Grant, Joyce (Toronto, ON)

Joyce Grant

Writers’ Union of Canada member; journalism, fiction, picture books. Rainforest of Reading Award winner, Top 10 Best Books (Ontario Library Association) and Best Books (Canadian Children’s Book Centre). All ages.

$350 for an engaging, high-energy customized one-hour presentation (in-person or online), $250 for a Q&A session only.

Joyce is a subject-matter expert on “fake news” and journalism. She is a freelance journalist and owner of internationally award-winning TeachingKidsNews.com.

BOOKS:

* Can You Believe It? How to Spot Fake News and Find the Facts, 2022, illustrated by Kathleen Marcotte. Illustrated non-fiction. Themes: Fake news, critical thinking, journalism.
* Gabby picture books: Gabby, Gabby: Wonder Girl, Gabby: Drama Queen. Themes: text to concrete things, friendship, creativity, phonics
* Middle-grade baseball novels for reluctant readers: Tagged Out and Sliding Home. Themes: bullying, diversity, teamwork, empathy

Joyce delivers high-energy, interactive, engaging presentations and workshops for all ages. She has written picture books with a literacy angle, and middle-grade baseball novels that deliver baseball action with underlying social themes (immigration, bullying, diversity, teamwork).

Joyce is also co-founder of TeachingKidsNews.com: free, kid-friendly news plus curriculum connections. She is a freelance journalist and her popular “How to Avoid Fake News” presentations can be tailored for students or teachers.

“We were honoured to have Joyce Grant as a keynote speaker and workshop presenter. Our audience of about 200 people (was) captivated by her content … students were incredibly engaged and just ate up what she had to tell us.”
—Laura Alopaeus-Gomes, Literacy Lead K-6, Algoma District School Board, 2018

NOVELS:
SLIDING HOME
This middle-grade baseball novel focuses on Miguel, who is holding down part-time jobs so he can bring his father to Canada from El Salvador. Set in Toronto's Christie Pits baseball field.
(Sequel to Tagged Out.) Themes: immigration, teamwork, diversity, empathy, baseball.

TAGGED OUT
Fast-paced middle-grade baseball novel for reluctant readers. Includes a strong secondary character who is gay. Themes: diversity, tolerance, empathy, teamwork, baseball.
A teaching guide is available free.

PICTURE BOOKS:
GABBY 
When Gabby drops her magic book, all its letters fall out. Whatever she spells with those letters
comes to life! Includes two pages of literacy activities. (Illustrator: Jan Dolby)
A teaching guide is available free.

Also in the series:
GABBY: WONDER GIRL (Includes question words.)
GABBY: DRAMA QUEEN (Includes words with consonant blends.)

PRESENTATIONS—GENERAL INFO:
Joyce customizes her high-energy, interactive presentations to suit your students and support their learning. She can speak to most ages, but asks that they’re grouped (ie, K-1, 2-3, 4-6, 5+).

Groups can be small (one to two classes) or larger, depending on how hands-on you want the presentation to be. Presentations for younger students are 40 minutes; for older students, 45 minutes to an hour. All presentations include Q&A.

HOW TO AVOID FAKE NEWS
Gr. 4-7
Identify and avoid fake news—and find the good stuff online. Includes how to think more critically.
“Practical and engaging. The students are still talking about it, and the teachers have been using your ideas in their classrooms!”

WORD SCRAMBLE
K-3
Super energetic, interactive presentations using scrambled letters. Includes a behind-the- scenes look at how picture books are made.
“Interactive and fun!”

CHARACTER, SETTING, PROBLEM, MAGIC!
Gr. 2-3
Together, we build an exciting story and then we act it out.
“The kids loved it—we went back to the classroom and built more stories!”

WRITING WORKSHOPS
Gr. 4-9
Journalism (writing headlines, interviewing, the 5 Ws) and picture book workshops. 
“Real-world, hands-on learning.”

GETTING KIDS READING
Parents
Parent/literacy night coming up? My popular, practical session for parents will help you get your kid reading.

HOW TO TEACH KIDS TO AVOID FAKE NEWS
Teachers
Practical, popular presentations for teachers and teacher-candidates.

KEYNOTES AND SKYPE VISITS
Students or Adults
Memorable keynotes for conferences and meetings (price to be discussed), and Skype visits
($250/45 mins). 

EQUIPMENT REQUIRED:
I use PowerPoint, so I’ll need a projector and screen. Oh! And a bottle of water, please. My voice projects well (a-hem!), but if you think your space requires a microphone, I’ll need you to supply that—preferably hand-held.
I’m fine with small groups (one or two classes) or larger auditoriums. The bigger the group, the less hands-on the session, so workshops are best with a smaller group. I have great presentations for nearly every age group. Here are the preferred grade groupings: K to 1, grades 2 to 3, grades 4 to 6, grades 5 and up. I also present to teachers and teacher-candidates and to parents (ie, literacy night).

To book Joyce, please send us an email using the form below:

    • Can You Believe It? How to Spot Fake News and Find the Facts, 2022, illustrated by Kathleen Marcotte. Illustrated non-fiction. Themes: Fake news, critical thinking, journalism.
    • Gabby picture books: Gabby, Gabby: Wonder Girl, Gabby: Drama Queen. Themes: text to concrete things, friendship, creativity, phonics
    • Middle-grade baseball novels for reluctant readers: Tagged Out and Sliding Home. Themes: bullying, diversity, teamwork, empathy

    Bow, Erin (Kitchener, ON)

    erinbow1Writers’ Union Member.  $400 plus HST for one session; $150 for each additional session in the same area on the same day – can be split between schools.   Travel costs waived in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, and the townships.

    Erin writes YA science fiction and fantasy, with a middle grade debut coming in 2019.  With multiple awards, she’s considered one of Canada’s rising stars: Quill and Quire calls her “a new master,” and the CBC says she’s “so close to YA superstardom she can probably taste it.”  As a presenter she’s down-to-earth and funny, working to give students real answers and emotional honesty.

    “I’ve had many novelists visit my classes over the years, but I can honestly say I’ve never seen one connect so well with a teenaged audience. —A.J. Blauer, Acting Head of Literary Arts, Canterbury High School (Ottawa, Ontario)

    Continue reading “Bow, Erin (Kitchener, ON)”

    Chan, Marty (Edmonton AB)

    Writers Union Member. A professional liar since 1988, Marty writes books for kids and plays for adults. Based in Edmonton, Alberta, Marty is a keynote speaker, television screenwriter, radio dramatist, and raconteur.

    For the 2022 – 23 school year, Marty is only doing virtual presentations. He charges $200 plus HST for a 45-minute session, and has a discounted rate of $500 plus HST for three sessions. He also offers 60-minute writing workshops for $300 plus HST. Please note that you can book Marty’s multiple sessions on different days. They do not all have to be on the same day.

    The son of immigrants, Marty grew up in a French-Canadian town where he was the only Chinese kid at school. Bullied and friendless, he found sanctuary in the school library where a teacher-librarian inspired this reluctant reader to fall in love with books. Using his sense of humour, Marty turned bullies into buddies and transformed his passion for literacy into a lifelong career as a published author and playwright.

    A versatile presenter with a theatre and television background, Marty has mastered the art of virtual sessions. He tailors his author visits according to grade levels, creating a unique experience for each group. Students’ faces will light up when they see Marty turn a pen into a lightsaber, and they’ll howl with laughter as he instantly transforms into various emoji characters. Most important of all, the kids will be curious about the world of writing by the end of Marty’s dynamic virtual sessions.

    Venues: Marty can present on Zoom, Google Meet, MS Teams, or YouTube Live. He can accommodate any number of logins/participants, as long as they fit within his suggested grade breakdown.

    JK to 2: With a bit of magic and improv, Marty brings to life classic Chinese folktales. The kids will become characters in his interactive telling of the origin of the rainbow or they’ll play a guessing game about the different animals featured on the Chinese calendar. Marty will also talk about the real-life cats that inspired his picture book, True Story.

    Grades 3 – 4: With a dose of humour and pop culture allusions, Marty tells the real-life childhood experiences that inspired The Mystery of the Frozen Brains. He’ll share a tip or two about writing, focussing on how the five senses can make anything real, even a pen lightsaber.

    Grades 5 – 6: Keep the lights on for this thrilling talk about Marty’s scary series, Keepers of the Vault, which was inspired by his haunted elementary school. This session is sure to make a few kids jump out of their seats.

    Grades 7 and up: Marty shares the creepy origin of his bestselling thriller Haunted Hospital, and he’ll talk about the importance of knowing your audience. Using his hit play, The Bone House, he gets even the most jaded student excited about the power of writing. 

    Writing workshops: Want to go behind the scenes? Marty shares tips on writing thrillers, creating conflict, and using picture prompts. His 60-minute workshops are interactive and break down writing concepts to simple and easy-to-apply tips that can inspire even the most reluctant writer.

    Teachers-librarians have this to say about Marty’s sessions:

    You were amazing!  We’ve had rave reviews all round.  A grade 7 student who is very tough to engage has told us that he’s getting all your books. So great to see a student make a connection like that.” – Sarah Mayer, St. Isidore Online School

    Thank you so much for today!! So many teachers came to tell me how great you were and how much their class enjoyed it. They all said it’s so hard to keep them engaged, especially online and that you need to teach us how to turn into aliens stuff for remote learning.  My friend said that her kids were taking out their pens during the last session to see if they’d turn into light sabers.” – Kim Kondo, Brock Public School

    Presentation needs: For multi-class sessions, teachers should keep their mics muted and be prepared to relay student responses via chat. Marty is happy to do a connection test beforehand to troubleshoot any technical difficulties.

    Contact Marty for a visit: