West Lewis, Amanda (Perth, ON)

Member of The Writer’s Union of Canada; Society of Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators (SCBWI); Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators & Performers (Canscaip); Access Copyright; MASC Artist/Instructor

Presentations:

One Session, In-Person: 50 minutes $395 + HST

One Session, Virtual: 50-minute session: $265 + HST
Half-day, In-Person or Virtual: Two 50-minute sessions $545 + HST
Full-day, In-Person or Virtual: Three 50-minute sessions $670 + HST

Workshops:

One Session (Virtual only): 50-minute session: $265 + HST

Half-Day, In-Person or Virtual: Two 60-minute sessions, or a two-hour session: $ 365 + HST

Full-Day, In-Person or Virtual: Three 60-minute sessions: $525 +HST

Travel $.50/km roundtrip outside of GTA and Eastern Ontario

AMANDA WEST LEWIS is a writer, theatre creator, calligrapher and experienced teaching artist who is passionately interested in exploring the world from the perspective of young people. Her most recent book These Are Not the Words, is a semi-autobiographical novel that uses prose, poetry, jazz and Shakespeare to confront addiction and mental health issues in the lower East side of Manhattan, 1963. Previous books include award nominated September 17 (about the City of Benares disaster, 1940) and The Pact (based on the true-life story of a young boy in Nazi Germany). Amanda has published eight books for young readers and was the Founder and Artistic Director of the Ottawa Children’s Theatre. She weaves her backgrounds in theatre and calligraphy to teach and present to students of all ages.

All of Amanda’s presentations and workshops are adapted to the age of the group. They are geared to each class’s needs and curriculum interests. She loves to work with you to support what you are doing. Please inquire.

Examples of Presentations/Readings:

All presentations include a Q & A

Maximum audience size 300

(Grades 5 – 12)

“Jazz and The Tempest” explores the creation of These Are Not the Words, a novel in poetry and prose. Working with examples from the novel, we’ll explore how sound and rhythm can reflect character and pace. As we dig deeper, we will look at how the novel’s difficult themes of addiction and mental health were presented through poetry.

“Conflict From Both Sides” tells the story behind the story, revealing the true events and people that inspired the novels September 17 and The Pact. We’ll look at images of children from England and Germany during World War 2, to understand the challenges they faced during wartime. The focus is on an empathetic understanding from a child’s perspective view and touches on propaganda, indoctrination, racism, and survival.

Equipment And Other Requirements: A projector compatible with a MAC or a computer for a memory stick.

Examples of Workshops

Adapted to the age of the students

Maximum 30 students

Grades 1- 4 & 5 – 12

“Thrum, Hiss, Warble”

Writing poetry lets you play with language, and rediscover joy in the sound, rhythm, look and meaning of words. It’s the foundation for any writer to learn their craft, no matter what genre they work in. In this workshop we’ll play with the elasticity of language and discover a unique and individual writer’s voice. 

“What’s Beyond?”

Drawing on improvisation and drama games, this workshop will explore character motivation, points of view and dialogue as we discover the hidden meaning beyond the words. Conveying the space between words –– the pauses in life –– is an essential skill for any writer.

Grades 5 – 12

“Who’s in the Picture?”

A picture can tell you a lot about a person. But it’s the writer who discovers who that person is and how they fit into a story. This workshop will use photographs and pictures to get participants creating characters and inventing unique and vibrant stories. You’ll dig deeper with some role-play and dialogue writing. But beware – characters often take on lives of their own and drag you off on unexpected adventures!

“Illuminated Letters”

The workshop helps to develop a love and passion for letters, combining writing skills with artwork.  We start by writing simple poems based on participants’ names. Students are then shown how to draw Versal letters in the style of 15th Century Books of Hours. These illuminated letters will be used to create a uniquely decorated poem.

Workshop Equipment: Writing implements. Chalkboard or Flip Chart. In addition: “What’s Beyond” requires a bit of space to move. “Illuminated Letters” requires paper and pencil. Amanda will bring all additional supplies.

Contact Amanda to book a visit:

    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: