Vitalis, Jessica (Waterloo, ON)

Writer’s Union, CANSCAIP, SCBWI. 45 to 60-minute virtual session: $250. In person: $300 (1 session—available in Waterloo region only), $600 (2 sessions), $850 (3 sessions), $1000 (4 sessions). Sessions may be split between nearby schools on the same day. Prices quoted do not include travel costs. (Travel costs waived in Waterloo, Kitchener, Cambridge and Guelph.)

JESSICA VITALIS is a Columbia MBA-wielding author and presenter on a mission to write and share entertaining and thought-provoking literature. She founded Magic in the Middle, a series of free monthly recorded book talks, to help educators introduce young readers to new fantasy books. She was recently named a 2021 Canada Council of the Arts Grant Recipient and featured on CBCs Here and Now. The Wolf’s Curse and The Rabbit’s Gift are standalone companion novels published by Greenwillow/HarperCollins. Two more books, Coyote Queen, and an unnamed standalone, will follow in 2023 and 2024.

When she’s not writing, Jessica’s favorite activity is talking about writing; her presentations are best suited for students grades four and up (and adults of any age). She is also available for festivals, conferences, and keynote speeches and can speak to issues ranging from SEL topics to grief and healing.

Offerings include (but are not limited to):

The Story Behind the Story: This interactive presentation includes the inspiration behind Jessica’s books, a short reading, stories of tenacity and perseverance related to her unusual childhood and 13-year journey to publication, and a peek at the revision process (including the most important tool in her writer’s toolbox!). Q&A included. For small or large groups (grades 4+).

Stand Out From The Crowd: Creating Compelling Characters: In this hands-on writing workshop, participants look at what makes characters come alive in readers’ hearts and minds and learn how to develop memorable characters using the author’s secret technique to show and not tell. For smaller groups (ages 10 to adult).

The Building Blocks of Story: Using the building blocks of story, we’ll work through a flexible pre-writing strategy that provides authors with a framework to draft a novel without bogging them down or making the drafting process feel too prescriptive. For small or large groups (adults only).

“Jessica’s presentation was so inspiring and energizing for our fifth and sixth grade students! Her stories––both on and off the page––are magnetic. A couple of our more reluctant learners sought Jessica out after the talk to connect with her and have their photos takes. What a wonderful celebration of reading and writing!” -Elementary school librarian

“Jessica did a beautiful presentation for my 7th grade reading classes. My students were engrossed! At the end, she answered all of their questions about being an author, the writing process, and everything in between! It was such a fantastic experience for my students!” – 7th Grade Teacher

“[Jessica’s] presentation totally changed my life! It was so incredibly helpful and exactly what I needed for my writing.” -Workshop attendee

Maximum group size: No limit on large group offerings. Smaller group offerings are better suited for individual school classes or conference breakout sessions.

Venues: Flexible as long as a microphone and projection screen are available.

Tech Requirements: Microphone (when necessary), digital projector and screen (most presentations are accompanied by PowerPoint slides; Jessica can either hook up with her laptop or bring in a flash drive), water, and lunch (for full day visits).

Jessica looks forward to connecting with you!

Contact Jessica to book a visit:

    Levy, Joanne (Clinton, ON)

    Located in Clinton, Ontario. Joanne is a Writers Union Member whose books have been nominated for several awards. She presents in English to grades four and up. Rate for a 1 hour virtual visit is $225 + HST. In person visits, when available, are $275 for one session, $500 for two, $900 for a full day (max four sessions) + mileage.

    Joanne is known for her funny books and easily inserts humor into her thoughtful and inspiring presentations that show kids firsthand what it’s like to be an author.

    Joanne’s books are fun and humorous but always have lots of heart and tackle subjects relevant to middle graders. Joanne has two 2021 releases, both from Orca Book Publishers – THE SUN WILL COME OUT, a book about finding the silver linings that’s set in a summer camp. SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS (October 2021) is set in a family owned Jewish funeral home, inspired by the one Joanne’s father manages. SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS explores grief and loss and what happens to us when we die.

    Joanne also has two books in Orca’s Currents line of high interest, accessible books, now in a more readable format featuring dyslexia-friendly fonts. Joanne is pleased to announce that she has another Currents book coming out in 2022 called THE BOOK OF ELSIE.

    While there are always fun moments in Joanne’s presentations, what she loves to talk about most is persistence, using her long and bumpy road to publication as inspiration to kids to follow their dreams and not fear failure. She uses examples from her own life and those of famous people who never gave up when pursing their dreams. Joanne also shares information and visuals about the writing process, using real examples of her own book edits and cover designs to show students how much goes into writing and producing a book. Joanne always leaves ample time for Q&A, where she’s happy to answer all questions, including any questions about the life of an author, how much authors earn, where authors get their ideas, and whether she likes waffles or pancakes better. Joanne will also happily read from her books, time permitting.

    Joanne will present to grades four and up and there is no limit to audience size. For virtual visits, Joanne’s preference is Zoom but she is flexible and will work with hosts on technology to make the presentation as effective, fun, and interactive as possible. For in-person visits, Joanne requires a computer, projector, and screen available and if the room is large, a microphone (wearable, preferably). Joanne travels with her presentation on a USB thumb drive and her own remote

    Contact to book Joanne Levy

      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.

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      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).

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