Aker, Don (Halifax NS)

Nova Scotia-based, Writers’ Union Member. White Pine Award-winning YA author is now scheduling visits for April 2018. $575 + HST + $110 travel for half a day (2 sessions); $1100 + HST + $200 travel for full day (4 sessions)

Please note that Don’s travel fee pays only a portion of his total travel costs, which include airfare, accommodation, meals, local transportation, etc., so he kindly requests that his hosts collect him at—and return him to—whatever subway/bus/train station is nearest their location.

Don Aker is internationally known for hard-hitting stories that address social issues such as youth crime, teen suicide, and gambling. Don’s most recent books include a mystery thriller set on Nova Scotia’s Bay of Fundy, a historical novel for Scholastic’s I Am Canada series, and a novel for Pearson Education’s classroom series on mental wellness. A former classroom teacher, Don enjoys speaking to students in grades 6-12, and his enthusiastic presentation style and sense of humour make him a hit with both teenagers and adults.

Although he prefers presenting to groups of 40 or fewer to facilitate interaction with his audience, Don has successfully presented to groups as large as 400 in auditoriums and theatres. However, larger group sizes lessen the opportunity for meaningful dialogue with students.

Don requires his hosts to provide the following items: · an LCD projector (Don will bring his PC laptop to run his PowerPoint) · an external speaker he can plug into his laptop (to amplify audio in film clips) · a viewing screen · a table for his presentation materials · a bottle of water · a microphone and amplifier if he is speaking in large, echoing venues or to very large groups.

Author Presentation

TITLE: Backstory and Beyond: One Writer’s Journey
AUDIENCE: Students in grades 6-12
LENGTH: 1 hour
DESCRIPTION: In this informative and entertaining presentation, Don describes the circuitous route that took him from a classroom in a small Nova Scotia school to one of the largest publishing companies in North America, and provides behind-the-scenes accounts of the experiences that have shaped both his fiction and his professional writing. Accompanied by a dynamic PowerPoint presentation, Don gives a brief overview of the books he has written, followed by a discussion of his writing process—where he gets his ideas, and the three questions he needs to answer before he can begin writing any story. He briefly describes the genesis of some of his novels and talks about his most important writing tool—his writer’s notebook. He always provides time for his audience to ask questions and, if time and interest permit, he may give a brief reading. Don is completely comfortable tailoring his presentation to the needs of a particular group (e.g., focusing on a particular novel that students have read or are reading), but he requires three weeks’ notice in order to prepare.

Writing Workshops

 Don offers half-day and full-day writing workshops, the length of which depend on the particular needs and previous experience of attendees. Don prefers to limit the number of participants to 20, but he is willing to increase that number if a host requires it. Fees for his half-day and full-day writing workshop bookings are the same as those for his author bookings.

A Sampling of Don Aker’s Writing Workshops

Inside Story: Writing Fictional Narratives
We Are Our Stories: Writing Personal Memoir
Writing Poetry: Distilling the Essence of Experience
Image Is Everything: The Art of Writing Screenplays

Writing Strong Essays: The Power of Persuasion

Professional Development Workshops

A former educator with 33 years of classroom experience that includes teacher-mentoring as well as instruction at the university level, Don offers a number of half-day and full-day professional development workshops for teachers of students in grades 5 to 12.

Fees for his half-day and full-day PD workshop bookings are the same as those for his author bookings.

A Sampling of Don Aker’s PD Workshops

Strategic Reading: Making Meaning of Text
The Poetry Roundtable: Talking Toward Meaning
Team-ing With Success: Cooperative Learning in the Classroom
Managing the Bundle: Responding to Students’ Writing
Polishing the Lens: The Power of Point of View

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

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