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:

    VanSickle, Vikki (Toronto, ON)

    Vikki VanSickle 2021 credit Connie Tsang
    Photo credit: Connie Tsang

    Writers’ Union Member. Dynamic presenter, writer and publishing professional. Red Maple Winner. Interactive presentations, related activities,  customization available. All ages. $400 + HST per presentation; $750 + HST for 2 + travel for locations outside Toronto.

    Elementary School Presentations

    JK- Gr 3:  EXPLORING PUBLIC ART WITH ANONYMOUSE. Students learn about the power of public art and are given the tools to find beauty and mystery in their own neighbourhoods. Including examples from Vikki’s own pandemic walks in urban Toronto, this is a timely and inspiring introduction to art and community. $400+ HST for a 30-40 minute presentation.

    JK- Gr 3: TEDDY BEAR OF THE YEAR PICNIC & SERVICE AWARDS. Students are invited to bring their teddies or stuffies to school for a virtual teddy bear’s picnic! A cozy event that celebrates small acts of kindness and promotes social emotional learning. Digital activity kit including customizable Teddy Bear of the Year certificates available. $400 + HST for 30-40 minute presentation. 

    JK- Gr 3: MYTHOLOGICAL CREATURES & IF I HAD A GRYPHON  In this presentation students are asked to consider objects from a bag of clues to determine what kind of pets may be in this book about mythological creatures. Digital teacher’s guide and printed activities available. A fun introduction to mythological creatures and inferencing, based on IF I HAD A GRYPHON, finalist for the 2017 Blue Spruce & Ruth & Sylvia Schwartz Award. VIRTUAL event: $400 + HST for 30-40 minute presentation. 

    JR/Intermediate: Grades 5-8

    THE SECRET LIFE OF AN AUTHOR. Where do you get your ideas? How do you deal with writer’s block? How do you make money as an author? In this presentation, Vikki takes kids behind-the-scenes of the writing and publishing process, using examples from her own career. Includes Red Maple Award winner THE WINNOWING and her latest novel, P.S. TELL NO ONE. $400 + HST for a 40-60 minute presentation.
    Req: projector, surface to project onto, mic for large groups/gym presentations. Vikki can also tailor presentations for adults (especially teachers, librarians and writers’ groups,) writers’ craft students or schools that are interested in a class novel study. Contact her for more details. 

    Contact Vikki to book a visit: