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…

    Fawcett, Heather (Vancouver Island, BC)

    Heather Fawcett

    Writers’ Union Member. English speaker. Grades 3-8. In-person rates: $250 for one session, $450 for two, $675 for three, $900 for a full day (four sessions). Travel fees (airfare and lodging) apply for in-person visits.

    Virtual rates: $100 for one session. Each session is around 45-60 minutes.

    Heather Fawcett is a Vancouver Island-based author of five fantasy books for middle grade and young adult readers.

    Heather Fawcett is the author of the YA fantasy duology Even the Darkest Stars and middle-grade books Ember and the Ice Dragons, The Language of Ghosts, and The School Between Winter and Fairyland (Fall 2021). She has a Master’s degree in English Literature and worked in a variety of roles before becoming an author, including archaeologist, technical writer, and backstage assistant for a Shakespearean theatre company. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, she has also lived briefly in England, Ireland, and Italy. She now calls Vancouver Island home.

    Heather loves meeting young readers. She would be happy to visit your school or library either virtually or in person, and offers engaging, interactive presentations and workshops. Though she writes fantasy novels set in imagined worlds, her stories deal with relatable, down-to-earth themes, like sibling rivalries, navigating friendships, and dealing with grief and loss. Ember and the Ice Dragons, which has been nominated for the MYRCA Sundogs Award and the OLA’s Silver Birch Award, deals with environmental themes, namely species extinction, and stars a young girl who dreams of becoming a scientist.

    Heather’s presentation topics include:

    -Real Magic: How Fantasy Authors Build Worlds and Invent Spells
    -How to Become an Author (and What an Author’s Day Looks Like)
    -A History of Dragons and Why They Make Great Characters
    -Antarctica and Elephants: The Science that Inspired Ember and the Ice Dragons
    -Reading and Q&A Session*

    *Heather will read from a book of your choosing, discuss the inspiration behind the story, and then answer questions. 

    Heather offers fun and interactive workshops on finding inspiration for stories, creating strong heroes and villains, how to read like a writer, and more. She is also open to requests to cover specific topics.

    In-person visits: Open to all school and library venues, maximum group size of 100. Requires a podium and (depending on the topic) the ability to deliver a powerpoint presentation from a laptop (image-heavy, minimal text).

    Online visits: Conducted through Skype or the platform of your choosing.

    Contact Heather for a visit:

      Rao, Anuradha (Vancouver, BC)

      Anuradha Rao

      Member of The Writers’ Union of Canada and the Federation of British Columbia Writers. Language of presentation: English. Grade levels: 3 to adult. Available for virtual visits.

      Rate: sliding scale $250-$350 per session + GST.

      Anuradha Rao, M.Sc., R.P.Bio, Cert. RNS is a marine conservation biologist, writer and facilitator.

      Anu was born and raised in Ontario. She has worked on research, conservation, restoration, planning and stewardship projects with communities and organizations on the coasts of Canada and in 12 other countries. A child of Indian immigrants, her worldview and approach to science are heavily influenced by teachings from her own culture and from Indigenous knowledge holders. These teachings and the principles of ecology have shown her that everything and everyone is connected, and that we must remember this in our actions and interactions.

      Anuradha Rao

      One Earth Workshops:

      One Earth sessions are always interactive! The program can be adapted as needed, but in general includes:

      *An icebreaker or stretch

      *Brief story of the author’s journey

      *Themes cultural diversity and heroes

      *Sharing the faces and words of environmental role models

      *A reading from One Earth

      *Participatory activities:

      Elementary through secondary: The focus is on encouraging children and youth to think about and express their own or their family’s connections to nature through meditation, movement and art. 

      Post-secondary and adult: Activities are tailored to the audience and can involve small group work, plenary sharing or personal reflection to explore ideas such as how we connect to role models, the natural world and each other.

      These activities can have options for inclusivity, for example verbal, visual, written and anonymous participation. Advance correspondence with teachers or coordinators is preferred to enable the workshop to meet participants’ and educators’ needs.

      Custom workshops: 

      Trained in participatory facilitation and experienced in delivering presentations and workshops for all ages, Anuradha can tailor a workshop to the needs of any group from youth to adults, following advance discussion with group leaders. Potential presentation and workshop topics include (but are not limited to):

      *connecting with nature 

      *pathways to careers in conservation and the environment

      *the intersections of science, environment and culture

      *from interviewing to storytelling

      *the art and science of writing grant proposals and reports

      Rate: Variable depending on length and complexity.

      Equipment: Virtual visits preferentially require an existing platform and support personnel to manage technical aspects. Workshops for schools can benefit from access to basic drawing materials, e.g. paper and markers, pencils or crayons. Home-based learners can use household items.

      Contact Anuradha for a visit:

        Adderson, Caroline (Vancouver, BC)

        TWUC member. Presents in English as well as a bilingual (French and English) presentation for K-2 French Immersion students. All ages

        Rates: $300 per 60-minute presentation ($150 for 30 minutes), plus HST. Caroline offers a discount for multiple bookings. Virtual presentations only for this time

        Caroline Adderson is an internationally published, award-winning author of books for readers of all ages.

        She has published 19 books for children: picture books, chapter books and middle-grade fiction. Known for the versatility and humour in her writing, she is also a dynamic, imaginative presenter who has shared her books and conducted workshops in schools and libraries across Canada. Caroline has won the Diamond Willow Award, the Sheila Egoff Award, and the Chocolate Lily Book Award, and been nominated for the Canadian Library Association’s Children’s Book of the Year, the Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice Award, the Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award, and the Rocky Mountain Book Award.

        Presentations:

        Pre-School:

        Caroline will team up with an illustrator to present the two-part workshop Bookmaking for Kids and Caregivers. In part one Caroline guides kids and caregivers through the process of immortalizing their own adventures in a simple story. In part two, a professional illustrator (must be hired additionally) shows how published picture books are created. Families leave the workshop with a hard cover picture book they wrote and illustrated themselves, a permanent memento to treasure and hand down.

        Elementary:

        Caroline’s interactive presentations are for groups of up to 60 students based on a specific book.  For Kindergarten to Grade Three: Norman, Speak!; Eat, Leo! Eat!It Happened on Sweet Street; the Jasper John Dooley series, or Izzy in the Doghouse. For Grades Four to Seven:  Middle of Nowhere, A Simple Case of Angels or The Mostly True Story of Pudding Tat, Adventuring Cat. The presentation includes a reading, activities, and a question period.  Caroline also offers an informative 60-minute presentation on how books are written and published. Writing and Publishing Books leads children through the process from the generation of ideas to the published book.

        Elementary French Immersion:

        Caroline’s new picture book series Pierre & Paul offers a natural introduction to bilingualism.  Pierre speaks French; Paul speaks English. Together, they have adventures that allow readers and listeners to pick up second language vocabulary in context. The presentation includes a reading, activities, and a question period.

        Secondary:

        Caroline’s presentations at the high school level include readings from her adult fiction, discussion of the creative process, publishing tips and a question period. Caroline also offers a 2-hour writing workshop for teens, Becoming a Writer.

        Adults:

        Caroline has taught and mentored writers for more than twenty years in universities and colleges across Canada. She is currently the Program Director of the Writing Studio for Arts and Creativity. Please contact her to learn more about her workshops.

        Contact Caroline for 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)”

              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. Continue reading “Barker, Michelle (Vancouver)”