Lazowski, Anna (Winnipeg, MB)

2022-2023 Keystone to Reading Elementary Book Award Nominee, 2022 Manitoba Book Awards McNally Robinson Book for Young People Nominee. 
SCBWI member. CANSCAIP member.

Dynamic presenter, writer, journalist, and editor. Interactive presentations that can be customized. $250 for one session, $450 for two, $675 for three, $900 for a full day (four sessions). Virtual visits available for $200. 

Anna Lazowski is an award-winning journalist and children’s book author. She is passionate about connecting with students to share her love of art and language. Her presentations are fun, interactive, and designed to keep the audience engaged through creativity.

BOOKS:
T. Rexes Can’t Tie Their Shoes, 2021
Picture book illustrated by Steph Laberis.
Themes: encouragement, empathy, kindness, humour, positivity, teamwork, phonics. 

Dark Cloud, (available spring 2023)
Picture book illustrated by Penny Neville-Lee
Themes: mental health, inclusion, depression, empathy, connection, friendship, hope. 

PRESENTS TO…
English
K-Gr. 8
Teacher and teacher candidates

Primary and Middle School Presentations
K-Gr. 6
Animals, Action, and Fun!
In this interactive presentation, kids choose letters from the alphabet to create ridiculous active scenarios with their favourite animals. The more outlandish the ideas, the more fun everyone will have. Can scale to teach alliteration, nouns, verbs, and set up a STEAM research project for hidden talents of animals for older grades. 

Gr 4-8
Build Your Own Story Map
Using familiar fairy tales, this lively, interactive presentation uses clear examples to explain story structure. Participants then use improv techniques to brainstorm their own story in small groups.

Gr. 4-8
How Do You Draw a Feeling?
Expressing emotions with words can be hard. In this interactive presentation, students will brainstorm a list of emotions and feelings. We will then explore them by creating lyrical illustrated text. 

EQUIPMENT REQUIRED:
For in-person, a projector and screen are required. As my student workshops are interactive, they work best in classrooms rather than auditoriums. I am also able to present to teacher and teacher candidates during professional development days. 

Contact Anna to book a visit:

    McGrath, Jennifer (Hillsborough, New Brunswick)

    National award-winning author of middle grade novels and picture books.

    Winner of the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Prize, the Alice Kitts Memorial Award for Excellence in Children’s Writing, and the Hackmatack Award.  Shortlisted for the Silver Birch Award, the Diamond Willow Award, and the Manitoba Young Readers Choice Award.

    Member of The Writer’s Union of Canada (TWUC), the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), the Canadian Society of Children’s Authors Illustrators and Performers (CANSCAIP), and the Writers Federation of New Brunswick (WFNB). English presentations and workshops for Grades K-5; all ages and grades available upon request. Also available for PD sessions and adult workshops.

    Virtual Visits: $200 plus HST

    In-person rates $275 plus HST per one 45-minute session OR $1000 plus HST for four sessions (full day) PLUS travel from Moncton, New Brunswick

    PLEASE NOTE: Jennifer has no in-person Ontario visits planned at this time but is open to proposals if travel and accommodations can be provided.

    A dynamic presenter and workshop leader, Jennifer is known for her engaging storytelling style. Her books are popular with avid and reluctant readers alike, and have been included in classroom reading programs, literacy initiatives and book clubs across the country.  Jennifer received her B.A. (Honours English Literature) from St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia before going on to earn her M.A. in English Literature with a Directed Study in Children’s Literature from the University of Victoria in Victoria, British Columbia.

    *Author presentations include:

    Grades K-3

    • Pugs Cause Traffic Jams – Take a romp through a dog-loving neighbourhood of quirky canines and their humans. An interactive reading and presentation of the hilarious picture book, Pugs Cause Traffic Jams (words by Jennifer McGrath, pictures by Kathryn Durst, published by Kids Can Press). Includes fun activities and printables.
    • The Snows Knows  – Who lives in the winter woods? The snow knows! Discover a world of wildlife in this gentle, seek-and-find storybook . An interactive reading and presentation of the awarding picture book, The Snow Knows (words by Jennifer McGrath, pictures by Josée Bisaillon. Published by Nimbus Publishing).
    • The Joob-Joob Jungle (*In-person only) – take a safari into the jungle of your imagination in this dynamic poetry presentation and interactive performance, featuring candy jungles, magic carpets and dragons!
    • Halloween Moon: Petrifying Poetry and Terrifying Tongue-Twisters – Join Jennifer for a treat-or-treat bag full of Halloween fun and rhymes.
    • Gadzooks the Christmas Goose – a holiday-themed reading and presentation about a wayward goose and a grumpy grandpa.

    Grades 3-5 (and up)

    • Chocolate River Rescue What would YOU do if you were stranded on an ice floe, being swept down-river toward the sea?  Join Jennifer for the story behind the story of the award-winning middle grade adventure novel, Chocolate River Rescue…and learn the surprising secrets of the real ‘Chocolate River.’ Themes and curriculum tie-ins include resourcefulness, friendship, teamwork, outdoor skills, geography, social studies, science and nature.
    • White Cave Escape The friends from Chocolate River Rescue return in this follow-up wilderness adventure. Learn about the unique ‘white rock hills’ in New Brunswick. We’ll discuss wilderness survival skills, sinkholes, caves, abandoned quarries and…forest fires! Curriculum tie-ins include: geology, science and nature, environment studies, environmental stewardship, wildlife, resourcefulness, friendship, outdoor skills.

    * Other workshops may be available. Please email the author to discuss your needs.

    Contact Jennifer McGrath:

      Hahn, Dee (Calgary, AB)

      Dee Hahn, author

      Writer’s Guild of Alberta. CANSCAIP Writing for Children finalist.

      Presentation: English. Grades: Kindergarten to grade 12.

      Rates: 225$ for 1 session, 350$ for 2, $475 for 3, and $675.00 for 4 sessions (a full day).

      Travel fees: if travel is out of province, cost of airfare is required. Within Alberta, travel is $0.50/km, round-trip. 

      Virtual Visits: 150$ for 1 session of 20-60 minutes, depending on age group. $100 for each additional session on the same day.

      Dee Hahn is an experienced and enthusiastic public speaker and former middle school teacher. Catering to all ages, she spends much of her time in both elementary and senior high classrooms. Travel is a great passion of Dee’s, and she brings a background of anthropology and history into her novels and presentations. Dee often opens her presentations with the story of how she struggled to read as a child, and her journey to becoming a writer. She also loves discussing the inspirations behind her writing, and how her century-old cabin home sparked the story seed for her debut novel, The Grave Thief.

      The Grave Thief by Dee Hahn

       The Grave Thief (Tundra Books, 2022) is a middle grade fantasy that includes themes of forgiveness, redemption, friendship, and finding strength amidst physical challenges and disability.

      Dee can accommodate for any group size or venue. She has a wide range of experience in presenting to both large assemblies and smaller classroom sessions, as well as teaching creative writing workshops. She is always excited to personalize a session and to include any specially requested topics.

      Here are a few examples of Dee’s sessions by grade:

      5 to 8 years (25 to 30 minutes): Younger elementary presentations include a brief discussion of creative writing and a ‘How to Build a Mystery’ mini workshop, as well as a personalized activity such as a classroom writing session, a live art tutorial, or a game. Sessions are dynamic with lots of audience participation, and include visuals and a video component.

      9 to 12 years (40 to 60 minutes): The Grave Thief is for this age category of readers. Middle school presentations involve a brief reading, a discussion of the creative writing process, and a trivia ‘escape room’ game (using a series of treasure chests if done in person, or a slideshow if done virtually). Sessions are interactive and involve audience participation and a Q & A.

      13 to 18 years (45 to 60 minutes): Junior and senior high school presentations delve deeper into the creative writing process and a discussion of inspirations, as well as a trivia game. Sessions focus on establishing an open dialogue with students and an in-depth Q & A.

      Creative Writing Workshops: Workshop sessions are customized for each group. For example, a middle school workshop could include a discussion on inspirations and the process of writing, developing a strong writing voice, and how to enhance the writing language we use. Classroom extension activities and ideas for teachers are also provided.

      Equipment required for Dee’s presentations:

      -A screen and projector for a PowerPoint presentation

      -An external speaker she can plug into her laptop (to amplify audio for her film clips)

      -A microphone for larger groups

      -A table to spread her books and props out

      Reviews:

      “I would rank Dee Hahn as one of the best author visits we’ve had!  Our kids were completely riveted, and the demand for her book was high. An all-around informative and completely fabulous visit is what you can expect from Dee.  I would highly recommend her!”

      -Tracy Tuttosi, Educator-Librarian at Dr. Morris Gibson School

        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…

          Dickson, Alessia (Vaughan/Toronto, ON)

          Alessia Dickson, author, authors' booking serviceDEAL: $225 for 1 session
          $400 for 2 sessions
          $550 for the whole day
          $80 for writing workshops
          $80 for virtual visits

          Award-winning young author of The Crystal Chronicles series. $250 + HST per session. Small group writing workshops available at $100 + HST.
          Books: $ 20 (HST included)
          Travel expenses may apply for long distances.

          Alessia Dickson is the award-winning young author of The Crystal Chronicles series. Since publishing The Crystal Chronicles at age sixteen, she has been interviewed for CBC television, appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines, and has given presentations to more than 20000 students across 70 schools in Ontario. She has worked alongside other authors such as Eric Walters and has a passion for inspiring young students. Due to her age, students really connect with Alessia and always leave her presentations inspired to achieve their own dreams.

          Alessia started writing The Crystal Chronicles, in fifth grade. She wrote the bulk of the book in grades 6, 7, and 8 and later published it in high school. As a result, many students can relate to her journey and young age. However, Alessia realizes, a lot of students are not creative writers which is talked about during her presentations. She highlights the importance for students to follow their passions, no matter if it’s writing, art, sports, dance, or something else. She especially focuses on how passion and persistence can get you anywhere, and how age is truly
          just a number. Students always leave her presentations excited to read and write, as well as motivated to pursue their own interests in their own lives.

          The Crystal Chronicles – The Crystal Chronicles follows the story of sixteen-year-old Alyssa Brooks who discovers she possesses magical powers and belongs to a supernatural race called Elementals, who can control earth, air, fire, and water. The Crystal Chronicles is often compared to international sensations such as Harry Potter, and Percy Jackson.

          The Crystal Chronicles and The Lost Temple – As the second installment in the series, The Lost Temple follows Alyssa and her friends as they journey into the Amazon searching for the first of four crystals.

          Presentations to grades 4-12.

          First 30 mins – personal introduction, explanation of the writing process including plotting, character development, editing, obstacles, and publication. Also includes writing advice and tips as well as a full synopsis about the book.
          Last 30 mins – a question and answer period for the audience and a fifteen-minute period at the very end for book sales. Purchased books includes a bookmark and a personalized signed copy to the student’s name.

          Small Group Writing Workshop

          Grades – 4-8
          Group size – max 35 students
          First 20 mins- introduction, how to build plots, characters and dialogue Last 40 mins – student writing period where she circulates the classroom and answers individual questions and offers personalized feedback. There is a voluntary sharing period at the end where students can read some of the work to the class. She can also integrate specific classroom material into the workshop. For example, many classes will be reading a certain novel or focusing on poetry or story writing.

          Virtual Visits: $100 (HST included) per session

          Preferred setting: Classroom, library or gymnasium
          Equipment: laptop, projector screen, microphone
          Grades – 4-12
          Group size – max 500

          Contact Alessia to book a visit:

          Continue reading “Dickson, Alessia (Vaughan/Toronto, ON)”

          Camlot, Heather (Toronto, ON)

          Writers’ Union Member. Fiction and nonfiction writer. Heather’s rates are $250 for one session, $450 for two, $650 for three, $800 for four/full day (may be shared with a neighbouring school). $150 for a virtual visit. HST applies. No travel costs within Toronto. Able to present in English and French.

          Heather is an award-winning children’s author, journalist, editor and translator. Her two middle-grade novels, CLUTCH and THE OTHER SIDE, received Skipping Stones Honor Awards and nominations for Forest of Reading, among other honors. CLUTCH was also named a 2017 Best Book from Kirkus Reviews.

          Heather is also an accomplished nonfiction writer. The critically acclaimed middle-grade WHAT IF SOLDIERS FOUGHT WITH PILLOWS? TRUE STORIES OF IMAGINATION AND DETERMINATION (available in French as Et si les soldats se battaient avec des oreillers ?) was published in 2020 and three more books will be available in 2022:

          • I CAN’T DO WHAT? STRANGE LAWS AND RULES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
          • SECRET SCHOOLS: TRUE STORIES OF THE DETERMINATION TO LEARN
          • THE PRISONER AND THE WRITER, the story of wrongly imprisoned Captain Alfred Dreyfus and author Emile Zola’s fight to have him set free.

          In her presentations, Heather aims to entertain and educate, leaving the audience interested in writing fiction and nonfiction as well as looking into their own history for inspiration.

          Continue reading “Camlot, Heather (Toronto, ON)”

          VanSickle, Vikki (Toronto, ON)

          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. $400 + HST per presentation; $750 + HST for 2 + travel for locations outside Toronto.

          Elementary 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. $400+ 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. $400 + 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: $400 + HST for 30-40 minute presentation. 

          JR/Intermediate: Grades 5-8

          THE SECRET LIFE OF AN AUTHOR. Where do you get your ideas? How do you deal with writer’s block? How do you make money as an author? In this presentation, Vikki takes kids behind-the-scenes of the writing and publishing process, using examples from her own career. Includes Red Maple Award winner THE WINNOWING and her latest novel, P.S. TELL NO ONE. $400 + 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. 

          Contact Vikki to book a visit:

            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:

              Bailey, Linda (Vancouver BC)

              Vancouver BC. Writers’ Union Member and eligible for subsidies. Vancouver BC. Writers’ Union Member and eligible for subsidies. Multiple award-winner across Canada including Blue Spruce (x2), Silver Birch and Arthur Ellis (x2) Awards, as well as in the U.S. (California Reading Medal, Georgia Storybook Award).

              PLEASE NOTE: Linda is NOT currently doing visits

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              Winters, Kari-Lynn (St. Catharines)

              St. Catharines. Writers’ Union Member. World traveling picture book and non-fiction author, storyteller, and performer. $375.00 for one session (50-55 min), $600.00 2nd 50-55 min session, $850.00 3rd 50-55 min session, $1000.00 4th 50-55 min session. 30 min. sessions for kindergarten are $175.00 when booked with at least of one full 55 min session + return travel to St. Catharines.
              Continue reading “Winters, Kari-Lynn (St. Catharines)”