Varga, Andrew   (Oshawa, ON)

Member of the Writers Union of Canada, the Royal Historical Society, and the Historical Novel Society. 2024 Red Maple Award Nominee.

Rates: $250 for one session, $450 for two, $675 for three, $900 for a full day (four sessions). Plus a travel fee of $0.50/km if outside the Durham Region. 

Virtual visit fees range from $100 – $200

Andrew is an experienced and passionate speaker who tailors each presentation to the group in front of him. As someone who has studied history all his life, he loves speaking to children and adults about the lesson-known sides of history and why historical fiction is important for people to read. But he is also more than happy to work with teachers and educators if there are certain topics they wish to see covered and he can quickly adapt if the situation calls for it. 

The Last Saxon King is a 2024 Forest of Reading Red Maple Nominee

Andrew’s presentations involve a fun and immersive deep dive into the past, with audience participation a crucial part of the presentations. He doesn’t want to just talk to the audience, he wants them there with him as he takes them on a tour through the past. His presentations work best with students in grades 7 through high school. He prefers to speak to a maximum of 125 students at a time. He can be a bit flexible on this.

Since his presentation is power point, he requires an LCD projector (provided by the school), or a smart board, a screen, and a microphone (if the audience size is over 50 kids). He will bring his own laptop.

Contact Andrew to book a visit:

    Lukidis, Lydia (Montreal, Quebec)

    Award winning author Lydia Lukidis, shortlisted for a Silver Birch Express (Forest of Reading) Award and nominated for a Cybils Award. CANSCAIP, SCBWI, and 12×12 member.

    Rates:

    For in-person workshops (Montreal and surrounding areas)- $300 for one sixty-minute session, $450 for two, $600 for three, $750 for four, plus a travel fee of $0.50/km.

    For virtual workshops- $200 for a session of up to sixty minutes, $100 for each additional session on the same day, up to four sessions in one day. Flexible and able to accommodate schedules in a range of time zones.

    Lydia Lukidis is the author of 50+ trade and educational books for children. Her titles include DANCING THROUGH SPACE: Dr. Mae Jemison Soars to New Heights (Albert Whitman, 2024), DEEP, DEEP, DOWN: The Secret Underwater Poetry of the Mariana Trench (Capstone, 2023) which was shortlisted for the Silver Birch Express (Forest of Reading) Award, and THE BROKEN BEES’ NEST(Kane Press, 2019) which was nominated for a Cybils Award. A science enthusiast from a young age, Lydia now incorporates her studies in science and her everlasting curiosity into her books. She also enjoys writing books with social emotional learning (SEL) themes such as friendship, empathy, and gratitude.

    Workshops:

    Lydia has 15 years experience working with children in elementary schools. She’s passionate about spreading the love for literacy and her presentations are dynamic and lively. The goal is to entertain and educate in a way that illuminates the magic of the written word.

    Lydia offers writing workshops that tie in with educational curriculum for students from kindergarten to grade six. Each workshop begins with an initial presentation where she discusses her writing process giving particular attention to the art of editing. This will include some fun literacy games. Lydia will then help students brainstorm and start their own writing process. These workshops are an excellent opportunity for students to develop good writing and cognitive skills, improve literacy, and tap into creative self-expression. Study guides and follow up activities will be provided.

    The workshops are tailored for each grade, here are the various options:

    • Story Making 101 (1-6)
    • Character Development (K-6)
    • Fairy Tale Magic (1-4)
    • The Power of Mythology (4-6)
    • Persuasive Writing (2-6)
    • The Art of Poetry (2-6)
    • Personal Narratives (2-6)
    • Crafting Nonfiction (2-6)
    • Let’s Write a Book (2-6, a special 3-part workshop where students communally write and illustrate a book that Lydia will print)
    • Author Reading with Puppetry Workshop (K-3)
    • Advanced Narrative Building (6)

    (35 students maximum for in-person, 100 for virtual)

    Presentations:

    • Sparking Interest through STEM: This presentation will show children that STEM is not only all around us, but it’s also fun and exciting! (K-3)
    • Dream Big and Take the Leap: This presentation will highlight the perseverance required to achieve your dreams and how seeming “failures” can help you carve your path to success. The goal is to inspire students to dream big! (3-6)

    (100 students maximum)

    Suggested Reading:

    Grades 2-5:

    DEEP, DEEP, DOWN: The Secret Underwater Poetry of the Mariana Trench is a lyrical spare-text STEM picture book that takes readers on a journey to where few humans have ever been. The narrative debunks scary myths about this mysterious place with surprising and beautiful truths about life at Earth’s deepest point.

