Bilingual (English with some Spanish words) early elementary picture book in rhyming verse for all ages.
In-Person Workshops: $200 plus HST for 1 session of 20-60 minutes, $350 for 2, $500 for 3 and $650 for 4, + travel (60 cents per kilometer for SW Ontario).
Virtual Workshops: $150 plus HST for one session of 20-60 minutes, $125 for each additional session on the same day.
Duncan admits that he’s always alert For words he can use for a rhyme Putting them into relatable verses That hopefully you think sound fine Sometimes it all comes out awesome Sometimes it’s almost divine And you can be sure that the best ones Will cost you much more than a dime!
… But if you should find that your wallet Is currently looking quite thin He’ll do it for less than what’s written So we can all have a big win!
Duncan has been playing with words all his life, is a terminal rhyming addict, and all three of his children have nominated him for the “Lethal Punster Award.” He is a writer of prose, poetry, and songs, an experienced speaker, and skilled in doing workshops with audiences of all ages on diverse subjects, including how to do rhyming poetry. He has travelled the world, working with a broad array of cultures and people groups, especially in Africa and Latin America. His areas of expertise include international relief and development, travel and adventure, cross-cultural experiences, and, of course, rhyming! Duncan is an experienced children’s worker, with over 30-years of teaching short, appealing lessons to children ages 4 and up, singing songs with actions, and organising fun games. He tailors his talks to each group, and is available to do multiple talks or workshops over the course of the day. He can share from his 30 years of international experiences, and from his life-long writing journey to finally becoming a published author. Duncan would be especially happy to do joint talks, presentations, and workshops with Ashlee Campbell, the main author of Señora Sanasana. (See Ashlee’s profile for more details.)
Examples of workshop options:
All presentations available in English, Spanish, French, or a combination of language of instruction.
JK- Gr. 2:
Duncan only: 30–60-minute workshop, reading Señora Sanasana out loud, discussion about some of the verses and how they rhyme, definition of a rhyme, how to find rhymes and make rhyming verses, use of a Thesaurus, exercises to write one rhyming verse couplet and volunteers to share. Includes speaker-led, multilingual “brain breaks” for children such as fun games and action songs.
With Ashlee: 60–75-minute workshop, Ashlee leading with study of character creation or learning the Spanish words, including exercises and sharing. (See Ashlee Campbell’s profile for more details.) Duncan would follow with the rhyming component and help with breaks throughout.
Duncan only: 30–60-minute workshop, study more rhymes from Señora Sanasana, deeper dive into concept of rhyming and Thesaurus usage, longer exercise in writing rhyming verses.
With Ashlee: 60–75-minute workshop, Ashlee leading, deeper dive into character creation based on common nursery rhymes, sayings and idiomatic expressions, longer writing activity, group discussions, and more sharing by students. (See Ashlee Campbell’s profile for more details.) Duncan intervening for rhyming components integrated throughout the workshop, and assisting with brain break games and action songs.
Highschool and Adult:
Duncan only: 45–90-minute workshop, deeper and longer dive into the concept and practice of rhyming, creating rhyming verse, Thesaurus usage, increased content creation time to write a full poem or story in rhyming verse, and everyone sharing and critiquing each other.
With Ashlee: 60-90-minute workshop, or two sessions for increased content creation time. Character creation as above, with discussion of “own voice” stories and introduction to constructive writing critique groups. (See Ashlee Campbell’s profile for details.) Duncan adding rhyming analysis, exercises, and critique throughout.
Duncan and Ashlee also take workshops on request.
All Venues. All Group Sizes. Equipment required: A table or podium. A microphone for larger groups and when room acoustics require it. A screen and projector for power-point and videos.
Bilingual early elementary picture book (Spanish/English). All ages.
$200 plus HST for 1 session, $350 for 2, $500 for 3 and $650 for 4, + travel (50 cents per kilometer, round-trip for SW ON). Virtual Visits: $150 plus HST, for one session, 20-60 minutes, $125 for each additional session on the same day.
Ashlee is an experienced speaker and Creative Writing teacher at the highschool and elementary levels. Ashlee tailors her talks to each group and is available to present in English, Spanish and French or a combination of languages of instruction. Ashlee is available to do multiple talks or workshops over the course of the day with groups ranging from kindergarten to high school. As a homeschool co-op organizer Ashlee also prepares talks and workshops for mixed-age groups. Ashlee has also given talks on writing, publishing and the author’s journey for adult groups.
Sample pre-recorded workshops available upon request. Ashlee also takes workshop requests.
Examples of workshop options:
All presentations available in English, French and Spanish or a combination of language of instruction.
JK- Gr. 2 – 45 – 60 mins (including speaker-led multilingual “brain breaks” for children)
Reading of “Senora Sanasana” followed by a character creation workshop including a LA tie-in worksheet for Gr. 2 and a drawing activity for younger ages.
Reading of “Senora Sanasana” followed by learning Spanish words and class discussion about languages spoken and heard in the children’s home and communities and creation of a classroom word cloud of words in other languages the children know.
Gr. 3-6 – 45 – 60 mins
Character creation workshop based on common nursery rhymes, sayings and idiomatic expressions, including worksheet and writing activity and group discussion about the rhymes and sayings from their diverse backgrounds. Workshop includes time for students to share their characters.
Highschool – 45 – 60 mins or two sessions for increased content creation time
Introduction to critique circle practices and character creation workshop (see above). Workshop includes discussion of “own voice” stories and how to create supportive, compassionate and constructive writing critique groups.
Adults – 45 – 60 mins
“Abundance versus scarcity for artists” – this is a talk on having an “abundance” mentality as an artist, basing our creative practices on the belief that there is enough space and enough audience in the world for everyone’s art and writing. This talk also delves into how we define success and takes an anti-capitalist approach to redefining both “success” and “audience” in order for artists to thrive.
All Venues. All Group Sizes. Equipment required: A table or podium. A microphone for larger groups or in the gym, or if the room acoustics require it. A screen and projector for power-point.
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
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.
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.
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.
Special Offer: Arrange for a second school to book two or more sessions and get a free audio book: Mortimer: Rat Race to Space.
Writers’ Union of Canada member. Fiction | Nonfiction | STEM | STEAM |K-12 | family audience |professional development | Selection of awards: Crystal Kite for Canada, Green Prize for Sustainable Literature, Skipping Stones (2X), Writer’s Guild of Alberta children’s lit award (2X), and Moonbeam (3X). Shortlisted: Rocky Mountain, Red Cedar, Hackmatack, and others. Recipient of the Martha Weston Grant awarded annually to one worldwide member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).
In-person: $500/two sessions, $750/three, $950/four plus GST and travel expenses to be negotiated. (Can be shared among schools.) Joan is happy to travel! Reach out to see if she already has plans to visit your area.
Joan Marie Galat began her writing career at age 12 when she was hired as a newspaper columnist by an editor who may not have known her age. Now with 25+ books, a bestseller, and translations in seven languages (that she can’t read), Joan delivers lively presentations to get students excited about books and STEM. Her topics include sky science (outer space and astronomy fun!), engineering, animals, the environment, and activism. Nominated for the 2024 Red Cedar, Mortimer: Rat Race to Space is about a lab rat on the International Space Station who collects video evidence (destined for YouTube) to prove his species should be the first to settle on Mars. A versatile and experienced presenter, Joan has traveled across Canada and internationally to promote literacy and STEM. She even spoke at a United Nations event! Joan delivers the message—there’s a book for every child.
STEM-THEMED LITERACY BUILDING PRESENTATIONS
Joan’s focus on STEM and STEAM subjects offers curriculum bonuses that encourage students to explore their world. Audiences find it hard to resist the lure of constellations, exploding stars, black holes, and the myths and legends early peoples and ancient cultures first told to explain the night sky.
Joan makes it easier for students to picture themselves as writers when she shares her story of becoming a paid columnist at age 12. Interest in writing builds when Joan reveals how she “literally” launches her books in rockets! By the end of Joan’s talks, students will appreciate the idea that writing can be fun. They’ll know how to find the North Star and a few constellations, and feel motivated to explore their passions through books.
Kindergarten to Grade 2: Pictures in the Sky Joan uses science and storytelling to introduce the wonders of the night sky. She shows how to find the North Star and constellations, and leads a game called “Picture Book: Fact or Fiction.” Joan shares the most important point to remember to become a better writer and juggles star-shaped beanbags to reinforce the importance of reading (by explaining she learned to juggle from a book).
Grades 3 to 6: A Rat, A Rocket, and Science Discover how scientific facts and imagination mix, and what happens when a journal-keeping lab rat starts thinking about living on Mars. We’ll talk about research, misinformation, and correcting mistakes—both in writing and friendships—in this lively and informative session based on Mortimer: Rat Race to Space.
Grades 3 to 6: Explore the Night Joan uses science and storytelling to introduce the wonders of the night sky. Students discover what happens when stars explode and black holes form, as well as how to find constellations and the North Star. Joan inspires future authors with her story of becoming published at age of 12. She offers writing and editing tips and reinforces literacy by juggling star-shaped beanbags, while making sure kids understand she learned to juggle from reading a nonfiction book.
Grades 3-6: Solve This!
From bubble wrap to bridges, the miracles of engineering are all around you. Find out how engineers dream up new ideas and bring them to life. Discover what happens when things go wrong! Get ready to help tackle some rather unusual problems, and since engineers must record their results, expect writing tips, too. Based on Solve This! Wild and Wacky Challenges for the Genius Engineer in You (National Geographic Kids).
Grades 4 to 12: The Northern Lights and Dark Matters Early cultures looked up at the same night sky we see today, seeking connections between events on Earth and what occurred overhead. They told stories to explain the northern lights and other night sky phenomena. Discover the science and legends of the lights and why dark skies are important in this STEM-themed presentation based on Dot to Dot in the Sky, Stories of the Aurora and Dark Matters, Nature’s Reaction to Light Pollution.
Grades 6-12: Make Your Mark, Make a Difference Joan invites students to consider their wishes for the world and how they can spark change. She encourages them to read fact-based books, base opinions on scientific evidence, and master writing skills to better communicate their concerns. Based on issues raised in Joan’s books and her 2024 release—Make Your Mark, Make a Difference—A Kid’s Guide to Standing Up For People, Animals, and the Planet (Aladdin/Simon & Schuster/Beyond Words).
Grades 7 to 9: Password to Publishing Launched with celestial storytelling, this junior high presentation shares how Joan became a paid writer in grade eight. Using personal stories to show how she built her skills, Joan shows how perseverance benefits anyone pursuing a dream. This session includes tips on writing, revising, and finding writing topics. Hosts may extend presentation benefits by accessing writing resources on Joan’s website.
Grades 10 to 12: Write Your Own Future Joan discusses communication as a career, noting that most writing in adult life is fact-based. She shares her experience writing in different styles including speechwriting, websites, and radio commercials. Joan delivers the message that good writing is essential in all career fields, particularly with changing technology and competitive environments.
FAMILY LITERACY EVENTS
Dot to Dot in the Sky Joan introduces the wonders of the night sky using storytelling to share ancient myths, interspersed with astronomy facts. Her enthusiasm for stargazing is contagious and leaves attendees ready to locate constellations and explore the mysteries of the night sky on their own. Dot to Dot in the Sky can be offered as an evening star gazing session.
WRITING AND STORYTELLING WORKSHOPS
K-2: Finding Facts and Telling Stories Oral storytelling is the first step to story writing. Students discover how to express what they already know, as everyone contributes in this fun group-writing effort.
Grades 3-7: Write Like a Rat Mortimer, a journal-keeping lab rat on the International Space Station is determined to prove his species is best suited to colonizing Mars. He records the results in his journal, uses a secret code, and makes videos for YouTube. Discover how you too can write like a rat. Based on Mortimer: Rat Race to Space (DCB).
Grades 3-7: Stories in the Stars If the thought of writing makes your class groan, book this workshop to show how developing a story need not feel like a baffling task. Students enter the room with a blank piece of paper and leave with the first draft of an exciting space-themed story.
Grades 8-12: WordPlay for Teens Teens explore and grow their abilities through a variety of snappy creative writing activities that show how fun it can be to play with words. Expect creativity warm-ups, idea-triggers, self-editing tips, and time to write the first draft of an unforgettable story.
Additional topics upon request. If you’d like something different than described here, let Joan know. She is happy to work with you!
In-person: up to 75 students. One location for day, preferably library.
Virtual: up to three classroom logins.
Workshops: one class/session.
In-person: Joan requires a laptop with PowerPoint, external speakers, table to display books, and glass of water. If possible, a remote control is also helpful. Please provide a meal if hosting over lunchtime. If you prefer a no-tech presentation, no problem—just let Joan know in advance.
Virtual: Joan can present using Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet, or other platforms you may suggest, and schedule all time zones.
Presentation content/delivery is modified to match the grades present. A flexible speaker, Joan can accommodate most requests, but does recommend these common groupings K-2, 3-6, 7-9, 9-12.
Joan Marie Galat offers query letter and manuscript critiques, freelance editing, and consultations on getting published
Middle grade writer of Canadian historical fiction with strong female protagonists. Fan of stories about Newfoundland and disasters. Hackmatack Awards shortlist 2022, Diamond Willow Award finalist 2023.
In-person rates: $250 for one session, $450 for two sessions, $625 for full day (three sessions) in person. Travel fee of $0.50 per km for visits outside of Hamilton-Wentworth and Burlington. Virtual session rate: $150. All sessions run approximately one hour.
Suzanne has been a writer from a young age – as soon as she knew how to write, the stories started. She has always been excited by history and loves to write about little-known events, times, and places. She is an experienced elementary teacher who is comfortable in front of a classroom. She enjoys speaking to both children and adults. She can do up to three presentations in the same school or area in a day.
Suzanne’s presentations are dynamic and involve lots of interaction with the audience. She enjoys talking about what inspired her to write, how she does research for her books, and all kinds of questions about her characters and stories.
Suzanne’s presentations are geared towards Junior and Intermediate grade students (grades 4 to 8) although grade 3 students are also welcome. Sessions run about an hour. She shares some information and photos related to A Terrible Tide and answers questions from the audience. She is also happy to do short reading of a passage from the book if you would like.
Suzanne is happy to present to both small and larger groups (100+). Smaller groups tend to have a more conversational style of presentation.
Venues: Classroom, library, or other school locations are fine. Equipment required: Screen and projector with HDMI connection. Microphone for larger rooms. A chair or stool.
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
Member: The Writer’s Union of Canada, SCWBI (West)
$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 for short trips outside Victoria. Longer trips can be negotiated.
Virtual visit fees range from $100 – $200.
Kirsten has had two upper middle grade fantasy novels published and a third book in the series is underway. She has travelled extensively over six continents and uses the experiences she has had in her writing. When not travelling, she can be found buried in a book or working on her publishing company, Common Deer Press which publishes books for children and teens.
She is an experienced and enthusiastic speaker who tailors each presentation to the needs of the group. She can do up to two presentations or workshops in the same school or area in the same day. As the author of middle grade and YA novels she is very comfortable with grades 4 through 12.
Presentations are unique as every group is unique. She prefers to have conversations with the audience rather than lecturing to them.
For most presentations she works in why she fell in love with books and libraries as a child and why she is particularly drawn to fantasy adventure novels. Kirsten talks about why her books include universal issues faced by children such as bullying, friendship, problem solving, decision making, navigating difficult relationship experiences and other thorny bit of growing up and just being human.
She also talks about the joy of research and how she does it plus the intricacies of worldbuilding.
Kirsten prefers to work with groups of 40 or fewer for maximum audience participation but will present to up to 100. She loves doing workshops! Small groups of 15 or less preferred for workshops.
Tech requirements – a blackboard or whiteboard, materials to write on it, a glass and a jug of water, a comfortable place to sit.
Writers Union Member, Fiction & NF, Globe and Mail best seller, Yellow Cedar Book Award Winner, Information Book Award Winner, Rocky Mountain Book Award Runner Up, Hackmatack Children’s Choice Award Short List, Nominated for numerous awards including White Pine award. All ages.
$600 plus HST for 1 in-person session ($850 for 2), + travel. Virtual Visits: $400 plus HST, for one session up to 60 minutes, $250 for each additional session on the same day.
Les is an experienced, passionate and highly sought after international speaker who tailors each presentation to the group in front of him. He can do up two presentations in the same school or area in a day. As an award winning filmmaker and composer and the author of adventure books, he routinely presents to an entire school over the course of a day along with happily speaking to adult groups.
Les Stroud has authored five books and over a thousand magazine articles as he crafts storytelling and interesting information into compelling works whether on screen or on the page. His book, Survive! – Essential Skills and Tactics to Get You Out of Anywhere–Alive! (Harper Collins) made the Globe and Mail’s best-seller list, and he recently won the Canadian Yellow Cedar Award and the National Information Book Award for his first children’s book, Wild Outside.
Les Stroud is an extremely flexible presenter. No two of his presentations are ever the same. He prefers to have a conversation with the audience, so long Q&A sessions are always lively and engaging. When possible, he often brings video with compelling and beautiful images of nature and wildlife from around the world.
Les does an amazing job of making kids feel empowered to enjoy the natural world around them whether they come from an adventurous outdoor oriented family or live inner city and rarely see nature at all. He guides them through how to interact with the smallest of creatures to the largest in the natural world. Creatures both mammal and insect and avian that can be found everywhere including the city streets.
Grades 4 to 8: Les’ book Wild Outside is for this age group. 45 to 60 minutes. Includes how he found adventure in his own backyard and how he turned that into a globetrotting career connecting to nature and most importantly, how they can have adventures in nature themselves. Writing, filmmaking and sometimes even composing tips along with a Q&A are worked in seamlessly.
Survive! Essential Skills and Tactics to Get Out Of Anywhere Alive
Les’ seminal work which is a manual that quickly became the bar to compare all other works of this genre to.
A stunning photograph-heavy book telling story after story of Les’ adventures while filming, surviving and doing earth ceremonies with remote tribes around the globe.
Will To Live
Les’ top ten all-time favourite survival stories. What they did right. What they did wrong. And how things could’ve been so much different.
Wild Outside; Around the World With Survivorman
Les’ award-winning children’s book written for and to kids aged 5 through 14. An exciting travelogue of journeys around the world featuring wildlife adventures complete with lessons learned and activities the reader can do themselves.
Maximum group sizes for presentations: No maximum. Minimum 45.
Specialty workshops in-person featuring survival, outdoor adventure and filmmaking skills can be considered on a case-by-case basis.
All Venues possible, library or school preferred. Equipment required: Water, Lunch (if staying all day). A table. A proper PA system with lavaliere mic for larger groups. A screen and projector for power-point and video when required – with high quality sound system. *For Q&A’s it is highly advisable and preferred to have questions prepared and gathered ahead of time and delivered to Les in written form.
White Pine Award nominee. Recipient of Canada Council of the Arts and BC Arts Council grants.
Workshops for ages 12 to 17. $250.00 for one 60-minute session. $450 for two sessions. $675 for three sessions and $900 for 4 sessions, plus travel (50 cents per kilometer, round-trip for the Metro Vancouver area).
Virtual Visits: $150 for one 60-minute session, $100 for each additional session on the same day, up to four sessions in one day.
Christy Goerzen writes young adult novels about artists and underdogs finding their way in the world. Her past novels include RIVER MERMAID (Crwth Press, 2021), as well as EXPLORE (2009), FARMED OUT (2011), and The BIG APPLE EFFECT (2014), all from Orca Book Publishers. Her books have been nominated for awards, appeared on several “best of” lists, and have been translated into several other languages.
After a decade working in the arts industry for countless festivals, artists, musicians, dance companies and more, Christy became an award-winning university instructor in arts and entertainment management, a career that she loves dearly. Plus, she gets to talk about movies, music and art all day – what could be better? Currently working toward her PhD in Education, she has a BA in English Literature, an MA Children’s Literature. Originally from Maple Ridge, BC, Christy lives in Vancouver with her two lovely kids and a majestic one-eyed cat. In her spare time she likes to read, draw (badly), lift heavy things, listen to podcasts, and have random dance parties.
In her workshops and presentations, Christy loves to bring authenticity and humour as she talks about her creative inspirations, the writing process, developing characters that come alive, writing great dialogue, poetry and freewriting as a creative “spark,” the publishing industry, and everything in between!
Christy likes to keep her presentations informal, interactive and chatty! Presentations/workshops will include:
Author introduction and background/biography
Introduction on writing/inspiration for the book
Her writing process
Where she gets her ideas
How it got published/process
Q & A
Christy is happy to create workshops on the topic of poetry writing, freewriting/jamming on ideas, plot structure, character development, dialogue, and more for this age group. Just ask and she can tailor something for your group!
All venues; library or classroom preferred. General Equipment needs: Christy likes to keep it low-tech and chat with the students! For in-person visits, just a chair is all that’s needed. For virtual visits, school Zoom account (or similar). Student supplies depend on chosen session and will be discussed prior to visit.