Fonda Lee (USA) (White Pine)

Born and raised in Calgary, Fonda Lee is now a US resident residing in Portland, OR.  For this reason, Fonda cannot provide a Canadian VSS clearance. She will, however, obtain an Oregon background check if that is required by a booking host.

Fonda Writes science fiction and fantasy for teens and adults. Multiple awards including Junior Library Guild Selection, Andre Norton finalist, ALA Top 10 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, White Pine Award nominee. Grades 8-12.

$325 plus local travel expenses for one session, $500 for a half day, $1000 for a full day (max 4 sessions). 30-minute Skype visits for $100. Booking visits during the week May 14 - 18.

Fonda Lee is the author of Zeroboxer and the Exo series, both Junior Library Guild Selections and shortlisted for multiple honors including the White Pine award. She is also the author of the Green Bone Saga, an epic fantasy series for adult readers. Fonda’s books have been praised for their intense action, moral complexity, immersive world building, and appeal to reluctant readers. Fonda is a black belt martial artist and former corporate strategist.

About Fonda’s Presentations:

An experienced and dynamic public speaker, Fonda Lee has made appearances at conferences and conventions around the country. She speaks to students in grades 8-12 about the writing and publishing process, the role of research, and the science and scientific issues in her novels. She also conducts writing workshops on idea generation, story planning, and writing action scenes. She is happy to work with educators to adapt presentations for their needs.

From Spark to Shelf

A behind the scenes look at the writing and publishing process, from an idea in the author’s head to a book on the shelf. Fonda will take the audience through her own experience and those of other authors, examining how books are inspired, written, sold, and published, with an emphasis on research, revision, and perseverance. She’ll talk about why she writes science fiction and fantasy, how she made a dramatic career change in becoming an author, and answer student questions.

 Science and Science Fiction

An author talk that can easily fit into the science curriculum as well. Fonda discusses the scientific issues, ideas, and ethics she explores in her fiction, including space travel and planetary colonization, genetic engineering, and other future technologies. Fonda will talk about the role of science fiction and why she writes it, the importance of doing research and getting the science right, and interesting new advancements science fiction writers are tackling today.

The Story Only You Can Write

A creative writing focused lecture and workshop on how to generate ideas and turn those ideas into unique and personal stories, how to plan a piece of irresistible writing, and the good habits writers need to have. Includes short writing exercises and student participation in sharing their creative ideas.

Presentation Requirements:

Fonda speaks to audiences of all sizes. She will bring her own computer and adapter. Please provide a projector and screen, audio system, a bottle of water, and a microphone for large rooms or audiences.

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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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Lorna Schultz Nicholson (AB) (Red Maple)

 

 

 

 

 

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, and is definitely open to travel. Lorna’s books deal with diversity, and she is passionate about this topic. The students of today are the future for tomorrow and she believes that everyone deserves to be treated with respect!

K-2 - Lorna will discuss her Puckster characters (they’re all animals and diverse), and how she gets her ideas for her stories. She is animated, involves the children in her presentation, and uses her theatre background to be engaging. 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 with the K’s for the price of one full session. Oh, and because the Olympics are in February 2018, it is perfect timing for her to read Puckster Goes to the Olympics!

Grades 3-6 - 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? She has two new books for this age group: Superhero Ninja Wrestling Star (fiction) and Connor McDavid (non-fiction). Both of these books are about being different. Yes, you read that right. Then she’ll discuss the process of getting a book published, and include both fiction and non-fiction tips. 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.

Grades 7-8 – This is a special Red Maple Presentation! For three years in a row, Lorna has been nominated for the Forest of Reading Red Maple Award for her One-2-One series. She is humbled by this and wants to make the most out of these nominations. The One-2-One series is about the Best Buddies Club (a real club in schools all across North America) and the friendships between students participating in this club. This year the book is Bent Not Broken: Madeline and Justin and is about a teen who fell off her bike when she was eight and now has a brain injury. Book Lorna and find out about this series, and about what is bent but not broken! She will also have a sneak preview on the fourth book in the series!

High school classes - Lorna will engage the students by discussing her One-2-One series and how the world is full of diverse people. She will also discuss how she develops a story, the magic of story, and how she moves from idea to finished product. She will also discuss different research techniques and her writing process. 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.

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. This game 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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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.

Nancy Kettles (Grimsby Public Library) recently had this to say about Sue's visit there: "We had a wonderful afternoon with Sue Irwin. They were very engaged by her presentation and asked a lot of questions about hockey, injury, and her experiences as a writer. Her visit was a wonderful addition to Ontario Public Library Week."

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 -

A table to display books and other items, a screen for PowerPoint, and a mic for larger groups or questionable acoustics

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

 

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Anne Dublin (Toronto)

AnneDublin

Toronto ON. Writers' Union Member. Historical novels and biographies, multi awards and nominations. Ages 8 and up.

Anne’s rate is: $250 for one session, $400 for two. No travel charges will be incurred within Toronto. Transportation/accommodation fees will apply for presentations outside the Toronto area.

Anne is an experienced and passionate presenter. As the author of historical novels and biographies with Jewish themes and a former teacher-librarian, she adjusts her presentations to various age groups and school curricula. She also enjoys speaking to adults and has shared her stories in retirement homes, churches, synagogues, cafés, and public libraries.

Presentations:
Anne writes historical novels, biographies, and Holocaust literature. She likes to begin her talk with the reasons why she writes and why she chose a particular topic.

Anne uses pictures (PowerPoint and/or hard copies) to help tell the story as she reads from her books. She brings real objects about people and events, and often tells the students about how she found these objects.
Anne talks about the process of doing research: Where she’s travelled, how she learned peculiar and interesting facts, how serendipity often happened along the way.

Anne ends with a Q&A period, and a book signing if requested.

More details:

Grades 4 – 8: The majority of Anne’s books are for this age group. 45 to 60 minutes. Here are themes by book:

44 Hours or Strike: activism, anti-Semitism, clothing trade, employee rights, garment workers, Great Depression, labour unions, strikes, Toronto, women’s prison, women’s rights. Living in the 1930s.

Here is a Teacher's Guide for 44 Hours or Strike.

Odyssey Through Hell: Escape from the Warsaw Ghetto (co-written with Helen Drazek): hidden children, Adolf Hitler, Holocaust survivors, immigration, memoir, Montreal, Nazism, Poland, Righteous Gentiles, Warsaw, Warsaw Ghetto, Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, World War II.

Stealing Time: ancient Egypt, atomic clock, Bandoran (Ireland), clocks and watches, divorce, Sandford Fleming, John Harrison, London (England), medieval China, medieval France, monastery, Ottawa, Plymouth (CT), Prague, remarriage, step-brother, Eli Terry, time travel.

The Baby Experiment: Amsterdam (Netherlands), anti-Semitism, experiments on people, Hamburg (Germany), Leibnitz, orphans, orphanage. Living in 1700s.

Here are Teacher's Guides for Stealing Time and The Baby Experiment.

The Orphan Rescue: anti-Semitism, child labour, orphans, orphanage, poverty, Sosnowiec (Poland). Living in 1937.

Dynamic Women Dancers: activists, ballet, Bharatanatyam, biography, choreographers, flamenco, modern dance, overcoming problems, women dancers.

June Callwood: Avro Arrow, biography, Canada, Casey House, Digger House, Globe and Mail, Great Depression, human rights, Jessie’s Centre, journalist, Macleans, Nellie’s, Toronto, Trent Frayne, women aviators.

Bobbie Rosenfeld: arthritis, athletes, Barrie (Ontario), biography, Canada, coming to Canada, Globe and Mail, Great Depression, hockey, Jewish, immigration, sports writers, Summer Olympics, Toronto, track and field, women athletes.

Presentation Details:

Anne is happy to speak to Grade 4 and up, and prefers to be in a library or classroom.

Audience size: 50 – 75 is preferred; 150 maximum

Technical requirements: Laptop, projector and screen. If room is overly large or noisy (gym), please provide a microphone (wireless preferred) and a lectern. A table to display books and materials is helpful.

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Andrew Larsen (Toronto) (Blue Spruce)

Toronto ON. Picture book author, Blue Spruce nominated, award winning, inspiring.

Andrew’s rate is $300 + HST for a single session or $500 + HST for an entire morning (multiple sessions). He charges for travel only when visiting locations outside of Toronto.

Andrew is convinced that we all have stories to tell and our own way of telling them. His presentations inspire students to believe they have what it takes to discover their own stories and to share them.

Presentation Details

Grades JK – 3: (approximately 40 minutes) We’re all storytellers. We’re born that way. We tell stories when we play, pretend, squiggle and dream.

Andrew encourages students to recognize that they are surrounded by stories just waiting to be told. Some of those stories are made up. Some are based on real events or real people. He talks about how ideas grow into stories and, in turn, stories can grow into books.

This year marks the first year that Andrew will be able to talk about writing non-fiction as he is presenting his picture book biography The Man Who Loved Libraries; The Story of Andrew Carnegie. A biography is essentially a retell of someone’s life history. It does not depend on imagination. Anyone can do it.

Using show and tell, an unforgettable magic trick, and an engaging style, Andrew inspires the belief that we can all be authors. He demonstrates how a single piece of paper can be turned into a book, ready to be filled with words or pictures. He reads one of his own books and, finally, he welcomes questions.

Andrew leaves students wanting to make their own books and share their own stories.

Grades 4, 5 and 6: (approximately 50 minutes) Andrew believes that a story is a story is story, whether the story is told in a picture book or in a chapter book. Building on his conviction that we all have stories to tell, Andrew talks about the value of a writer’s journal. Keeping a journal reminds us that we are all writers! Andrew talks about how the seed of an idea, jotted in a journal, can grow into paragraph. A paragraph can grow into a chapter and a chapter can grow into a book. We are all authors! He reads from Dingus, his newest middle-grade chapter book.

Family Literacy Events: Andrew loves to engage families and to instill a sense of fun in the stories we share together. Some of the best stories begin at home with our families. Andrew talks about most of his own stories began at home. Some even began as handmade, homemade books. Andrew’s family literacy events are fun! Most all, they’re inspiring.

Andrew will present to grades JK - 6.

He will happily present to any number of students. He has presented to as few as 6 and as many as 250.

Andrew will present in a classroom, library, gym or under a tree.

He loves to do presentations for Family Literacy Events (fun for the whole family!)

If it is a large group Andrew will require a laptop and projector.

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