles to develop vaulting poles; hang gliding technology for wheelchairs; aircraft technology for skis.

For all presentations it would be extremely helpful to have computer projection available to show a Powerpoint presentation and / or images and video. Simon will bring these on a USB (‘thumb’) drive.

The scientific concepts are best for grades 7 and up.

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L. E. Carmichael, PhD (Trenton)

Carmichaelwp1Trenton. Writers' Union Member.  Award-winning author of 21 science books for young people.

Fees: $250 for a one-hour presentation, $400 for two hours, plus travel expenses. Contact me for full-day pricing. Fees include supplies for experiments. Skype visits also available.

Lindsey is comfortable presenting to small groups or entire gymnasiums, and loves to combine book talk with hands-on science experiments. Lindsey is also an experienced writing instructor, offering workshops for both children and adults.

Presentations:

Lindsey specializes in making science cool and accessible to kids, so she's most often invited to speak about the subjects of her books. She can also present on academic writing skills, or speak to the terror – and thrill! – of researching and writing non-fiction for kids.

Sample presentations and workshops are described below. Lindsey will create custom programs to suit your needs, but additional development fees may apply.

Grades K-3: Laura and the Locusts

In 1875, a swarm of Rocky Mountain locusts destroyed Laura Ingalls Wilder’s family farm. This presentation integrates Laura’s descriptions of the swarm (On the Banks of Plum Creek) with the newest scientific information on Locust Migration. Prepare to be fascinated and creeped out all at once!

Grades 3-6: Decoding Domestication

Ever wonder where domestic animals came from? Why they look the way they look and act the way they do? Learn about a remarkable experiment that decoded domestication. Based on Lindsey's book Fox Talk, this program includes video of experimentally domesticated foxes and answers the eternal question, "What does the fox say?"

Special requirements: If a docile, kid-friendly dog is available, students can take part in a live communication experiment during the presentation.

Grades 7-12: Forensic Science: Digging Into DNA (1 hour)

Inspired by Lindsey's 2014 Lane Anderson Award-winning book Fuzzy Forensics: DNA Fingerprinting Gets Wild, this presentation explores the way scientists use DNA to solve crimes against both people and wildlife. Includes a signature "myth busting" section on TV forensics and plenty of time for questions.

Grades 7-10: Forensic Science: Finding A Match (2 hours)

A variation on Digging Into DNA, this program covers the history and science of fingerprinting – both traditional and DNA varieties. It also includes two hands-on experiments with extensions for later home or classroom use.

Special requirements: Lindsey provides most of the ingredients, but requests that schools supply mugs, paintbrushes, kettles, and newspaper.

Grades 9-12: Creative and Academic Writing Workshops. Topics can include:

- character building
- fantasy world building
- descriptive writing
- the link between language and emotion
- research and interview skills
- revision and editing techniques
- lab reports or argumentative essays
- and more!

General Requirements for all presentations: Projector and screen, with computer (Lindsey's Mac does not play well with others). A table for setting up displays. For large room and groups, a microphone is required. Lindsey has a lot of food allergies and prefers to provide her own meals.

Download Writers-in-the-Schools subsidy form here: WITSApplication

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Bill Slavin (Millbrook)

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!

Signed Books
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.

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Melanie Florence (Toronto)

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.

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Rene Schmidt (Trenton)

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.

Presentation Details

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.

 

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Marthe Jocelyn (Stratford)

​Stratford. Writers' Union Member. Sneaky artist! TD Award​ & Vicky Metcalf Award winner. All ages.

MartheJocelynwp1

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.

Presentation details:

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 p​a​jamas.

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.

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Charis Cotter (NF)

CharisCotterNewfoundland. Writers' Union Member. Silver Birch 2016 nominee, fiction, non-fiction, ghost stories, writing workshops, grades 4 to 6.

Her rate is $275 for one per session, $500 for two, plus HST and mileage. Sessions last from 75 to 90 minutes. Peterborough/Cobourg/Kingston March 3–24: Toronto/Hamilton: March 29–April 22.

Charis is an award-winning writer and performer who has toured schools and libraries from Victoria BC to St. John’s NL. She has a particular interest in ghosts and how they reflect our culture and beliefs, and she has been featured on radio and TV, telling her eerie Newfoundland ghost stories.TheSwallowAGhostStory Her novel, The Swallow: A Ghost Story, won the IODE Violet Downey Award for 2015. Charis has an engaging, playful approach to writing and storytelling that draws an enthusiastic response from students.

Imagine the Bones: A Ghost Storytelling and Writing Workshop
Charis leads the students through a series of  visualization exercises to illustrate the power of the imagination and boost their comprehension when reading and writing. They explore the basic structure (the “bones”) of a ghost story. By the end of the session, students will have created their very own story, which they can develop further as either a piece of writing or an oral presentation.

The workshop begins with a dramatization from The Swallow: A Ghost Story and a visualization game. Then Charis discusses the basic elements that form the structure of a ghost story (“the bones”) and shares some technical tricks. Step by step, the students visualize and write their stories, sharing them with partners when they’re finished. At the end of the presentation, Charis tells a Newfoundland ghost story, asking the students to identify the structural elements they have just learned. Then she introduces her other books and answers questions.

Grades 4 to 6. 60 students maximum. Classroom or library where students can sit in a group on the floor or at tables. Easel or blackboard with markers or chalk. Table. Chair. Students will need writing materials (pen or pencil and paper).

The Ghosts of Grates Cove
A storytelling session of traditional Newfoundland ghost stories collected by the author from Conception Bay North, Newfoundland. Charis talks about how these stories reflect the history and culture of Newfoundland, how the stories have been passed down through generations, and why that province is one of the most haunted places in the world.

Charis tells a series of spooky stories that feature the Old Hollies, (the victims of shipwrecks heard screaming in the wind), Jacky-Lanterns(ghost lights seen dancing on the water), ghost ships, a ghost train and a blueberry picking ghost. She tells a true ghost story of a creepy experience she had herself on the barrens one dark Newfoundland night, and finishes with a dramatic story about ghostly footsteps. Charis ends the presentation with an introduction to her published books and a question and answer period.

Grades 4 to 6. 80 students maximum. Classroom or library where students can sit in a group on the floor. Table. Chair.

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Lorna Schultz Nicholson (AB)

 

Lorna Schultz Nicholson

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

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Caroline Fernandez (Toronto)

Caroline FernandezWriters’ Union Member. Silver Birch Non-Fiction Honour Book Award 2016. $225 for one session + HST, $400 for two, $600 for three and $750 for four, + travel from Toronto. Caroline's two bestselling books are popular with libraries and educators for STEM learning.

Caroline is an enthusiastic presenter who encourages interaction during visits.

 

Presentations by Grades:
Caroline is happy to work with teachers and librarians to develop a need-specific presentation, but here are some examples:
Grades 3-12: 45-60 minutes.
Library or classroom preferred.

  • How many people does it take to publish a book?
    o Explores the jobs of author to book seller and everyone in between
  • Session on book of your choice plus a hands-on boredom busting activity
    o Materials provided by school
  • A writer’s life
    o Explores how to become a writer, overcoming rejection, the work life of a writer
  • Why busting boredom important?
    o Explores self-motivation, creativity, entertaining oneself without TV or screens, decision-making, hands-on experience and the fun that can be had by yourself or with a group.
  • Blogging, social media, and digital content creation
    o Explores digital writing, social media platforms, analytics. Suitable for older grades.

Equipment required: Table and water.

Virtual Visits: $100 plus HST, 60 minutes (may be divided into two 30 minutes) via Skype or Google Hangout
Morning start time requested

 

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Bill Swan (Whitby)

BillSwanDurham region. Writers' Union Member. Red Maple non-fiction winner. Grades 4 to adult. True crime.

His rate is $250 for one session, $450 for two, and $600 for three, plus HST. No travel charges within Durham Region or in the London school board area.

Bill is comfortable giving presentations and readings to students from junior grades through college and adult groups. He has been a newspaper editor, columnist and journalism professor and loves to talk about the process of writing fiction, non-fiction, news and feature writing and even business writing. (He teaches a very popular online course Business Report Writing that stresses the importance of structure and provides a simple organizational tool that can be applied to all writing.)

My main presentation is for Grade 7 and 8 students about the Steven Truscott case (1959 in Clinton, Ontario), in which 14-year-old Steven was convicted of the murder of a seventh-grade classmate and sentenced to hang.

I can present to up to 120 in an auditorium but prefer a library that does not echo.
Needed:
A projector and screen for PowerPoint.

This Presentation:
(a) Provides an overview of the case, providing key facts of the case in a PowerPoint presentation;
(b) Reviews the evidence of both the Crown and defence;
(c) Shows the process of writing the book REAL JUSTICE: Fourteen and Sentenced to Death, from transcripts of the original trial transcripts;
(d) Reviews some legal terms and concepts important to this case;
(e) Includes a reading from my book from the chapter of courtroom drama where 12-year-old Doug Oates confronts an experienced Crown Attorney—A fictional account created from the original transcript.
(f) Encourages students to read my book to see how and why it took Steven 47 years to clear his name.

