Vitalis, Jessica (Waterloo, ON)

Rates: Writer’s Union, CANSCAIP, SCBWI. All sessions 45-60 minutes. Virtual $250. In-person $300 (available in Kitchener/Waterloo and GTA only). Half-day $550 (two sessions, available in Kitchener/Waterloo and GTA only). Full day $800 (up to three sessions). Half and full days may be split between nearby schools on the same day. Prices quoted do not include travel costs or HST.

JESSICA VITALIS is an award-winning, Columbia MBA-wielding middle grade author with Greenwillow/HarperCollins. Her books have been translated into three languages, received multiple starred reviews, and appeared on “Best Book” lists for Kirkus and CCBC. Her most recent book, Coyote Queen, won the Reading the West Book Award, is shortlisted for the Crystal Kites Book Award, and is a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection. A historical novel in verse, Unsinkable Cayenne, comes out October 29th, 2024. Jessica currently lives and writes in Ontario but speaks at schools, conferences, and festivals all over North America.

Coyote Queen is a Reading the West Book Award winner

Coyote Queen is a finalist for the High Plains Book Award

When she’s not writing, Jessica’s favorite activity is talking about writing; her presentations are best suited for students grades four and up (and adults of any age). She is also available for festivals, conferences, and keynote speeches and can speak to issues ranging from SEL topics to grief and healing.

Offerings include (but are not limited to):

The Story Behind the Story: This interactive presentation includes the inspiration behind Jessica’s books, a short reading, stories of tenacity and perseverance related to her unusual childhood and 13-year journey to publication, and a peek at the revision process (including the most important tool in her writer’s toolbox!). Q&A included. For small or large groups (grades 4+).

Stand Out From The Crowd: Creating Compelling Characters: In this hands-on writing workshop, participants look at what makes characters come alive in readers’ hearts and minds and learn how to develop memorable characters using the author’s secret technique to show and not tell. For smaller groups (ages 10 to adult).

The Building Blocks of Story: Using the building blocks of story, we’ll work through a flexible pre-writing strategy that provides authors with a framework to draft a novel without bogging them down or making the drafting process feel too prescriptive. For small or large groups (adults only).

“Jessica’s presentation was so inspiring and energizing for our fifth and sixth grade students! Her stories––both on and off the page––are magnetic. A couple of our more reluctant learners sought Jessica out after the talk to connect with her and have their photos takes. What a wonderful celebration of reading and writing!” -Elementary school librarian

“Jessica did a beautiful presentation for my 7th grade reading classes. My students were engrossed! At the end, she answered all of their questions about being an author, the writing process, and everything in between! It was such a fantastic experience for my students!” – 7th Grade Teacher

“[Jessica’s] presentation totally changed my life! It was so incredibly helpful and exactly what I needed for my writing.” -Workshop attendee

Maximum group size: No limit on large group offerings. Smaller group offerings are better suited for individual school classes or conference breakout sessions.

Venues: Flexible as long as a microphone and projection screen are available.

Tech Requirements: Microphone (when necessary), digital projector and screen (most presentations are accompanied by PowerPoint slides; Jessica can either hook up with her laptop or bring in a flash drive), water, and lunch (for full day visits).

Jessica looks forward to connecting with you!

Contact Jessica to book a visit: