Chua, Charlene (Hamilton, ON)

Charlene Chua (she/they) is an author-illustrator & member of SCBWI and CANSCAIP. She presents for JK-2, or for highschool upwards.

Virtual visits start from $150 for a half hour presentation (JK-2), $200 for 1h presentation (highschool/adults). In-person presentations please email.

HST is extra. Travel fees apply for in-person presentations (the author does not drive).

Charlene is the author-illustrator of Hug?, as well as the illustrator on numerous picture books. Books she has worked on have been shortlisted for various awards including Blue Spruce, Silver Birch, LAMBA Literary, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award. Originally from Singapore, they moved to Canada in 2007, and currently live in Hamilton, ON.

Example presentations

Book reading + drawing demonstration (JK-2, approx. 20-30min)

Reading of a selected picture book, followed by a drawing demonstration based on the book. Q+A at the end.

Careers: How I became a picture book illustrator (Highschool-adult, approx. 60min)

Presentation of my career path from starting out in illustration to transitioning into a specialized illustrator for picture books

Other notes

For in-person presentations, I need a laptop and projector. For drawing activities, an easel with paper as well as paper, markers, crayons for the children to draw along with. In-person presentations for JK-2 max 30 per group, teacher/facilitator MUST be present (excepting festivals & events).

Contact Charlene:

    Sher, Emil (Toronto, ON)

    Emil Sher - author photo

    Writers’ Union Member. Emil’s rates are (add HST) $350 for one session, $500 for two in the same half-day, $700 for three and $900 for four (max. 4 per day, min 2 per half-day if outside GTA). A limited number of subsidies are available for Unpacking the Holocaust: A Playwright’s Journey.

    Emil’s author visits have taken him across Ontario and to Quebec, Nova Scotia and the Yukon, and he has been warmly received by teachers and students alike.

    “Emil takes the students on an emotional, real and engaging journey through captivating visuals and heartfelt storytelling. Amazing!” (Clayton Park Junior High, Halifax)

    “Mr Sher – I think you should write a book about yourself. I think you should do more good work of teaching ‘cause it was amazing! Don’t change anything!” (Grey Mountain Primary School, Whitehorse)

    Emil writes for children of all ages, from babies to teens. His debut young adult novel, Young Man with Camera, was a Governor General’s Award finalist and described as “one of the few books for this generation that will stick with them into adulthood.” He has written acclaimed board books and picture books, and his adaptation of Hana’s Suitcase, the beloved book by Karen Levine, was heralded as “an exceptional means to teach young children about the Holocaust.”

    Young Man with Camera: Behind the Scenes (Grade 5 and up)
    Emil takes students behind the scenes of a novel punctuated with striking photographs. Students are given a glimpse of the writing process — how much of writing is rewriting — and then explore the book’s themes. In small groups they look at a photograph and are asked to make up a story about what might have happened beyond the frame, to consider a fundamental question about how we interpret the world: for all that we see, what goes unseen and unsai

    Unpacking the Holocaust: A Playwright’s Journey (Grade 5 and up)
    What are the challenges, the choices, the considerations when the Holocaust is to be both honoured and dramatized on stage? How can sets, costumes, masks, slides and silence give voice to an unspeakable tragedy? Emil uses projections and video footage from past productions of Hana’s Suitcase to explore the choices he made in taking a book and retelling it on stage.

    Away We Go: Storytelling with Sticky Notes (Grade 1 – 3) This picture book about a young child’s fears about going to sleepover camp for the first time is told entirely through sticky notes. Emil inflates a balloon and shares his board books and picture books to illustrate the basics of storytelling. This leads to a hands-on workshop where students use illustrator Qin Leng’s rough sketches to write and illustrate their own version of Away.

    Emil’s presentations are approximately one hour. He has other presentations he can share upon request and is happy to create workshops for writers’ craft classes and to modify his talks to meet the curriculum needs of teachers.

    Equipment requirements: a screen and projector he can connect to his MacBook, and a table for materials.

    Contact Emil for a visit:

      McLeod, Cinders (Toronto)

      Writers’ Union Member. Now doing virtual visits only: $200 for one 60 minute session, $350 for 2, $525 for 3, $675 for 4. Maximum 4
      sessions per day. JK to SK: two 30-minute sessions for the price of 1.

      Cinders presents to JK to Grade 3. Single class size is best for discussion, but Cinders is flexible.

      Author-illustrator of the Moneybunnies financial literacy for young children series, published by Penguin N.Y. She is also a well known human rights cartoonist and musician. Cinders has 20 years’ experience in Canadian and British books and newspapers, is the creator of the 8-year-old Broomie Law cartoon and one of the few published, women political cartoonists in the world. She is also an experienced performer (singer, songwriter, double bassist with a record on Billy Bragg’s label) and cartoon workshop presenter. She wrote and illustrated EARN IT! SPEND IT! SAVE IT! and GIVE IT! for ages 3- 8 because it’s never too early to teach children about money. The Moneybunnies series is popular with STEM educators.

      Continue reading “McLeod, Cinders (Toronto)”

      Skrypuch, Marsha Forchuk (Brantford ON)

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

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

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

      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)”

      Rasberry, Gary (Kingston)

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

      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)”

      Messier, Mireille (Toronto, ON)

      Writers’ Union Member. French/English author. Picture books. Great for immersion students! K to 6.

      For the 2021-2022 school year, Mireille is only doing virtual visits!

      Mireille’s rate for a 45/50-minute virtual presentation is $250 for 1-5 classes, $350 for 6-10 classes and $450 for 11+ classes. HST extra. Please note that presentations may not be recorded for later use or shared.

      Mireille has a picture book ideal for Remembrance Day with students in grades 1-6! Contact her about presenting “Sergeant Billy: The True Story of the Goat Who Went to War” at your school or event! (available in English or French)

      Mireille can present “Treasure”/ “Trésor”, “The Branch” / “Ma branche préférée” and “Fatima and the Clementine Thieves/Fatima et les voleurs de clémentines” ans “La magie de Casse-Noisette”/ “Nutcracker Night” in either English or French or both.

      Mireille also has many books that are published in French only and range in genre – from picture books, to chapter books and non-fiction. She enjoys presenting to immersion students and offers lively presentations that are tailored to the language level of the students.

      School presentations will include a reading of the selected book, an activity based on the theme of the book and a discussion with the author about her craft.

      Available in French or English/French (bilingual) Mireille is a member of The Writers’ Union of Canada, and so schools wishing to invite her may be eligible for a travel and fee subsidy to off-set the cost of her visit.

      Here is an example of her presentations by grade:

      JK to 1: two 30-minute sessions for the price of one full session using her book “Quel fouillis!” (includes a tool-related activity and a song) or “Une Bestiole à l’école” (includes an insect-related activity and a song).

      Grade 1 to 4: The majority of Mireille’s books are for this age group. 45 to 60 minutes: Session featuring a book of your choice plus a related activity followed by a Q&A on topic/book selected.

      Themes available: Remembrance Day/World War I/ World War II/Military Mascot (Sergeant Billy), Environmental conservation (Treasure/Trésor), Environment/Weather (The Branch/Ma branche préférée), Nature/Animals (Tellement Sauvage), Travel/Geography (Charlotte partout), Non-Violent Conflict Resolution (Fatima), Anagrams/Word Play (Voilier d’Olivier/Quand les zéros), Food/Cooking (Salade de César), Sports (Charlotte Olympique)…

      Grade 4 to 6: 45 to 60 minutes. Session featuring a book of your choice plus a related activity followed by a Q&A on topic/book selected. Books available for this level are “Fatima et les voleurs de clémentines” (advanced picture book) and the middle-grade chapter books from Les aventures de Viviane et Simon series.

      Contact Mireille to book a visit:

        Chan, Marty (Edmonton AB)

        Writers Union Member. A professional liar since 1988, Marty writes books for kids and plays for adults. Based in Edmonton, Alberta, Marty is a keynote speaker, television screenwriter, radio dramatist, and raconteur.

        For the 2022 – 23 school year, Marty is only doing virtual presentations. He charges $200 plus HST for a 45-minute session, and has a discounted rate of $500 plus HST for three sessions. He also offers 60-minute writing workshops for $300 plus HST. Please note that you can book Marty’s multiple sessions on different days. They do not all have to be on the same day.

        The son of immigrants, Marty grew up in a French-Canadian town where he was the only Chinese kid at school. Bullied and friendless, he found sanctuary in the school library where a teacher-librarian inspired this reluctant reader to fall in love with books. Using his sense of humour, Marty turned bullies into buddies and transformed his passion for literacy into a lifelong career as a published author and playwright.

        A versatile presenter with a theatre and television background, Marty has mastered the art of virtual sessions. He tailors his author visits according to grade levels, creating a unique experience for each group. Students’ faces will light up when they see Marty turn a pen into a lightsaber, and they’ll howl with laughter as he instantly transforms into various emoji characters. Most important of all, the kids will be curious about the world of writing by the end of Marty’s dynamic virtual sessions.

        Venues: Marty can present on Zoom, Google Meet, MS Teams, or YouTube Live. He can accommodate any number of logins/participants, as long as they fit within his suggested grade breakdown.

        JK to 2: With a bit of magic and improv, Marty brings to life classic Chinese folktales. The kids will become characters in his interactive telling of the origin of the rainbow or they’ll play a guessing game about the different animals featured on the Chinese calendar. Marty will also talk about the real-life cats that inspired his picture book, True Story.

        Grades 3 – 4: With a dose of humour and pop culture allusions, Marty tells the real-life childhood experiences that inspired The Mystery of the Frozen Brains. He’ll share a tip or two about writing, focussing on how the five senses can make anything real, even a pen lightsaber.

        Grades 5 – 6: Keep the lights on for this thrilling talk about Marty’s scary series, Keepers of the Vault, which was inspired by his haunted elementary school. This session is sure to make a few kids jump out of their seats.

        Grades 7 and up: Marty shares the creepy origin of his bestselling thriller Haunted Hospital, and he’ll talk about the importance of knowing your audience. Using his hit play, The Bone House, he gets even the most jaded student excited about the power of writing. 

        Writing workshops: Want to go behind the scenes? Marty shares tips on writing thrillers, creating conflict, and using picture prompts. His 60-minute workshops are interactive and break down writing concepts to simple and easy-to-apply tips that can inspire even the most reluctant writer.

        Teachers-librarians have this to say about Marty’s sessions:

        You were amazing!  We’ve had rave reviews all round.  A grade 7 student who is very tough to engage has told us that he’s getting all your books. So great to see a student make a connection like that.” – Sarah Mayer, St. Isidore Online School

        Thank you so much for today!! So many teachers came to tell me how great you were and how much their class enjoyed it. They all said it’s so hard to keep them engaged, especially online and that you need to teach us how to turn into aliens stuff for remote learning.  My friend said that her kids were taking out their pens during the last session to see if they’d turn into light sabers.” – Kim Kondo, Brock Public School

        Presentation needs: For multi-class sessions, teachers should keep their mics muted and be prepared to relay student responses via chat. Marty is happy to do a connection test beforehand to troubleshoot any technical difficulties.

        Contact Marty for a visit:

          Sherrard, Valerie (Miramichi NB)

          Valerie Sherrard

          GG nominated, award-winning author.

          Virtual Visit: $225.00 for a 60 minute presentation.

          In school visits: $300 for a single presentation or $550 for two at one location. Full day workshop 700.00.  Expenses are included in all fees. For in-school visit dates — please contact Valerie and she will let you know when she plans to be in Ontario.

          Valerie is an experienced presenter (in-person and virtual visits) who uses humour and an interactive style to engage her audience. Feedback from her school and library visits has been enthusiastic.

          Birdspell Corbin Hayes is used to being alone. His mom’s illness means lost jobs, constant moves, new schools and friendships that never get to grow. So, when a classmate offers Corbin the talking bird she can no longer keep, he sees a chance to fill the gap in his life. But when things begin to spiral out of control, Corbin can no longer cope. At his lowest moment, he’s forced to do the one thing he fears the most. Young Adult.

          Finding Avalon  Avalon Monday doesn’t mind telling schoolmates that her mother ran off with a guy she met on the internet. After all, that’s way less embarrassing than the truth. But when the past collides with the present, exposing her secret and threatening to leave her new life in ruins, Avalon discovers there are some things you can never truly leave behind.

          Cooper Clark and the Dragon Lady  (Chapter Book) Desperate measures are called for when a boy is secretly afraid of dragons, but his new babysitter is rumoured to have a dragon in her basement!

          Presentations: I will present to grades 1 – 9. A signed bookmark or postcard will be provided for each student at all in-person presentations.

          Grades 1 – 3: There’s a COW Under My Bed! or Down Here! Fun and interactive talk about expressions and language, and students’ own creative abilities. Reading with audience participation. I end with a short Q & A. For these grades you may book two half hour presentations in the place of a single 60 minute session if you prefer.

          Middle Grades: Engaging interactive presentation on literacy, with or without issue-based segments depending on the book being presented. I end with a short reading and about 10 minutes for Q & A.

          Young Adult: Engaging and interactive presentation on literacy, believing in oneself and a variety of writing or issue related topics, depending on the requested focus. I end with a short reading and about 10 minutes for Q & A.

          Workshop for grades 6 and up: A Story’s Voice. This full day workshop is designed to help young people develop distinctive voices in their writing by examining the way character, setting, perspective, dialogue, tense etc. impact in telling a story. Writing exercises will demonstrate how each of these support a story in different ways, and help them to recognize which components will work best for their stories. Limited to 15 participants. Available virtually – contact to discuss a suitable arrangement.

          I am flexible on audience size but in my experience, smaller in-person groups result in the greatest benefit to students. I am comfortable in all settings, including classroom, library, auditorium or gymnasium.

          A sound system may be necessary depending on audience size, acoustics and the number of presentations booked.

          Contact Valerie: