Daher, Anita, (Manitoba)

Note: Last name pronunciation is “dare.” The Writers’ Union of Canada, Manitoba Writers’ Guild, ACTRA Finalist: White Pine, Red Cedar, MYRCA, Violet Downey, Arthur Ellis, Diamond Willow.

Rates for in-person: $300 per single presentation, $200 for additional presentations at the same school per day.

Rates for virtual: $200 per presentation.

Anita Daher is an author, screenwriter, producer, and actor primarily of Icelandic and Irish heritage. She has been entrenched in the publishing industry since 1995, and helped found writing organizations in Yellowknife, NWT, and the Algoma region of Northern Ontario before landing in Winnipeg in 2004. From 2019 to 2021 she served as Chair of the Writers’ Union of Canada. She thinks too much, rises too early, and in her spare time enjoys renovating old campers.

Anita is a dynamic speaker who has presented in hundreds of schools in urban, rural and remote communities across Canada, primarily in the North and West. She can do up to four presentations in the same school or area in a day. She has power point presentations appropriate to the grade, which include a professionally filmed scene adapted from one of her novels.

Presentations

  • Grades 3 to 6
  • Grades 7 and 8
  • Grades 9 to 12

For younger grades the focus is plot and planning. For older grades, it is “the story underneath,” or the heart of the story. Each touch on the author’s journey, and what—besides inspiration—you need to write a book.

Presentations are generally 45 minutes, adaptable to school needs, and include time for Q & A.

Group size preference, preferred venues (for in person), tech required for your presentations.

Anita’s preferred venue is a library and is flexible regarding size of audience—whatever is appropriate to the space. She requires a projector with speakers to accommodate her power point presentation. 

Contact Anita to book a visit:

    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:

      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…

        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. Chocolate Lily nominee 2024. Red Maple nominee 2013, 2019 and 2020. Silver Nautilus Book Award 2012 and 2020. $225 virtual visit; $300 for one session, $500 for two, $700 for three. No HST; includes all expenses. No maximum audience size. Occasional pickup/drop-off requested.

         

        Latest release: Cave-In (Sept. 2024). Pam has written 23 best-selling YA sports and outdoor adventure novels particularly popular with teen boys. A former journalist, editor and outdoor guide, she’s a high-energy, humorous presenter who tours extensively. Just ask when she’s next in your area.

        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)

            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.

              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 (.68 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 $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: