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)


Erin presents to primarily to middle and high school students, and offers creative writing workshops for both students and grownups.

Grades 7 – 12: “How to Fail at Everything,” takes students behind the scenes of Erin’s writing adventures and mis-adventures. It includes, for instance, the story of the time when, while researching a novel, she earnestly tried to milk a male goat. Props include the waist-high stack of drafts (and accompanying editorial letters) which went into the creation of her first novel. It’s a presentation about finding your passion, and being okay if you don’t have one – about following your dreams, sometimes headfirst into a wall – about picking yourself up, then finding someone to help set your bones.

Rave reviews for “How to Fail”: Erin was EXCELLENT. She was, in my opinion, the best author visit we have had. She was engaging, humorous, passionate and enthusiastic and seemed to really capture the audience’s attention. She was very prepared and receptive to questions, of which there were many. She had a great way of circling back to her main focus, which was to keep on trying even in the face of failure. It was a great message for the students to hear and was told in such a relatable way.” – Debbie-Lynn Baston, Regina Public Library

Erin has several workshops available, including one on writing about character’s physicality that includes improv theatre exercises, one on details that includes neuroscience research, and one on world building that includes a “choose your own disaster” dice game. Please ask her for more information.

Erin also has a battle-tested curriculum of five to seven linked workshops that is suitable for writer-in-residence gigs. “Participating in the Writers in Residence Program with Erin Bow was a highlight of my 20 year teaching career. Not only did Erin help my students unleash the writer within themselves, she taught me how to better teach creative writing in the classroom.” — Nicola Kuhn, Rossland Summit School (grade 7-8), Rossland, BC

Maximum number of students: For “How to Fail,” 200, but smaller is better! Writing workshops work best for classes of less than 30.

Venues preferred: anywhere, but libraries are far better than gyms.

Equipment required: “How to Fail” includes props and photographs. Erin would like a table to place props on. A data projector is ideal for photographs, but please let her know if you do not have one. A microphone for larger groups, particularly in gyms, is ideal. Inquire about equipment and venues needed for workshops; they vary.

Contact Erin to book a visit.