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:

    Morse, Joe (Toronto, ON)

    Joe Morse. Illustrator/educator. Toronto. English. Grade levels: Grade 3 and up. Rates: $250 for one session, $450 for two, $675 for three, $900 for a full day (four sessions) Plus HST and travel fee of $0.50/km if outside Toronto.

    Joe Morse’s recent picture book Go Show the World with Wab Kinew was nominated for the Governor General’s Award, won the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award and is a Finalist in the Forest of Reading (Silver Birch Express).

    Joe Morse is an award winning book illustrator and educator. He has won over 200 awards as an Illustrator in editorial, advertising and books working with international clients: Universal Pictures, Nike, the NBA, and Major League Baseball and 30 years of teaching Illustration with a focus on drawing.

    Joe’s Workshops are tailored to 2 different needs.

    1. Heroes without Capes: audio/visual presentation on the super powers each one of us has using the real life characters from the book Go Show the World. Focus: history, personal storytelling, culture, empowerment, empathy, diversity, environment and media awareness.

    2. Draw Thinking: smaller groups with paper and drawing tool (crayon, pencil). He shows the original art for Go Show the World and the group works with the second best form of communication we humans have (after physical gestures) DRAWING. A language that is truly universal.

    Focus: hands on fun. Creative thinking. Making mistakes is good for you. Note: for students that may have challenges with the physical aspect of drawing, he can emphasize the visual identification of shapes drawn during the workshop.

    Audience size: 1. Heroes without Capes: can be any size. He needs a screen and projector with an HDMI input/output. For 2. Draw Thinking: size dependent on table space for drawing. (30 and less optimal). He needs a screen and projector with an HDMI input/output. (If a projector is not available, please let Joe know in advance and he will attempt to bring one with him).

    Contact Joe to connect him with your readers:

    Continue reading “Morse, Joe (Toronto, ON)”

    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:

      Laidlaw, Rob (Toronto, ON)

      Rob LaidlawToronto. Writers’ Union Member. Silver Birch Non-Fiction Award and Hackmatack Award winner.  All ages. Rob’s rate is $250 for one session, $450 for 2, $600 for 3, $800 for 4 (maximum of 4 per day / if outside of Toronto area minimum of 2 per day), plus travel costs for locations outside of Toronto. Virtual Visits: (first 15 minute session is free), subsequent 30 – 60  minute sessions $100, Skype. No HST.

      Rob is an award-winning author of nine children’s books, biologist, professional wildlife campaigner, part-time adventurer and recipient of the prestigious Federic A. McGrand Lifetime Achievement Award for substantial contributions to animal welfare in Canada. Continue reading “Laidlaw, Rob (Toronto, ON)”

      Bow, Erin (Kitchener, ON)

      erinbow1Writers’ Union Member.  $400 plus HST for one session; $150 for each additional session in the same area on the same day – can be split between schools.   Travel costs waived in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, and the townships.

      Erin writes YA science fiction and fantasy, with a middle grade debut coming in 2019.  With multiple awards, she’s considered one of Canada’s rising stars: Quill and Quire calls her “a new master,” and the CBC says she’s “so close to YA superstardom she can probably taste it.”  As a presenter she’s down-to-earth and funny, working to give students real answers and emotional honesty.

      “I’ve had many novelists visit my classes over the years, but I can honestly say I’ve never seen one connect so well with a teenaged audience. —A.J. Blauer, Acting Head of Literary Arts, Canterbury High School (Ottawa, Ontario)

      Continue reading “Bow, Erin (Kitchener, ON)”

      Barker, Michelle (Vancouver)

      Vancouver. Writers’ Union member (schools may be eligible for travel and fee subsidies).

      Award-winning author of poetry, a historical picture book, two YA historical novels, YA fantasy novel, short fiction, and non- fiction. Winner of the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award (2019); Kirkus Best YA Historical Fiction (2018); TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award finalist (2016). All ages.

      Michelle’s rate is $225 for one presentation, $400 for two, $600 for three, and $750 for four. No travel costs within the GTA. Because she’s coming from out of town, Michelle requires two or more bookings. Online presentations available: $100 for 50 minutes. Continue reading “Barker, Michelle (Vancouver)”

      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)”

      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)”

      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:

        Groth, Darren (Vancouver)

         

         

         

         

         

         

        Vancouver BC. Writers’ Union Member. Aussie adopted by Canada; Finalist in GG Lit Awards and BC Book Prizes, multi awards in Australia.

        Fees: $300 for 1 session, $500 for 2, $700 for 3, 850 for 4 (plus HST). A day can be
        shared between two cooperating schools. For the GTA (and Toronto bookings near GO stations), Darren can GO TRAIN (not buses or subway) travel both ways all day; he requires pick up and drop off at the GO stations. Where GO Trains are not feasible, car or taxi pick-up from Darren’s hotel is requested.

        Virtual Visits: $100 plus HST, 30 minutes; $150 plus HST, 60 minutes FaceTime.

        Continue reading “Groth, Darren (Vancouver)”