Irene Luxbacher (Toronto)

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

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

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

Presentations by grade

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

Here is an example of her themes by grade:

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

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

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

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

Professional Development Workshops:

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

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

Classrooms or library preferred

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

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

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

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Mahtab Narsimhan (Vancouver)

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

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

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

Presentations:

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

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

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

Writing Workshop Topics:

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

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

Venue : All, though libraries and classrooms preferred.  

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

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

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Mireille Messier (Toronto) (Blue Spruce)

Toronto. Writers' Union Member. French/English author. Picture books and middle grade. Great for immersion students! K to 6. Mireille’s rate is $300 for one 45-60 min session, $550 for 2, $750 for 3, $900 for 4 (max 4 per day, min 2 per day if outside GTA), plus travel by car (if outside Toronto). HST extra.

New! Mireille has TWO new ENGLISH picture book available!

New! Mireille has TWO new ENGLISH picture book available! She can present "The Branch" / "Ma branche préférée" or "Fatima and the Clementine Thieves/Fatima et les voleurs de clémentines" in either English or French or both. Both these stories are about collaboration and are ideal for readers from grades 1-3.

Most of Mireille's books are published in French and range in genre – from picture books, to chapter books and non-fiction. She enjoys presenting to immersion students and offers lively presentations that are tailored to the language level of the classes.

School presentations will include a reading of the selected book, an activity based on the theme of the book and a discussion with the author about her craft. Depending on the book selected, Mireille will bring puppets (Fatima or Charlotte).

 

Presentation Details

Available in French or English/French (bilingual)
Mireille is a member of The Writers’ Union of Canada, and so schools wishing to invite her may be eligible for a travel and fee subsidy to off-set the cost of her visit.

Here is an example of her presentations by grade:

JK to 1: two 30-minute sessions for the price of one full session ($300+HST) using her book Quel fouillis! (includes a tool-related activity and a song) or Une Bestiole à l'école (includes an insect-related activity and a song).

Grade 1 to 4: The majority of Mireille’s books are for this age group. 45 to 60 minutes: Session featuring a book of your choice plus a related activity followed by a Q&A on topic/book selected.

Themes available: Environment/Weather (The Branch/Ma branche préférée), Travel/Geography (Charlotte partout), Anagrams/Word Play (Voilier d’Olivier/Quand les zéros), Food/Cooking (Salade de César), Sports (Charlotte Olympique), Night/Rhyme (Luca/Night Flight).

All presentations in this category feature a reading from a giant version of the selected book. When presenting books from the Charlotte series, Mireille comes accompanied by her puppets.

Grade 4 to 6: 45 to 60 minutes. Session featuring a book of your choice plus a related activity followed by a Q&A on topic/book selected. Books available for this level are Fatima et les voleurs de clémentines (advanced picture book)& the middle grade chapter books from Les aventures de Viviane et Simon series.

Maximum number of students per session: 40-80 (flexible)

Venues she is comfortable in: classroom, library, auditorium. Gymnasium as a last resort.

Equipment requirements: table, glass of water, lapel microphone for larger groups, light lactose-free snack if booked for full day.

Note: Mid to late-morning start time requested during winter months (Dec-March)

 

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Vikki VanSickle (Toronto) (Red Maple)

Toronto. Writers' Union Member. Dynamic writer and publishing professional. Interactive presentations, customization available. All ages.

$300 + HST for 1 hour presentation; $500 + HST for 2 + travel for locations outside Toronto.

Vikki is a dynamic and engaging presenter who mixes funny anecdotes with interactive activities to connect with audiences of all ages. She grew up in Woodstock, ON where she spent her childhood reading, figure skating, and watching the X-Files in the dark. In addition to writing, Vikki works in marketing at Penguin Random House and is an award-winning bookseller, playwright, former camp counsellor and musical theatre buff.

Presentations:

JK- Gr 2: IF I HAD A GRYPHON

When a kitten sneezes it's adorable, but when a dragon sneezes it's a fire hazard! In this presentation students are asked to consider objects from a bag of clues to determine what kind of pets may be in the book. Teacher's guide and printed activities available as well. A fun introduction to mythological creatures based on IF I HAD A GRYPHON, finalist for the 2017 Blue Spruce & Ruth & Sylvia Schwartz Award.

Works best in a classroom or library situation.

Offering two 30-35 minute presentations for hourly rate of $300 + HST. Some travel costs may apply.

Gr 4-8: THE WINNOWING- New!

This presentation focuses on Vikki's new novel, THE WINNOWING and explores the possibilities of Vikki's two favourite words, WHAT IF? Includes an introduction to alternative history and conspiracy theory.

Req: projector, surface to project onto, mic for large groups/gym presentations

GR 6-8: SUMMER DAYS, STARRY NIGHTS

This presentation is built around 2015 Red Maple finalist SUMMER DAYS, STARRY NIGHTS and focuses on music and culture of the 1960s. It includes trivia and a discussion of character building featuring music clips. Students will be asked to take part in the Summer Days, Starry Nights Playlist Project.

Req: projector, surface to project onto, mic for large groups/gym presentations

Vikki can also tailor presentations for adults (especially teachers, librarians and writers' groups,) writers' craft students or schools that are interested in a class novel study. Contact her for more details.

Vikki can also tailor presentations for adults (especially teachers, librarians and writers' groups,) writers' craft students or schools that are interested in a class novel study. Contact her for more details.

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Catherine Austen (Ottawa)

catherineausten7

National Capital Region. Writers’ Union Member. YA, MG and Picture Book author. Multiple awards. All ages.

$250 for one session, $450 for two, $600 for three, plus HST (plus travel if outside of Ottawa/Gatineau).

Catherine Austen writes funny, sad, award-winning fiction for all ages. Her school presentations divulge everything she has learned about writing books, accompanied by dramatic readings and adorable cat photos. Catherine has led presentations and writing workshops for the MASC Young Authors’ and Illustrators’ Conference, the TD Children’s Book Week, the Hackmatack Author Tour, the Gaspesie Bookfest, and the Vancouver Island Children’s Book Festival.

Presentations:
Catherine offers the following presentations for different ages:

“10 Tips for a Fearless Writing Life.” Everything Catherine has learned about becoming an author summed up in an hour and accompanied by cartoons, memes, and fun facts about phobias. Learn how to spot a good story idea, face years of rejection, and take grammar tips from Yoda. With personal anecdotes, Q&A throughout, and a reading in a devil voice. Adaptable to grades 3-7. One hour.

“Making up Stories: My Cat Isis and my cat Isis.” Meet the cat that helped Catherine write a book about ancient Egypt. Learn about all the things every writer needs to succeed. Explore everyday writing opportunities you couldn’t find 3,000 years ago. And discover how a picture book is made. With ancient Egyptian props, cute cat pictures, Q&A throughout, and a reading of My Cat Isis. Adaptable to grades JK-3. 45-60 minutes.

“Writing and Reading Dystopian Fiction.” Share the joys and heartaches of being a writer in this sad and beautiful world. Read cruel statistics about the publishing industry and learn to rise above them. Embrace testimonials to the benefit of books as entertainments, lifelines, and blueprints for a better world. Analyze a scene from the first awful draft to the final excellent polish. Own your love of literature and embrace your inner author. With tips for teen writers, bad puns, Q&A, and a reading from All Good Children. Adaptable to grades 7-12. One hour.

Writing Workshops: Catherine can take students in grades 4 and up through a series of grade-appropriate exercises on a theme discussed in advance of her visit (e.g., writing funny stories; developing an idea into a story; writing dialogue; revising). Writing workshops are tailored to each class in sessions up to 2 hours long.

All presentations require a projector and screen or an HD monitor or a smartboard; writing workshops require a blackboard and/or flipchart.
Presentations are suited to audiences of up to 100 students; writing workshops are for single classes (25 students).
Catherine will present in any venue but prefers a library; writing workshops are best in classrooms.

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Kathy Kacer (Toronto)

kathykacerwp2.

Toronto, ON. Writers’ Union Member. Historical fiction and non-fiction, multi-award winner, and experienced speaker.

Kathy’s rate in and around the GTA is $400 per session. HST and mileage charges are also applicable.

Kathy is an experienced presenter, comfortable in front of an audience of young people and adults alike. In the past fifteen years, she has spoken in over one thousand schools, libraries, colleges, and universities across Canada and in parts of the United States, the U.K., Germany, Brazil, Australia, and Slovakia. She also teaches writing to adults, children and teens, and conducts writing workshops.

Kathy’s one-hour reading revolves around a slide presentation and talk. She brings wonderful historical slides pertaining to each of her novels and she weaves her stories around the historical events of the Second World War and the Holocaust. She has a separate set of slides for each of her books. For example, for The Secret of Gabi’s Dresser, she has slides, of the real Gabi, the house in which she lived and hid, her village, the dresser, etc. For Hiding Edith, she has slides of the school in France where Edith was hidden, her family members, etc. The same is true of Shanghai Escape, the Whispers series, and all of her other books.

Kathy’s presentations are visual, interactive, and fast-paced. She loves speaking to kids. She loves their enthusiasm and their curiosity. Most of all, she loves making history come alive for young readers.

She prefers to speak to a maximum of 125 students at a time. She can be a bit flexible on this. Her presentations work best with students in grades 4-9.

Since her presentation is power point, she does require an LCD projector (provided by the school), or a smart board, a screen, and a microphone (if the audience size is over 50 kids). She can bring her own laptop, but please let her know if a laptop is available at the school in which case she can bring the slides on a USB flash drive.  She is comfortable speaking in a library or gym.

Kathy is also available for workshops for teachers and educators that focus on teaching sensitive material (i.e. war, genocide) to young people. She is able to provide valuable support material for educators who are working with sensitive topics in their classrooms and libraries. Her workshop topics include:

Teaching Sensitive Material to Young Readers
Historical Fiction and Creative Non-fiction: What’s the difference?
When They Are Gone, We Are Their Voice: True stories and how to write them.

Virtual Visits: $250 plus HST, 60 minutes, Skype/Google Talk

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Rebecca Bender (Burlington)

rebeccabenderwp1Author-Illustrator. Burlington, ON. Writers' Union Member. Blue Spruce winner. K to 4.

$350 plus HST for 1 session, two for $600, three for $800 and four for $1000, + travel for destinations further than 50 km.

Rebecca has been working as an illustrator, designer, and art director in children’s publishing for over 10 years. She brings her expertise of book and story creation to her talks and encourages children to create their own picture books. She is the author-illustrator of the popular Giraffe and Bird books. Recently she illustrated Slug Days, written by Sara Leach (October 2017).

Presentation
Rebecca’s goal is to inspire children to develop their own characters, write their own stories and craft their own books to share with others. Through drawing and discussion, children will take part in creating illustrations that may be a springboard for story writing. She shares her journey of becoming an author-illustrator and her process for coming up with ideas. Rebecca requires an easel, chart paper, and a chair and prefers a group size of about 65 students per presentation.

Rebecca is happy to visit middle schools, high schools and colleges as well, to speak about the creative process in both writing and illustrating.

Workshop
Rebecca offers illustration and writing workshops designed to kick start the creative process of making a picture book. For this presentation format, tables or clipboards and basic art supplies are necessary for the students.

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