Payne, Mary Jennifer (Toronto, ON)

Mary Jennifer’s rate is $300 plus HST per session, plus travel from Toronto. For multiple visits within the same day (maximum of 4), each session is $250 plus HST. Virtual visits via Zoom are $200 plus HST. Each session is 60 minutes long. Author readings with a Q&A and/or writing workshops are available for booking.

Jennifer Payne is an internationally published writer who’s widely known for her YA fiction, including her contributions to the award-winning Boldprint and Timelines series and her Daughters of Light trilogy. Her novels often centre around the themes of gentrification, poverty, climate change, prejudice, marginalization, resilience, etc. and feature strong, female protagonists. Mary Jennifer’s YA hi-lo novel, Enough, was praised by CM magazine as a book that, “In trying to address issues of poverty, race, and gender, the author creates a thought-provoking tale that would be useful for opening up reflection and/or discussion around inclusivity and social struggle.”

Mary Jennifer Payne is an internationally published writer who’s widely known for her YA fiction, including her contributions to the award-winning Boldprint and Timelines series and her Daughters of Light trilogy. Her novels often centre around the themes of gentrification, poverty, climate change, prejudice, marginalization, resilience, etc. and feature strong, female protagonists. Mary Jennifer’s YA hi-lo novel, Enough, was praised by CM magazine as a book that, “In trying to address issues of poverty, race, and gender, the author creates a thought-provoking tale that would be useful for opening up reflection and/or discussion around inclusivity and social struggle.”

Sample Writing Workshops (These can be tailored to relate more directly to my
novel and the characters/themes therein):

There Are Two Sides to Every Story…. You’ve heard the phrase, “There’s always two sides to a story,” right? In this workshop, I’ll unlock your imagination and allow you to give voice to those characters that didn’t get their fair shake at the spotlight in their original narrative. From Voldemort to Cinderella’s stepsisters to Anansi the Spider, the sky’s the limit in terms of who you can bring to life. Step into your character’s shoes and tell the story from his/her point of view. The workshop leads into discussions around marginalization and the inclusiveness (or lack thereof) within different narratives. This workshop will incorporate fun improvisation to get us warmed­ up. Suitable for ages 10 and up.

Believe in Me! How to Create Realistic Characters in Your Stories. Your protagonist and antagonist, as well as your entire cast of characters, need to come alive on the page in an authentic way. Like everyone, each of your characters is a mix of complex emotions and characteristics. And they have a backstory that motivates them to behave in particular ways in different situations. This workshop will help participants really develop their characters. From deciding your protagonist’s favourite food to his/her greatest fear, you’ll end this session with a character that is “fleshed ­out” and real enough to step off the page. This workshop will incorporate drama exercises such as hot-­seating as the character being developed to help get the creative juices flowing. Suitable for ages 10 and up.

Create, Collaborate, Celebrate! Many modern workplaces are collaborative. In this fun and fast-­paced workshop, participants will collaborate in groups of two to ­three to develop a story from a current news headline. Each story will be shared and celebrated at the end of the session. After briefly plotting some of the elements of your story, you and your partner will take turns writing sentences (or paragraphs, if you’re really daring!) to bring your narrative to life. During our sharing of work at the end of the workshop, there will be an opportunity to discuss what worked, what frustrated us, and what sparks of discovery were made along the way. Suitable for children aged 10 and up.

Book editing and coaching for writers is available as well.

Contact Mary Jennifer to book a visit…

    Morse, Joe (Toronto, ON)

    Joe Morse. Illustrator/educator. Toronto. English. Grade levels: Grade 3 and up. Rates: $250 for one session, $450 for two, $675 for three, $900 for a full day (four sessions) Plus HST and travel fee of $0.50/km if outside Toronto.

    Joe Morse’s recent picture book Go Show the World with Wab Kinew was nominated for the Governor General’s Award, won the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award and is a Finalist in the Forest of Reading (Silver Birch Express).

    Joe Morse is an award winning book illustrator and educator. He has won over 200 awards as an Illustrator in editorial, advertising and books working with international clients: Universal Pictures, Nike, the NBA, and Major League Baseball and 30 years of teaching Illustration with a focus on drawing.

    Joe’s Workshops are tailored to 2 different needs.

    1. Heroes without Capes: audio/visual presentation on the super powers each one of us has using the real life characters from the book Go Show the World. Focus: history, personal storytelling, culture, empowerment, empathy, diversity, environment and media awareness.

    2. Draw Thinking: smaller groups with paper and drawing tool (crayon, pencil). He shows the original art for Go Show the World and the group works with the second best form of communication we humans have (after physical gestures) DRAWING. A language that is truly universal.

    Focus: hands on fun. Creative thinking. Making mistakes is good for you. Note: for students that may have challenges with the physical aspect of drawing, he can emphasize the visual identification of shapes drawn during the workshop.

    Audience size: 1. Heroes without Capes: can be any size. He needs a screen and projector with an HDMI input/output. For 2. Draw Thinking: size dependent on table space for drawing. (30 and less optimal). He needs a screen and projector with an HDMI input/output. (If a projector is not available, please let Joe know in advance and he will attempt to bring one with him).

    Contact Joe to connect him with your readers:

    Continue reading “Morse, Joe (Toronto, ON)”

    Withers, Pam

    Writers’ Union Member. Red Maple nominee 2013, 2019 and 2020. YA. Silver Nautilus Book Award 2012. Numerous other award nominations. $225 virtual visit with Pam, co-author Arooj Hayat*, or both; $300 for one session, $500 for two, $700 for three. No HST; includes all expenses. No maximum audience size. Occasional pickup/drop-off requested.

    Writers’ Union Member. Red Maple nominee 2013, 2019 and 2020. YA. Silver Nautilus Book Award 2012. Numerous other award nominations. $225 virtual visit with Pam, co-author Arooj Hayat*, or both; $300 for one session, $500 for two, $700 for three. No HST; includes all expenses. No maximum audience size. Occasional pickup/drop-off requested.

    Silver Nautilus Book Award 2012
    Silver Nautilus Book Award 2012 and 2020
     

    Pam has written 21 best-selling YA sports and outdoor adventure books particularly popular with teen boys. A former journalist, editor and outdoor guide who has kayaked the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, she’s a sought-after speaker for her high-energy, humorous presentations. She has presented extensively across North America for 30 years. The Parkour Club (written by Pam and co-author Arooj Hayat*), promotes cultural diversity and counters Islamophobia (while being a nail-biting sports and adventure story). One Egyptian YA book reviewer wrote, “a story for the whole world to read and learn from.”

    Her lively one-hour presentation for grades 4-12 includes:
     Short readings
     Tales of her own adventures
     Humorous anecdotes of how she researches her material
     The patience & persistence it takes to achieve success
     Special encouragement to boys
     The importance of rewriting & accepting criticism
     Tips on writing & getting published
     Extreme-sports video clips
     Q & A time

    Writing workshop: Pam also offers a fun, one-hour interactive workshop on doing research to make your writing more real.

    Equipment required for in-person visits: Projector and laptop for my USB flash drive; table and water.

    Contact Pam to book a visit:

      Humphrey, Anna (Kitchener-Waterloo, ON)

      annahumphrey1Kitchener-Waterloo. English author. Grades 2–6. $275 + HST for one 45–60 minute session in-person. Virtual (Skype) visits: $150 + HST for 30–60 minutes.

      Anna is the author of the Megabat series (ideal for readers 6–9) and of the comic-filled Clara Humble series (for readers ages 8–12). She is also the author of Ruby Goldberg’s Bright Idea, a middle grade novel that relates to simple machines/Rube Goldberg machines and ties in well with STEM topics.


       

      Presentations will include a talk about what it takes to become an author and a discussion about craft (from finding inspiration, to making your words ring true, to revising, then revising again). There will also
      be a short reading and an opportunity for students to ask questions.

      Maximum number of students per session: 150 (flexible)
      Preferred venues: library, classroom
      Equipment requirements: table, screen with laptop set up for PowerPoint, microphone if the only space available is the gymnasium.

      CONTACT:

        Laidlaw, Rob (Toronto, ON)

        Rob LaidlawToronto. Writers’ Union Member. Silver Birch Non-Fiction Award and Hackmatack Award winner.  All ages. Rob’s rate is $250 for one session, $450 for 2, $600 for 3, $800 for 4 (maximum of 4 per day / if outside of Toronto area minimum of 2 per day), plus travel costs for locations outside of Toronto. Virtual Visits: (first 15 minute session is free), subsequent 30 – 60  minute sessions $100, Skype. No HST.

        Rob is an award-winning author of nine children’s books, biologist, professional wildlife campaigner, part-time adventurer and recipient of the prestigious Federic A. McGrand Lifetime Achievement Award for substantial contributions to animal welfare in Canada. Continue reading “Laidlaw, Rob (Toronto, ON)”

        Bow, Erin (Kitchener, ON)

        erinbow1Writers’ Union Member.  $400 plus HST for one session; $150 for each additional session in the same area on the same day – can be split between schools.   Travel costs waived in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, and the townships.

        Erin writes YA science fiction and fantasy, with a middle grade debut coming in 2019.  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)

        Continue reading “Bow, Erin (Kitchener, ON)”

        Narsimhan, Mahtab (BC)

        Mahtab Narsimhan- H20-209960 8x10 300Writers’ Union Member. Silver Birch winning author available for school, public library, and conference visits. Member of The Writers’ Union of Canada. Continue reading “Narsimhan, Mahtab (BC)”

        Skrypuch, Marsha Forchuk (Brantford ON)

        Writers Union Member. Fiction & NF, 2X Silver Birch winner, 2x Red Cedar Winner, Yellow Cedar Winner. Multi awards. All ages. $400 plus HST for 1 session, $650 for 2, $900 for 3 and $1100 for 4, + travel (50 cents per kilometer, round-trip for SW ON).

        Virtual Visits: $300 plus HST, for one session, 20-60 minutes, $200 for each additional session on the same day.

        Continue reading “Skrypuch, Marsha Forchuk (Brantford ON)”

        Camlot, Heather (Toronto, ON)

        Writers’ Union Member. Fiction and nonfiction writer. Heather’s rates are $250 for one session, $450 for two, $650 for three, $800 for four/full day (may be shared with a neighbouring school). $150 for a virtual visit. HST applies. No travel costs within Toronto. 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. The critically acclaimed middle-grade WHAT IF SOLDIERS FOUGHT WITH PILLOWS? TRUE STORIES OF IMAGINATION AND DETERMINATION (available in French as Et si les soldats se battaient avec des oreillers ?) was published in 2020 and three more books will be available in 2022:

        • I CAN’T DO WHAT? STRANGE LAWS AND RULES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
        • SECRET SCHOOLS: TRUE STORIES OF THE DETERMINATION TO LEARN
        • THE PRISONER AND THE WRITER, the story of wrongly imprisoned Captain Alfred Dreyfus and author Emile Zola’s fight to have him set free.

        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.

        Continue reading “Camlot, Heather (Toronto, ON)”

        Rasberry, Gary (Kingston)

        Gary Rasberry Philosopher. Poet. Imagination Consultant. Musician. Artist. Educator. Juno-nominated children’s artist. Award-winning classroom creativity workshop facilitator. Workshop rates: $250 for one, $450 for two, $650 for three,$850 for four. Concert rates: Same as above for divisional concerts (JK, Primary, Junior, Intermediate). Full school performance: $550. Combo day: three workshops plus full school performance: $1000, plus travel. Continue reading “Rasberry, Gary (Kingston)”