Middle Grades:
Based on my nine novels in the Lorimer Sports Series I provide a 50-minute presentation to Grades 4-6 on writing, on how to create fictional characters and settings, and ending with a reading from one of my novels. This works best if students are familiar with one or more of my books and have selected a chapter for me to read.

Grades 9-12:
The presentation for Grades 7 & 8 is upgraded for senior grades, with more emphasis on the trial process, the legal concepts (and how this case changed the laws of Canada) and discussion of how and why this case went so horridly wrong. Another book in the REAL JUSTICE series is to be released in Spring 2013. This is on the Donald Marshall Jr. case (1971 in Nova Scotia). Highlights of this case are offered and compared.

Writing Workshops And Adult Presentations

As a journalism professor of many years at Durham College, I can discuss the mechanics of news and feature writing, its similarities and differences from fiction, and the process of writing. Included is the part common to all genres: writing, re-writing, revision, and the value of critique groups and their limitations. For adult groups with a stronger tolerance for boredom I can show how to write email messages that are less likely to get lost, and short memos that sizzle.

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Sylvia McNicoll (Burlington)

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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.

An experienced speaker and arts educator and internationally acclaimed author as well as a former magazine editor, Sylvia McNicoll teaches creative writing at the Living Arts Centre in Missisauga and has given hundreds of presentations and workshops across the country.

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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Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch (Brantford)

Brantford ON, Writers Union Member. fiction & NF, 2X Silver Birch winner. Multi awards. All ages.

$400 plus HST for 1 session, $600 for 2, $850 for 3 and $1000 for 4, + travel.

Marsha is an experienced and passionate international presenter who tailors each presentation to the group in front of her. She can do up to four presentations in the same school or area in a day. As the author of picture books, middle grade novels, narrative 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 she loves loves loves giving writing workshops.

Recently Published Works

Presentations by grade

Marsha is an extremely flexible presenter. No two groups are ever the same and no two of her presentations are ever the same. She likes to have a conversation with the audience rather than stand up there like a talking head. For most presentations, she works in why she thought kids' books were evil when she was a kid herself, and how she finally learned to read. Marsha talks about why she writes on topics that have been ignored by others and why she considers herself a librarian/detective. She also explains how she became a princess if asked.

Here is an example of her themes by grade:

JK to 1: two 30 minute storytelling sessions for the price of one full session ($400+HST) using When Mama Goes To Work.

2 to 4: 45 to 60 minutes: Storytelling session plus Q&A on topic/book of your choice. Current favourite is Adrift at Sea (plunging into the shoes of a war refugee) but she is happy to present her older books as well.  (Enough, Silver Threads, Airlift and Aram books)

4 to 8: The majority of Marsha's books are for this age group. 45 to 60 minutes. Includes how she transformed herself from a non-reader into a writer, how she does research, historical background on the books of your choice. Writing tips and Q&A are worked in.

Stolen Child/Making Bombs For Hitler/Underground Soldier: bullying, World War II, immigration, coming to Canada, slavery, racism. Living in the 1940s and 1950s.

Dear Canada: Prisoners in the Promised Land: WWI, WWI internment operations in Canada, Quebec, immigration, bullying, racism, living in 1914.

Last Airlift/One Step At A Time: Vietnam war, fall of Saigon, orphans, polio, hospitals, living with a disability, English as a second language, immigration, racism, living in 1975.

Adrift at Sea: Marsha can also give an age appropriate presentation/discussion on the current refugee crisis and the parallels with the 1981 Vietnamese Boat Person refugee crises.

7 to 12: Marsha has five YA novels, her Armenian Genocide trilogy, The Hunger/Nobody's Child/Daughter of War, plus a stand-alone WWII novel, Hope's War, and her brand new WWI novel, Dance of the Banished.

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

Writing Workshops work best with 16 or so participants

Writing Workshop Topics:

Teaching fun self-editing techniques to students in grades 4 to 12.
How to assist gifted student writers (of any age) without tearing your hair out in frustration.
Techniques for punching through writer's block.
Grade 12 Writers' Craft
personal memoir writing
Other topics upon request.

All Venues, library preferred.

Equipment required: A glass of water, lunch (egg salad sandwich on brown bread) 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 screen and projector for power-point.

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

Please note: Her surname is pronounced SKRIPP-ick.

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David A. Poulsen (AB)

DavidPoulsenAlberta. Writers' Union Member. Fiction, Multi-award winner. Grades 1-12

$325 plus GST for 1 session, $600 for 2, $850 for 3 and $1000 for 4, + travel.

The highly entertaining David Poulson is one of Canada’s most sought-after author-presenters in schools and makes between 80 and 100 school visits per year. Because he has written picture books, middle reader and YA novels, David is comfortable and willing to present to virtually every grade (and adult audiences as well). He can do up to four presentations in the same school or area in a day and is especially excited to conduct workshops (grade four and up) and work with the school’s young and often amazingly talented young writers.

 

David A. Poulsen has been a broadcaster, teacher, football coach, rodeo cowboy, stage and film actor and—most of all—writer. The author of twenty-four books from picture books to adult mystery/suspense will see his YA novel Numbers re-released by Dundurn (Toronto) in the fall of 2015. Numbers was awarded the Sakura Medal (voted by English speaking high school students in Japan as their favourite novel of the year) and has been added to the new English curriculum for Grade 10 in Saskatchewan.

David’s one-hour presentations with students are high energy, informative, infused with his passion for reading and writing and, most of all, they’re fun. He begins by sharing his journey to becoming a writer; it is sometimes hilarious (“The world’s worst rejection letter” and “The scariest moment of my life” are two examples), sometimes poignant (his first successful story was inspired by the tragedy of the Battle of Dieppe), sometimes inspiring (“if I can get my picture on the back cover of a book, so can you”) and always entertaining. Next, David’s reading will focus on a recent book written for the age group to whom he is presenting and as a former actor, he admits to ‘performing’ his readings. And finally, there is David’s favourite part of the presentation—the Q and A as audience members pepper him with questions that ‘never fail to amaze and delight.’ It is an hour that student and adult audiences alike have called everything from “inspirational” to “totally a blast.”

David’s presenting requirements are minimal—a table, a stool (not a chair), water and, most importantly—coffee, a lot of coffee…

Workshops:
David’s writing workshops will give students useful, easy-to-understand strategies they can use in creating their own stories. He focuses on helping young writers create real, believable stories that include all of the elements of good story writing including (and focusing particularly on) character and setting. The workshop content is David’s response to seeing too many students’ stories that focus only on plot, as kids—surrounded by superhero films and video games--try to create an action movie on paper. The best part of the workshop is that the students not only have fun but take hold of the hints and tips David gives them and “head off in directions I hadn’t even thought of.”
For his workshops David will need a whiteboard and markers or flipchart and pens. (Oh yeah, and the coffee again!)

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Lisa Dalrymple (Fergus)

lisadalrymplewp1.jpgFergus ON. Writers’ Union Member. Picture book author, Middle grade author, Crystal Kite winner, K-8.

Lisa’s rate is $450 for two 1-hour presentations) $650 for three or $750 for four plus travel from Fergus. (No costs for travel within Centre Wellington and Guelph.)

About Lisa

Lisa travels all over Canada and as far south as Grenada and St. Lucia, presenting to students from pre-school to grade eight. She was recently selected to tour British Columbia with TD Canada’s Children’s Book Week. Lisa enjoys using performance, visuals, and audience interaction tailored to the circumstances of each presentation to create a fun and interactive event.

Presentations

Each interactive presentation is tailored to each particular group. However, it often includes an element of visual story-telling and/or songs which draw out the themes in Lisa’s books. Presentations are structured but informal and Lisa welcomes and encourages audience participation.

  • Presentations: Preschool-Grade 8. Max. size 100+; 45 for JK-G1. (For JK-G1, two 30-minute sessions may be substituted for one 1-hour presentation.)
  • Workshops: Grades 6-8. Max. 30 participants.
  • Venue flexible: classroom, library or auditorium.
  • It is often the most fun if there is available
    • a flip chart
    • a projector and screen (for larger audiences)
    • a black or white board (for workshops only)

Themes for presentations vary but may include:

“Home Home Habitat” (Environment Presentations)

Skink on the Brink; any of the polar bear books

Centered around an endangered resident of Ontario, the Common Five-lined Skink, these presentations explore issues of habitat protection, endangered species and environmental conservation.

“The Story Behind My Stories”

Skink on the Brink and Jungle Jitters

Lisa’s road to becoming an author required a lot of perseverance, research and luck. It actually began when she was 8! This presentation addresses how authors “find” ideas; the role of research in fiction and non-fiction writing; and the challenges and rewards of work as an author.

“The Creation of a Picture Book”

Skink on the Brink and Double Trouble at The Rooms

Picture books are a unique marriage of words and art, each with a carefully selected medium, and many with additional stories told by the illustrations. This presentation works well should the school wish to expand upon Lisa’s visit with a self-directed art day. Directional support is available upon request.

Writer’s Workshop (Grades 6-8)

A discussion of where ideas come from, how to find them and how to flesh them out into the concept for an entire story. This presentation highlights Character, Setting and Plot and is followed by a workshop component that further addresses the shape of a story.

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