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:

    Hohn, Nadia (Toronto)

    The Writers Union member. Picture book. All ages. $350 for 1 session (60 min) $ 600 for 2 sessions of 60 minutes (1/2 day)$ 400 for 2 x 30 minute sessions (great for JK to 1). Full day (4 sessions) $ 1000. + kilometrage. Can present in English and French.

    Malaika’s Costume (2016) and Malaika’s Winter Carnival (2017).

    Continue reading “Hohn, Nadia (Toronto)”

    Anderson, R.J. (Stratford)

    Writers’ Union Member. Author of thrilling yet thought-provoking speculative fiction for children and teens. $300 for one hour-long session, $525 for two, $750 for three, and $900 for a full day, plus mileage for visits outside local area. Willing to travel anywhere within a 150 km radius from Stratford (which includes most of the GTA); open to travelling further if accommodation and meals are provided.

    Continue reading “Anderson, R.J. (Stratford)”

    Arato, Rona (Toronto)

    Writers’ Union Member. Rona’s events with the students were excellent. Not only was she able to keep the students enthralled with her stories, but Rona also skillfully catered to the different age-groups and moderated her presentation according to their needs. Her rate is $250 per one-hour session, $400 for a full morning and $700 + HST for a full day. There is no travel charge within the GTA. For travel outside the GTA the standard kilometrage applies. Continue reading “Arato, Rona (Toronto)”

    Cotter, Charis (Newfoundland)

    Writers’ Union Member. Multiple award-winner. Newfoundland and Labrador Book Award 2020. Hackmatack 2019 Winner. Silver Birch 2016 Honour Book, IODE Violet Downey Award, Ann Connor Brimer Award. Fiction, Newfoundland ghost stories. $350 for one session, $650 for two sessions, plus HST and mileage.

    Virtual visits: $175 plus HST for 60 minutes. $125 plus HST for 40 minutes.

    Charis’s spooky, suspenseful books and her playful approach to writing and ghosts get rave reviews from students and teachers. She has toured schools and libraries across Canada, thrilling audiences with her Newfoundland ghost stories and her unique, imagination-based writing workshops.

    VIRTUAL VISITS
    Specially designed for the COVID challenges of 2020 and 2021. Choose a virtual visit that suits your students and budget.

    Grades 4 to 6: 60 minutes. Newfoundland ghost storytelling session plus Q&A Platform: Google Meet, Zoom, or whatever platform your school prefers.

    Disembodied Ghost Tour—Halloween and Beyond 2020
    A virtual school visit from Charis and a host of Newfoundland ghosts! She’ll take your students on a creepy tour of the most haunted island in the world, showing how traditional ghost stories reflect the landscape, culture and history of Newfoundland. Charis has two new Newfoundland middle grade ghost books released in 2020: Screech! Ghost Stories from Old Newfoundland and Footsteps in Bay de Verde: A Mysterious Tale. Her virtual visit features stories and pictures from both books, a Q&A, a discussion guide and a ghost story challenge for students to collect their own ghost stories from families and friends. For some reason, Newfoundland has more ghosts than anywhere else. Ghosts in the ocean, ghosts on the barrens, ghosts in lighthouses, and ghosts at kitchen parties. Some stories go back hundreds of years, like the Old Hollies, said to be the victims of shipwrecks, who are heard screaming in the wind just before a bad storm. She tells a very old story about a ghostly longboat glimpsed in the fog near Baccalieu Island and describes an unsettling experience she had herself on the barrens one dark Newfoundland night. She ends with a spine-chilling account of ghostly footsteps in Bay de Verde in the 1920s.

    Grades 4 to 6: 40 minutes. Reading and discussion about writing life plus Q&A. Platform: Google Meet, Zoom, or whatever platform your school prefers.

    Meet the Author: Reading and Q&A

    Charis will do a reading from one of her books and then talk about her writing life: her inspiration, how she became a writer, her daily writing routine and how much editing and rewriting goes into writing a book. Then she will answer questions from students about writing and her books.

    The teacher and students can decide which of the following books they want Charis to read from.

    If the students have access to the book in question, and are either reading it in class or reading it independently, that helps the discussion. Book sales can be arranged through Charis if necessary.

    Screech! Ghost Stories from Old Newfoundland
    An illustrated collection of ten spine-tingling Newfoundland ghost stories, including ghost ships, haunted houses, the Old Hag, death tokens and other strange phenomena from that very haunted island. Each story is given geographical and historical context, with a tribute to the original storyteller.

    The Ghost Road
    Cousins Ruth and Ruby are spending the summer in Buckle, a small Newfoundland community. To solve a deadly family mystery, they must find their way along the invisible Ghost Road with its disturbing visions of the past.

    The Painting
    This haunting novel is about Annie, who lives in Toronto, and Claire, who lives in a lighthouse in Newfoundland. Annie falls through a painting of the lighthouse and finds herself with Claire, who thinks she’s a ghost.

    The Swallow: A Ghost Story
    This spooky, full-length novel tells the story of Polly and Rose, two twelve-year-old girls who live behind a cemetery. A haunted house, a curse and a family secret all come to light as the two friends unravel a troubling mystery.

    IN-PERSON VISITS
    Grades 4 to 6: 75 minutes. Newfoundland ghost storytelling session plus Q &A. Maximum number of students per session: 125. Preferred venue: Classroom or library where students can sit in a group on the floor. The darker the better!

    Equipment: Table. Chair.

    The Ghost Road and Other Newfoundland Ghost Stories
    Charis tells some traditional Newfoundland ghost stories from Screech! and Footsteps in Bay de Verde, showing how traditional ghost stories reflect the landscape, culture and history of Newfoundland. For some reason, Newfoundland has more ghosts than anywhere else. Ghosts in the ocean, ghosts on the barrens, ghosts in lighthouses, and ghosts at kitchen parties. Using stories she has collected herself, Charis takes her audience on a creepy tour of that very haunted island. Some stories go back hundreds of years, like the Old Hollies, said to be the victims of shipwrecks, who are heard screaming in the wind just before a bad storm. She tells a very old story about a ghostly longboat glimpsed in the fog near Baccalieu Island and describes an unsettling experience she had herself on the barrens one dark Newfoundland night. She ends with a spine-chilling account of ghostly footsteps in Bay de Verde in the 1920s.

    Grades 4 to 6: 75 minutes. Writing workshop and Q&A. Maximum number of students per session: 60. Preferred venue: Classroom or library where students can sit in a group on the floor.

    Easel or whiteboard with markers, table, chair.

    The Painting: A Writing Workshop
    Charis presents a writing workshop based on her novel, The Painting, where 12-year-old Annie walks inside a painting of a lighthouse in Newfoundland. After a dramatized reading from The Painting, Charis leads the students through a series of visualizations, using Annie’s experience of walking inside a painting as a model to illustrate how to imagine the setting of a story. Students will create the details of an imaginary world, using all five senses to bring it to life. Along the way, Charis shares some thoughts about her inspiration and writing process for The Painting. At the end of the workshop, she talks about her books and answers questions about the writing life.

    WHAT TEACHERS AND LIBRARIANS SAY ABOUT CHARIS
    “Charis Cotter is a wonderfully engaging storyteller.  She had the students on the edge of their seats with every tale.  She was also very in tune with the needs of the students throughout the presentation.”
    —Tanya Panacci, Bruce Trail Public School, Milton, Ontario

     “Charis Cotter is an exceptional writer of age-appropriate ghost stories.  Her workshop readings and easy manner of engagement ignites in her audience a sense of wonder which fires the imagination.”
     —Bronać Gallagher, Grade 5 teacher, Lakecrest Independent School, St. John’s, Newfoundland

    Contact to book Charis:

      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)”

      Aker, Don (Halifax NS)

      Don Aker headshotNova Scotia-based White Pine Award-winning YA author Don Aker is available for school and
      library presentations and writing workshops as well as professional development workshops for
      educators. Don’s entertaining and enthusiastic presentation style has garnered him invitations to
      speak around the world, most recently in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

      $575 + HST + $110 travel for half a day (2 sessions); $1100 + HST + $200 travel for full day (4 sessions). Please note that Don’s travel fee pays only a portion of his total costs of travel from Nova Scotia (airfare, accommodation, meals, local transportation, etc.), so he kindly requests that his hosts collect him at—and return him to—whatever subway/bus/train station is nearest their location.
      Continue reading “Aker, Don (Halifax NS)”