Varga, Andrew   (Oshawa, ON)

Member of the Writers Union of Canada, the Royal Historical Society, and the Historical Novel Society. 2024 Red Maple Award Nominee.

Rates: $250 for one session, $450 for two, $675 for three, $900 for a full day (four sessions). Plus a travel fee of $0.50/km if outside the Durham Region. 

Virtual visit fees range from $100 – $200

Andrew is an experienced and passionate speaker who tailors each presentation to the group in front of him. As someone who has studied history all his life, he loves speaking to children and adults about the lesson-known sides of history and why historical fiction is important for people to read. But he is also more than happy to work with teachers and educators if there are certain topics they wish to see covered and he can quickly adapt if the situation calls for it. 

The Last Saxon King is a 2024 Forest of Reading Red Maple Nominee

Andrew’s presentations involve a fun and immersive deep dive into the past, with audience participation a crucial part of the presentations. He doesn’t want to just talk to the audience, he wants them there with him as he takes them on a tour through the past. His presentations work best with students in grades 7 through high school. He prefers to speak to a maximum of 125 students at a time. He can be a bit flexible on this.

Since his presentation is power point, he requires an LCD projector (provided by the school), or a smart board, a screen, and a microphone (if the audience size is over 50 kids). He will bring his own laptop.

Contact Andrew 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:

          

      Camlot, Heather (Toronto, ON)

      Writers’ Union Member. Fiction and nonfiction writer.

      Heather’s rates are $300 for one session, $550 for two, $800 for three. For virtual presentations: $300 for one session, $500 for two. HST applies to all sessions. No travel costs within Toronto or if I am in your city (I travel to Montreal several times a year). 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. SECRET SCHOOLS and THE PRISONER AND THE WRITER were named Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selections and What If Soldiers Fought with Pillows? True Stories of Imagination and Determination received a Skipping Stones Honor Award. Her next nonfiction book, Becoming Bionic and Other Ways Science is Making Us Super,

      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.

      PRESENTATIONS (60 minutes, grades 3+)


      Heather engages students with a fun and interactive presentation, customized to audience and interest.

      • Generally speaking: Heather shares the inspiration and the challenges of writing works that delve into history and social justice. She also discusses the basic elements of writing fiction and/or nonfiction, how to give stories life through research and why bringing the past to the present is so important. Q&A session and reading are included.
      • What does it mean to be a superhero?: This STEM/STEAM-related presentation draws on BECOMING BIONIC. We’ll delve get into how science is turning us into superbeings – powering up our bodies with what we may not have been born with and what we may never have thought we’d need. We’ll discuss what those powers look like in the real world, based on the sections of Becoming Bionic. We’ll create our own superhero identities and answer the ultimate question: Cape or no cape.
      • Stand up and speak out: This social-justice-related presentation, based on THE PRISONER AND THE WRITER, begins with a quote from Captain Alfred Dreyfus: “My only crime is to have been born a Jew.” How would students fill in the last word of Captain Dreyfus’s quote to reflect their lives or world around them? We’ll discuss the meaning of social justice, play a game of news fact vs news fiction, and discuss ways to stand up and speak out.

      Maximum presentation size: 100 for virtual presentations; 60 for in-person reading/Q&A. Teacher and/or librarian must be present.

      WORKSHOPS (60 minutes, grades 3+)

      • Look no further: A simple moment can kickstart the writing process. Students choose a moment in their own lives or family history and turn into a work of fiction or nonfiction. Based on CLUTCH and THE OTHER SIDE.
      • What’s news?: Bias in the media is not difficult to spot. This session will delve into media literacy and how to determine if what you’re reading is fact…or fiction. I’ll test students’ knowledge of news fact vs news fiction through a fun game and we’ll create a reference guide to better judge whether what they are reading, seeing, hearing is objective, biased or completely fake. Based on THE PRISONER AND THE WRITER.
      • A single object: A single object can inspire an entire world. Students will begin with an “item of interest” and learn how to add different layers — setting, storyline, character, big reveal — to build a short story. Based on THE OTHER SIDE.
      • Just the facts: How do you write a nonfiction book that makes tough subjects compelling and easy to understand all the while ensuring it stick to the truth? Based on her nonfiction books.
      • Get activ-ist!: “What cause would you defend…and how would you defend it?” We’ll discuss various forms of activism and what is important to students right now. We’ll come up with methods to get messages across and students will put ideas into action by creating a poster for their cause. Based on THE PRISONER AND THE WRITER and I CAN’T DO WHAT?
      • Customized topic: Heather is happy to tailor workshops to your needs and audience, including educators and the general public. Topics can include social injustice, advocacy, World War II, the Holocaust, antisemitism, soccer, baseball, media literacy, arts and entertainment, etc.

      Maximum workshop size: 30 (flexible).
      Equipment required: Flip chart and markers, screen and projector, microphone and podium (for large rooms), paper and pencils (for workshops). Teacher and/or librarian must be present.

      Heather offers the services of professional editing, copyediting, proofreading and
      translating. She also provides manuscript evaluations – fiction and nonfiction.

      Contact Heather to book a visit:

        Kerbel, Deborah (Toronto, ON)

        Writers’ Union Member. Fiction & NF. GG finalist. Forest of Reading Yellow Cedar Winner. Red Cedar Winner. 2x Junior Library Guild Gold Standard. Silver Birch Honour. Picture Book, Middle Grade, Graphic Novel, Young Adult.

        In-person: $350 for one session, $600 for 2, $850 for 3, $1000 for 4, + travel (no travel costs within GTA). Full day fee can be split between two neighbouring schools. Out of town visits require two or more bookings. Can present in English and French.

        Virtual Visits: $250, for one session, 20-60 minutes, $150 for each additional session on the same day.

        Deborah Kerbel is the award-winning author of twenty-five books for children and teens. She’s an experienced presenter and energetic speaker who uses an interactive style to engage her audience. She loves visiting new schools, travelling, sharing her passion for books, and meeting readers and writers of all ages. Her enthusiasm is infectious and Deborah has often been called “the best author who has ever visited our school”. Based in Thornhill, Ontario, she’s the proud mom of two young adults and a rescue Schnoodle named Fred.

        SAMPLE PRESENTATIONS BY GRADE (I’m always open to requests for modifications and/or specific books):

        Sun Dog – Grades K-3

        During this 45 minute presentation, I read from my award-winning picture book, Sun Dog and discuss the inspiration behind the story. We talk about where ideas come from and how thoughts and ideas can grow into something bigger. We look at the artwork and talk about the differences between rough drafts and final illustrations. Finally, we discuss some of the science between the pages such as the Arctic Circle, Midnight Sun, Sun Dogs, as well as life in the arctic.

        Final 10 – 15 minutes of my presentation will be available for Q & A.

        *a shorter, 25 minute version of this presentation is available on request for JK-G1.

        Weather Days  – Grades K-3

        During this 45 minute presentation, I will read from a selection of the four titles from my award-winning picture book series (Snow Days, Sunny Days, Windy Days, Rainy Days), and discuss the inspiration behind the stories. I’ll speak to students about the seasons and various different kinds of weather that accompany them. There will be fun grade-specific STEM activities to accompany each book. Final 10 – 15 minutes of my presentation will be available for Q & A.

        *a shorter, 25 minute version of this presentation is available on request for JK – G1.

        The Path to Publication – Grades 4-8

        During this interactive 60 minute presentation, I discuss who I am, how I became a writer, and my road to publication. I also include a fun quiz on famous children’s authors which always captures the interest of the audience and encourages their participation. Publication is a difficult road and one of the main themes of my presentation is how hard work, persistence, and determination will always lead to success. I also discuss my novels and upcoming projects, including various personal anecdotes about each of my books.

        During the final 15 minutes of my presentation will be for a reading from my latest book + Q & A session.

        Fred & Marjorie – Grades 4-8

        During this 60 minute presentation, I will discuss and expand on the historical and scientific themes from my 2023 Forest of Reading Award Winning graphic novel, Fred & Marjorie, starting with an explanation of what diabetes is, how it used to be treated before insulin, the role of insulin in the body, and the process by which it was discovered by Banting and Best in Ontario in 1921. I will also discuss the role of the insulin dogs in this discovery, and touch on the ethics of using animals in medical research.

        The final 10 – 15 minutes of my presentation will be available for Q & A.

        Maximum number of students per session: 60-80 (flexible)

        Venue: All acceptable, but library preferred.

        Equipment requirements: Projector and screen, glass of water, microphone for larger groups.

        Workshops: Deborah’s interactive workshop is designed to help emerging writers take their craft to the next level. Participants can expect to come away with a variety of creative new ideas and material for their writing as well as the tools to implement them. We’ll discuss story ideas, characters, settings, and plot problems. During the final part of the workshop, participants will take several minutes to write a scene using some of the story components that were collectively brainstormed within the group.

        Maximum workshop size: 15 (flexible)

        Venue: All acceptable, but library preferred.

        Equipment requirements: Projector and screen, glass of water, microphone for larger groups.

        Contact Deborah Kerbel to book a visit:

          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:

            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)”

            Torres, J (Whitby, ON)

            Award-winning Filipino Canadian writer of comic books and graphic novels. Member of Writer’s Union of Canada, Canadian Children’s Book Centre, and Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators, and Performers. Middle grades. 

            Rates are $350 for one session, $650 for two, $950 for three, plus mileage. Classroom or library setting preferred over gymnasium or auditorium. Limit of 50 students per session (negotiable). Projector and laptop required for slideshow presentation. 

            Virtual rates: $200 for one session, $300 for two (within the same week).

            Best suited for grades 4 to 6, each session is approximately 45-60 minutes consisting of a brief intro, a reading (excerpt or short comic story), presentation on how graphic novels are made, and a Q&A at the end. Book sales and signings available upon request.

            J. has written for all the major North American comic book publishers including Archie, Dark Horse, DC, Image, and Marvel. He has also been published by Kids Can Press, Owlkids, Scholastic, and Tundra . He currently writes the Chirp comic in Chirp Magazine and the Adventure Comics motion comics for the DC Kids YouTube Channel. His graphic novels include Alison Dare (Eisner Award Nominee), Bigfoot Boy (Junior Library Guild Selection), Brobots (Kids Read Comics Award and Parents’ Choice Award), How to Spot a Sasquatch (Junior Library Guild Selection) , Lola: A Ghost Story (Aesop’s Accolade), Planet Hockey (Forest of Reading Honor Book), and Stealing Home (Forest of Reading Honor Book, Hackmatack Award Winner, nominated for Red Cedar, Bilson Award, and Sakura Medal).

            CONTACT J TO BOOK A VISIT:

              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)”