Scrimger, Richard (Toronto)

Writers’ Union Member. Funny-serious novelist. Multi awards. $350.00 for one presentation, $600.00 for two, $850.00 for three, or $1000.00 for four. HST and maybe a rental vehicle (moving back to the city, he gave away his car) extra.

Richard Scrimger has written 20 books for children and adults, and been awarded and translated a lot. His last 3 novels feature a developmentally-challenged teen, a depressed zombie, and an onion-ring fan who falls into a steam-punk comic. Plots involve a ghost-wolf grampa, school bussing, a robotic lammergeyer and a brief apocalypse. Fortunately, confusion is Richard’s natural state.

Richard’s presentation for grades JK-2 explains a simple formula: experience + ideas = story. The group crafts a story together, and the audience participates in a raucous read-along.

For middle grades (3-6) Richard recounts an event from his own life to model techniques of story-building. Then he and the audience create their own story using some of those techniques. He uses a power-point to show how pictures can tell a story.

For seniors (7-8) Richard starts with the dark places inside us where stories are born. He shows how to twist dark truths to make convincing stories. He and the audience put together a story from bits and pieces of truth, and discover what works, what doesn’t, and why.

High-school students get a more formal approach. Richard introduces the four kinds of writing necessary to tell a story, the three basic plots, the different types of protagonist and antagonist, the role of the narrator, the importance of voice. If the group is small enough, Richard uses shared exercises to facilitate character and plot.

There is no maximum number of students per session: Typical would be 60-100. Fewer students means more interaction. Over a certain number (say, 150) Richard might charge more.

Richard is on the faculty of the Humber College School For Writers. He offers interactive workshops and writer-in-residence programs, working with class-sized groups over several sessions to produce a finished product.

He and Ted Staunton – collaborators in the highly successful ‘7’ series of linked novels — have recently developed a Collaborative Writing Workshop. The 2 authors present together, giving hands-on support to pairs of students crafting narratives together.

Richard offers Professional Development Workshops for teachers, educators, story builders. He has given key-note addresses across Canada, and conducted story workshops on 4 continents. He is comfortable in any venue – classroom, library, auditorium, gymnasium, concert hall, phone booth.

Richard requires: Coffee.

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