Barker, Michelle (Vancouver)

Vancouver. Writers’ Union member (schools may be eligible for travel and fee subsidies).

Award-winning author of poetry, a historical picture book, two YA historical novels, YA fantasy novel, short fiction, and non- fiction. Winner of the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award (2019); Kirkus Best YA Historical Fiction (2018); TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award finalist (2016). All ages.

Michelle’s rate is $225 for one presentation, $400 for two, $600 for three, and $750 for four. No travel costs within the GTA. Because she’s coming from out of town, Michelle requires two or more bookings. Online presentations available: $100 for 50 minutes.

Michelle grew up in Vancouver but has lived in Jerusalem, France, Quebec and the Okanagan region of BC. She has four children. In 2015 she graduated from the MFA program at UBC. When she isn’t writing, she works as a senior editor for The Darling Axe. An energetic presenter, she has run creative writing workshops and given presentations to people of all ages.

Michelle offers the following presentations:

1. K–1 30 minutes / 30 students max.
A Year of Borrowed Men
 Reading
 Time Capsule Activity
 Q&A

2. Gr. 2–5   60 minutes
A Year of Borrowed Men
 Reading with projected illustrations
 Slides and discussion about life on the farm in 1940s
 Some historical information
 Time Capsule Activity
 Q&A

3. Gr. 9-12 60 minutes
The House of One Thousand Eyes
 Slides and discussion about life in the former East Germany
 Some historical information and connections to the
 Being a teenager in East Germany
 The challenges of writing historical fiction
 Q&A

4. Gr. 9-12 60 Minutes
My Long List of Impossible Things
 Slides and discussion about life in Post-WW2 Germany
 Historical information and connections to the pandemic
 Being a teenager in Postwar Germany
 The challenges of writing historical fiction
 Q&A

5. Gr. 7-12 and adult 60 Minutes
From Idea to Book: The Process of Writing a Novel
 Choosing what to write
 The process of planning a novel
 When things go wrong (as they always do)
 Revision, submission, editing
 What it feels like when your book comes out
 The importance of persistence
 Q&A

With the exception of the youngest classes, the maximum number of students per session is flexible, but Michelle prefers to use a microphone for groups over forty.

Equipment requirements are a projector and a screen for a PowerPoint presentation. And a glass of water, please. Michelle brings a lap top. She would ask that a librarian or teacher be present throughout the presentation. If she’s booked for a full day, a lactose-free snack would be great.

Michelle will do workshops on request. She has presented workshops on poetry, dialogue, character creation, fantasy writing, novel writing, the three-act structure, and the importance of research in fiction writing.

Contact Michelle to book a visit: