Vitalis, Jessica (Waterloo, ON)

Rates: Writer’s Union, CANSCAIP, SCBWI. All sessions 45-60 minutes. Virtual $250. In-person $300 (available in Kitchener/Waterloo and GTA only). Half-day $550 (two sessions, available in Kitchener/Waterloo and GTA only). Full day $800 (up to three sessions). Half and full days may be split between nearby schools on the same day. Prices quoted do not include travel costs or HST.

JESSICA VITALIS is an award-winning, Columbia MBA-wielding middle grade author with Greenwillow/HarperCollins. Her books have been translated into three languages, received multiple starred reviews, and appeared on “Best Book” lists for Kirkus and CCBC. Her most recent book, Coyote Queen, won the Reading the West Book Award, is shortlisted for the Crystal Kites Book Award, and is a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection. A historical novel in verse, Unsinkable Cayenne, comes out October 29th, 2024. Jessica currently lives and writes in Ontario but speaks at schools, conferences, and festivals all over North America.

Coyote Queen is a Reading the West Book Award winner

Coyote Queen is a finalist for the High Plains Book Award

When she’s not writing, Jessica’s favorite activity is talking about writing; her presentations are best suited for students grades four and up (and adults of any age). She is also available for festivals, conferences, and keynote speeches and can speak to issues ranging from SEL topics to grief and healing.

Offerings include (but are not limited to):

The Story Behind the Story: This interactive presentation includes the inspiration behind Jessica’s books, a short reading, stories of tenacity and perseverance related to her unusual childhood and 13-year journey to publication, and a peek at the revision process (including the most important tool in her writer’s toolbox!). Q&A included. For small or large groups (grades 4+).

Stand Out From The Crowd: Creating Compelling Characters: In this hands-on writing workshop, participants look at what makes characters come alive in readers’ hearts and minds and learn how to develop memorable characters using the author’s secret technique to show and not tell. For smaller groups (ages 10 to adult).

The Building Blocks of Story: Using the building blocks of story, we’ll work through a flexible pre-writing strategy that provides authors with a framework to draft a novel without bogging them down or making the drafting process feel too prescriptive. For small or large groups (adults only).

“Jessica’s presentation was so inspiring and energizing for our fifth and sixth grade students! Her stories––both on and off the page––are magnetic. A couple of our more reluctant learners sought Jessica out after the talk to connect with her and have their photos takes. What a wonderful celebration of reading and writing!” -Elementary school librarian

“Jessica did a beautiful presentation for my 7th grade reading classes. My students were engrossed! At the end, she answered all of their questions about being an author, the writing process, and everything in between! It was such a fantastic experience for my students!” – 7th Grade Teacher

“[Jessica’s] presentation totally changed my life! It was so incredibly helpful and exactly what I needed for my writing.” -Workshop attendee

Maximum group size: No limit on large group offerings. Smaller group offerings are better suited for individual school classes or conference breakout sessions.

Venues: Flexible as long as a microphone and projection screen are available.

Tech Requirements: Microphone (when necessary), digital projector and screen (most presentations are accompanied by PowerPoint slides; Jessica can either hook up with her laptop or bring in a flash drive), water, and lunch (for full day visits).

Jessica looks forward to connecting with you!

Contact Jessica to book a visit:

    Matas, Carol (Winnipeg, MB,)

    Carol Matas, Winnipeg, MB, member, Writers’ Union of Canada, English. Grades K- 12.

    One hour in person $350 plus GST, $600.00 plus GST for 2 sessions, plus travel. One hour virtual visit, $200.00 plus GST.

    Carol is the internationally best selling author of over 45 books for young people, which have received over 100 awards and honours and been translated into 16 languages.  

    Photo: Chantal Picton Holowka.

    Carol Matas will have a new Holocaust novel, A Struggle For Hope, out this fall with Scholastic Canada. It tells the story of Ruth, a Holocaust survivor who has made the dangerous trip to Palestine after the war. She and other survivors tell their stories as a way of making sense of the world and Ruth discovers how powerful stories can be – for good and for ill. Winnipeg, Manitoba.

    Carol has written historical, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary novels. She is about to have her first picture book published. She has written early readers, middle grade novels and young adult novels and a YA crossover book. She often gets emails from young people  telling her that they didn’t like to read until they discovered her books, and she is thrilled to cultivate new readers. Many of  Carol’s  presentations are about her Holocaust novels. In these sessions she delves into the roots of antisemitism and racism which informed Hitler’s worldview. She loves to talk about “big questions” using books like Cloning Miranda, when she encourages discussions about what it means to be a human being.

    Who’s Looking for science based presentations.

    There is no size limit as long as a microphone is provided for in person visits, even in small venues – although the perfect venue is a library.

    Carol does virtual visits all over North America, most recently Atlanta, Georgia to present “The War Within,” a Civil War novel.

    Writers’ Union; Canscaip; SCBWI. Also presents to adults.

    Carol’s books have garnered over 100 awards and honours, including 2 nominations for the Governor General’s Award; the Silver Birch Award; a New York Times Notable book; a Sydney Taylor Award; a National Jewish Book Award finalist; an ALA Best Book of the Year for YA; a Helen and Stan Vine Canadian Jewish Book Award for Young People; CCBC Best Book for Kids and Teens; New York Public Library, book for the Teen Age; and the Geoffrey Bilson Award. They have also been translated into 16 languages and many have been best sellers. Daniel’s Story has sold over 1 million copies in the United States and Canada. 

    Contact Carol to book a visit

      Grant, Joyce (Toronto, ON)

      Joyce Grant

      Writers’ Union of Canada member; journalism, fiction, picture books. Rainforest of Reading Award winner, Top 10 Best Books (Ontario Library Association) and Best Books (Canadian Children’s Book Centre). All ages.

      $400 for an engaging, high-energy customized one-hour presentation (in-person or online).

      Joyce is a subject-matter expert on “fake news” and journalism. She is a freelance journalist and owner of internationally award-winning TeachingKidsNews.com.

      BOOKS:

      * Can You Believe It? How to Spot Fake News and Find the Facts, 2022, illustrated by Kathleen Marcotte. Illustrated non-fiction. Themes: Fake news, critical thinking, journalism.
      * Gabby picture books: Gabby, Gabby: Wonder Girl, Gabby: Drama Queen. Themes: text to concrete things, friendship, creativity, phonics
      * Middle-grade baseball novels for reluctant readers: Tagged Out and Sliding Home. Themes: bullying, diversity, teamwork, empathy

      Joyce delivers high-energy, interactive, engaging presentations and workshops for all ages. She has written picture books with a literacy angle, and middle-grade baseball novels that deliver baseball action with underlying social themes (immigration, bullying, diversity, teamwork).

      Joyce is also co-founder of TeachingKidsNews.com: free, kid-friendly news plus curriculum connections. She is a freelance journalist and her popular “How to Avoid Fake News” presentations can be tailored for students or teachers.

      “We were honoured to have Joyce Grant as a keynote speaker and workshop presenter. Our audience of about 200 people (was) captivated by her content … students were incredibly engaged and just ate up what she had to tell us.”
      —Laura Alopaeus-Gomes, Literacy Lead K-6, Algoma District School Board, 2018

      NOVELS:
      SLIDING HOME
      This middle-grade baseball novel focuses on Miguel, who is holding down part-time jobs so he can bring his father to Canada from El Salvador. Set in Toronto's Christie Pits baseball field.
      (Sequel to Tagged Out.) Themes: immigration, teamwork, diversity, empathy, baseball.

      TAGGED OUT
      Fast-paced middle-grade baseball novel for reluctant readers. Includes a strong secondary character who is gay. Themes: diversity, tolerance, empathy, teamwork, baseball.
      A teaching guide is available free.

      PICTURE BOOKS:
      GABBY 
      When Gabby drops her magic book, all its letters fall out. Whatever she spells with those letters
      comes to life! Includes two pages of literacy activities. (Illustrator: Jan Dolby)
      A teaching guide is available free.

      Also in the series:
      GABBY: WONDER GIRL (Includes question words.)
      GABBY: DRAMA QUEEN (Includes words with consonant blends.)

      PRESENTATIONS—GENERAL INFO:
      Joyce customizes her high-energy, interactive presentations to suit your students and support their learning. She can speak to most ages, but asks that they’re grouped (ie, K-1, 2-3, 4-6, 5+).

      Groups can be small (one to two classes) or larger, depending on how hands-on you want the presentation to be. Presentations for younger students are 40 minutes; for older students, 45 minutes to an hour. All presentations include Q&A.

      HOW TO AVOID FAKE NEWS
      Gr. 4-7
      Post or Pass? We play this highly interactive game that teaches kids of all ages (and adults!) how to spot fake news and pass on it–or post the good stuff! Always hilarious, and everyone walks away with great information about how to spot fake news.
      “Practical and engaging. The students are still talking about it, and the teachers have been using your ideas in their classrooms!”

      WORD SCRAMBLE
      K-3
      Super energetic, interactive presentations using scrambled letters. Includes a behind-the- scenes look at how picture books are made.
      “Interactive and fun!”

      CHARACTER, SETTING, PROBLEM, MAGIC!
      Gr. 2-3
      Together, we build an exciting story and then we act it out.
      “The kids loved it—we went back to the classroom and built more stories!”

      WRITING WORKSHOPS
      Gr. 4-9
      Journalism (writing headlines, interviewing, the 5 Ws) and picture book workshops. 
      “Real-world, hands-on learning.”

      GETTING KIDS READING
      Parents
      Parent/literacy night coming up? My popular, practical session for parents will help you get your kid reading.

      HOW TO TEACH KIDS TO AVOID FAKE NEWS
      Teachers
      Practical, popular presentations for teachers and teacher-candidates.

      KEYNOTES AND SKYPE VISITS
      Students or Adults
      Students or Adults
      Memorable keynotes for conferences and meetings (price to be discussed)

      EQUIPMENT REQUIRED:
      I use PowerPoint, so I’ll need a projector and screen. Oh! And a bottle of water, please. My voice projects well (a-hem!), but if you think your space requires a microphone, I’ll need you to supply that—preferably hand-held.
      I’m fine with small groups (one or two classes) or larger auditoriums. The bigger the group, the less hands-on the session, so workshops are best with a smaller group. I have great presentations for nearly every age group. Here are the preferred grade groupings: K to 1, grades 2 to 3, grades 4 to 6, grades 5 and up. I also present to teachers and teacher-candidates and to parents (ie, literacy night).

      To book Joyce, please send us an email using the form below:

        • Can You Believe It? How to Spot Fake News and Find the Facts, 2022, illustrated by Kathleen Marcotte. Illustrated non-fiction. Themes: Fake news, critical thinking, journalism.
        • Gabby picture books: Gabby, Gabby: Wonder Girl, Gabby: Drama Queen. Themes: text to concrete things, friendship, creativity, phonics
        • Middle-grade baseball novels for reluctant readers: Tagged Out and Sliding Home. Themes: bullying, diversity, teamwork, empathy

        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)”

          Younge-Ullman, Danielle (Toronto, ON)

          Writers Union Member. White Pine Award Winner and two-time nominee, also nominated for Governor General’s award, Amy Mathers Teen Book award, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz award, among others—a total of 18 nominations and Best-of lists. YA Author of HE MUST LIKE YOU, EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL IS NOT RUINED, and LOLA CARLYE’S 12 STEP ROMANCE.

          Danielle’s virtual visit fee is $200 per 50-60 minute session. In person visits are $300 for 1 hour presentation; $550 for 2, $800 for 3, plus travel for locations outside Toronto.

          Danielle is a confident and dynamic presenter who loves talking about books with people of all ages. She attained a BA from McGill, worked for years as an actor before turning to writing, and has had a wild variety of jobs—everything from acting, to dubbing English voices for Japanese TV, to temping, to teaching Pilates, to freelance writing. Danielle lives Toronto with her husband and two daughters.

          Presentations: Because of her background in theatre, Danielle is very comfortable in front of an audience and loves engaging with readers. Though she writes teen fiction, she can also adjust her presentations for groups as young as grade 5 and 6. Presentations can be geared toward each group, and can be done with more of a workshop emphasis if required. All presentations include time for questions!

          Age range: grades 5 and up, but ideally grades 7-12. Danielle also loves presenting to and working with adult groups, and meeting with book clubs.

          Topics:

          Pantsters, Plotters & Making Soup: A discussion of the essential elements of fiction, and explanations of some of the different techniques used by writers to craft story and write fiction.

          Turning Real Life Into Fiction: The process of using your own stories as inspiration for fiction is deeper, more layered, and much more detailed than it looks. In this session, Danielle will take you through the process of distilling the essence of your experiences, and using the most compelling themes and elements to create a work of fiction, using He Must Like You and Everything Beautiful Is Not Ruined as examples.

          How to Pursue a Career as a Novelist: A presentation that explains the process of becoming a professional writer, from beginning writing through searching for an agent, to going through the process of being published. This presentation is great for students who are interested in the arts, and in the process of making decisions about their futures.

          How to Revise the Crap Out of Your Manuscript: Danielle is an in-depth and joyfully ruthless reviser. In this session she will go through the steps she takes to revise her manuscripts in a way that can also be applied to shorter works. Subjects will include character consistency, POV, tone, tightening and/or expanding, layering in new characters and plot lines, analyzing structure, and general troubleshooting of things that aren’t working. 

          Equipment: podium or desk, microphone for groups larger than 40. Maximum group size: 40-60 for optimum interaction, but Danielle is also comfortable in front of larger groups. 25 or fewer for workshops.

          Contact Danielle Younge-Ullman:

            Hohn, Nadia (Toronto)

            The Writers Union member. Picture book. All ages. $350 for 1 session (60 min) $ 600 for 2 sessions of 60 minutes (1/2 day)$ 400 for 2 x 30 minute sessions (great for JK to 1). Full day (4 sessions) $ 1000. + kilometrage. Can present in English and French.

            Nadia is fully booked for the remainder of the 2021/2022 school season. She is currently scheduling for the 2022/2023 school year. 

            Malaika’s Costume (2016) and Malaika’s Winter Carnival (2017).

            Continue reading “Hohn, Nadia (Toronto)”

            Hune, Bernice (Toronto)

            Storytellers of Canada. Gold Mountain Stories. Traditional Asian folklore & Canada’s immigrant history (FDK – 12). Per session, 80-100 students. Three Sessions $625 + travel from Toronto. Continue reading “Hune, Bernice (Toronto)”