Weber, Lori. Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

SCBWI, CCBC Member. Twice nominated for the Quebec Writers’ Federation Children’s and Young Adult Fiction Prize; Red Maple Award Nominee (2023); Two-time participant of Children’s Book Week. $250 for one session, $450 for two, $675 for three, $900 for full-day. Virtual visits range from $100 to $200.

Lori is the author of 11 books for youth. Her work ranges from picture book to middle grade to YA, and covers a variety of themes: family conflict, bullying, coming of age, identity, history and war. She taught English and Creative Writing for 27 years and is very comfortable speaking to groups of all ages. She loves an interactive session, where readers ask question and engage in creative activities. She has mentored many new writers and led creative writing workshops in various settings. Lori could present in French to students in French immersion.

Presentations by Age

Kindergarten to Grade 3: 30 – 40 minutes. Using My Granny Loves Hockey, Lori uses a fun interactive quiz about things women were and were not allowed to do 100 years ago. This leads to the story of Granny. Lori reads the book then asks kids to help identify some of the quirky details the illustrator chose to include. Kids can ask questions and Lori encourages them to talk to their own grandparents and older relatives about how life has changed since they were little.

Creative Writing Workshop for Students grades 7 and up: Lori leads 3 sessions (1 hour each) – one on character, one on setting, and one on symbolism. Each includes a variety of creative writing exercises to encourage young writers to use concrete detail to bring their stories to life. They work well as a set, but can be done individually as well.

Short Story Workshop for grades 7 and up: 1 hour. Using a YouTube video of “The Girl in the Purple Pants” from Deep Girls, Lori talks about the key ingredient of a great short story – that moment where it turns on a dime. She then works with students to map out a story of their own and encourages them to think about and plan that moment of epiphany or change.

War Theme Workshop for grades 7 and up: 1 to 1.5 hours. Using Lightning Lou, which is set in World War I, and The Ribbon Leaf, which is set in World War II, Lori talks about historical fiction and the process involved in writing it. Lori talks about research, weaving in fact and fiction, developing character in a historical work. She also shares stories and artifacts from her family’s own history that she used for inspiration. She encourages young writers to mine their own families’ histories for material. In a longer session, students can brainstorm and begin coming up with ideas for their own historical character. This workshop can also be done using either book on its own.

Telling a Story in Verse: 1 to 1.5 hours. Using excerpts from Yellow Mini, Lori conducts a poetry writing class where students relate the same event from multiple points of view, in verse. Students learn to pay attention to tone, diction, form, and rhythm in their creations. Students then read their work aloud to one another and offer critiques.

Lori is comfortable speaking to whole classes, or combined classes, but no group larger than 45. She loves speaking to adults as well. A projector is needed for PowerPoint; other than that, paper, pens, and pencils!

Contact Lori to book a visit:

    Bobet, Leah. (Toronto. ON)

    Fiction, Poetry, and Non-Fiction. OLA Best Bets selection. Winner of the Prix Aurora Award, Sunburst Award, Utopia Award, Copper Cylinder Award, and Lydia Langstaff Prize; shortlisted for the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy, Cybils Award, and Canadian Library Association Young Adult Book Award.

    $350 for one hour-long session, $600 for two, $850 for three, and $1000 for four, plus transit costs to public transit-accessible schools, or where transport from the nearest transit stop/station is available. For virtual visits: $275 for one session, 60-90 minutes, $175 for each additional session on the same day. Leah is happy to discuss alternate rates with high-needs or under-resourced schools.

    Fantasy novelist, bookseller, critic, and editor Leah Bobet knows the half the joy of reading is getting curious about something new. She gives inclusive, information-rich presentations that make sure to keep things fun—and emphasize the talents participants already have. She specializes in fantasy and science fiction, climate fiction, and poetry, and strongly believes in a supportive, positive presentation style that emphasizes tools over rules. The goal: to make sure students leave feeling confident, curious, and inspired.

    Leah works with groups from Grade 7 and up (adults included!) and has given presentations and workshops at Toronto Public Library, Oakville Public Library, London Book Camp, Word on the Street, the Tucson Festival of Books, and universities across North America. Presentations are tailored to fit your group’s interests and current classroom topics, and can be custom-designed for your group with appropriate lead time.

    Recent presentation topics include:

    Writing Urban Fantasy: Finding Magic in Your Neighbourhood

    A workshop-style presentation for fantasy readers, geography classes, or Writer’s Craft groups, this presentation introduces students to the core concepts of writing urban fantasy and finding places in one’s everyday world where magic can fit. Includes a 30-minute writing and sharing activity, and focuses on the basic skill of reading and writing fantasy: seeing wonder in our everyday surroundings.

    Where It Comes From: Worldbuilding, the Apocalypse, and All Our Stuff

    Using Leah’s 2015 YA novel An Inheritance of Ashes as a basis, this presentation talks about the everyday things we use—sugar, plastic, soap—and how many people’s work goes into building our average day.  Through showing how Ashes builds a post-apocalyptic world without industrialization, the group discusses repurposing, reusing, sharing economies, and how making it yourself can be a lot of fun.

    This presentation is great for classes focusing on sustainability, materials science, or environmental studies.

    Above and Toronto’s Secret Spaces

    Using Leah’s 2012 novel Above as a jumping-off point, this presentation digs into Toronto’s (very real!) underground sewers, tunnels, and abandoned places to explore the cooler side of local history, and how our neighbourhoods are made of not just buildings but experiences.

    This semi-interactive presentation touches on fantasy-novel worldbuilding, but prompts students to explore how people move through the same spaces in different ways, consider whose stories we tell

    —and think about how we design space for the society we want.

    This presentation is a great fit for classes focusing on Canadian history, social studies, or geography.

    Poetry is music

    Poetry can be intimidating—or not! This presentation draws on pop songs, contemporary poetry, and music theory to show participants how to think of poetry as a house made of sound. The goal: to take down obstacles between poetry and readers.

    This presentation is a great fit for English or music classes, or as an extracurricular for school choir groups.

    Equipment: Leah is happy to work with groups of up to 75, though workshops will run best when capped at 20 participants. Screen and projector appreciated for Powerpoint presentations; clear sound equipment for poetry presentations. If the room is larger or has difficult acoustics, a microphone is appreciated, as is a bottle of water. For multi-presentation days, a strictly gluten-free lunch or snacks (celiac-safe) are greatly appreciated.

    Contact Leah to book a visit:

      West Lewis, Amanda (Perth, ON)

      Member of The Writer’s Union of Canada; Society of Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators (SCBWI); Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators & Performers (Canscaip); Access Copyright; MASC Artist/Instructor

      Presentations:

      One Session, In-Person: 50 minutes $395 + HST

      One Session, Virtual: 50-minute session: $265 + HST
      Half-day, In-Person or Virtual: Two 50-minute sessions $545 + HST
      Full-day, In-Person or Virtual: Three 50-minute sessions $670 + HST

      Workshops:

      One Session (Virtual only): 50-minute session: $265 + HST

      Half-Day, In-Person or Virtual: Two 60-minute sessions, or a two-hour session: $ 365 + HST

      Full-Day, In-Person or Virtual: Three 60-minute sessions: $525 +HST

      Travel $.50/km roundtrip outside of GTA and Eastern Ontario

      AMANDA WEST LEWIS is a writer, theatre creator, calligrapher and experienced teaching artist who is passionately interested in exploring the world from the perspective of young people. Her most recent book These Are Not the Words, is a semi-autobiographical novel that uses prose, poetry, jazz and Shakespeare to confront addiction and mental health issues in the lower East side of Manhattan, 1963. Previous books include award nominated September 17 (about the City of Benares disaster, 1940) and The Pact (based on the true-life story of a young boy in Nazi Germany). Amanda has published eight books for young readers and was the Founder and Artistic Director of the Ottawa Children’s Theatre. She weaves her backgrounds in theatre and calligraphy to teach and present to students of all ages.

      All of Amanda’s presentations and workshops are adapted to the age of the group. They are geared to each class’s needs and curriculum interests. She loves to work with you to support what you are doing. Please inquire.

      Examples of Presentations/Readings:

      All presentations include a Q & A

      Maximum audience size 300

      (Grades 5 – 12)

      “Jazz and The Tempest” explores the creation of These Are Not the Words, a novel in poetry and prose. Working with examples from the novel, we’ll explore how sound and rhythm can reflect character and pace. As we dig deeper, we will look at how the novel’s difficult themes of addiction and mental health were presented through poetry.

      “Conflict From Both Sides” tells the story behind the story, revealing the true events and people that inspired the novels September 17 and The Pact. We’ll look at images of children from England and Germany during World War 2, to understand the challenges they faced during wartime. The focus is on an empathetic understanding from a child’s perspective view and touches on propaganda, indoctrination, racism, and survival.

      Equipment And Other Requirements: A projector compatible with a MAC or a computer for a memory stick.

      Examples of Workshops

      Adapted to the age of the students

      Maximum 30 students

      Grades 1- 4 & 5 – 12

      “Thrum, Hiss, Warble”

      Writing poetry lets you play with language, and rediscover joy in the sound, rhythm, look and meaning of words. It’s the foundation for any writer to learn their craft, no matter what genre they work in. In this workshop we’ll play with the elasticity of language and discover a unique and individual writer’s voice. 

      “What’s Beyond?”

      Drawing on improvisation and drama games, this workshop will explore character motivation, points of view and dialogue as we discover the hidden meaning beyond the words. Conveying the space between words –– the pauses in life –– is an essential skill for any writer.

      Grades 5 – 12

      “Who’s in the Picture?”

      A picture can tell you a lot about a person. But it’s the writer who discovers who that person is and how they fit into a story. This workshop will use photographs and pictures to get participants creating characters and inventing unique and vibrant stories. You’ll dig deeper with some role-play and dialogue writing. But beware – characters often take on lives of their own and drag you off on unexpected adventures!

      “Illuminated Letters”

      The workshop helps to develop a love and passion for letters, combining writing skills with artwork.  We start by writing simple poems based on participants’ names. Students are then shown how to draw Versal letters in the style of 15th Century Books of Hours. These illuminated letters will be used to create a uniquely decorated poem.

      Workshop Equipment: Writing implements. Chalkboard or Flip Chart. In addition: “What’s Beyond” requires a bit of space to move. “Illuminated Letters” requires paper and pencil. Amanda will bring all additional supplies.

      Contact Amanda to book a visit:

        McGrath, Jennifer (Hillsborough, New Brunswick)

        National award-winning author of middle grade novels and picture books.

        Winner of the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Prize, the Alice Kitts Memorial Award for Excellence in Children’s Writing, and the Hackmatack Award.  Shortlisted for the Silver Birch Award, the Diamond Willow Award, and the Manitoba Young Readers Choice Award.

        Member of The Writer’s Union of Canada (TWUC), the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), the Canadian Society of Children’s Authors Illustrators and Performers (CANSCAIP), and the Writers Federation of New Brunswick (WFNB). English presentations and workshops for Grades K-5; all ages and grades available upon request. Also available for PD sessions and adult workshops.

        Virtual Visits: $200 plus HST

        In-person rates $275 plus HST per one 45-minute session OR $1000 plus HST for four sessions (full day) PLUS travel from Moncton, New Brunswick

        PLEASE NOTE: Jennifer has no in-person Ontario visits planned at this time but is open to proposals if travel and accommodations can be provided.

        A dynamic presenter and workshop leader, Jennifer is known for her engaging storytelling style. Her books are popular with avid and reluctant readers alike, and have been included in classroom reading programs, literacy initiatives and book clubs across the country.  Jennifer received her B.A. (Honours English Literature) from St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia before going on to earn her M.A. in English Literature with a Directed Study in Children’s Literature from the University of Victoria in Victoria, British Columbia.

        *Author presentations include:

        Grades K-3

        • Pugs Cause Traffic Jams – Take a romp through a dog-loving neighbourhood of quirky canines and their humans. An interactive reading and presentation of the hilarious picture book, Pugs Cause Traffic Jams (words by Jennifer McGrath, pictures by Kathryn Durst, published by Kids Can Press). Includes fun activities and printables.
        • The Snows Knows  – Who lives in the winter woods? The snow knows! Discover a world of wildlife in this gentle, seek-and-find storybook . An interactive reading and presentation of the awarding picture book, The Snow Knows (words by Jennifer McGrath, pictures by Josée Bisaillon. Published by Nimbus Publishing).
        • The Joob-Joob Jungle (*In-person only) – take a safari into the jungle of your imagination in this dynamic poetry presentation and interactive performance, featuring candy jungles, magic carpets and dragons!
        • Halloween Moon: Petrifying Poetry and Terrifying Tongue-Twisters – Join Jennifer for a treat-or-treat bag full of Halloween fun and rhymes.
        • Gadzooks the Christmas Goose – a holiday-themed reading and presentation about a wayward goose and a grumpy grandpa.

        Grades 3-5 (and up)

        • Chocolate River Rescue What would YOU do if you were stranded on an ice floe, being swept down-river toward the sea?  Join Jennifer for the story behind the story of the award-winning middle grade adventure novel, Chocolate River Rescue…and learn the surprising secrets of the real ‘Chocolate River.’ Themes and curriculum tie-ins include resourcefulness, friendship, teamwork, outdoor skills, geography, social studies, science and nature.
        • White Cave Escape The friends from Chocolate River Rescue return in this follow-up wilderness adventure. Learn about the unique ‘white rock hills’ in New Brunswick. We’ll discuss wilderness survival skills, sinkholes, caves, abandoned quarries and…forest fires! Curriculum tie-ins include: geology, science and nature, environment studies, environmental stewardship, wildlife, resourcefulness, friendship, outdoor skills.

        * Other workshops may be available. Please email the author to discuss your needs.

        Contact Jennifer McGrath:

          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.

            Nadia is fully booked for the remainder of the 2021/2022 school season. She is currently scheduling for the 2022/2023 school year. 

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

            Continue reading “Hohn, Nadia (Toronto)”

            Rasberry, Gary (Kingston)

            Gary Rasberry Philosopher. Poet. Imagination Consultant. Musician. Artist. Educator. Juno-nominated children’s artist. Award-winning classroom creativity workshop facilitator. Workshop rates: $250 for one, $450 for two, $650 for three,$850 for four. Concert rates: Same as above for divisional concerts (JK, Primary, Junior, Intermediate). Full school performance: $550. Combo day: three workshops plus full school performance: $1000, plus travel. Continue reading “Rasberry, Gary (Kingston)”

            Sherrard, Valerie (Miramichi NB)

            Valerie Sherrard

            GG nominated, award-winning author.

            Virtual Visit: $225.00 for a 60 minute presentation.

            In school visits: $300 for a single presentation or $550 for two at one location. Full day workshop 700.00.  Expenses are included in all fees. For in-school visit dates — please contact Valerie and she will let you know when she plans to be in Ontario.

            Valerie is an experienced presenter (in-person and virtual visits) who uses humour and an interactive style to engage her audience. Feedback from her school and library visits has been enthusiastic.

            Birdspell Corbin Hayes is used to being alone. His mom’s illness means lost jobs, constant moves, new schools and friendships that never get to grow. So, when a classmate offers Corbin the talking bird she can no longer keep, he sees a chance to fill the gap in his life. But when things begin to spiral out of control, Corbin can no longer cope. At his lowest moment, he’s forced to do the one thing he fears the most. Young Adult.

            Finding Avalon  Avalon Monday doesn’t mind telling schoolmates that her mother ran off with a guy she met on the internet. After all, that’s way less embarrassing than the truth. But when the past collides with the present, exposing her secret and threatening to leave her new life in ruins, Avalon discovers there are some things you can never truly leave behind.

            Cooper Clark and the Dragon Lady  (Chapter Book) Desperate measures are called for when a boy is secretly afraid of dragons, but his new babysitter is rumoured to have a dragon in her basement!

            Presentations: I will present to grades 1 – 9. A signed bookmark or postcard will be provided for each student at all in-person presentations.

            Grades 1 – 3: There’s a COW Under My Bed! or Down Here! Fun and interactive talk about expressions and language, and students’ own creative abilities. Reading with audience participation. I end with a short Q & A. For these grades you may book two half hour presentations in the place of a single 60 minute session if you prefer.

            Middle Grades: Engaging interactive presentation on literacy, with or without issue-based segments depending on the book being presented. I end with a short reading and about 10 minutes for Q & A.

            Young Adult: Engaging and interactive presentation on literacy, believing in oneself and a variety of writing or issue related topics, depending on the requested focus. I end with a short reading and about 10 minutes for Q & A.

            Workshop for grades 6 and up: A Story’s Voice. This full day workshop is designed to help young people develop distinctive voices in their writing by examining the way character, setting, perspective, dialogue, tense etc. impact in telling a story. Writing exercises will demonstrate how each of these support a story in different ways, and help them to recognize which components will work best for their stories. Limited to 15 participants. Available virtually – contact to discuss a suitable arrangement.

            I am flexible on audience size but in my experience, smaller in-person groups result in the greatest benefit to students. I am comfortable in all settings, including classroom, library, auditorium or gymnasium.

            A sound system may be necessary depending on audience size, acoustics and the number of presentations booked.

            Contact Valerie:

              Priest, Robert (Toronto)

              Available for visits!

              Writers’ Union Member. Poetry, song and Y/A fiction. People’s Poetry Award. SOCAN airplay award. Multi-awards All ages. $300 for one session, $550 for 2, $800 for 3 and $1000 for 4, +travel. Continue reading “Priest, Robert (Toronto)”