McLaughlin, Kate (Waterbury, Connecticut)

USA Today and Amazon bestseller. 2022 White Pine winner. 2023 White Pine nominee. Multiple American awards. Young Adult and Adult focus. In-person visits, airfare/travel + accommodation. Negotiable depending on location and event.

Virtual visits $250 + HST for 30-60 minutes. $400 for two sessions. Multiple session rate negotiable.

Kate is a multi-genre author with several pen names and more than twenty-years’ experience in the publishing industry. She has written for several big New York houses and has spoken at events such as Book Expo America, DragonCon and New York ComicCon. She has also taught writing classes and given workshops on writing and publishing. Born in Nova Scotia, Kate lived in Halifax, Ottawa and Toronto before moving to the US with her husband.

On the Young Adult level, Kate has done many in-school visits and loves talking to teens about books, writing and life in general. She is flexible with her presentation style, focusing on the needs of the audience rather than a set program. She is more than happy to work with teachers and educators if there are certain topics they wish to see covered and can quickly adapt if the situation calls for it. While her books tend to deal with heavier social issues, Kate is a very positive person and carries that vibe into her presentations.

Kate often talks about how young she was when she first discovered books and writing, how that love of fiction got her through her teen years, and how she was eventually able to realize her dream of being a writer. Having also self-published, she is able to speak to kids – and adults – not only on how to break into the traditional market, but also how to make it in the indy market as well. She also offers workshops on plotting, character and finding your voice through studying other writers. As a veteran of the publishing industry, she is able to speak on almost any topic if there is a preference.

Some possible topics of discussion based on Kate’s books include Human Trafficking and sexual assault (What Unbreakable Looks Like, 2022 White Pine winner), social media and the public obsession with serial killers (Daughter, 2023 White Pine nominee), and dissociative identity disorder and mental health (Pieces of Me, April 2023 release).

Kate has no requirements of venue, but preference is given to those that allow her to connect and interact with the audience.

Contact Kate to book a visit:

    Beddia, Lea (Joliette, Quebec)

    CANSCAIP and SCBWI member, two-time recipient of Canada Council of the Arts grants. Member of Quebec Writers’ Federation and selected mentee for Young Adult fiction in 2020.

    Workshops are best for ages 9 to 17. $250.00 for one sixty-minute session. $450 for two sessions. $675 for three sessions and $900 for 4 sessions. + travel (50 cents per kilometer, round-trip for Lanaudière, Laurentides, Montreal, Laval, Mauricie regions.

    Virtual Visits: $200 for one 60-minute session, $100 for each additional session on the same day, up to four sessions in one day.

    Lea is an experienced English Language Arts teacher who loves to talk about books and writing. As a writer of books for striving readers, she is passionate about bringing accessible literature to all readers and second language learners. Lea believes anyone can be a writer and all it takes is the right tools, some hard work, and the right encouragement. She wants to bring the power of writing to all types of learners. She is experienced working with students will learning difficulties, and can offer flexible workshops to accommodate all learners. She provides graphic organizers and worksheets, including editable digital copies for learners using assistive technologies. She has also been known to bring tasty snacks!

    Writing Workshop Topics for ages 9 to 17

    Workshops are conducted in English, but Lea is comfortable speaking French to second language learners. She can answer questions/provide translation and communicate fluently in French. Participants who speak languages other than English or French are encouraged to teach Lea some new words!

    All workshops use a combination of large and/or small group discussion, group activity/game, writing, revising, and sharing.

    Writing Makes Sense: Showing vs. Telling

    Lea will use a combination of discussion, group activity and writing to create strong sentences using sensory details.

    Words for Humanity: Using Conflict to Write About Emotions

    Based on the “Cards Against Humanity” or “Cards Against Maturity” game, with an age-appropriate and positive twist, we will create solutions to problems for our characters.

    From Memory to Fiction

    Based on the game “Clue,” students will use detective work to piece together memories to create a setting, a character and/or a conflict as a stepping stone for their own creative writing.

    Dialogue that doesn’t drag: using dialogue to build character.

    Using video clips of well-known characters, students will predict what/how characters will speak. We will use character charts, to create personalities and with them, a way to let characters speak that is dynamic and exciting.

    Words, Words, Words: Beyond the Thesaurus.

    Based on the game “Taboo,” and incorporating improvisation/acting students will explore their vocabulary by acting out adverbs, describing movements and using action words instead, to create a scene.

    These workshops are ideal for groups between 10 and 20 participants. Lea prefers small settings for workshops such as a classroom, library or other space large enough to move around, but not so large that she cannot connect with each participant.

    Tech requirements include a blackboard/whiteboard and a screen for the dialogue workshop with internet access, speakers, etc. Participants will require writing materials, including assistive technologies for students who use them in the classroom on a regular basis.

    Contact Lea to book a visit:

      Vitalis, Jessica (Waterloo, ON)

      Writer’s Union, CANSCAIP, SCBWI. 45 to 60-minute virtual session: $250. In person: $300 (1 session—available in Waterloo region only), $600 (2 sessions), $850 (3 sessions), $1000 (4 sessions). Sessions may be split between nearby schools on the same day. Prices quoted do not include travel costs. (Travel costs waived in Waterloo, Kitchener, Cambridge and Guelph.)

      JESSICA VITALIS is a Columbia MBA-wielding author and presenter on a mission to write and share entertaining and thought-provoking literature. She founded Magic in the Middle, a series of free monthly recorded book talks, to help educators introduce young readers to new fantasy books. She was recently named a 2021 Canada Council of the Arts Grant Recipient and featured on CBCs Here and Now. The Wolf’s Curse and The Rabbit’s Gift are standalone companion novels published by Greenwillow/HarperCollins. Two more books, Coyote Queen, and an unnamed standalone, will follow in 2023 and 2024.

      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:

        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)”

            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)”