Currie, Susan (Brampton, Ontario)

Member: Writer’s Union of Canada, Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators. Winner: Second Story Press’s Aboriginal Writing Award. Finalist: Silver Birch Award, CLA Book of the Year for Children, Hackmatack Award, Manitoba Young Reader’s Choice Award. 2X named Canadian Children’s Book Centre Best Books for Children. Burt Award Honour Book. Included on CBC’s list of “25 Canadian YA books to read in fall 2023.” All ages from 8 and up. Up to 100 or so participants.

$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 to and from Brampton, Ontario.

Virtual visits $200 plus HST for 30-60 minutes, $150 plus HST for each subsequent session on the same day.

Susan Currie is a passionate and dynamic elementary teacher in Brampton, Ontario. Before she entered the public school system, she earned a living as an accompanist, music director, choir director, dinner musician, leader of various music programs for children, and piano teacher. She’s the author of two middle grade novels and a YA novel. All of these books explore themes of friendship, music, navigating challenges, being resilient, and finding your identity. Susan also has an upcoming nonfiction book about the Haudenosaunee (spring 2024). Susan has been on multiple Indigenous writing teams through the Elementary Federation of Ontario. She wrote lesson plans and prompts for Pearson’s Spark. Susan is an adoptee who was in the foster care system briefly as a baby, and only learned of her Haudenosaunee heritage (Cayuga Nation, Turtle Clan) as an adult. She is happily married to John and has a wonderful daughter named Rachel.

Susan is extremely flexible as a presenter and can customize a presentation to the needs of each venue. Through years in the classroom, she is very comfortable in engaging in conversation with young people. For most presentations, she is likely to talk about how she became an author and how she discovered the way that her experiences in music, as a teacher, and as an Indigenous adoptee affected the kinds of things she wanted to write about. She will also do a reading and conduct a Q and A session.

Susan is also excited to do writing workshops with small groups (no more than 15 or so). Topics might include the following, but please reach out to discuss your needs as Susan will happily customize a session.

Building exciting scenes or characters

Fun ways to edit your work that bring your story to vivid life

Finding your creative voice (could include exploring how the medicine wheel helps you identify the four aspects of yourself)

Using other art forms to inspire your writing – paintings, pieces of music, dance, etc. Writing a story based on one of these.

Telling a story from your life in a dramatically compelling way

Explore how to write effective and interesting dialogue

Grades 4-8:

The Mask that Sang (Second Story Press, 2016)

This story is about a young girl, Cass, who learns about her Indigenous identity via a mysterious Haudenosaunee mask that shows her visions and sings to her. Through her friendship with Degan, an Indigenous boy, she uncovers what the mask is trying to tell her. Themes: magic realism, bullies, resiliency, systemic racism, residential schools, foster care, loss of identity, found friends, Indigenous history in Canada.

Basket of Beethoven (Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 2001)

This story is about a young boy, Sam, who is passionate about music but can’t afford piano lessons. He makes a deal with Helen, a lonely new girl: he’ll get rid of the bullies plaguing her, if she will teach him piano. Themes: unlikely friendship, bullies, music history, systemic inequities, children and parents, poverty, social justice, finding your voice through the arts, and the life of Ludwig van Beethoven.

Grades 6-12

Iz the Apocalypse (Common Deer Press, 2023)

This YA novel is about a musically-gifted foster child who scams multiple systems in order to be able to attend a prestigious international high school for music. She knows that what she’s doing is wrong, but is willing to try almost anything to have a voice of her own. Themes: challenges foster children face, including the way that a disrupted education eliminates many possibilities for the future; how past trauma impacts the present; creativity and the arts; finding identity; loneliness and found family.

All Venues. Equipment required: a glass of water, some simple lunch if she’s staying for the day. A table to spread her things out on. A microphone for larger groups or in the gym. A screen and projector for presenting slides and doing shared writing.

Contact Susan to book a visit:

    Spencer, Kim. Vancouver, BC

    Bestselling, award-winning debut novel Weird Rules to Follow (Orca Book Publishing). Under contract with Orca Book Publishing for a second book. Essay, I’ll Have What He’s Having (Filling Station magazine) was a finalist for the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association.

    In-Person fee: $300 for 1 session. $450 for 2. $675 for 3. $850 for full day/keynote/large groups. Plus a travel fee of $0.56.5/km if driving outside of Vancouver.  Virtual visit fee is$200.

    Awards:

    • IODE Violet Downey Book Award 2023 Winner
    • USBBY Outstanding International Books List | 2023 Commended
    • Bank Street College of Education Children’s Book Committee Best Children’s
    • Books of the Year| 2023 | Commended

    CCBC Best Books for Kids and Teens | 2023 | Commended

    Kim Spencer completed The Writers Studio program at Simon Fraser University in 2020, where she focused on creative non-fiction. She is an experienced public speaker who is animated and enthusiastic and cares deeply about positive representation for BIPOC students. She is from the Ts’msyen Nation in northern British Columbia and resides in Vancouver.

    Weird Rules To Follow Kim Spencer

    Presentations:

    Kim is an experienced public speaker, personable, and easily able to connect with and engage young audiences. Kim is flexible and can modify presentations to suit the audience’s needs.

    Dual Worlds

    Grade 5-12

    Explore and learn from an inside look at Kim Spencer’s novel Weird Rules To Follow. Discuss challenging themes of identity, systems of inequality, microaggressions, and prejudice from the standpoint of an often-overlooked racialized Indigenous child. And how we can be more comfortable approaching weightier topics with empathy and care.     

    Anti-Bullying 

    Works best for Grade 5+

    Interactive conversation. Why we must engage in dialogue around bullying. And read two stories from Kim’s debut novel, Weird Rules to Follow, that speak directly to bullying experiences and the impacts of those lived experiences. 

    Orange Shirt Day

    Works best for Grade 5+, but also suitable for an assembly

    A brief overview of the history and impacts of the Indian Residential School system in Canada. Followed by a reading and audience discussion of three of Kim’s stories from her debut novel, Weird Rules to Follow, which speak directly to Indian Residential Schools. 

    Writing Process Workshop

    Grade 5-12

    Kim shares her personal writing experience of becoming a writer. Students will learn tips on finding their writing voice through fun and engaging exercises and using images and music as a memory aid. And how creating/finding a safe space to express oneself is key.

    Contact Kim to book a visit:

      Miskonoodinkwe Smith, Christine (Toronto, ON)

      Miskonoodinkwe Smith, Christine

      Indigenous Editor’s Association, longlisted for the First Nations Community Reads Program, ANDPVA National Signature Online Event 2022.

      Presentation Rates: 250.00 for one session, $450.00 for two, $675.00 for three, $1,000 for full day. Travel fee $.50/km if outside of Toronto. I don’t drive and would require funding for train or bus, plus Uber if available.

      Virtual Visit Fees range from $200-$250

      Christine Miskonoodinkwe-Smith- is a Saulteaux woman from Peguis First Nation and the author of “These Are the Stories: Memories of a 60s Scoop Survivor”. She is an author, editor, writer, and journalist who graduated from the University of Toronto with a specialization in Aboriginal Studies in June 2011 and went on to receive her Master’s in Education in Social Justice in June 2017. Her first non-fiction story “Choosing the Path to Healing” appeared in the 2006 anthology Growing Up Girl: An Anthology of Voices from Marginalized Spaces. She has written for the Native Canadian, Anishinabek News, Windspeaker, FNH Magazine, New Tribe Magazine, Muskrat Magazine and the Piker Press. She has also co-edited the anthology Bawaajigan with fellow Indigenous writer Nathan Niigan Noodin Adler.

      these-are-the-stories-Miskonoodinkwe-Smith-Christine.jpg

      Readings, Talks on Healing, Writing

      Preferred Venues- small spaces, libraries, café’s etc

      Preferred Audience Size-10-25 people, more if comfortable

      Tech requirements- microphone, sound system

      Contact Chrissy Miskonoodinkwe Smith: