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.
Toronto. Writers’ Union Member. Author / illustrator of Graphic Novels, Picture Books. Multi Awards. All ages.
550 for two sessions, $750 for three, and $900 for four plus HST and travel outside of the downtown Toronto core. Willow requests a minimum of two sessions, can be shared between two schools or libraries.
Willow Dawson has lots of experience giving presentations and workshops to kids and adults of all ages. Infact, she often presents to several different grades at the same school or library in a single day. She loves speaking about her books and more generally about comics and graphic novels, writing techniques and the illustration process. Each presentation is tailored to the needs of the group and is lively and educational with questions encouraged throughout!
Presentations by grade:
Willow likes to work with a general framework for her presentations informed by the teachers or librarians but which is open enough to accommodate the needs of the audience in the moment. She likes to let people ask questions throughout so that she is able to gauge interest areas and adjust as necessary. When she can, Willow tries to work in how she overcame the reading and writing difficulties she faced as a child only to become both an author and illustrator today! Teachers and librarians love her because her presentations are lively, informative and inspiring.
Here is an example of her themes by grade:
JK to grade 2 – two 30 minute storytelling sessions for the price of one full session ($375+HST) using The Wolf-Birds.
Grades 2 to 3 – 60 minutes: Storytelling session plus Q&A on The Wolf-Birds.
Grades 4 to 7 – 60 minutes. Presentations include an overview of the book of choice with a bit of historical background and information on how she creates a graphic novel, including: research, writing, illustrating, editing and revising.
Avis Dolphin: World War I, the sinking of the Lusitania, life in the 1910’s, friendship, the power of storytelling, survival. Collaborating with an author.
Hyena in Petticoats: Nellie McClung, The Famous Five, early Canada, feminism, women’s rights, suffrage, enfranchisement, The Persons Case. Life in the 1920’s – 1940’s.
No Girls Allowed: Hatshepsut, Mu Lan, Alfhild, Esther Brandeau, James Barry, Ellen Craft, Sarah Rosetta Wakeman, girls dressed as boys, women’s rights. Collaborating with an author.
Grades 7 to 12 – 60 minutes. Biography, autobiography and memoir. Willow uses the above books as well as her ongoing work on 100 Mile House (memoir) to discuss the differences and similarities, challenges and joys of writing biography, autobiography and memoir graphic novels. This presentation includes personal stories and anecdotes, including how she found her voice and became an author and illustrator.
Maximum group sizes for presentations: 45 for JK to Grade 3. 100+ for everyone else.
Workshops work best with smaller groups, around 15-20 participants.
Graphic Novel Workshop Topics:
Creating Tension and Drama, Creating Humour
Words and Pictures
Writing Engaging Dialogue
From Script to Thumbnails
Art Stages: Penciling, Inking, Colouring (includes an overview of design and lettering)
Other topics upon request
These workshops can be adjusted to suit the needs of any age group. They also work well for Writers’ Craft classes.
3-10 (or more) sessions. 60-120 minutes each. Participants get in-depth, hands on experience with each stage of the process of creating a comic or graphic novel, as well as a window into the worlds of self-publishing (‘zines and webcomics) and publishing (working with Editors, Art directors, and Publishers). Each stage of the process is handled in a separate session with an end goal of developing their stories into finished 1-3 page comics that are then photocopied and bound together as a small, collective comics ‘zine.
All Venues are acceptable.
Equipment required: A glass of water, a table for her presentation materials. A microphone for larger groups. A laptop, screen and projector for PowerPoint.
Willow sends her PowerPoint ahead of time. Please ensure it is set up and ready to go prior to her arrival.
Handouts will be sent for the teacher and/or librarian to photocopy in advance, along with a list of any materials the students may need if there is a workshop. Workshops require desks or tables and chairs for participants.
A librarian, teacher or other school representative should be present throughout the presentation or workshop.