Baird Warren, Jane (Ayer’s Cliff, Quebec)

Jane Warren

Writers’ Union Member. Also SCBWI, CANSCAIP, TWUC, CAA, QWF.

Rates: $150 for one classroom session (grades 4-8), $350 for half-day workshop (grades 9-12, CEGEP). Plus a travel fee of $0.50/km. For Ontario, $0.50/km if outside Toronto. Book Club visit fee $150

Travel from Toronto (though author lives in Quebec). All activities can be offered online.

Located in Quebec, Jane is a former teacher, personal trainer and coach with BPE, BEd and an MFA in Creative Writing. She’s published short fiction and poetry and has been featured on CBC radio. Her debut children’s novel HOW TO BE A GOLDFISH deals with themes of family, relationships and bullying can expand to offer a gentle introduction to discussions about alternative families, homosexuality, feminism, forced adoptions and social justice. (Grades 4-7)

How to be a goldfish by Jane Baird Warren

Writing workshops

Grades 4-8

No Shaggy Dogs Here! A fun, hands-on workshop where students learn that a good story is not just a collection of events; characters matter! Working together we will develop a collective story outline. Students choose and develop their own protagonist then, armed with our story roadmap, they are free to navigate as their imaginations allow. Suitable for a class.

Grades 9-12 (and CEGEP)

Workshops are geared to the writer wanting to hone their craft and who may be considering continuing in the field of creative writing either at university or independently. These half-day workshops focus on the student’s own writing and work best when limited in size (10-15 participants).

Book Club: Grades 4-7

Jane is available for student book clubs/ classrooms wanting to discuss HOW TO BE A GOLDFISH. Discussions can follow the Study Guide (Scholastic Canada) or can be adapted as needed.

Contact Jane for a visit:

    Younge-Ullman, Danielle (Toronto, ON)

    Writers Union Member. White Pine Award Winner and two-time nominee, also nominated for Governor General’s award, Amy Mathers Teen Book award, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz award, among others—a total of 18 nominations and Best-of lists. YA Author of HE MUST LIKE YOU, EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL IS NOT RUINED, and LOLA CARLYE’S 12 STEP ROMANCE.

    Danielle’s virtual visit fee is $200 per 50-60 minute session. In person visits are $300 for 1 hour presentation; $550 for 2, $800 for 3, plus travel for locations outside Toronto.

    Danielle is a confident and dynamic presenter who loves talking about books with people of all ages. She attained a BA from McGill, worked for years as an actor before turning to writing, and has had a wild variety of jobs—everything from acting, to dubbing English voices for Japanese TV, to temping, to teaching Pilates, to freelance writing. Danielle lives Toronto with her husband and two daughters.

    Presentations: Because of her background in theatre, Danielle is very comfortable in front of an audience and loves engaging with readers. Though she writes teen fiction, she can also adjust her presentations for groups as young as grade 5 and 6. Presentations can be geared toward each group, and can be done with more of a workshop emphasis if required. All presentations include time for questions!

    Age range: grades 5 and up, but ideally grades 7-12. Danielle also loves presenting to and working with adult groups, and meeting with book clubs.

    Topics:

    Pantsters, Plotters & Making Soup: A discussion of the essential elements of fiction, and explanations of some of the different techniques used by writers to craft story and write fiction.

    Turning Real Life Into Fiction: The process of using your own stories as inspiration for fiction is deeper, more layered, and much more detailed than it looks. In this session, Danielle will take you through the process of distilling the essence of your experiences, and using the most compelling themes and elements to create a work of fiction, using He Must Like You and Everything Beautiful Is Not Ruined as examples.

    How to Pursue a Career as a Novelist: A presentation that explains the process of becoming a professional writer, from beginning writing through searching for an agent, to going through the process of being published. This presentation is great for students who are interested in the arts, and in the process of making decisions about their futures.

    How to Revise the Crap Out of Your Manuscript: Danielle is an in-depth and joyfully ruthless reviser. In this session she will go through the steps she takes to revise her manuscripts in a way that can also be applied to shorter works. Subjects will include character consistency, POV, tone, tightening and/or expanding, layering in new characters and plot lines, analyzing structure, and general troubleshooting of things that aren’t working. 

    Equipment: podium or desk, microphone for groups larger than 40. Maximum group size: 40-60 for optimum interaction, but Danielle is also comfortable in front of larger groups. 25 or fewer for workshops.

    Contact Danielle Younge-Ullman:

      Hohn, Nadia (Toronto)

      The Writers Union member. Picture book. All ages. $350 for 1 session (60 min) $ 600 for 2 sessions of 60 minutes (1/2 day)$ 400 for 2 x 30 minute sessions (great for JK to 1). Full day (4 sessions) $ 1000. + kilometrage. Can present in English and French.

      Nadia is fully booked for the remainder of the 2021/2022 school season. She is currently scheduling for the 2022/2023 school year. 

      Malaika’s Costume (2016) and Malaika’s Winter Carnival (2017).

      Continue reading “Hohn, Nadia (Toronto)”

      Nicholson, Lorna Schultz (Alberta)

      DEAL: Every school who books a visit will receive a signed Hayley Wickenheiser book!

      Writers’ Union Member. Fiction and NF. Multi nominations and awards. K-12.Adults. $300 plus HST for 1 session, $550 for 2, $750 for 3 and $900 for 4. Travel will need to be negotiated. She always has accommodations in Toronto and Niagara.

      Lorna Schultz Nicholson has two books being released fall 2019. Just Three is a hi-lo Orca Currents novel, and can be compared to a modern day Parent Trap.  PK Subban: Amazing Hockey Stories (Scholastic) is a non-fiction complete with text, photos and graphics.

      Continue reading “Nicholson, Lorna Schultz (Alberta)”

      Chan, Marty (Edmonton AB)

      Writers Union Member. A professional liar since 1988, Marty writes books for kids and plays for adults. Based in Edmonton, Alberta, Marty is a keynote speaker, television screenwriter, radio dramatist, and raconteur.

      For the 2022 – 23 school year, Marty is only doing virtual presentations. He charges $200 plus HST for a 45-minute session, and has a discounted rate of $500 plus HST for three sessions. He also offers 60-minute writing workshops for $300 plus HST. Please note that you can book Marty’s multiple sessions on different days. They do not all have to be on the same day.

      The son of immigrants, Marty grew up in a French-Canadian town where he was the only Chinese kid at school. Bullied and friendless, he found sanctuary in the school library where a teacher-librarian inspired this reluctant reader to fall in love with books. Using his sense of humour, Marty turned bullies into buddies and transformed his passion for literacy into a lifelong career as a published author and playwright.

      A versatile presenter with a theatre and television background, Marty has mastered the art of virtual sessions. He tailors his author visits according to grade levels, creating a unique experience for each group. Students’ faces will light up when they see Marty turn a pen into a lightsaber, and they’ll howl with laughter as he instantly transforms into various emoji characters. Most important of all, the kids will be curious about the world of writing by the end of Marty’s dynamic virtual sessions.

      Venues: Marty can present on Zoom, Google Meet, MS Teams, or YouTube Live. He can accommodate any number of logins/participants, as long as they fit within his suggested grade breakdown.

      JK to 2: With a bit of magic and improv, Marty brings to life classic Chinese folktales. The kids will become characters in his interactive telling of the origin of the rainbow or they’ll play a guessing game about the different animals featured on the Chinese calendar. Marty will also talk about the real-life cats that inspired his picture book, True Story.

      Grades 3 – 4: With a dose of humour and pop culture allusions, Marty tells the real-life childhood experiences that inspired The Mystery of the Frozen Brains. He’ll share a tip or two about writing, focussing on how the five senses can make anything real, even a pen lightsaber.

      Grades 5 – 6: Keep the lights on for this thrilling talk about Marty’s scary series, Keepers of the Vault, which was inspired by his haunted elementary school. This session is sure to make a few kids jump out of their seats.

      Grades 7 and up: Marty shares the creepy origin of his bestselling thriller Haunted Hospital, and he’ll talk about the importance of knowing your audience. Using his hit play, The Bone House, he gets even the most jaded student excited about the power of writing. 

      Writing workshops: Want to go behind the scenes? Marty shares tips on writing thrillers, creating conflict, and using picture prompts. His 60-minute workshops are interactive and break down writing concepts to simple and easy-to-apply tips that can inspire even the most reluctant writer.

      Teachers-librarians have this to say about Marty’s sessions:

      You were amazing!  We’ve had rave reviews all round.  A grade 7 student who is very tough to engage has told us that he’s getting all your books. So great to see a student make a connection like that.” – Sarah Mayer, St. Isidore Online School

      Thank you so much for today!! So many teachers came to tell me how great you were and how much their class enjoyed it. They all said it’s so hard to keep them engaged, especially online and that you need to teach us how to turn into aliens stuff for remote learning.  My friend said that her kids were taking out their pens during the last session to see if they’d turn into light sabers.” – Kim Kondo, Brock Public School

      Presentation needs: For multi-class sessions, teachers should keep their mics muted and be prepared to relay student responses via chat. Marty is happy to do a connection test beforehand to troubleshoot any technical difficulties.

      Contact Marty for a visit:

        Sherrard, Valerie (Miramichi NB)

        Valerie Sherrard

        GG nominated, award-winning author.

        Virtual Visit: $225.00 for a 60 minute presentation.

        In school visits: $300 for a single presentation or $550 for two at one location. Full day workshop 700.00.  Expenses are included in all fees. For in-school visit dates — please contact Valerie and she will let you know when she plans to be in Ontario.

        Valerie is an experienced presenter (in-person and virtual visits) who uses humour and an interactive style to engage her audience. Feedback from her school and library visits has been enthusiastic.

        Birdspell Corbin Hayes is used to being alone. His mom’s illness means lost jobs, constant moves, new schools and friendships that never get to grow. So, when a classmate offers Corbin the talking bird she can no longer keep, he sees a chance to fill the gap in his life. But when things begin to spiral out of control, Corbin can no longer cope. At his lowest moment, he’s forced to do the one thing he fears the most. Young Adult.

        Finding Avalon  Avalon Monday doesn’t mind telling schoolmates that her mother ran off with a guy she met on the internet. After all, that’s way less embarrassing than the truth. But when the past collides with the present, exposing her secret and threatening to leave her new life in ruins, Avalon discovers there are some things you can never truly leave behind.

        Cooper Clark and the Dragon Lady  (Chapter Book) Desperate measures are called for when a boy is secretly afraid of dragons, but his new babysitter is rumoured to have a dragon in her basement!

        Presentations: I will present to grades 1 – 9. A signed bookmark or postcard will be provided for each student at all in-person presentations.

        Grades 1 – 3: There’s a COW Under My Bed! or Down Here! Fun and interactive talk about expressions and language, and students’ own creative abilities. Reading with audience participation. I end with a short Q & A. For these grades you may book two half hour presentations in the place of a single 60 minute session if you prefer.

        Middle Grades: Engaging interactive presentation on literacy, with or without issue-based segments depending on the book being presented. I end with a short reading and about 10 minutes for Q & A.

        Young Adult: Engaging and interactive presentation on literacy, believing in oneself and a variety of writing or issue related topics, depending on the requested focus. I end with a short reading and about 10 minutes for Q & A.

        Workshop for grades 6 and up: A Story’s Voice. This full day workshop is designed to help young people develop distinctive voices in their writing by examining the way character, setting, perspective, dialogue, tense etc. impact in telling a story. Writing exercises will demonstrate how each of these support a story in different ways, and help them to recognize which components will work best for their stories. Limited to 15 participants. Available virtually – contact to discuss a suitable arrangement.

        I am flexible on audience size but in my experience, smaller in-person groups result in the greatest benefit to students. I am comfortable in all settings, including classroom, library, auditorium or gymnasium.

        A sound system may be necessary depending on audience size, acoustics and the number of presentations booked.

        Contact Valerie:

          VanSickle, Vikki (Toronto)

          Vikki VanSickle 2021 credit Connie Tsang
          Photo credit: Connie Tsang

          Writers’ Union Member. Dynamic presenter, writer and publishing professional. Red Maple Winner. Interactive presentations, related activities,  customization available. All ages. $300 + HST per presentation; $500 + HST for 2 + travel for locations outside Toronto.

          Primary School Presentations

          JK- Gr 3:  EXPLORING PUBLIC ART WITH ANONYMOUSE. Students learn about the power of public art and are given the tools to find beauty and mystery in their own neighbourhoods. Including examples from Vikki’s own pandemic walks in urban Toronto, this is a timely and inspiring introduction to art and community. VIRTUAL EVENT $300+ HST for a 30-40 minute presentation.

          JK- Gr 3: TEDDY BEAR OF THE YEAR PICNIC & SERVICE AWARDS. Students are invited to bring their teddies or stuffies to school for a virtual teddy bear’s picnic! A cozy event that celebrates small acts of kindness and promotes social emotional learning. Digital activity kit including customizable Teddy Bear of the Year certificates available. VIRTUAL EVENT: $300 + HST for 30-40 minute presentation. 

          JK- Gr 3: MYTHOLOGICAL CREATURES & IF I HAD A GRYPHON  In this presentation students are asked to consider objects from a bag of clues to determine what kind of pets may be in this book about mythological creatures. Digital teacher’s guide and printed activities available. A fun introduction to mythological creatures and inferencing, based on IF I HAD A GRYPHON, finalist for the 2017 Blue Spruce & Ruth & Sylvia Schwartz Award. VIRTUAL event: $300 + HST for 30-40 minute presentation. 

          Gr 5-8: THE WINNOWING. This presentation focuses on Vikki’s Red Maple award-winning novel, THE WINNOWING and explores the possibilities of Vikki’s two favourite words, WHAT IF? Includes an introduction to alternative history and conspiracy theory. Digital discussion guide available. VIRTUAL EVENT $300 + HST for a 40-60 minute presentation.

          GR 5-8: SUMMER DAYS, STARRY NIGHTS. This presentation is built around 2015 Red Maple finalist SUMMER DAYS, STARRY NIGHTS and focuses on writing historical fiction and exploring the music and culture of the 1960s. It includes trivia and a discussion of character building featuring music clips. Students will be asked to take part in the Summer Days, Starry Nights Playlist Project. Digital discussion guide available. VIRTUAL EVENT $300 + HST for a 40-60 minute presentation.

          Req: projector, surface to project onto, mic for large groups/gym presentations Vikki can also tailor presentations for adults (especially teachers, librarians and writers’ groups,) writers’ craft students or schools that are interested in a class novel study. Contact her for more details. Vikki can also tailor presentations for adults (especially teachers, librarians and writers’ groups,) writers’ craft students or schools that are interested in a class novel study.

          Contact Vikki to book a visit:

            McKay, Sharon (Burlington ON)

            Writers’ Union Member. Sharon travels across Canada several times a year. Sharon E. McKay (Mick-EYE) writes fact-based fiction for young adults. Multi-awards, all ages.

            Flat fee of $900 for a full day, four sessions and includes a free (optional) brown-bag lunch for anyone interested in writing. Flat fee of $600 for an afternoon. Parents and media are welcome in all sessions.

            Virtual Visits: $150, 60 minutes, Skype. Continue reading “McKay, Sharon (Burlington ON)”

            Krossing, Karen (Toronto, ON)

            Karen Krossing June 2019

            Writers’ Union Member. YA and MG fiction. Picture Books. White Pine. Crystal Kite Winner. Writing workshops. K to 12. Karen’s rate is $300 plus HST per session, plus travel from Toronto. Mileage within Toronto may be waived. A virtual visit is $150 plus HST.

            Karen Krossing is the author of seven successful novels for kids and teens as well as the picture books One Tiny Bubble and Sour Cakes. She regularly mentors emerging writers through workshops for kids, teens, and adults, and she’s a versatile presenter with an engaging manner.

            Karen has been conducting book talks and workshops since 2002, and she has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She loves meeting readers and writers of all ages.
            Continue reading “Krossing, Karen (Toronto, ON)”

            Bender, Rebecca (Burlington ON)

            Author-Illustrator. Burlington, ON. Writers’ Union Member. Blue Spruce winner. Mainly K to 3, but also any age.

            In-person: $350 plus HST for 1 session, two for $600, three for $800 and four for $1000, + travel for destinations further than 50 km.

            Virtual visit: $200 plus HST for one session, 20-60 minutes, and $150 for each additional on the same day.

            Rebecca’s goal is to inspire children to imagine their own characters and stories and to act on it! The students will take part in creating illustrations, drawn live before their eyes, that will bring forth story ideas and animated discussion. She shares her journey of becoming an author-illustrator and her process for coming up with ideas. Rebecca requires an easel, chart paper, table, and a chair and prefers a maximum of 65 students per presentation.

            For larger groups, a variation of this presentation is done with slides. Please note a projector and sound system is required for this option.

            Rebecca also offers a workshop on jump-starting a picture book. She shows the students how to go from creating a strong central character to a solid story idea. For this, tables or clipboards and basic drawing supplies are necessary.

            Contact REBECCA TO BOOK A VISIT: