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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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.

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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Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch (Brantford) (Golden Oak)

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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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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Kathy Kacer (Toronto)

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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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LM Falcone (Toronto)

LMFalconewp1Toronto, ON. Writers’ Union Member. Former children’s television writer, author of middle-grade spooky fiction and detective mysteries for Grades 1 – 4. Silver Birch winner. Multiple awards. Ages 7 – 12.

1 session $300, 2 sessions $500 3 sessions $700, plus travel.

LM Falcone wrote for children’s television shows such as The Littlest Hobo and Nickelodeon’s Are You Afraid of the Dark? This led into award-winning, scare-your-pants-off middle-grade novels. Her books include The Mysterious Mummer, Walking with the Dead, and The Midnight Curse. LM is currently writing a new kid-detective chapter book series, The Ghost and Max Monroe.

Grab your magnifying glass and jump in!

Presentation Details

SPOOK-A-LICIOUS! (For Middle-Grades)
Four hot spooky books and a hit television series all get discussed and dissected in this fast-moving, interactive presentation. As a former television writer and now an author, I use videos, novels and comics to cover the many types of writing. Also in the presentation: Creating Juicy Problems/Fun Characters/Handy Tips/Research/ Brainstorming/Editing and Publishing. I read from my novels and talk about the importance of inspiration and imagination. My presentation runs one hour.

WHODUNIT? (For Grades 2 – 4)
Mysteries appeal to kids of every age. They love to solve puzzles, and nothing is more satisfying than the feeling they get when pieces finally start to fit and a picture begins to form. In my lively Whodunit? presentation I focus on my comedic, kid detective series The Ghost and Max Monroe.

Students will be introduced to the mystery genre. Topics explored are:

Vocabulary (sleuth – alibi – motive etc)
Characters (detective – sidekick – suspects)
Elements of Writing a Mystery (crime – victim – clues etc.)

Interactive portion: Students will get to flex their memory skills and also solve a mini-mystery.

Specifics:
Maximum audience size: 3 classes (approximately 90 to 100 students)
I am comfortable in a classroom, library, auditorium or gym
Presentation requirements: Chalkboard or chart paper. A table to display my materials. TV & DVD or VCR for Spook-a-Licious presentation.

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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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