Stemp, Heather (North Bay, Ontario)

Writer’s Union Member. English. Historical Fiction In-person

Rates: $225. for one session, $400. for two sessions in the same school

Virtual Rates: $150. for one session, $125. for each additional session in the same school.

Sessions: 60 minutes (virtual visits only, at this time)

Heather is a retired teacher, mother, and grandmother. All these roles have made her a dedicated supporter of young readers through her writing, classroom visits, and community events.

Her first book, Amelia and Me, is a middle grade historical fiction, which was nominated for the 2015 Red Cedar Award. Her second book, Under Amelia’s Wing, has been nominated for the 2021 Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People and the 2021 Red Maple Award (YA).

After Heather retired, she began writing her family history. She found that the Ross’s of Harbour Grace, Newfoundland were involved in early transatlantic aviation. Then Amelia Earhart arrived in 1932 to make her own transatlantic flight. That’s when Heather’s family history turned into her first book, Amelia and Me. Her second book, Under Amelia’s Wing, continues her Aunt Ginny’s adventures with Amelia in the newly-developing field of female pilots.

Presentations

Heather collaborates with teachers and/or librarians to customize visits to meet the students’ interests and the teachers’ curriculum requirements.  

Here are a few suggestions for virtual classroom visits:

Invite Amelia Earhart into Your Classroom

(She will arrive in a full flying outfit, if desired)

Interview Amelia or ask her to describe:

  • her time in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland before her flight- the secrecy, the  other female pilots trying to beat her across the Atlantic, and those who helped her
  • her actual flight- the problems, how she solved them, where she landed, her “staged” reception, and the world’s reaction

Other characters from, Amelia and Me, could be used in a similar manner. For example:

  • interview Ginny Ross, the main character, or ask her to tell you about growing up in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland and how difficult it was to follow her dream of becoming a pilot.
  • interview Joseph Ross, Ginny’s grandfather, or ask him to describe the depression in Newfoundland in 1932 and how it affected store owners like him
  • interview Rose Archibald (Ginny’s aunt) or ask her to tell you about the role of women in 1932
  • interview Heather Stemp, the author, or ask her to describe how family stories can be turned into books, the writing process, the editing process, or why people write books

A similar approach can be used to explore Heather’s second book, Under Amelia’s Wing, which is set at Purdue University in 1936. Ginny Ross is enrolled there as a mechanical engineering student. Amelia Earhart is there as a part-time career counselor for women and aviation advisor. Characters from the book can be interviewed or asked to describe certain aspects of the story. This book is for young adults, grades seven and eight. The use of costumes with this age group can be discussed with the teacher before Heather arrives.

Curriculum connections are numerous in these STEM friendly historical novels so hands-on activities can be included in different content areas. The interests of the teacher and the students will define the visit.

Historical black and white photos, videos, and maps can be used, if desired.

Information on audience size limits, writing workshops, set-up requirements.

Virtual visits only, at this time. Best with one or two classes to allow Heather to interact with students. Larger groups negotiable.

Contact Heather to book a visit:

    Barker, Michelle (Vancouver)

    Vancouver. Writers’ Union member (schools may be eligible for travel and fee subsidies).

    Award-winning author of poetry, a historical picture book, two YA historical novels, YA fantasy novel, short fiction, and non- fiction. Winner of the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award (2019); Kirkus Best YA Historical Fiction (2018); TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award finalist (2016). All ages.

    Michelle’s rate is $225 for one presentation, $400 for two, $600 for three, and $750 for four. No travel costs within the GTA. Because she’s coming from out of town, Michelle requires two or more bookings. Online presentations available: $100 for 50 minutes. Continue reading “Barker, Michelle (Vancouver)”

    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)”

    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)”

        Kacer, Kathy (Toronto)

        Writers’ Union Member.Historical fiction and non-fiction, multi-award winner, and experienced speaker. Kathy’s rate in and around the GTA is $400 per session. HST and mileage charges are also applicable. Virtual Visits: $250 plus HST, 60 minutes, Skype/Google Talk Continue reading “Kacer, Kathy (Toronto)”