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: