Galat, Joan Marie (Edmonton, Alberta)

Special Offer: Arrange for a second school to book two or more sessions and get a free audio book: Mortimer: Rat Race to Space.

Writers’ Union of Canada member. Fiction | Nonfiction | STEM | STEAM |K-12 | family audience |professional development | Selection of awards: Crystal Kite for Canada, Green Prize for Sustainable Literature, Skipping Stones (2X), Writer’s Guild of Alberta children’s lit award (2X), and Moonbeam (3X). Shortlisted: Rocky Mountain, Red Cedar, Hackmatack, and others. Recipient of the Martha Weston Grant awarded annually to one worldwide member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

Virtual visits: $250/one session (up to 50 minutes), $225/each additional same-day session (plus GST).

In-person: $500/two sessions, $750/three, $950/four plus GST and travel expenses to be negotiated. (Can be shared among schools.) Joan is happy to travel! Reach out to see if she already has plans to visit your area.

Joan Marie Galat began her writing career at age 12 when she was hired as a newspaper columnist by an editor who may not have known her age. Now with 25+ books, a bestseller, and translations in seven languages (that she can’t read), Joan delivers lively presentations to get students excited about books and STEM. Her topics include sky science (outer space and astronomy fun!), engineering, animals, the environment, and activism. Nominated for the 2024 Red Cedar, Mortimer: Rat Race to Space is about a lab rat on the International Space Station who collects video evidence (destined for YouTube) to prove his species should be the first to settle on Mars. A versatile and experienced presenter, Joan has traveled across Canada and internationally to promote literacy and STEM. She even spoke at a United Nations event! Joan delivers the message—there’s a book for every child.

STEM-THEMED LITERACY BUILDING PRESENTATIONS

Joan’s focus on STEM and STEAM subjects offers curriculum bonuses that encourage students to explore their world. Audiences find it hard to resist the lure of constellations, exploding stars, black holes, and the myths and legends early peoples and ancient cultures first told to explain the night sky.

Joan makes it easier for students to picture themselves as writers when she shares her story of becoming a paid columnist at age 12. Interest in writing builds when Joan reveals how she “literally” launches her books in rockets! By the end of Joan’s talks, students will appreciate the idea that writing can be fun. They’ll know how to find the North Star and a few constellations, and feel motivated to explore their passions through books.

Kindergarten to Grade 2: Pictures in the Sky
Joan uses science and storytelling to introduce the wonders of the night sky. She shows how to find the North Star and constellations, and leads a game called “Picture Book: Fact or Fiction.” Joan shares the most important point to remember to become a better writer and juggles star-shaped beanbags to reinforce the importance of reading (by explaining she learned to juggle from a book).

Grades 3 to 6: A Rat, A Rocket, and Science 
Discover how scientific facts and imagination mix, and what happens when a journal-keeping lab rat starts thinking about living on Mars. We’ll talk about research, misinformation, and correcting mistakes—both in writing and friendships—in this lively and informative session based on Mortimer: Rat Race to Space.

Grades 3 to 6: Explore the Night
Joan uses science and storytelling to introduce the wonders of the night sky. Students discover what happens when stars explode and black holes form, as well as how to find constellations and the North Star. Joan inspires future authors with her story of becoming published at age of 12. She offers writing and editing tips and reinforces literacy by juggling star-shaped beanbags, while making sure kids understand she learned to juggle from reading a nonfiction book.

Grades 3-6: Solve This!

From bubble wrap to bridges, the miracles of engineering are all around you. Find out how engineers dream up new ideas and bring them to life. Discover what happens when things go wrong! Get ready to help tackle some rather unusual problems, and since engineers must record their results, expect writing tips, too. Based on Solve This! Wild and Wacky Challenges for the Genius Engineer in You (National Geographic Kids).

Grades 4 to 12: The Northern Lights and Dark Matters
Early cultures looked up at the same night sky we see today, seeking connections between events on Earth and what occurred overhead. They told stories to explain the northern lights and other night sky phenomena. Discover the science and legends of the lights and why dark skies are important in this STEM-themed presentation based on Dot to Dot in the Sky, Stories of the Aurora and Dark Matters, Nature’s Reaction to Light Pollution.

Grades 6-12: Make Your Mark, Make a Difference
Joan invites students to consider their wishes for the world and how they can spark change. She encourages them to read fact-based books, base opinions on scientific evidence, and master writing skills to better communicate their concerns. Based on issues raised in Joan’s books and her 2024 release—Make Your Mark, Make a Difference—A Kid’s Guide to Standing Up For People, Animals, and the Planet (Aladdin/Simon & Schuster/Beyond Words).

Grades 7 to 9: Password to Publishing
Launched with celestial storytelling, this junior high presentation shares how Joan became a paid writer in grade eight. Using personal stories to show how she built her skills, Joan shows how perseverance benefits anyone pursuing a dream. This session includes tips on writing, revising, and finding writing topics. Hosts may extend presentation benefits by accessing writing resources on Joan’s website.

Grades 10 to 12: Write Your Own Future
Joan discusses communication as a career, noting that most writing in adult life is fact-based. She shares her experience writing in different styles including speechwriting, websites, and radio commercials. Joan delivers the message that good writing is essential in all career fields, particularly with changing technology and competitive environments.

FAMILY LITERACY EVENTS

Dot to Dot in the Sky
Joan introduces the wonders of the night sky using storytelling to share ancient myths, interspersed with astronomy facts. Her enthusiasm for stargazing is contagious and leaves attendees ready to locate constellations and explore the mysteries of the night sky on their own. Dot to Dot in the Sky can be offered as an evening star gazing session.

WRITING AND STORYTELLING WORKSHOPS

K-2: Finding Facts and Telling Stories
Oral storytelling is the first step to story writing. Students discover how to express what they already know, as everyone contributes in this fun group-writing effort.

Grades 3-7: Write Like a Rat
Mortimer, a journal-keeping lab rat on the International Space Station is determined to prove his species is best suited to colonizing Mars. He records the results in his journal, uses a secret code, and makes videos for YouTube. Discover how you too can write like a rat. Based on Mortimer: Rat Race to Space (DCB).

Grades 3-7: Stories in the Stars
If the thought of writing makes your class groan, book this workshop to show how developing a story need not feel like a baffling task. Students enter the room with a blank piece of paper and leave with the first draft of an exciting space-themed story.

Grades 8-12: WordPlay for Teens
Teens explore and grow their abilities through a variety of snappy creative writing activities that show how fun it can be to play with words. Expect creativity warm-ups, idea-triggers, self-editing tips, and time to write the first draft of an unforgettable story.

  • Additional topics upon request. If you’d like something different than described here, let Joan know. She is happy to work with you!

BOOKING DETAILS

In-person: up to 75 students. One location for day, preferably library.

Virtual: up to three classroom logins.

Workshops: one class/session.

In-person: Joan requires a laptop with PowerPoint, external speakers, table to display books, and glass of water. If possible, a remote control is also helpful. Please provide a meal if hosting over lunchtime. If you prefer a no-tech presentation, no problem—just let Joan know in advance.

Virtual: Joan can present using Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet, or other platforms you may suggest, and schedule all time zones.

Presentation content/delivery is modified to match the grades present. A flexible speaker, Joan can accommodate most requests, but does recommend these common groupings K-2, 3-6, 7-9, 9-12.

Joan Marie Galat offers query letter and manuscript critiques, freelance editing, and consultations on getting published

Contact Joan Marie to book a visit:

    Meade, Suzanne. (Hamilton, ON.)

    Middle grade writer of Canadian historical fiction with strong female protagonists. Fan of stories about Newfoundland and disasters. Hackmatack Awards shortlist 2022, Diamond Willow Award finalist 2023.

    In-person rates: $250 for one session, $450 for two sessions, $625 for full day (three sessions) in person. Travel fee of $0.50 per km for visits outside of Hamilton-Wentworth and Burlington. Virtual session rate: $150. All sessions run approximately one hour.

    Suzanne has been a writer from a young age – as soon as she knew how to write, the stories started. She has always been excited by history and loves to write about little-known events, times, and places. She is an experienced elementary teacher who is comfortable in front of a classroom. She enjoys speaking to both children and adults. She can do up to three presentations in the same school or area in a day.

    Suzanne’s presentations are dynamic and involve lots of interaction with the audience. She enjoys talking about what inspired her to write, how she does research for her books, and all kinds of questions about her characters and stories.

    Suzanne’s presentations are geared towards Junior and Intermediate grade students (grades 4 to 8) although grade 3 students are also welcome. Sessions run about an hour. She shares some information and photos related to A Terrible Tide and answers questions from the audience. She is also happy to do short reading of a passage from the book if you would like.

    Suzanne is happy to present to both small and larger groups (100+). Smaller groups tend to have a more conversational style of presentation.

    Venues: Classroom, library, or other school locations are fine. Equipment required: Screen and projector with HDMI connection. Microphone for larger rooms. A chair or stool.       

    Contact Suzanne to book a visit:

          

      Stroud, Les (Huntsville, ON)

      Writers Union Member, Fiction & NF, Globe and Mail best seller, Yellow Cedar Book Award Winner, Information Book Award Winner, Rocky Mountain Book Award Runner Up, Hackmatack Children’s Choice Award Short List, Nominated for numerous awards including White Pine award. All ages.

      $600 plus HST for 1 in-person session ($850 for 2), + travel. Virtual Visits: $400 plus HST, for one session up to 60 minutes, $250 for each additional session on the same day.

      Les is an experienced, passionate and highly sought after international speaker who tailors each presentation to the group in front of him. He can do up two presentations in the same school or area in a day. As an award winning filmmaker and composer and the author of adventure books, he routinely presents to an entire school over the course of a day along with happily speaking to adult groups.

      Les Stroud has authored five books and over a thousand magazine articles as he crafts storytelling and interesting information into compelling works whether on screen or on the page. His book, Survive! – Essential Skills and Tactics to Get You Out of Anywhere–Alive! (Harper Collins) made the Globe and Mail’s best-seller list, and he recently won the Canadian Yellow Cedar Award and the National Information Book Award for his first children’s book, Wild Outside.

      Presentations:

      Les Stroud is an extremely flexible presenter. No two of his presentations are ever the same. He prefers to have a conversation with the audience, so long Q&A sessions are always lively and engaging. When possible, he often brings video with compelling and beautiful images of nature and wildlife from around the world.

      Les does an amazing job of making kids feel empowered to enjoy the natural world around them whether they come from an adventurous outdoor oriented family or live inner city and rarely see nature at all. He guides them through how to interact with the smallest of creatures to the largest in the natural world. Creatures both mammal and insect and avian that can be found everywhere including the city streets.

      Grades 4 to 8: Les’ book Wild Outside is for this age group. 45 to 60 minutes. Includes how he found adventure in his own backyard and how he turned that into a globetrotting career connecting to nature and most importantly, how they can have adventures in nature themselves. Writing, filmmaking and sometimes even composing tips along with a Q&A are worked in seamlessly.

      Works:

      Survive! Essential Skills and Tactics to Get Out Of Anywhere Alive

      Les’ seminal work which is a manual that quickly became the bar to compare all other works of this genre to.

      Beyond Survival

      A stunning photograph-heavy book telling story after story of Les’ adventures while filming, surviving and doing earth ceremonies with remote tribes around the globe.

      Will To Live

      Les’ top ten all-time favourite survival stories. What they did right. What they did wrong. And how things could’ve been so much different.

      Wild Outside; Around the World With Survivorman

      Les’ award-winning children’s book written for and to kids aged 5 through 14. An exciting travelogue of journeys around the world featuring wildlife adventures complete with lessons learned and activities the reader can do themselves.

      Maximum group sizes for presentations: No maximum. Minimum 45.

      Workshops:

      Specialty workshops in-person featuring survival, outdoor adventure and filmmaking skills can be considered on a case-by-case basis.

      All Venues possible, library or school preferred. Equipment required: Water, Lunch (if staying all day). A table. A proper PA system with lavaliere mic for larger groups. A screen and projector for power-point and video when required – with high quality sound system. *For Q&A’s it is highly advisable and preferred to have questions prepared and gathered ahead of time and delivered to Les in written form.

      Contact Les to book a visit:

        Hamilton-Barry, Joann (Saint John, NB)

        Joann Hamilton-Barry

        Joann lives in Saint John, New Brunswick and is a member of the Writer’s Federation of New Brunswick. Joann loves presenting to students from grades 3 to 8. Rates for 45-60 minutes are $250 for one session, $450 for two, $675 for three and $900 for a full day of four sessions. Joann loves to travel and would welcome the chance to visit your school or library. Travel fee of $0.50/km applies, if more than 100km from Saint John, NB. Virtual visits using Zoom are $125 for a 45-60 minute presentation.

        Joann is a book lover and enjoys sharing her love of reading and learning. She began her career as a teacher and then headed back to university to become a children’s librarian. For nearly 20 years she spent her days developing and delivering fun, book-related library programs. She has delivered more than 75 presentations as an author.

        Joann has written four non-fiction books that appeal to all ages. Her books have received multiple award nominations and she won the Hackmatack Children’s Book Award in 2020 for There Be Pirates! Swashbucklers & Rogues of the Atlantic.

        Joann’s illustrated presentations about the North Atlantic right whale, pirates, or Oak Island feature images and information from her books. Sessions include time to see and touch (in person visits) some of the things mentioned in the books: fishing ropes and buoys that entangle whales, samples of pirate crafts, or coconut fibres that are similar to what has been connected to the Oak Island treasure. Joann begins each session with little known facts to catch the interest of even the most reluctant audience member. She explains how she does her research and that the local library is the best source for reliable information. Joann shows images from the books and her research trips, reads short sections from the book, and answers audience questions. The goal for each presentation is to get the students excited about reading, learning and the treasure waiting to be found in books. Joann provides a word search puzzle sheet that she created to match the book being presented. Each reading is tailored to the grade level(s) of the audience.  

        Joann is comfortable presenting to audiences large and small, (grades 3-8) as long as everyone can hear her and see your screen or smartboard. The optimal audience size is a single classroom, so that everyone has a chance to ask their question, two classes together can also work well. Equipment requirements:  Joann’s session will take the audience through a tour of her book(s) with info and images projected for all to see. She will bring a computer loaded with her presentation(s) and will connect to your monitor, data projector and screen, or smartboard. She will also need a surface to display items from her books: a buoy, a snarl of plastic found while doing a beach clean up, a bowl made from discarded fishing rope, an eye patch, a quill, and/or coconut – depending on which book she is presenting. Joann has presented in gyms and cafeterias, and is happy to speak to large groups, if you provide a sound system with a microphone and ensure that everyone can see the monitor or screen.

        Awards and nominations include: Hackmatack, Rocky Mountain Book Award, Writer’s Federation of New Brunswick, Best Books for Kids and Teens, Our Choice selection, Canadian Children’s Book Centre, etc…

        Contact Joann for 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)”