    (Themes: STEM, deep sea, biodiversity, conservation, oceanography, biology, geology)

    Kindergarten-3:

    The Broken Bees’ Nest (Makers Make It Work series)

    Arun and Keya find the perfect tree for a tree house. Too bad it comes with a battered bees’ nest! These bees need a new home―right away! Tying into the popular Makers Movement, Makers Make It Work is a series of fun easy-to-read stories that focus on problem-solving and hands-on action. This charming story explores the Makers theme of Beekeeping and includes explanatory sidebars and an insect-related activity for young makers to try themselves!

    (Themes: STEM, honeybees, beekeeping, beehives, pollination, biology)

    For Q&A’s, it’s recommended to read the book in class and prepare questions in advance if possible.

    Requirements:

    Lydia will require a smart board with functional speakers for a PowerPoint or Google Slides presentation. Students will need pencils, erasers, loose-leaf paper, and sometimes pencil crayons and markers. In order to ensure a successful workshop, it is essential that at least one educator/librarian remain in class for the duration of the workshop. For larger presentations in-person, she will require a table, microphone, and a proper PA system.

    Lydia also provides manuscript critiques for fiction and nonfiction.

    Contact Lydia to book a visit:

      Campbell, Curtis. (Toronto, ON)

      Curtis Campbell

      White Pine 2024 nomination. Dora Mavor Moore Award, Best New Play nominee. Second City Award For Outstanding Comedy winner.

      Booking Rates: $300 for one session, $450 for two, $675 for three, $900 for a full day (four sessions). Plus a travel fee of $0.50/km if outside Toronto.

      Virtual visit fee: $200

      Curtis Campbell is a novelist and playwright based out of Toronto. His novel Dragging Mason County is a nominee for the 2024 White Pine award, and was recently given a starred review by Publisher’s Weekly. Curtis performs drag and comedy under the name Alanis Percocet.

      Presentations

      Curtis Campbell is a novelist and playwright with years of experience in Theatre For Young Audiences and leading classroom workshops. He offers formal writing workshops, and less formal classroom talks about his work and about the craft of writing. His workshops are available for grade 6-12 and are adjusted based on the age bracket.

      Grade 6-12

       45-90 minute workshops

      Dragging Mason County

      Discussion of the White Pine nominated novel, and Curtis’ process while writing it. Discussion topics include LGBTQIA+ youth issues, friendship and chosen family, allyship, homophobia and transphobia, theatre and drag, managing mental health, managing anger, issues around social media,and gender expression.

      Talk To An Author and Playwright

      An engaging Q+A about the literary and theatre industries with a particular interest in discussing how students can begin developing, or continue developing their own artistic practice.

      Writing Character Voice

      A workshop on writing in the first person, how to develop the voice of your character,  how to begin developing your writing style, and how to effectively critique your own work and other’s. Students will share their work

      Self Editing

      A practical workshop on editing for both fiction and non-fiction to produce more engaging writing.

      Developing Comedic Voice

      As an award winning comedy writer, I know a thing or two about writing effective pieces in a comedic voice. This workshop will involve a look at my own approach to comedy, and how I developed my own comedic voice. From there the students will write short comedic monologues before discussing what works about them, and how the students can take that writing further.

      Playwriting

      I am a working playwright and have ten years of experience creating plays in both the independent and professional worlds. This workshop will explore the basics of playwriting and teach students about the process of scene creation by having them write one of their own.

      Dialogue

      A practical workshop focussed on how dialogue works for both novels and plays, its use to convey character and plot, and how to develop dialogue consistent with the tone and style of the piece you are writing. Students will write and share work for discussion.

      Writing About Ourselves

      A workshop based around writing about yourself! In memoir, journal, fiction and nonfiction.
      I believe that everyone is a writer. People often say that they have nothing to write about, but we all have the ability to write about ourselves. This workshop is about putting yourself on the page using memory, identity, geography, imagination and site-specific practices to show students that they are writers too.

      These workshops can be performed in a single classroom, or with merged classrooms.

      The ideal group for writing workshops would be smaller, but I can make larger groups work just as well if there are a few staff members present.

      A microphone would be great to have if we are meeting in a gym or cafeteria.

      Workshops will always change by school and group, so I’m happy to customize and adjust based on your needs.

      Contact Curtis to book a visit:

        Currie, Susan (Brampton, Ontario)

        Member: Writer’s Union of Canada, Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators. Winner: Second Story Press’s Aboriginal Writing Award. Finalist: Silver Birch Award, CLA Book of the Year for Children, Hackmatack Award, Manitoba Young Reader’s Choice Award. 2X named Canadian Children’s Book Centre Best Books for Children. Burt Award Honour Book. Included on CBC’s list of “25 Canadian YA books to read in fall 2023.” All ages from 8 and up. Up to 100 or so participants.

        $250 for one session, $450 for two, $675 for three, $900 for a full day (four sessions). Plus a travel fee of $0.50/km to and from Brampton, Ontario.

        Virtual visits $200 plus HST for 30-60 minutes, $150 plus HST for each subsequent session on the same day.

        Susan Currie is a passionate and dynamic elementary teacher in Brampton, Ontario. Before she entered the public school system, she earned a living as an accompanist, music director, choir director, dinner musician, leader of various music programs for children, and piano teacher. She’s the author of two middle grade novels and a YA novel. All of these books explore themes of friendship, music, navigating challenges, being resilient, and finding your identity. Susan also has an upcoming nonfiction book about the Haudenosaunee (spring 2024). Susan has been on multiple Indigenous writing teams through the Elementary Federation of Ontario. She wrote lesson plans and prompts for Pearson’s Spark. Susan is an adoptee who was in the foster care system briefly as a baby, and only learned of her Haudenosaunee heritage (Cayuga Nation, Turtle Clan) as an adult. She is happily married to John and has a wonderful daughter named Rachel.

        Susan is extremely flexible as a presenter and can customize a presentation to the needs of each venue. Through years in the classroom, she is very comfortable in engaging in conversation with young people. For most presentations, she is likely to talk about how she became an author and how she discovered the way that her experiences in music, as a teacher, and as an Indigenous adoptee affected the kinds of things she wanted to write about. She will also do a reading and conduct a Q and A session.

        Susan is also excited to do writing workshops with small groups (no more than 15 or so). Topics might include the following, but please reach out to discuss your needs as Susan will happily customize a session.

        Building exciting scenes or characters

        Fun ways to edit your work that bring your story to vivid life

        Finding your creative voice (could include exploring how the medicine wheel helps you identify the four aspects of yourself)

        Using other art forms to inspire your writing – paintings, pieces of music, dance, etc. Writing a story based on one of these.

        Telling a story from your life in a dramatically compelling way

        Explore how to write effective and interesting dialogue

        Grades 4-8:

        The Mask that Sang (Second Story Press, 2016)

        This story is about a young girl, Cass, who learns about her Indigenous identity via a mysterious Haudenosaunee mask that shows her visions and sings to her. Through her friendship with Degan, an Indigenous boy, she uncovers what the mask is trying to tell her. Themes: magic realism, bullies, resiliency, systemic racism, residential schools, foster care, loss of identity, found friends, Indigenous history in Canada.

        Basket of Beethoven (Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 2001)

        This story is about a young boy, Sam, who is passionate about music but can’t afford piano lessons. He makes a deal with Helen, a lonely new girl: he’ll get rid of the bullies plaguing her, if she will teach him piano. Themes: unlikely friendship, bullies, music history, systemic inequities, children and parents, poverty, social justice, finding your voice through the arts, and the life of Ludwig van Beethoven.

        Grades 6-12

        Iz the Apocalypse (Common Deer Press, 2023)

        This YA novel is about a musically-gifted foster child who scams multiple systems in order to be able to attend a prestigious international high school for music. She knows that what she’s doing is wrong, but is willing to try almost anything to have a voice of her own. Themes: challenges foster children face, including the way that a disrupted education eliminates many possibilities for the future; how past trauma impacts the present; creativity and the arts; finding identity; loneliness and found family.

        All Venues. Equipment required: a glass of water, some simple lunch if she’s staying for the day. A table to spread her things out on. A microphone for larger groups or in the gym. A screen and projector for presenting slides and doing shared writing.

        Contact Susan to book a visit:

          Lyall, Casey (Strathroy, ON)

          Copyright Jordan Lyall Photography Personal

          Writers’ Union of Canada member. CANSCAIP member. Silver Birch Nominee. Red Cedar Fiction Award Winner. John Spray Mystery Award Nominee. Barnes & Noble Best Picture Book Nominee. Interactive presentations, writing games, customization available.

          English language presentations and workshops for grades K-6; further age ranges available on request.

          In-Person Visits (45-60 minutes): $300 for 1 session; $250 for each subsequent session up to four sessions in one day. A session may be split into two 25-30 minute sessions for Kindergarten.

          Virtual Visits (45-60 minutes): $200 per session. A session may be split into two 25-30 minute sessions for Kindergarten.

          Writing Workshops (2 hours): $500 per session.

          HST applies to all sessions. If travel is over 50 km, a CRA-based travel rate applies of $0.61 per kilometer, round trip.  

          Casey Lyall lives in Southwestern Ontario where she also works at her local library. She is the author of humorous picture books and middle grade novels such as the Howard Wallace, P.I. series, A Spoonful of Frogs (illustrated by Vera Brosgol), and Gnome Is Where Your Heart Is. Casey has a number of fun books on the horizon including the upcoming graphic novel, The League of Littles (illustrated by Ken Niimura.). During her presentations, Casey aims to entertain and inform while leaving her audience excited about creating their own stories.

          Casey takes students on an in-depth, behind the scenes look at her path to publication. She shares every part of the process: elementary school writing, failed projects, rejection and editorial letters, as well as revised and finished manuscripts. She offers tips and tricks for finishing a story and how to tackle the dreaded revisions. Other topics Casey can touch on include developing characters, the elements of a mystery, writing with humour, working on a graphic novel, surviving rejection, the value of persistence, and how to find your voice as a writer.

          Each presentation is approximately 1 hour with time allowed for student Q&A throughout and ending with a group story-building game. Casey is a very flexible presenter and can adapt her presentation to suit the needs of a school. If there is an interest in focusing more on one aspect of writing or on one of her books specifically, that can be accommodated.

          Casey can also customize presentations for specific groups. For example, a publishing-centric presentation for adults, an in-depth discussion with book clubs, educators looking to start a writing group for students, or a craft chat with a writers’ craft class, etc. Always feel free to reach out!

          If there is an interest in book sales at an event, Casey can provide order forms with instructions to help organize the process in advance. She co-ordinates with a bookstore that offers her titles at a discount.

          Writing Workshops are also available for smaller groups and run for approximately two hours. (Maximum size is one class or approximately twenty adults.)

          Workshop topics available:

          Building Your Story – focus on creating a story arc, writing dialogue that crackles, and developing characters and setting. Story prompts will be provided to practice applying each discussion to the page.


          Making Your Story Shine – focus on pacing, building tension, deepening relationships between characters, and sticking the ending. (Students should have an in-progress story to work on during the session.)

          As with presentations, customized workshops can be arranged (with different topics and/or longer sessions for an increased price.) Contact Casey to discuss details.

          Casey can accommodate presentations to groups of any size, but if she is presenting in a large venue, a microphone is required. A librarian, teacher, or other school representative should be present throughout any event. A digital projector and screen may be required (Some presentations are accompanied by PowerPoint slides. Casey can bring her laptop or provide a flash drive). Water and a table to keep supplies on are also appreciated as well as lunch if booking for a full day visit.

          Contact Casey to book a visit:

            Trinh, Linda (Winnipeg, MB) 

            Member of The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC), Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers (CANSCAIP), and The Manitoba Writers’ Guild (MWG).

            Co-winner of the Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book, Manitoba Book Awards. Nominee for the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award, Manitoba Book Awards.

            Rates: In-person: $300 for one session, $200 for each additional same-day session. Virtual: $200 for one session, $150 for each additional session.

            Linda Trinh is an award-winning Vietnamese Canadian author who writes fiction and non-fiction for children and adults. Her work has appeared in anthologies and literary magazines. She explores identity, cultural background, and spirituality.

            Presentations by Grades

            Linda is happy to work with teachers and librarians to develop a need-specific presentation. Here are some examples.

            Kindergarten to Grade 6 (60 minutes)

            All presentations include read aloud and author Q & A.

            Presentation: Your Stories Matter

            In this presentation, Linda will talk about how intersecting elements of her identity show up in her books and talk about her journey to becoming an author. There will be interaction and engagement throughout the presentation, allowing for questions. All this to inform and inspire young readers that their own stories matter.

            Presentation / Workshop: Write Your Own Story

            In this half presentation half workshop, Linda will talk about how her books reflect who she is and what she’s into and engage student participants to think about the same. She will do an exercise exploring what participants are interested in and how those things could show up in a story only they could write. All this to inform and inspire student participants to write their own stories.  

            The Nguyen Kids is a charming early chapter book series that explores Vietnamese culture and identity through the eyes of the Nguyen siblings, with elements of the supernatural, spirituality, and social justice woven in.

            The Secret of the Jade Bangle

            Eldest sibling Anne used to love ballet – until her new teacher starts treating her differently than the others. Will Anne be able to stand up to her?

            Themes: siblings, prejudice and racism, Asian, emotions and feelings, empathy, empowerment, problem solving, early reader chapter book

            The Power of the Pearl Earrings

            Middle sibling Liz doesn’t understand why the new boy in school doesn’t like her. How does she find her own inner power to overcome this?

            Themes: self-esteem and self-reliance, peer pressure, bullying, feminism, Asian, multigenerational, early chapter book

            The Mystery of the Painted Fan

            Jacob, the baby, is tired of always being told what to do. Can his mysterious painted fan help him find his voice in how he wants to express himself?

            Themes: multigenerational, emotions and feelings, siblings, bullying, prejudice and racism, gender identity, gender expression, early chapter book

            The Journey of the Ancestors’ Gifts

            It’s their first time in Vietnam and staying in Grandma Nội’s childhood home, so they should be excited. As soon as they enter the house, though, something doesn’t feel right. Why can’t they connect with Grandma Nội using their gifts, the way they can at home?

            Themes: multigenerational, Asia, travel, points of view, siblings, diaspora, Vietnam, identity, ancestors, early chapter book

            Venue: classroom, gym, library preferred.

            Equipment: Screen, microphone, and a table.

            Contact Linda to book a visit:

              Bradley, Sandra   (Kingston, Ontario)

              Sandra is a member of the Writers’ Union of Canada, the Canadian Children’s Book Centre and the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Her debut picture book, Henry Holton Takes the Ice (Dial, 2015), was an OLA Blue Spruce Award nominee and a Maine Chickadee Award nominee. The title was featured in a number of journals and magazines, such as Today’s Parent, and was celebrated by comedian Ray Romano as he joined a cast of other Hollywood personalities for the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Storyline Online.

              Sandra is an experienced classroom presenter. As a Clinical Social Worker (OCSWSSW) with almost thirty years of experience in working with children and their families, she offers a unique perspective to school visits. Sandra is very happy to travel and has visited TDSB schools on many occasions. Her rates are $300 for one session, $500 for two, $700 for three, or $900 for a full day (four sessions). Her travel fee is $0.68/km for school visits made outside the Kingston area. Sandra also offers virtual visits which are $200 and up, depending on the number of classes and time spent presenting.  

              Sandra begins presentations by chatting with students about some classic children’s picture books, as well as finding out if they have any favourite books they would like to share. Sandra then reads whichever book the school desires (Henry Holton Takes the Ice or Cocoa Magic). She can tailor presentations to the school’s requests, however, most of her workshops focus on either the subjects of inclusion and/or empathy or the craft of writing. Sandra’s presentations are fun, lively, and interactive.

              Sandra is comfortable with any group size up to one hundred students though she prefers single or double class groups. She is happy to present in a classroom or library and requires only a projector screen and laptap suitable for a PowerPoint presentation.

              Contact Sandra to book a visit:

                Bow, Erin (Kitchener, ON)

                erinbow1

                Writers’ Union Member. $250 virtual visit or $400 in-person, plus travel. $700 for a day with two visits (two schools can share).   Travel costs waived in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, and the townships.

                Erin writes YA science fiction and fantasy middle grade books. With multiple awards, she’s considered one of Canada’s rising stars: Quill and Quire calls her “a new master,” and the CBC says she’s “so close to YA superstardom she can probably taste it.”  As a presenter she’s down-to-earth and funny, working to give students real answers and emotional honesty.

                “I’ve had many novelists visit my classes over the years, but I can honestly say I’ve never seen one connect so well with a teenaged audience. —A.J. Blauer, Acting Head of Literary Arts, Canterbury High School (Ottawa, Ontario)

                Free Virtual Visits!
                I do free 10-15 minute virtual visits with classes or clubs who are reading one of my books. There’s no presentation, so I’m counting on the teacher or moderator to run a short, informal conversation or a Q&A

                Audience: Any small group

                Timing: 10 to 15 minutes

                Presentation-style School Visits

                For upper elementary and middle schools: How to Fail

                A funny presentation on how I became an author by failing every step of the way. (Step one: don’t have a dream.)

                I’ll give your students a peek behind the scenes of my creative process — research, writing, editing, and more — but the heart of the presentation is grit, growth, and being a little easier on yourself.

                Audience: Targeted at grades 5 – 9. Single classes or whole-school gatherings.

                Timing: Adaptable to your timetable, but generally 30-40 minutes plus a Q&A, for a total of 45-60 minutes.

                For middle schools, high schools: How to Fall off a Roof

                Neuroscientists have a question: when you’re falling to your death, does time really slow down? Being scientists, they’ve tested this by dropping volunteers from a great height. Any guesses on what they learned?

                This presentation uses that answer — and other insights from modern neuroscience — to introduce new ways to think about how details and pacing change the emotional intensity of a scene.

                Audience: Targetted at grades 7 – 12, writers’ craft classes, university classes, writers’ master classes. Works as a workshop for single classes, but can also be run as a presentation for a gym-ful.

                Timing: Adaptable to your timetable, but generally 45-60 minutes plus a Q&A, for a total of 60-90 minutes.

                For upper elementary and middle schools: Sort of Simon

                Simon Sort of Says is my newest middle grade book.

                This presentation takes your readers behind the scenes of writing this book — and creativity generally — starting from “where do your get your ideas” and covering everything from an ordinary writing day to the big phone call day where something amazing happens.

                This presentation works for both classes who have read or are reading Simon, and for classes who are just curious about books, writing, and creativity.

                Content note: there is a school shooting in the backstory — not on the page — of Simon Sort of Says. That comes up in the backstory — not at the heart — of this presentation.

                Audience: Targetted at grades 5 – 9. Single classes or whole-school gatherings.

                Timing: Adaptable to your timetable, but generally 30-40 minutes plus a Q&A, for a total of 45-60 minutes.

                Workshops

                Writing Workshop: How to Walk Across a Room

                This highly interactive, on-your-feet workshop draws on improv exercises and group brainstorming to help students make characters come to life on the page.

                This workshop is at its absolute best as a series of short workshops and writing exercises that build on each other over the course of several writing days. Some of these can be teacher-run — I have sharable lesson plans. Contact me if you’re interested.

                Audience: Targeted at grades 7 – 12, writers’ craft classes, university classes, writers’ master classes. Best for single classes.

                Timing: Adaptable to your timetable, but generally 45-60 minutes plus a Q&A, for a total of 60-90 minutes.

                Writing Workshop: How to Fall off a Roof

                Neuroscientists have a question: when you’re falling to your death, does time really slow down? Being scientists, they’ve tested this by dropping volunteers from a great height. Any guesses on what they learned?

                This workshop uses that answer — and other insights from modern neuroscience — to introduce new ways to think about how details and pacing change the emotional intensity of a scene.

                Jam-packed with weird science and fun examples, this workshop is the least interactive one I do, and can also be a presentation to a gym-ful.

                Audience: Targetted at grades 7 – 12, writers’ craft classes, university classes, writers’ master classes. Works as a workshop for single classes, but can also be run as a presentation for a gym-ful.

                Timing: Adaptable to your timetable, but generally 45-60 minutes plus a Q&A, for a total of 60-90 minutes.

                Writer in Residence options

                Want to take it up a notch? These workshops add together to create a great program for a writer in residence. Think every day for a week, or twice a month for a semester, or even more.

                This is my absolute favourite thing to do — it’s a game changer for me, for the kids, and for the teachers I work with.

                Contact Erin to book a visit.

                  Camlot, Heather (Toronto, ON)

                  Writers’ Union Member. Fiction and nonfiction writer.

                  Heather’s rates are $300 for one session, $550 for two, $800 for three. For virtual presentations: $300 for one session, $500 for two. HST applies to all sessions. No travel costs within Toronto or if I am in your city (I travel to Montreal several times a year). Able to present in English and French.

                  Heather is an award-winning children’s author, journalist, editor and translator. Her two middle-grade novels, CLUTCH and THE OTHER SIDE, received Skipping Stones Honor Awards and nominations for Forest of Reading, among other honors. CLUTCH was also named a 2017 Best Book from Kirkus Reviews.

                  Heather is also an accomplished nonfiction writer. SECRET SCHOOLS and THE PRISONER AND THE WRITER were named Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selections and What If Soldiers Fought with Pillows? True Stories of Imagination and Determination received a Skipping Stones Honor Award. Her next nonfiction book, Becoming Bionic and Other Ways Science is Making Us Super,

                  In her presentations, Heather aims to entertain and educate, leaving the audience interested in writing fiction and nonfiction as well as looking into their own history for inspiration.

                  PRESENTATIONS (60 minutes, grades 3+)


                  Heather engages students with a fun and interactive presentation, customized to audience and interest.

                  • Generally speaking: Heather shares the inspiration and the challenges of writing works that delve into history and social justice. She also discusses the basic elements of writing fiction and/or nonfiction, how to give stories life through research and why bringing the past to the present is so important. Q&A session and reading are included.
                  • What does it mean to be a superhero?: This STEM/STEAM-related presentation draws on BECOMING BIONIC. We’ll delve get into how science is turning us into superbeings – powering up our bodies with what we may not have been born with and what we may never have thought we’d need. We’ll discuss what those powers look like in the real world, based on the sections of Becoming Bionic. We’ll create our own superhero identities and answer the ultimate question: Cape or no cape.
                  • Stand up and speak out: This social-justice-related presentation, based on THE PRISONER AND THE WRITER, begins with a quote from Captain Alfred Dreyfus: “My only crime is to have been born a Jew.” How would students fill in the last word of Captain Dreyfus’s quote to reflect their lives or world around them? We’ll discuss the meaning of social justice, play a game of news fact vs news fiction, and discuss ways to stand up and speak out.

                  Maximum presentation size: 100 for virtual presentations; 60 for in-person reading/Q&A. Teacher and/or librarian must be present.

                  WORKSHOPS (60 minutes, grades 3+)

                  • Look no further: A simple moment can kickstart the writing process. Students choose a moment in their own lives or family history and turn into a work of fiction or nonfiction. Based on CLUTCH and THE OTHER SIDE.
                  • What’s news?: Bias in the media is not difficult to spot. This session will delve into media literacy and how to determine if what you’re reading is fact…or fiction. I’ll test students’ knowledge of news fact vs news fiction through a fun game and we’ll create a reference guide to better judge whether what they are reading, seeing, hearing is objective, biased or completely fake. Based on THE PRISONER AND THE WRITER.
                  • A single object: A single object can inspire an entire world. Students will begin with an “item of interest” and learn how to add different layers — setting, storyline, character, big reveal — to build a short story. Based on THE OTHER SIDE.
                  • Just the facts: How do you write a nonfiction book that makes tough subjects compelling and easy to understand all the while ensuring it stick to the truth? Based on her nonfiction books.
                  • Get activ-ist!: “What cause would you defend…and how would you defend it?” We’ll discuss various forms of activism and what is important to students right now. We’ll come up with methods to get messages across and students will put ideas into action by creating a poster for their cause. Based on THE PRISONER AND THE WRITER and I CAN’T DO WHAT?
                  • Customized topic: Heather is happy to tailor workshops to your needs and audience, including educators and the general public. Topics can include social injustice, advocacy, World War II, the Holocaust, antisemitism, soccer, baseball, media literacy, arts and entertainment, etc.

                  Maximum workshop size: 30 (flexible).
                  Equipment required: Flip chart and markers, screen and projector, microphone and podium (for large rooms), paper and pencils (for workshops). Teacher and/or librarian must be present.

                  Heather offers the services of professional editing, copyediting, proofreading and
                  translating. She also provides manuscript evaluations – fiction and nonfiction.

                  Contact Heather to book a visit:

                    Messier, Mireille (Toronto, ON)

                    Writers’ Union Member. French/English author. Picture books. Great for immersion students! K to 6.

                    Mireille’s rate for a 45/50-minute virtual presentation is $250 for 1-5 classes, $350 for 6-10 classes and $450 for 11+ classes. HST extra. Please note that presentations may not be recorded for later use or shared.

                    Mireille has a picture book ideal for Remembrance Day with students in grades 1-6! Contact her about presenting “Sergeant Billy: The True Story of the Goat Who Went to War” at your school or event! (available in English or French)

                    Mireille can present “Treasure”/ “Trésor”, “The Branch” / “Ma branche préférée” and “Fatima and the Clementine Thieves/Fatima et les voleurs de clémentines” ans “La magie de Casse-Noisette”/ “Nutcracker Night” in either English or French or both.

                    Mireille also has many books that are published in French only and range in genre – from picture books, to chapter books and non-fiction. She enjoys presenting to immersion students and offers lively presentations that are tailored to the language level of the students.

                    School presentations will include a reading of the selected book, an activity based on the theme of the book and a discussion with the author about her craft.

                    Available in French or English/French (bilingual) Mireille is a member of The Writers’ Union of Canada, and so schools wishing to invite her may be eligible for a travel and fee subsidy to off-set the cost of her visit.

                    Here is an example of her presentations by grade:

                    JK to 1: two 30-minute sessions for the price of one full session using her book “Quel fouillis!” (includes a tool-related activity and a song) or “Une Bestiole à l’école” (includes an insect-related activity and a song).

                    Grade 1 to 4: The majority of Mireille’s books are for this age group. 45 to 60 minutes: Session featuring a book of your choice plus a related activity followed by a Q&A on topic/book selected.

                    Themes available: Remembrance Day/World War I/ World War II/Military Mascot (Sergeant Billy), Environmental conservation (Treasure/Trésor), Environment/Weather (The Branch/Ma branche préférée), Nature/Animals (Tellement Sauvage), Travel/Geography (Charlotte partout), Non-Violent Conflict Resolution (Fatima), Anagrams/Word Play (Voilier d’Olivier/Quand les zéros), Food/Cooking (Salade de César), Sports (Charlotte Olympique)…

                    Grade 4 to 6: 45 to 60 minutes. Session featuring a book of your choice plus a related activity followed by a Q&A on topic/book selected. Books available for this level are “Fatima et les voleurs de clémentines” (advanced picture book) and the middle-grade chapter books from Les aventures de Viviane et Simon series.

                    Contact Mireille to book a visit: