Polak, Monique (Montreal, Quebec)

Writers’ Union of Canada, CANSCAIP, Quebec Writers’ Federation, English Language Arts Network

Monique Polak is three-time winner of the Quebec Writers’ Federation Prize for Children’s and Young Adult Literature, recently renamed the Janet Savage Blachford Prize for Children’s and Young Adult Literature. Her work has been nominated for several prizes including the Arthur Ellis Award, Best Juvenile or Crime Book and the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People.

Presentation rates: $250 per hour. Plus travel unless I am in Toronto area for
other reasons. I come to Toronto several times a year to visit family and friends. I charge HST.

Monique Polak is the author of 32 books for young people – and she has two
more books slated for publication! Monique was a long-time teacher at
Marianopolis College in Montreal, where she taught, amongst other courses,
Writing for Children and Print Journalism. Monique began her writing career as a reporter and her stories have been published in newspapers across Canada. A
classic extrovert, Monique loves doing writing workshops with kids (and adults) of all ages. Monique’s mother was a Holocaust survivor who went to school with Anne Frank, and Monique has a special interest in Holocaust stories and the history of the Holocaust.

Monique has done writing workshops for students in Grade 1 all the way to
university.

With her youngest audiences (Grades 1-3), Monique teaches basic story-telling
skills, such as how to find a beginning, middle and end, and how to ensure that a story has drama. She also reads from her new picture book, The Brass Charm.

With older audiences (this includes students in Grades 4 and up, high school
and college students), Monique shares writing tips she wishes someone had
shared with her when she was an aspiring author. Monique also discusses the
inspiration behind some of her stories. And of course, expect Monique – who
love stories – to tell some stories. You can also expect writing exercises.
Monique is especially interested in personal memory as a source of inspiration.
One of her exercises is designed to use personal memory to find the story
participants in her workshops most need to tell!

Monique can handle groups of any size! No special supplies needed – Monique’s only requirement is that students have paper and pen (or in the case of very young participants, crayons!).

Contact Monique to book a visit:

    Matas, Carol (Winnipeg, MB,)

    Carol Matas, Winnipeg, MB, member, Writers’ Union of Canada, English. Grades K- 12.

    One hour in person $350 plus GST, $600.00 plus GST for 2 sessions, plus travel. One hour virtual visit, $200.00 plus GST.

    Carol is the internationally best selling author of over 45 books for young people, which have received over 100 awards and honours and been translated into 16 languages.  

    Photo: Chantal Picton Holowka.

    Carol Matas will have a new Holocaust novel, A Struggle For Hope, out this fall with Scholastic Canada. It tells the story of Ruth, a Holocaust survivor who has made the dangerous trip to Palestine after the war. She and other survivors tell their stories as a way of making sense of the world and Ruth discovers how powerful stories can be – for good and for ill. Winnipeg, Manitoba.

    Carol has written historical, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary novels. She is about to have her first picture book published. She has written early readers, middle grade novels and young adult novels and a YA crossover book. She often gets emails from young people  telling her that they didn’t like to read until they discovered her books, and she is thrilled to cultivate new readers. Many of  Carol’s  presentations are about her Holocaust novels. In these sessions she delves into the roots of antisemitism and racism which informed Hitler’s worldview. She loves to talk about “big questions” using books like Cloning Miranda, when she encourages discussions about what it means to be a human being.

    Who’s Looking for science based presentations.

    There is no size limit as long as a microphone is provided for in person visits, even in small venues – although the perfect venue is a library.

    Carol does virtual visits all over North America, most recently Atlanta, Georgia to present “The War Within,” a Civil War novel.

    Writers’ Union; Canscaip; SCBWI. Also presents to adults.

    Carol’s books have garnered over 100 awards and honours, including 2 nominations for the Governor General’s Award; the Silver Birch Award; a New York Times Notable book; a Sydney Taylor Award; a National Jewish Book Award finalist; an ALA Best Book of the Year for YA; a Helen and Stan Vine Canadian Jewish Book Award for Young People; CCBC Best Book for Kids and Teens; New York Public Library, book for the Teen Age; and the Geoffrey Bilson Award. They have also been translated into 16 languages and many have been best sellers. Daniel’s Story has sold over 1 million copies in the United States and Canada. 

    Contact Carol to book a visit

      Sher, Emil (Toronto, ON)

      Emil Sher - author photo

      Writers’ Union Member. Emil’s rates are (add HST) $350 for one session, $500 for two in the same half-day, $700 for three and $900 for four (max. 4 per day, min 2 per half-day if outside GTA). A limited number of subsidies are available for Unpacking the Holocaust: A Playwright’s Journey.

      Emil’s author visits have taken him across Ontario and to Quebec, Nova Scotia and the Yukon, and he has been warmly received by teachers and students alike.

      “Emil takes the students on an emotional, real and engaging journey through captivating visuals and heartfelt storytelling. Amazing!” (Clayton Park Junior High, Halifax)

      “Mr Sher – I think you should write a book about yourself. I think you should do more good work of teaching ‘cause it was amazing! Don’t change anything!” (Grey Mountain Primary School, Whitehorse)

      Emil writes for children of all ages, from babies to teens. His debut young adult novel, Young Man with Camera, was a Governor General’s Award finalist and described as “one of the few books for this generation that will stick with them into adulthood.” He has written acclaimed board books and picture books, and his adaptation of Hana’s Suitcase, the beloved book by Karen Levine, was heralded as “an exceptional means to teach young children about the Holocaust.”

      Young Man with Camera: Behind the Scenes (Grade 5 and up)
      Emil takes students behind the scenes of a novel punctuated with striking photographs. Students are given a glimpse of the writing process — how much of writing is rewriting — and then explore the book’s themes. In small groups they look at a photograph and are asked to make up a story about what might have happened beyond the frame, to consider a fundamental question about how we interpret the world: for all that we see, what goes unseen and unsai

      Unpacking the Holocaust: A Playwright’s Journey (Grade 5 and up)
      What are the challenges, the choices, the considerations when the Holocaust is to be both honoured and dramatized on stage? How can sets, costumes, masks, slides and silence give voice to an unspeakable tragedy? Emil uses projections and video footage from past productions of Hana’s Suitcase to explore the choices he made in taking a book and retelling it on stage.

      Away We Go: Storytelling with Sticky Notes (Grade 1 – 3) This picture book about a young child’s fears about going to sleepover camp for the first time is told entirely through sticky notes. Emil inflates a balloon and shares his board books and picture books to illustrate the basics of storytelling. This leads to a hands-on workshop where students use illustrator Qin Leng’s rough sketches to write and illustrate their own version of Away.

      Emil’s presentations are approximately one hour. He has other presentations he can share upon request and is happy to create workshops for writers’ craft classes and to modify his talks to meet the curriculum needs of teachers.

      Equipment requirements: a screen and projector he can connect to his MacBook, and a table for materials.

      Contact Emil for a visit:

        Skrypuch, Marsha Forchuk (Brantford ON)

        Writers Union Member. Fiction & NF, 2X Silver Birch winner, 2x Red Cedar Winner, Yellow Cedar Winner. Multi awards. All ages. $400 plus HST for 1 session, $650 for 2, $900 for 3 and $1100 for 4, + travel (50 cents per kilometer, round-trip for SW ON).

        Virtual Visits: $300 plus HST, for one session, 20-60 minutes, $200 for each additional session on the same day.

        Continue reading “Skrypuch, Marsha Forchuk (Brantford 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)”

        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)”

        Poulsen, David (Alberta)

        David_A_Poulsen_Author - 1

        Writers’ Union Member. Alberta, Fiction, Multi-award winner. Grades 1-12 $325 plus GST for 1 session, $600 for 2, $850 for 3 and $1000 for 4, + travel. Continue reading “Poulsen, David (Alberta)”

        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)”