Etta Kaner (Toronto)

Award winning author of over two dozen books for children ages 5 to 12, mostly non-fiction. Etta’s rate is $250.00 for a one hour session, and $450.00 for two sessions. Travel charges waived if the venue is in the GTA. Writers' Union member.

Etta is an animated, experienced educator and presenter who enjoys interacting with children of all ages. Etta has a particular interest in animals and architecture from a unique perspective. Her short-listed 2017 Silver Birch non-fiction book Friend or Foe: the Whole Truth about Animals That People Love to Hate is a book about point of view and persuasive argument, both components of all strands of the Ontario Language curriculum.

Rats, cockroaches, leeches, snakes, vultures – these are just a few of the animals that are discussed during Etta’s interactive presentation. After presenting both the negative and then positive sides of some of these animals, students are asked for their opinion: Is the animal friend or foe?

Etta then shares the secrets of how written voice and book design are used to persuade the reader to agree with a certain perspective. She also involves the children in an activity in which partners discuss and draw the positives and negatives of having unusual pets.

Time is given for Q and A about being an author, book publishing and about Friend or Foe in particular.

This presentation is suitable for students in grades 3 to 6 in the GTA. I prefer to meet in a library or classroom with space for children to work in pairs.

Group size: two classes at one time

Materials needed: Chart paper on easel or board, marker, pencils and poster paper for students, large table to display my books, water, a chair

Expectations: teachers are expected to stay with their students during the presentation and help with pairing students for the workshop component of the presentation

Follow-up Activities: I’m happy to provide teachers with follow-up activities that develop point of view using other books and activities.

 

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Kira Vermond (Guelph)

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Guelph. Writer’s Union Member. Silver Birch (Non-fiction) nominee 2017. Kira Vermond is an award-winning author of four non-fiction children’s books and 1,500+ articles for adult and children’s magazines, newspapers and websites.

$250 for one hour-long session, $450 for two, and $600 for three, plus HST. (Outside local area, multiple presentations preferred and can be shared with partnering school.) Writing workshop rate is $400 + HST for a two hours. No travel charges within the Guelph/Kitchener/Waterloo area.

Kira received her first (friendly) rejection letter from a kids' magazine when she was 11, but that didn’t stop her from wanting to be a writer. Today, she’s a busy author, journalist and winner of last year’s Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction. Her favourite part of being a writer? Talking to kids (and adults) about writing! Those who have attended her sessions have described them as, “amazing, informative, entertaining, cool, educational and fun.” She didn’t even have to pay these people (much)….

Presentation: We’re all liars! (And that’s normal) 

You were probably taught that honesty is the best policy. So why do your parents ask you to pretend you like all your birthday gifts, even Aunt Dora’s knitted dinosaur sweater? Does “being polite” mean lying? And aren’t card players encouraged to bluff when they play poker? Talk about mixed messages! This fun and thoughtful presentation will guide students (grades 4-6) through the ethically complex maze we call deception.

From the moment we jump out of bed in the morning until we climb back in at night, we’re living with so many different sneaky lies, cheats, frauds, and deceptions, we don’t even realize they’re there! We’ll cover food fraud, bogus advertising, the placebo effect, online trickery and cheating at school (plus how to stop). Finally, we’ll prove there’s a 100% accurate lie detection method (about 50% of the time).

From spaghetti farmers in Switzerland, to rattlesnakes in ball pits (eek!) and compulsive liars who just can’t stop, this interactive and fascinating session based on Half-truths and Brazen Lies will give students something to think about long after it’s over. (Honest!)

Special for Forest of Reading! As a way to celebrate reading, drawing and their book’s Silver Birch nomination, Kira Vermond and illustrator Clayton Hanmer will present together to a select number of schools in 2017! Clayton has a decade of experience “live drawing” in front of an audience. See how their engaging and hilarious rapport on the page translates to real life. Please book at least two months in advance to accommodate combined schedules. Contact for fee details.

For other presentation topics (money, bullying and cliques, why we live where we live, writing non-fiction, adult writing workshops, Q&A, etc.) please inquire using the contact form below.

Maximum number of students per session: Up to 80 students. Smaller groups (20-35) tend to work best. I’m comfortable presenting in the classroom, library, auditorium, and gymnasium. Please provide a glass of water and access to a black or white board with writing supplies. I request that a librarian, teacher or other school representative be present throughout presentations.

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Gisela Sherman (Dundas)

giselashermanDundas, Ontario. Writers' Union Member. YA, middle grade, early chapter, junior reluctant reader fiction. Writing workshops.

Gisela’s rate is $250 for one session, $200 for each following session, in the same school or area, plus travel beyond 30 km.

 

Gisela is an experienced presenter who really enjoys meeting her readers and makes sure they have fun too. As a former elementary school teacher and teacher-librarian, and creative writing instructor at Mohawk College and McMaster University, she tailors her presentations and workshops to suit each group, and any teacher requests.

 

As the author of a variety of ages of books, she can present to every grade in a school. For schools wishing to include younger grades (including JK and K), she has prepared a short, fun reading and activity.

She also enjoys talking or giving workshops to adult groups.

Presentations by Grade

Gisela is a flexible, easy presenter who adapts her presentations and workshops to any grade, teacher requests and student interest. She aims to instruct, entertain, and involve her audience, to help them share her love of reading and writing. All presentations allow time for questions.

Her presentations and workshops include:

JK -2: two 30 minute story reading and follow-up sessions for the price of one full session.

2- 4: presentation about writing, a reading and an activity, using King Of The Class, and perhaps There’s A Snake in the Toilet. (possible themes - friendship, research, competition.)

4 - 6: presentation including writing and research tips, a reading, and an activity, using There’s A Snake in the Toilet. (possible themes - bullying, bravery, snakes, animal treatment, friendship.)

6 - 8: presentation including writing and research tips, a reading, and an activity, using Grave Danger. (possible themes – mystery, ghosts, spreading rumours, family history.)

8 and up: presentation including writing and research tips, a reading, and an activity, using The Farmerettes. (possible themes – World War II, contribution of women during WWII, farming, adjusting to new situations, friendship.)

Maximum group sizes for presentations: 40 for JK to 3. 90+ for everyone else.

Workshops

Writing Workshops work best with 8 to 20 or so participants. For larger groups or a whole class, the teacher’s participation makes it better.

Each of these workshops will be geared to the age and ability of her audience.

Writing Workshop Topics:

How to make your characters write their story.  Hands on method for making characters 3 dimensional, interesting and believable – and how to plot with them.

Editing and the joy of second drafts. Tips, examples, and techniques of editing, plus hands on editing session – for those who bring in a piece of written work.

Setting - descriptions, mood, imagery.  Tips, examples and activities to make writing stronger and more vivid.

Other topics upon request.

Venues – classroom or library preferred. Any other as needed. Open areas with people passing through make visits distracting and difficult.

Equipment required:  A large table on which to spread books and materials, a chair, a microphone for larger groups or in the gym, a glass of water, a simple lunch (if she’s staying for the day.)

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