Hahn, Dee (Calgary, AB)

Dee Hahn, author

Writer’s Guild of Alberta. CANSCAIP Writing for Children finalist.

Presentation: English. Grades: Kindergarten to grade 12.

Rates: 225$ for 1 session, 350$ for 2, $475 for 3, and $675.00 for 4 sessions (a full day).

Travel fees: if travel is out of province, cost of airfare is required. Within Alberta, travel is $0.50/km, round-trip. 

Virtual Visits: 150$ for 1 session of 20-60 minutes, depending on age group. $100 for each additional session on the same day.

Dee Hahn is an experienced and enthusiastic public speaker and former middle school teacher. Catering to all ages, she spends much of her time in both elementary and senior high classrooms. Travel is a great passion of Dee’s, and she brings a background of anthropology and history into her novels and presentations. Dee often opens her presentations with the story of how she struggled to read as a child, and her journey to becoming a writer. She also loves discussing the inspirations behind her writing, and how her century-old cabin home sparked the story seed for her debut novel, The Grave Thief.

The Grave Thief by Dee Hahn

 The Grave Thief (Tundra Books, 2022) is a middle grade fantasy that includes themes of forgiveness, redemption, friendship, and finding strength amidst physical challenges and disability.

Dee can accommodate for any group size or venue. She has a wide range of experience in presenting to both large assemblies and smaller classroom sessions, as well as teaching creative writing workshops. She is always excited to personalize a session and to include any specially requested topics.

Here are a few examples of Dee’s sessions by grade:

5 to 8 years (25 to 30 minutes): Younger elementary presentations include a brief discussion of creative writing and a ‘How to Build a Mystery’ mini workshop, as well as a personalized activity such as a classroom writing session, a live art tutorial, or a game. Sessions are dynamic with lots of audience participation, and include visuals and a video component.

9 to 12 years (40 to 60 minutes): The Grave Thief is for this age category of readers. Middle school presentations involve a brief reading, a discussion of the creative writing process, and a trivia ‘escape room’ game (using a series of treasure chests if done in person, or a slideshow if done virtually). Sessions are interactive and involve audience participation and a Q & A.

13 to 18 years (45 to 60 minutes): Junior and senior high school presentations delve deeper into the creative writing process and a discussion of inspirations, as well as a trivia game. Sessions focus on establishing an open dialogue with students and an in-depth Q & A.

Creative Writing Workshops: Workshop sessions are customized for each group. For example, a middle school workshop could include a discussion on inspirations and the process of writing, developing a strong writing voice, and how to enhance the writing language we use. Classroom extension activities and ideas for teachers are also provided.

Equipment required for Dee’s presentations:

-A screen and projector for a PowerPoint presentation

-An external speaker she can plug into her laptop (to amplify audio for her film clips)

-A microphone for larger groups

-A table to spread her books and props out

Reviews:

“I would rank Dee Hahn as one of the best author visits we’ve had!  Our kids were completely riveted, and the demand for her book was high. An all-around informative and completely fabulous visit is what you can expect from Dee.  I would highly recommend her!”

-Tracy Tuttosi, Educator-Librarian at Dr. Morris Gibson School

    McLellan, Stephanie Simpson (Newmarket, ON)

    Writers Union Member. English. Fiction (Picture Book and Mid Grade), Mr. Christie Award winner, Ruth Schwartz Award Winner, 2022 Blue Spruce Award Nominee. Grades K-3 and Grades 5-8. 

    In-Person Visits: $300 plus HST for 1 session, $500 for 2, $750 for 3 and $1000 for 4, + travel (50 cents per kilometer, round-trip for SW ON).

    Virtual Visits: $200 plus HST, for one session, 20-60 minutes, $150 for each additional session on the same day.

    Stephanie is the award-winning author of six picture books and one mid-grade novel. She reviewed children’s books for twelve years for Today’s Parent magazine (for which she got to interview the legendary Maurice Sendak!), operated an online bookstore for a few years called Neverending Stories, and wrote several scripts for the gemini-nominated children’s television series Roll Play (on Treehouse).

    Her books have won and been shortlisted for several awards (Mr. Christie Award, Ruth Schwartz Award, Chocolate Lily Award, CNIB Tiny Torgi Award, Crystal Kite Award and Blue Spruce Award) and have received starred and recommended reviews from Kirkus, CCBC, CBC Books, Quill & Quire, School Library Journal, Resource Links, TVO Kids, Chickadee Magazine, The Globe & Mail, Toronto Star, National Post, City Parent, CanLit for Little Canadians and CM Magazine.

    A passionate promoter of literacy, Stephanie has toured twice for TD Canadian Children’s Book Week: to Labrador in 2014 and Northwest Territories in 2018. Surrounding the release of her 2017 picture book, The Christmas Wind, Stephanie worked with almost 1,700 primary students in every province and territory of Canada (plus one school in Australia) on a unique literacy initiative that resulted in over 13,000 student drawings of her characters Jo, Murdock and the wind. Widely profiled by CBC, The Christmas Wind Story Project involved the Canadian Children’s Book Centre in the spring of 2016 and was a top 10 finalist in the 2016 CST Inspired Minds Learning Project Contest.

    Presentation Description

    During Stephanie’s school presentations for grades K-3, she encourages children to look for and understand their own creativity by sharing the stories behind her stories, how these stories/ideas turn into books, and what it’s like to write for a living. Specifically, she has four goals with each school presentation:

    • To entertain students with a dramatic reading of her books so they will come to know and care about her characters and about the value of story
    • To stir the writer/creator inside each student by sharing the stories behind her stories, thus empowering them to see the connection between their own lives and their own potential works of art
    • To create a natural bridge to relevant, valuable and interesting learning (e.g.Hoogie in the Middle – a simile exercise; Leon’s Song – a mini science quiz on how frogs survive the winter)
    • To give students a sense of what goes into the creation of a book (the illustrator, the publisher, the ideas) and what it’s like to write for a living 

    For grades 5-8, Stephanie will focus on her mid grade novel Sully, Messed Up to explore themes of self-esteem, identity, life choices, social-emotional learning and bullying.

    Ahead of each school visit Stephanie creates a school specific page on her website to help teachers and students prepare for her visit.

    Maximum group size: 50-60 for optimum interaction 

    Equipment required: a table, an easel (for presentation boards), water, microphone for larger groups or in the gym.

    Contact Stephanie to book a visit:

      Cooke, Stephanie (Toronto, ON)

      Stephanie Cooke. Toronto, ON. Writers’ Union of Canada Member. English. Fantasy, Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Middle-Grade, and Young Adult. Stephanie’s rates for school visits is $300 for one session (local schools only), $500 for two sessions or for a half-day, and $900 for a full school day (maximum four sessions), plus travel if applicable. Virtual visits are $250.

      Stephanie Cooke is an author and editor based out of Toronto, Canada. She is the writer of ParaNorthern and the co-writer of Oh My Gods!

      She loves to speak to people about comics, graphic novels, and writing and devotes a lot of time to helping educate people about creating, understanding, and appreciating the graphic novel medium.

      CREATING A GRAPHIC NOVEL
      Ever wonder how a comic book or graphic novel gets made? How many different people work on one book? What’s the process for creating a story and turning it into a graphic novel? Stephanie delves into all of this and more as she helps people explore the world of the comic book industry and sheds light on the process of writing a story from inception to completion.

      Ages: Any

      Group size: Any, but especially love working with smaller groups of 15-30 kids.
      A/V needs: Projector or anything to present some images to go along with the presentation.

      Collaboration is hands-down the best parts of creating a graphic novel. Working with someone to bring an idea to life is an incredible feeling. Having someone to bounce ideas around with is amazing and inspiring. And getting to see an artist bring what was in your head to life on the page is nothing short of magical! With her experience as a co-writer on Oh My Gods! and a co-creator on an unannounced series, Stephanie has created this presentation to help teach you about the process, what to expect, and provide exercises for you to learn from.

      Ages: Any, but works especially well ages 6 and up (and for students and adults)
      Group size: 15-30

      Other topics are available upon request.

      Contact Stephanie to book a visit…

        Prins, Marie (Colborne, ON)

        Marie Prins, Colborne, Ontario, Writers Union Member, English, Grades 2-6,

        Rates: $225 for one session, $400 for two, $600 for three, $800 for full day (4 sessions), plus travel fee of .50/km round trip

         Virtual Visits Only at This Time – $150 for one 40-60 minute session, $125 for each additional session on the same day

        Marie is a remedial reading teacher who is passionate about helping children learn to read and love to read. Sharing books and stories with her students has been a highlight when she meets with them, one on one, or in group settings.

        Marie tailors each presentation to the children in front of her, sharing her experience as a storyteller, researcher, and writer in order to inspire them to read for the love of it and write to share their own stories. Her middle grade novel The Girl From the Attic is a time travel story that offers historical insight into rural Ontario, explores family dynamics past and present, and touches on themes of health/disease pertaining to asthma, tuberculosis, and pandemics. It received two awards in 2021 from Story Monsters Ink – first in Family, second in Mid-grade. Her children’s story “Grammy’s Mittens, ”about a young girl dealing with the death of her grandmother before Christmas, appears in Volume Three of Cloud Lake Literary magazine.

        Workshops –

        Storytelling with Q & A, featuring The Girl From the Attic (grades 2-6) This workshop includes sharing the book’s backstory and additional historical information about octagonal houses (book’s setting), rural life in the early 1900s, and the plague of tuberculosis before the advent of antibiotics. A Teacher’s Guide is available for classrooms who either read the book before or after the visit.

        Time Travel Writing Workshops (grades 5 & 6) – In this workshop, Marie will help children brainstorm ideas for past or future time-travel, choose characters and settings, discover portals, plot story arcs, and devise story endings.

        Nuts and Bolts of Editing One’s Own Writing (grades 2-6) – This workshop includes brainstorming creative writing ideas (“what if”), using a writer’s notebook, working with learning buddies, rereading to check spelling & grammar, and using examples from the editing process of The Girl From the Attic and “Grammy’s Mittens” to demonstrate how one edits own writing.

        Classroom, library, workshop visits – Virtually for 2021/2022, on Zoom or Google Meets (willing to try other platforms) with school or library hosting the event. Storytelling Presentation – either one or multiple classrooms; Writing Workshops prefers small groups of 15 or less.

        Will consider small, in-person groups in a library or similar setting.

        Contact Marie to book a visit:

          Church, Dr. Dana L (Waterloo, ON)

          Dr. Dana L. Church

          Dr. Dana L. Church lives in Waterloo, Ontario. She is a member of the Writers’ Union of Canada and presents in English to grades 1 through 8.

          In-person rates: $250 for one one-hour session, $450 for two, $675 for three, plus a travel fee of $0.50/km if outside Waterloo. Virtual visit rates: $200 for one one-hour session, $150 for each additional session on the same day.

          Dr. Dana L. Church is a middle-grade nonfiction writer who loves turning fascinating science hidden in scholarly journals into prose that is fun and accessible for everyone.

          Dr. Dana L. Church has a PhD in animal cognition, which means she spends a lot of time figuring out how other animals think, remember, learn, make decisions, and solve problems. She spent many years studying bumble bees and loves to talk about why they are such amazing little creatures. Dana’s presentations include background about how she was originally terrified of bees but then eventually fell in love with them. She also answers questions such as, What are bumble bees, anyway? Why are they important? Are bees in trouble? How do scientists study bees? What can we do to help save the bees? She loves answering questions from the audience. Dana can also chat about her journey to becoming a published author, her writing process, and what it’s like to write nonfiction.

          Dana used to teach outrageously large undergraduate classes in university so she really doesn’t have a size limit for her audience. She finds that her PowerPoint slides are handy for showing people photos of all different kinds of bumble bees that exist, so for in-person visits, if she could hook up her Mac laptop to a projector, that would be great. For virtual visits, she can adapt to any platform, and if she can share her screen, even better.

          Contact Dana to book a visit:

            Coates, Jan L. (Nova Scotia)

            Jan L. Coates

            Jan L. Coates lives in Nova Scotia, but she spends as much time as she can in Kingston and Toronto, Ontario. A member of the Writers Union of Canada, Jan presents to classes from junior kindergarten to grade 7.

            Her rates include: $200 for one in-person session (45-60 minutes); $350 for two sessions; $600 for a full-day visit. Virtual visits (Zoom or Google Meets) are $150 for 45-60 minutes

            Jan has written six picture books, six middle grade novels, and 18 chapter books for emergent readers. Her books have been shortlisted for several Canadian awards, including the Governor General’s Literary Awards, and Children’s Choice Awards such as Hackmatack and SYRCA.

            Jan L. Coates books

            “The overall positive student response to Jan, in my opinion, indicates how this author is able to encourage literacy and creative writing by sharing her talent.” – Heather Thorne, educator

            “Jan led a writing exercise that had kids buzzing with ideas. Before long, kids were competing to be one of the writers picked to present their mystery objects by describing them out loud to the group without saying what the object actually looks like.” -Heather Doepner, Youth Services Librarian

            “Because inside I’m still 11,” is Jan’s answer when asked why she writes for kids. Jan is a writer because she’s always been a reader, and because stories are the best, whether you’re reading them or writing them. There’s no better way to escape, learn, and grow. Her books are often about resilient kids tackling tough challenges head-on. Other than reading and writing, she’s learning to illustrate, loves to be at the beach, get outside on her bike in the woods or on the dykes, go thrift-shopping and spend time with her family, including her Golden Irish, Charlie

            Jan’s school visits include a 15-minute PowerPoint presentation/discussion about writing, the writing life, tools we all use to create story, a short reading, Q&A, and a fun shared writing (or drawing) activity. Specific workshops include:

            1. building a character;
            2. creating a picture book;
            3. using all five senses to create 3D story worlds;
            4. growing a story from a tiny idea seed.

            Sixty minutes please for grades 2-7; thirty minutes for grades JrK-1. Jan prefers to work with one class at a time, but she’s flexible, and she’s happy to talk about specific writing topics suggested by teachers. She needs a projector with connected laptop to show her PPT, as well as a table, water, and lunch for full-day visits (cafeteria food can be surprisingly tasty). Jan enjoys doing virtual as well as in-person school visits, and she’s been visiting young readers and writers for over 10 years.

            Contact Jan 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.

              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

                Levy, Joanne (Clinton, ON)

                Located in Clinton, Ontario. Joanne is a Writers Union Member whose books have been nominated for several awards. She presents in English to grades four and up. Rate for a 1 hour virtual visit is $225 + HST. In person visits, when available, are $275 for one session, $500 for two, $900 for a full day (max four sessions) + mileage.

                Joanne is known for her funny books and easily inserts humor into her thoughtful and inspiring presentations that show kids firsthand what it’s like to be an author.

                Joanne’s books are fun and humorous but always have lots of heart and tackle subjects relevant to middle graders. Joanne has two 2021 releases, both from Orca Book Publishers – THE SUN WILL COME OUT, a book about finding the silver linings that’s set in a summer camp. SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS (October 2021) is set in a family owned Jewish funeral home, inspired by the one Joanne’s father manages. SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS explores grief and loss and what happens to us when we die.

                Joanne also has two books in Orca’s Currents line of high interest, accessible books, now in a more readable format featuring dyslexia-friendly fonts. Joanne is pleased to announce that she has another Currents book coming out in 2022 called THE BOOK OF ELSIE.

                While there are always fun moments in Joanne’s presentations, what she loves to talk about most is persistence, using her long and bumpy road to publication as inspiration to kids to follow their dreams and not fear failure. She uses examples from her own life and those of famous people who never gave up when pursing their dreams. Joanne also shares information and visuals about the writing process, using real examples of her own book edits and cover designs to show students how much goes into writing and producing a book. Joanne always leaves ample time for Q&A, where she’s happy to answer all questions, including any questions about the life of an author, how much authors earn, where authors get their ideas, and whether she likes waffles or pancakes better. Joanne will also happily read from her books, time permitting.

                Joanne will present to grades four and up and there is no limit to audience size. For virtual visits, Joanne’s preference is Zoom but she is flexible and will work with hosts on technology to make the presentation as effective, fun, and interactive as possible. For in-person visits, Joanne requires a computer, projector, and screen available and if the room is large, a microphone (wearable, preferably). Joanne travels with her presentation on a USB thumb drive and her own remote

                Contact to book Joanne Levy

                  Kerrin, Jessica Scott (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

                  Jessica Scott KerrinHalifax-based. Writers’ Union Member. Best-selling English author of 16 works of fiction (picture books, chapter books and middle grade). K-6.  Jessica’s rate is for a virtual visit is $175 (per session, flat fee, with her dog Ivy making a cameo appearance upon request). Her fee structure for in-person visits is: $300 for one 45-60 minute session, $575 for 2, $825 for 3 and $1,075 for 4, plus $50 per session to help defray her travel expenses from Halifax.

                  About Jessica’s presentations

                  Jessica’s jam-packed presentation to young writers is a behind-the-scenes look at the everyday experiences that she writes stories about. She includes props, audience participation and video clips sure to keep students engaged and glued to their seats. They will learn how to identify sources around them for creative inspiration, understand how brainstorming works to launch a writing assignment, discover how to take an idea and shape it into a story, and develop an appreciation for editing and good writing habits. Reported outcomes following her visits include an increase in library borrowing, an enhanced understanding of the writing process, a surge in creativity, and the application of new techniques for creative writing. Often, students will declare that they’ll be writers when they grow up, too!

                  For grades P-3: SENSES – Her new picture book, The Better Tree Fort, features a father/son relationship. Jessica also shares an interest in birding with the characters in this story. She will include a fun mini-lesson on local birdsongs during her presentation that encourages young writers to use all their senses.

                  For grades 4-6: DETAILS – Her new middle grade novel, Clear Skies, is a historic novel that depicts the 1960s space race to the Moon while exploring mental health. She will also use this story to demonstrate the importance of including accurate facts and engaging details for better fiction.

                  For grades 4-6: STORY IDEAS – Her travel adventure novel, The Things Owen Wrote, explores the relationship between a boy and his ailing grandfather dealing with loss. She features this novel in her presentation to demonstrate where she gets her story ideas.

                  In person visits:

                  • Maximum number of students per session: 40 – 200
                  • Preferred venues: one location, either a library or auditorium work best
                  • Equipment requirements: The venue will provide a table for Jessica’s equipment, a microphone for groups over 100, and a viewing screen or whiteboard. Jessica brings the rest (her own projector, speakers, and laptop).

                  Virtual visits:

                  • Maximum number of students per session: flexible
                  • Preferred platform: Zoom or Google Meet. Jessica offers a “technical rehearsal” in advance of presentation

                  Maximum number of students per session: 40 – 200 (flexible)

                  Preferred venues: one location, either a library or auditorium work best

                  Equipment requirements: The venue will provide a table for Jessica’s equipment, a microphone for groups over 100, and a viewing screen or whiteboard. Jessica brings the rest (her own projector, speakers, and laptop).

                  Contact Jessica:

                    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)

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