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:

    O’Connor, Heather (Peterborough, ON).

    Writers’ Union of Canada member. Presentations and writing workshops in English. Kindergarten to Grade 12.

    Virtual visits (45 minutes): $150+HST. Virtual kindies (Two 20-minute sessions): $150+HST. In-person visits (45-60 minutes): $250+HST for one session, $450+HST for two, $600+HST for three, $800+HST for a full day (4 sessions). Kindies: two 25-minute sessions for $250+HST. Mileage for visits 100+ km from Peterborough.

    Heather M. O’Connor’s new picture book Fast Friends is a 2021 Blue Spruce Award nominee. She writes fiction and nonfiction for kids and teens.

    Heather is an enthusiastic presenter. She uses fun activities and clear, kid-friendly examples to engage with young audiences. “What it’s like to write a book? A lot like doing a school project,” she explains. Heather’s workshops and presentations can be tailored to your classroom. Most come with curriculum connections, follow-up activities and teacher resources.

    Presentations:
    Book talks

    Fast Friends (Blue-Spruce-nominated picture book)
    Suze and Tyson become friends speedy-quick, even though Suze is nonverbal and uses a wheelchair. This story is inspired by Heather’s daughter Suze and her friends growing up. Themes and curriculum connections: body language, mime, inclusion, friendship, welcoming newcomers, working with
    an illustrator.

    Betting Game (high-action sports novel for readers 10+, ideal for reluctant readers)
    Jack is a hotshot soccer player. When a new player joins the team, Jack gets drawn into gambling. Heather plays soccer herself. To research this book, she toured the Toronto FC Training Ground and met TFC head coach Greg Vanney. Themes and curriculum connections: soccer, research techniques, friendship, asking for help, teen gambling.

    A writer’s life

    • So you want to be a writer (Spoiler alert – It’s a lot like being a student)
    • Digging up the facts: Research anecdotes and tips
    • Even authors need an editor: Revising process, tips and hacks, exercises
    • All roads lead to writing: Careers in writing (ideal for Grade 10 Careers)

    Creative writing for young writers

    • “What ifs” and “I wonders” (gathering ideas)
    • Going on a Bear Hunt (conflict and tension)
    • Let’s tell a story (plot)
    • World-building (setting)
    • Story polish (revision)

    Creative writing for older kid and teens and adults

    • Writer’s craft: Hands-on sessions that focus on a single element of story (character, setting, point of view,
    • conflict, plot, theme.) Book four elements, get fifth free.
    • Short story writing
    • Revision

    Nonfiction presentations and hands-on writing workshops
    Heather’s been a freelance writer for almost 20 years. Her favourite news beat is LesPlan Educational Services. Bring her in to work with your students.

    • Ask the right questions: Interview techniques
    • Google doesn’t know everything: Research methods (archives, newspapers, oral histories)
    • Persuade me!: Persuasive writing
    • News or opinion: What’s the difference?
    • Writing the news (interviews, outlines, 5 Ws, inverted triangle writing)

    Books titles and awards:
    Fast Friends, Scholastic Canada, 2020. Picture book. Blue Spruce nominee, 2021 Forest of Reading. Toronto Public Library First and Best, 2020.
    Betting Game, Orca Book Publishers, 2015. Young adult high-low sports novel. Recommended title, Best Books for Kids and Teens, 2015. Highly recommended, CM Magazine.
    Runs with the Stars, Second Story, Spring 2022. Dual language picture book, written with Darcy Whitecrow.

    Audience size and equipment needed:
    Classroom or school library preferred. Will present in gyms or auditoriums if microphone provided. Please supply podium and table, and if possible, a digital projector and screen.

    Contact Heather to book a visit…

      Messier, Mireille (Toronto, ON)

      Writers’ Union Member. French/English author. Picture books. Great for immersion students! K to 6.

      For the 2021-2022 school year, Mireille is only doing virtual visits!

      Mireille’s rate for a 45/50-minute virtual presentation is $250 for 1-5 classes, $350 for 6-10 classes and $450 for 11+ classes. HST extra. Please note that presentations may not be recorded for later use or shared.

      Mireille has a picture book ideal for Remembrance Day with students in grades 1-6! Contact her about presenting “Sergeant Billy: The True Story of the Goat Who Went to War” at your school or event! (available in English or French)

      Mireille can present “Treasure”/ “Trésor”, “The Branch” / “Ma branche préférée” and “Fatima and the Clementine Thieves/Fatima et les voleurs de clémentines” ans “La magie de Casse-Noisette”/ “Nutcracker Night” in either English or French or both.

      Mireille also has many books that are published in French only and range in genre – from picture books, to chapter books and non-fiction. She enjoys presenting to immersion students and offers lively presentations that are tailored to the language level of the students.

      School presentations will include a reading of the selected book, an activity based on the theme of the book and a discussion with the author about her craft.

      Available in French or English/French (bilingual) Mireille is a member of The Writers’ Union of Canada, and so schools wishing to invite her may be eligible for a travel and fee subsidy to off-set the cost of her visit.

      Here is an example of her presentations by grade:

      JK to 1: two 30-minute sessions for the price of one full session using her book “Quel fouillis!” (includes a tool-related activity and a song) or “Une Bestiole à l’école” (includes an insect-related activity and a song).

      Grade 1 to 4: The majority of Mireille’s books are for this age group. 45 to 60 minutes: Session featuring a book of your choice plus a related activity followed by a Q&A on topic/book selected.

      Themes available: Remembrance Day/World War I/ World War II/Military Mascot (Sergeant Billy), Environmental conservation (Treasure/Trésor), Environment/Weather (The Branch/Ma branche préférée), Nature/Animals (Tellement Sauvage), Travel/Geography (Charlotte partout), Non-Violent Conflict Resolution (Fatima), Anagrams/Word Play (Voilier d’Olivier/Quand les zéros), Food/Cooking (Salade de César), Sports (Charlotte Olympique)…

      Grade 4 to 6: 45 to 60 minutes. Session featuring a book of your choice plus a related activity followed by a Q&A on topic/book selected. Books available for this level are “Fatima et les voleurs de clémentines” (advanced picture book) and the middle-grade chapter books from Les aventures de Viviane et Simon series.

      Contact Mireille to book a visit:

        Larsen, Andrew (Toronto)

        Andrew Larsen Photo 2018Picture book author, Blue Spruce nominated, award winning, inspiring. Andrew is presently taking bookings for virtual visits. Even though we are necessarily apart, we are connected by our stories. Andrew would love to share his stories with your students. He charges $250 + HST for a single visit (approximately 40 minutes).
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