Thompson, Julie (Whitby, ON)

The Writer’s Union of Canada, Society of Children’s Book Writers, Writer’s Union of Canada 2024 Grant Recipient.

In-person rates:  $400 for one session, $750 for two, $1100 for three and $1400 for four, + travel (.68 cents per km, round-trip within the GTAH). Each session runs between 45 – 60 minutes. Virtual Visits: $300 a session. Each session runs between 45 – 60 minutes.

Julie will collaborate with teacher’s and librarians to tailor her presentation to meet curriculum requirements. Students and staff can purchase signed copies of “When Isaac Hears the Rain.” Contact Julie for details.

Julie Thompson creates stories that reflect and celebrate the lived experiences of children everywhere. As a mother of two boys, Julie is especially drawn to books that honor Black Boy Joy. She hopes that her stories will encourage open dialogue within families and their communities.

Julie’s stories are inspired by the people, places, and experiences that have shaped her 27-year career in youth services, community outreach, and law enforcement. She lives with her two sons in Toronto, where she teaches yoga, breathwork, mindfulness, and meditation. Julie is eager to meet with you and your students.

    Levels: Grades 1-3

    Key themes: curiosity, environment, mindfulness, friendship, kindness, family, diversity, black boy joy

    Maximum group sizes for presentations: 30 kids ideal.

    JK 45-60 minutes. Author reading session ((When Issac Hears the Rain)

     with an activity (if time permits Julie will remain with the students while they complete their activity).

    Grade 1-2: 45 to 60 minutes: Author reading session (When Isaac Hears the Rain). Question and Answer with an activity (if time permits Julie will remain with the students while they complete their activity).

    Grade 3: 45 to 60 minutes: 45 to 60 minutes: Author reading session (When Isaac Hears the Rain). Question and Answer with an activity (if time permits Julie will remain with the students while they complete their activity).

    Presentations are preferred in the library.

    Equipment needs for in-person visits:  Table, stool, a microphone for larger groups or 30 or in the gym. A screen and projector to connect computer. Teacher/librarian must be present.

    Contact Julie to book a visit:

      Daher, Anita, (Manitoba)

      Note: Last name pronunciation is “dare.” The Writers’ Union of Canada, Manitoba Writers’ Guild, ACTRA Finalist: White Pine, Red Cedar, MYRCA, Violet Downey, Arthur Ellis, Diamond Willow.

      Rates for in-person: $300 per single presentation, $200 for additional presentations at the same school per day.

      Rates for virtual: $200 per presentation.

      Anita Daher is an author, screenwriter, producer, and actor primarily of Icelandic and Irish heritage. She has been entrenched in the publishing industry since 1995, and helped found writing organizations in Yellowknife, NWT, and the Algoma region of Northern Ontario before landing in Winnipeg in 2004. From 2019 to 2021 she served as Chair of the Writers’ Union of Canada. She thinks too much, rises too early, and in her spare time enjoys renovating old campers.

      Anita is a dynamic speaker who has presented in hundreds of schools in urban, rural and remote communities across Canada, primarily in the North and West. She can do up to four presentations in the same school or area in a day. She has power point presentations appropriate to the grade, which include a professionally filmed scene adapted from one of her novels.

      Presentations

      • Grades 3 to 6
      • Grades 7 and 8
      • Grades 9 to 12

      For younger grades the focus is plot and planning. For older grades, it is “the story underneath,” or the heart of the story. Each touch on the author’s journey, and what—besides inspiration—you need to write a book.

      Presentations are generally 45 minutes, adaptable to school needs, and include time for Q & A.

      Group size preference, preferred venues (for in person), tech required for your presentations.

      Anita’s preferred venue is a library and is flexible regarding size of audience—whatever is appropriate to the space. She requires a projector with speakers to accommodate her power point presentation. 

      Contact Anita to book a visit:

        Maheshwari, Priti (Cambridge, ON)

        Priti Birla Maheshwari is an award-winning children’s author and teacher. She is the recipient of the 2023 CCBC and TD Grade One Book Giveaway, as well as many other awards for her debut picture book Chaiwala! (illustrated by Ashley Barron, published by OwlKids Books 2021).

        Priti is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), and the Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers (CANSCAIP). She gives English and French language presentations and workshops for grades K-3 in the category of fiction.

        In-person rates: $400 for 1 session, $650 for 2, $900 for 3 and $1100 for 4, + travel (.68 cents per kilometre, round-trip for SW ON).

        Virtual Visits: $300 for one session, 45-60 minutes, $200 for each additional session on the same day.

        Priti is an experienced educator and speaker who tailors each presentation to the group in front of her through fun interactive sessions. She can do up to four daily presentations in the same school. As the author of a picture book and an early reader chapter book series, Priti can offer a vast range of workshops for kindergarten to grade 3 students.

        She will gladly collaborate with teachers and/or librarians to customize visits to meet the children’s interests and the teachers’ curriculum requirements. Students and staff have the option to order personalized, signed books which will be delivered to their school. Priti will provide ordering instructions.

        In-person visits:

        Priti begins with a PowerPoint presentation that immerses the students in the sounds and sights of India. This is followed by an interactive reading session and then an art activity where the students make personalized teacups.

        Participatory Reading & Activities: Age level: K – grade 1; Duration 45-60 minutes. Best for up to 30 students for optimal engagement.

        Priti introduces students to facts about India and a fun participatory reading session of Chaiwala! Priti also discusses idea generation and the inspiration for the story. This includes a small moment activity and an art activity.

        Key concepts: diversity, arts

        Key themes: curiosity, exploration, family and traditions, cultural appreciation

        Explore a Book! Age level: Grades 1-3; Duration: 45-60 minutes. Appropriate for classroom visits.

        Students will explore the picture book Chaiwala! through the lens of a reader, writer, and artist. They’ll discover how the author and illustrator work together to create a picture book, and how the world in which we live is interconnected with “small moments”. Students will do an activity on what makes a moment special and end with an art activity.

        Key concepts: picture book creation, writing process

        Key themes: curiosity, exploration

        Levels: Grades 1-3

        Equipment needs for in-person visits:

        • Laptop with PowerPoint – presentation is on a USB stick (or Priti can bring her own laptop if it can be connected to the school projector)
        • SmartBoard or digital projector and screen for presentation
        • Microphone if the space is larger than a classroom
        • Table to set materials
        • Chair or stool

        For virtual visits, school Zoom account (or similar). Student supplies depend on the session which will be discussed before the visit. The teacher or librarian must be present for all presentations, virtual or in-person.

        Contact Priti to book a visit:

          Frayne Sharon, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

          Writers Union Member. Young Adult and Adult genres. $300 plus HST and travel ($0.50/km outside Niagara) for 1 session, $500 for 2, $700 for 3 and $900 for full day.

          Virtual Visits: $100-200 plus HST (depending on time required)

          Background: Sharon Frayne was born in St. Catharines, grew up on a Niagara farm and in Muskoka, and now divides her time between Niagara and Northern Ontario. She was a high school Visual Arts and English teacher, an Arts Department Head, and Elementary Principal. During her career, she worked with many special needs children, their families and teachers. She’s an award winning short story writer and novelist, whose contemporary tales include diverse characters, environmental issues, Canadian history and outdoor settings.  

          Public Speaking and Workshops: Sharon is a dynamic, engaging, experienced teacher and Principal who is comfortable leading small groups, individual classrooms or presenting in assemblies. She enjoys speaking to adult groups and book clubs. Presentations include visuals and are interactive, tailored to individual and group needs.

          Workshop Themes (samples, more are available and can be customized)

          How to Self-Edit (suitable for students in grades 4- 12. Meets Ontario Curriculum Guidelines)

          How to create amazing, realistic, empathetic characters (for short stories or novel length)

          Does Setting matter? It sure does – let’s do some world building to enhance your story.

          Seven Steps to writing a prize winning Short Story.

          What’s a plot line? How to develop one for a short story or novel.

          Who needs conflict? Your story does – here’s how to create some.

          For Better or for Worse – How does Social Media Affect Us?

          Materials Required for School Presentations:

          Classroom or Library setting preferred. Microphone (if acoustics are problematic), table for computer and materials, screen and data projector. Preference is for individual classrooms, or similar age/grade groups up to 100.

          Free Virtual Visits!

          15 minute virtual visits, with a short teacher/moderator led Q & A session are available to classes or clubs who are reading one of my books.  This works best with small groups.

          Writer in Residence option:

          This is a fantastic opportunity to develop a working relationship with a group over a pre-arranged time period. This could be writing workshops, feedback sessions, book discussions and can be arranged to suit interest and ability levels.

          Publications:

          Magazines and Newspapers: Eden Mills Writers Festival Chapter Publication (winning writers), CommuterLit, Agnes and True, The Ekphrastic Review, Uproar, The Local (NOTL Paper), The Lake Report (NOTL Paper), Stage of Life (USA online publication) and others

          Novels: The Sound of a Rainbow, (Latitude 46 Publishing),2023 (gr. 8 -12)

          Caught Between the Walls, (Bygones Press), 2016 (gr. 6 -12)

          Awards:

          Frayne’s short stories and poems have won in the South Simcoe Arts Festival, Eden Mills Writers Festival, the Northern Ontario Writer’s Workshop, the Banister Poetry Contest and Stratford Rotary Writing Contest. She won the Best Novel Award in the Muskoka Novel Marathon in 2019, 2020 and 2022. She’s been a frequent winner of the NOTL Rising Spirits Writing competition for both short stories and poetry. Her personal essay, ‘Stepping into a Lifetime’ was the USA national winner in the Stage of Life writing competition.

          She won the Halton District School Board’s Award of Distinction for Creativity in Education and was nominated for the Ontario Premier’s Award for Education.

          Associations: In addition to belonging to the Writer’s Union of Canada, she’s an NOTL Writer’s Circle board member, past president of the Niagara branch of the Canadian Author’s Association. She’s a past Editor of the CAA Niagara annual Anthology and has appeared as a guest speaker at numerous Arts Festivals. She was featured in a televised production of ‘A Christmas Carol’ with the CBC.  She also belongs to the NOTL Pumphouse Art Gallery, and is a past board member with NOTL Newcomers Club.

          Contact Sharon To Book A Visit:

            Krampien, Celia (Welland, ON)

            SCBWI member.

            Celia Krampien writes and illustrates picture books and novels for young people. She grew up in a small town (population 400) in rural Southern Ontario where she spent most of her time reading and exploring the woods around her house. Celia loves creating bright, colourful, emotionally complex books. Celia’s books are best suited for students in grades JK – 8 but is happy to be flexible and adapt presentations to meet the needs of students of any age.

            Book topics: the power of stories, handling adversity, facing fears, differences in perspective, friendship, bullying, Halloween.

            RATES*:

            Virtual Visits

            $200 – 1 hour virtual presentation + drawing activity + Q&A  (Gr 3 and up)

            $100 – 30 minute picture book story time and drawing demo (Gr JK – 2)

            In-Person Visits

            $250 – two 30 minute picture book story time and drawing activity sessions (Gr JK – 2)

            $300 – 1 hour  presentation + interactive activity + Q&A (Gr 3 and up)

            $500 – two 1 hour presentations with interactive activity and Q&A (Gr 3 and up)

            $900 – all day visit, as many presentations/activities/Q&A sessions as we can fit! (Gr JK and up)

            In-Person, Large Groups (50+ attendees)

            $400 – 1 hr presentation + interactive activity + Q&A (requires podium, slideshow projection system, microphone & sound system)

            *HST will be charged on all fees

            Presentations (all can all be offered virtually or in-person)

            Storytime and draw-along – 30 mins (JK – Grade 2)

            – Picture book(s) read aloud

            – Drawing and colouring activity – students can draw and colour along as Celia demonstrates how to draw characters from her books

            – Q & A session

            Telling Stories with Pictures – 1 hour (Grades 3 – 5)

            – Slideshow presentation about using words and pictures as storytelling tools with examples from Celia’s recent book with Kristen Dickson, Fiona Builds a Fairyhouse

            – interactive drawing activity – students draw along with Celia, drawing their own fairytale creatures and creating a story to introduce them to the rest of the class (requires easel and large pad of paper)

            – Q&A session

            How a Story Becomes a Book (And Why Does it Take So Long?!) – 1 hour (Grades 4 and up)

            – slideshow presentation showing the step-by-step process of the creation of Celia’s spooky middle grade novel, The Bellwoods Game. Students will get a behind the scenes peek at Celia’s journey, starting at her first attempts at writing through to publication day

            – interactive activity- students will tryout different brainstorming techniques to answer the age old question of where ideas come from (requires easel and large pad of paper)

            – Q&A session

            Cover Stories – the making of a book cover (Grades 4 and up)

            – slideshow presentation about the step-by-step process of creating illustrated covers for middle grade novels and why sometimes it’s okay to judge a book by its cover

            – interactive activity – students draw along with Celia to create their own book covers (requires easel and large pad of paper)

            – Q&A session

            Equipment Required:

            –      Projector to display slideshow (in-person visits)

            –      easel and large pad of paper for presentations activities

            –      Paper, pencils/crayons/markers for students for presentations with brainstorming and draw-along activities.

            –      Microphone, sound system and podium for larger groups (50+ attendees)

            Contact Celia to book a visit:

              Stewart, Michael (Ottawa, ON)

              Fiction/Poetry, Two X Ottawa Book Award Nominee, Snow Willow Award nominee, eOne Television Adaptation Lab winner, Publishers Weekly BookLife Grand Prize winner, Twice named a Kirkus Reviews Best Book, and more. TWUC, SCBWI, and CANSCAIP. Ages 9+.

              $150 per session plus a publisher book bundle (each curated bundle includes 5 middle grade, or 5 young adult novels), up to four sessions per day. Plus a travel fee of $0.50/km, if outside of Ottawa area. Virtual Visits: $100 for each session.

              Michael tailors presentations based on the needs and desires of the group and can speak to any element of writers craft and process. He can do up to four presentations in the same school per day. As the author of middle grade novels, a middle grade novel in verse, interactive fiction, scriptwriting, and young adult novels, Michael enjoys working with students in workshop format, or as a presentation with a preference for audiences of under 60 students.

              Presentations by grade (60 Minutes):

              Michael always covers the top five questions (How did you become a writer? Where do you get your ideas? What’s the name of your cat?) quickly before delving into the presentation, always being sure to include: Why stories matter, why the students’ stories matter, and how knowing how to tell stories can help them be successful in any field. 

              Here are example themes by grade:

              4-8: Let’s write a story: Using a super secret technique, Michael works with students to generate strong story concepts. This includes learning the elements of a story pitch and can end with delivering and whiteboarding pitch ideas to go deeper and inadvertently learn Aristotelian story structure.

              4-7: Digital Resilience Through Poetry: Based on Michael’s novel in verse, Seeking Draven. This interactive presentation and workshop scaffolds student understanding of the internet, social media, and other digital literacies, while incorporating literary devices and poetry. If time allows, the students use prompts to develop their own poems. 

              7-9: The Heart of Structure: Using his novel Heart Sister, Michael explains how to use theme as a structuring tool, connecting this technique to popular books and movies. Further discussions explore students’ thoughts on organ donation, a central element to Heart Sister. Michael shares his family’s organ donation story and why he wrote the book. We explore common myths about organ donation and truths—completing a quiz as a class. Finally, we complete a private exercise in which the students explore the same questions Minnie asks other characters in the book, generally about self improvement. Heart Sister was named an official educational resource by Canadian Blood Services.

              4-12: Michael can elaborate on any elements of craft desired, from character, setting, structure, and theme to humour and literary devices.

              7-12: Emotion Driven Stories: In this interactive presentation, Michael shows the connection between emotion, stories, and healing ourselves. Using popular literature, movies, and his own books, Michael shows how powerfully resonant stories are based on therapeutic models we can use to create stories of our own.

              9-12: Advanced Craft: In this workshop-based format, Michael will work with up to 12 students to refine their stories. Includes Michael prereading student work and identifying elements of craft tailored to the students’ needs. Multiple sessions available.

              Anthology

              Grade 8+ School Anthology: Michael will organize a full grade (up to three classes) anthology of short stories. This includes a kick off session to identify the anthology’s theme, types of short stories, and what makes a strong short story. Later Michael will present techniques for successful self editing and peer editing, and tips on how to edit the work of others. After peer editing, Michael will assemble and format the ebook. Finally, students vote on preset cover options, and the book is launched on Amazon, allowing the students to try to hit number 1, while learning about the financial and marketing side of publishing. In total, this program includes 3 presentations, an ebook cover, ebook formatting, and ebook publication services. Please contact for fee.

              Contact Michael to Book a Visit:

                Varga, Andrew   (Oshawa, ON)

                Member of the Writers Union of Canada, the Royal Historical Society, and the Historical Novel Society. 2024 Red Maple Award Nominee.

                Rates: $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 if outside the Durham Region. 

                Virtual visit fees range from $100 – $200

                Andrew is an experienced and passionate speaker who tailors each presentation to the group in front of him. As someone who has studied history all his life, he loves speaking to children and adults about the lesson-known sides of history and why historical fiction is important for people to read. But he is also more than happy to work with teachers and educators if there are certain topics they wish to see covered and he can quickly adapt if the situation calls for it. 

                The Last Saxon King is a 2024 Forest of Reading Red Maple Nominee

                Andrew’s presentations involve a fun and immersive deep dive into the past, with audience participation a crucial part of the presentations. He doesn’t want to just talk to the audience, he wants them there with him as he takes them on a tour through the past. His presentations work best with students in grades 7 through high school. He prefers to speak to a maximum of 125 students at a time. He can be a bit flexible on this.

                Since his presentation is power point, he requires an LCD projector (provided by the school), or a smart board, a screen, and a microphone (if the audience size is over 50 kids). He will bring his own laptop.

                Contact Andrew to book a visit:

                  Join our roster

                  author and illustrator applications to authors’ booking service

                  The roster is closed for the 2023/2024 school year. Applications will re-open in June 2024.

                  If you are interested in being considered for our roster we invite you to apply via the Authors’ Booking Service online application

                  Who is a great candidate for our roster?

                  • Canadian authors and illustrators
                  • Traditionally published creators
                  • Creators who enjoy speaking about their books and creating process
                  • Authors and illustrators able to do either in-person, virtual visits or both

                  Please note: we do not represent self-published or hybrid-published authors or illustrators.

                  • Membership in our community of Canadian, traditionally published, authors and illustrators
                  • Customized author/illustrator page on the Authors’ Booking Service website complete with your author bio, school presentation info, author headshot, book cover gallery (up to 6 covers), contact form and SEO.
                  • Inclusion in the Authors’ Booking Service directory of Canadian authors/illustrators available to do school and library visits (in-person and virtual).
                  • Monthly newsletters to members with industry news, author/illustrator opportunities, professional development, member marketplace and more.
                  • Monthly newsletters to educators/librarians with calls to action to book Authors’ Booking Service members
                  • EXCLUSIVE monthly members zoom
                  • Promotion and amplification of your social media posts.

                  Syed, Anoosha (Milton, ON)

                  Anoosha Syed is a Pakistani-Canadian author, illustrator, and character designer for animation. She has illustrated over forty books, including I Am Perfectly Designed by Karamo Brown, APALA honor book, Bilal Cooks Daal by Aisha Saeed and her author/illustrator debut, That’s Not My Name!

                  Book topics: Empathy, First Day of School, Self-empowerment, Food and Culture. Family, South Asian and Muslim

                  Awards:

                  • Forest of Reading Blue Spruce Award Honour 2023
                  • APALA Honor for Bilal Cooks Daal
                  • Society of Illustrators Original Art Show
                  • Royal Society’s Young People’s Book Prize Shortlist
                  • Featured in Netflix series ‘Bookmarks’
                  • Featured in Eric Carle museum
                  • Otter Award nominee

                  Virtual Visits:

                  • $300 + HST for up to one hour 
                  • $200 + HST for each additional presentation on the same day

                  I usually work with children ages JK-Gr 3. But older kids/teens can also benefit from learning about the life of an author/illustrator, and a love for writing and drawing!

                  PRESENTATION FORMAT

                  My session is a 1hr presentation that covers my career, how I wrote and illustrated the book That’s Not My Name!, and the importance of diversity/inclusivity in books. It ends with a live drawing demonstration and Q&A

                  I also offer a shorter 30-45min storytime session (best suited for JK-SK) that includes an intro on myself, a reading, and Q&A. 

                  This is a guideline of what I offer, but I am happy to be flexible and work around your school needs; if you’d like me to focus on any particular topics, books or activities we can definitely discuss!

                  Other notes
                  A projector is required for in-person visits, and microphone + podium for larger groups.
                  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.

                  Contact Anoosha to book a visit:

                    Polak, Monique (Montreal, Quebec)

                    Writers’ Union of Canada, CANSCAIP, Quebec Writers’ Federation, English Language Arts Network

                    Monique Polak is three-time winner of the Quebec Writers’ Federation Prize for Children’s and Young Adult Literature, recently renamed the Janet Savage Blachford Prize for Children’s and Young Adult Literature. Her work has been nominated for several prizes including the Arthur Ellis Award, Best Juvenile or Crime Book and the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People.

                    Presentation rates: $250 per hour. Plus travel unless I am in Toronto area for
                    other reasons. I come to Toronto several times a year to visit family and friends. I charge HST.

                    Monique Polak is the author of 32 books for young people – and she has two
                    more books slated for publication! Monique was a long-time teacher at
                    Marianopolis College in Montreal, where she taught, amongst other courses,
                    Writing for Children and Print Journalism. Monique began her writing career as a reporter and her stories have been published in newspapers across Canada. A
                    classic extrovert, Monique loves doing writing workshops with kids (and adults) of all ages. Monique’s mother was a Holocaust survivor who went to school with Anne Frank, and Monique has a special interest in Holocaust stories and the history of the Holocaust.

                    Monique has done writing workshops for students in Grade 1 all the way to
                    university.

                    With her youngest audiences (Grades 1-3), Monique teaches basic story-telling
                    skills, such as how to find a beginning, middle and end, and how to ensure that a story has drama. She also reads from her new picture book, The Brass Charm.

                    With older audiences (this includes students in Grades 4 and up, high school
                    and college students), Monique shares writing tips she wishes someone had
                    shared with her when she was an aspiring author. Monique also discusses the
                    inspiration behind some of her stories. And of course, expect Monique – who
                    love stories – to tell some stories. You can also expect writing exercises.
                    Monique is especially interested in personal memory as a source of inspiration.
                    One of her exercises is designed to use personal memory to find the story
                    participants in her workshops most need to tell!

                    Monique can handle groups of any size! No special supplies needed – Monique’s only requirement is that students have paper and pen (or in the case of very young participants, crayons!).

                    Contact Monique to book a visit: