Hughes, Susan (Toronto, ON)

Writers Union Member. Canscaip. SCBWI. Fiction & NF, multiple Forest of Reading nominations. Multi awards. Mainly grades K to 6.

Virtual visit: $200 (plus hst) for one session of 40-50 mins; and $150 for each additional session on the same day. Also, $220 (plus hst) for two back-to-back 30 min sessions with Kinders.

Susan is an award-winning author of over 30 children’s books (fiction and non-fiction), including picture books, chapter books, middle-grade novels, and YA novels—and even some graphic narratives (picture books and middle-grade). She runs through the local cemetery, where she glimpses coyotes and foxes; was dog- and horse-crazy as a kid; and no matter what’s she’s doing, would usually rather be reading.

Susan’s books have won and been shortlisted for several awards, including the Silver Birch Express, Silver Birch Non-fiction, Red Maple, Red Cedar Information Book, Hackmatack, Prix des Libraires du Quebec (Jeunesse), Bank Street Best Children’s Books of the Year, TD Canadian Children’s Literature, Diamond Willow). Her books have received starred and recommended reviews from Kirkus, CCBC, CBC Books, Quill & Quire, School Library Journal, Resource Links, The Globe & Mail, CanLit for Little Canadians and CM Magazine.

Susan loves chatting with young readers about her books, the writing and publishing process, and their own writing projects. Susan will read from one or more of her books, discuss the inspiration for her book and the writing, research, and publishing process, and engage in a lively Q and A with young students.  

Readings from her book(s), plus Q&A’s with audience (20-30 mins for kinders; 30-50 mins for gr 1 and up)

Suggestions of picture books for presentations:

Same Here: The Differences We Share (gr 2 – 5)

This MG informational picture book introduces readers to kids from around the world, the lives they lead, and the common needs that unite them. The child-centered narrative and evocative illustrations explore how education, family, free time, and other aspects of daily life look different depending on who you are and where you live.

Themes: common needs, global connections, equality/equity, diversity, education, communication, socio-economic realities, social studies

Walking for Water: How One Boy Stood Up for Gender Equality (gr 2 – 5)

In this inspiring picture book story of individual activism (based on a real boy), Victor recognizes gender inequality when his sister must stop attending school — and decides to do something about it.

Themes: equality, gender, children taking action, Malawi, fiction/ non-fiction, graphic novel, family, diversity, authenticity, experts, Citizen Kids, global connections

Carmen and the House That Gaudi Built (gr 1 – 6)

Carmen Batlló must move to the city, leaving behind her imaginary salamander—but then meets architect Antoni Gaudí. This picture book is inspired by the real Batlló family and the house Gaudí designed for them.

Themes: fiction versus non-fiction, based on, imaginary friends, architecture, home, nature, moving, Antoni Gaudi, change

What Happens Next (gr 2 -6)

This picture book story is told by an unnamed protagonist who, when bullied by a girl at school, confronts the bully in a unique way— helping the bully see the world with a new perspective.

Themes: bullying, emotions, empathy, non-gendered character, point-of-view, differences and similarities, courage

Walking in the City with Jane: A Story of Jane Jacobs (gr 3 – 7)

A fictionalized story of the life of Jane Jacobs, one of the world’s greatest urban thinkers and activists, this picture book is a terrific resource for exploring civic engagement, urban life, and the role of city planning.

Themes: urban activist, ecosystem, grassroots, observer, perseverance, courage, citizenship, initiative, prison, biography, annual Jane Walks

Up! How Families Around the World Carry their Little Ones (K to gr 2)

A celebration of diversity, this non-fiction picture book depicts children being carried in many different ways by various family members in 10 places around the world.

Themes: family, emotions, empathy, rural/urban, diversity, global connections

Off to Class: Incredible and Unusual Schools Around the World  (gr 4 to 7)

In this middle-grade non-fiction book, you’ll travel around the globe to visit some of the world’s most incredible schools (on boats, on train platforms, mobile schools, etc.) and meet the students who attend them.

Themes: education, equality/equity, tough decisions, diversity, initiative, interviews, citizenship, global connections

Virtual meetings can be on Zoom, Google meets, or Skype. Audience size: let’s discuss!

Connect with Susan to book a visit:

    Leach, Sara (Whistler, BC).

    Sarah Leach

    Writer’s Union Member. Presentations in English for K-7. Virtual visits:  $150 for 45-60 minute session. In person visits: $250 for one session, $400 for two sessions, $800 for full day, plus travel expenses. No HST.

    Sara is an award-winning author of 9 books for children. She brings 25 years of teaching experience to her presentations.

    Sara has written picture books, chapter books and middle-grade novels and loves speaking to all age ranges within a school. She can tailor her presentations to any group of students. Some of the topics students and teachers have enjoyed most include:

    What does every story need? Sara discusses character, setting and problem using the Slug Days series and leads students to create their own story starters.

    I know that place! In this author talk based around the Jake Reynolds books, Sara describes the writing process, and how she used events and locations from her own life to add exciting details to the books.

    Where do authors get their ideas? Everyone has a story to tell, and authors draw from all parts of their lives (and sometimes those of their friends), to write a book. In this workshop Sara will describe where the ideas for her books came from, and how she used bits and pieces of experiences from throughout her life to write these fictional stories.

    Sara is happy to present in any setting, but the library is preferred. A screen and projector are helpful and a microphone and podium are required for a gym. Virtual visits can be through Google Meets or Zoom. If you have a different platform you’d like to use she’s happy to try it.

    Contact Sara to book a visit:

      Bender, Rebecca (Burlington ON)

      Author-Illustrator. Burlington, ON. Writers’ Union Member. Blue Spruce winner. Mainly K to 3, but also any age.

      Virtual visit: $200 plus HST for one session, 20-60 minutes, and $150 for each additional on the same day.

      In-person: $350 plus HST for 1 session, two for $600, three for $800 and four for $1000, + travel for destinations further than 50 km.

      Rebecca has been working as an illustrator, designer, and art director in children’s publishing for over 10 years. She brings her expertise of book and story creation to her talks in hopes of generating a creative buzz among her audience. She is the author-illustrator of the popular Giraffe and Bird books and this year Giraffe and Bird Together Again has been nominated for the OLA Blue Spruce Award.

      Presentation

      Rebecca’s goal is to inspire children to imagine their own characters and stories and to act on it! The students will take part in creating illustrations, drawn live before their eyes, that will bring forth story ideas and animated discussion. She shares her journey of becoming an author-illustrator and her process for coming up with ideas. Rebecca requires an easel, chart paper, table, and a chair and prefers a maximum of 65 students per presentation.

      For larger groups, a variation of this presentation is done with slides. Please note a projector and sound system is required for this option.

      Workshop

      Rebecca also offers a workshop on jump-starting a picture book. She shows the students how to go from creating a strong central character to a solid story idea. For this, tables or clipboards and basic drawing supplies are necessary.

      Contact to book Rebecca:

        Becker, Helaine (Toronto, ON)

        Toronto. Writers’ Union Member. National Bestseller. 2+time Silver Birch winner. Multi awards. K-8. Please note: Helaine’s rate is $800 + HST for two sessions, $1000 + HST for three and $1250 +HST for four, plus travel from Toronto.

        Helaine is an experienced and passionate presenter – and so funny that she is often told she should be a stand-up comedian. She can do up to four side-splitting and inspirational presentations in the same school or area in a day. As the author of picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, non-fiction and YA novels, she routinely presents to an entire school over the course of a day. She also loves speaking to adult groups and showing off her underwear (her underwear puppet, that is).

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