Bailey, Jen Lynn (Ottawa, ON)

Photo Credit: Sam Bond Photography

Member of The Writers’ Union of Canada, the Ontario College of Teachers, the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) Canada, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), and the Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers (CANSCAIP). English language presentations and workshops for grades K-5; all ages on request.

In-person rates (45-minute sessions): $250 for one, $450 for two, $675 for three, $900 for a full day (4 sessions). For kindergarten classes, Jen offers two 25-minute sessions for $250, or a discounted rate for one session if combined with a second session for an older group. A CRA-based travel rate of $0.61/km, round-trip, applies if location is more than 25 km from downtown Ottawa. Jen is willing to travel anywhere within a 150 km radius of Ottawa and is open to travelling further with additional food and accommodation charges. Virtual visit fees are $150 for one 45-minute session (or two 25-minute sessions for kindergarten students); $125 for each additional session the same day.

Jen Lynn Bailey is a children’s author and certified Ontario elementary teacher whose debut picture book This is the Boat that Ben Built (illustrated by Maggie Zeng) was published in 2022 by Pajama Press. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, a Bachelor of Science in Integrated Science Studies from Carleton University, and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Martin Luther College. Previously Jen taught science and French in an elementary school and writing and editing in the Professional Writing program at Algonquin College. Now Jen works for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada where she combines her love of science, education, and writing by supporting science and engineering promotion programs.

Jen is an experienced teacher, workshop leader, and presenter who loves introducing kids to the animals of the northern river ecosystem through fun, interactive sessions. She also enjoys teaching about writing and about how picture books are made. She will gladly collaborate with teachers and/or librarians to customize visits to meet the children’s interests and the teachers’ curriculum requirements. Students and staff have the option to order personalized, signed books which will be delivered to their school. Jen will provide ordering instructions.

Jen Lynn Bailey  the boat that ben built

Here are some sample presentations, which each include an author intro and Q&A: 

This is the Boat that Ben Built – Participatory Reading & Activities Age level: K – grade 1;Duration: two 25-minute sessions

The first 25-minute session introduces kids to the northern river ecosystem in a fun participatory reading session of This is the Boat that Ben Built. Jen also discusses idea generation and the inspiration for the story. The second 25-minute session includes a generative alliteration activity and an animal size classification activity.

Key concepts: ecology, species diversity, food webs, STEM, poetry

Key themes: curiosity, natural world, exploration

Explore a Book! Explore an Ecosystem! Age level: Grades 2-5; Duration: 45-60 minutes

Kids will develop an explorer mindset toward 1) picture books and 2) the northern river ecosystem. Following a reading of This is the Boat that Ben Built, they will discover how the author and illustrator work together to create a picture book, brainstorm other living and non-living parts of a river ecosystem, and add their own living thing to the story.

Key concepts: ecology, species diversity, food webs, STEM, picture book creation, writing process, cumulative stories, science

Key themes: curiosity, natural world, exploration

Levels: primary, junior, grade 2, grade 3, grade 4, grade 5

Writer’s Workshop Age level: K – grade 5; Duration: 45-60 minutes (shorter for kindergarten)

Using This is the Boat that Ben Built, Jen will describe poetic techniques and explore word choices that make compelling, rhythmic stories. Includes generative writing and sharing time.

If you are interested in writing workshops for students in grades 6 – 8, secondary school, or college, or in workshops for adults, please contact Jen about your group’s needs.

Library Storytime Age level: preschool – grade 1; duration 30-45 minutes

Following a participatory reading of This is the Boat that Ben Built, Jen will lead kids in a simple craft about the animals in the northern river ecosystem. Digital templates will be provided in advance; craft supplies to be provided by the library.

All venues; library or classroom preferred.

General Equipment needs: For in-person visits, laptop with PowerPoint or Google Slides (can bring own laptop if it can be connected to school projector, otherwise will bring USB stick), digital projector and screen for presentation, microphone if space larger than classroom, chair or stool, glass of water. For virtual visits, school Zoom account (or similar). Student supplies depend on chosen session and will be discussed prior to visit. Teacher or librarian must be present for all presentations, virtual or in-person.

Jen offers picture book manuscript critiques as well.

Contact Jen:

    Church, Dr. Dana L (Waterloo, ON)

    Dr. Dana L. Church

    Dr. Dana L. Church lives in Waterloo, Ontario. She is a member of the Writers’ Union of Canada and presents in English to grades 1 through 8.

    In-person rates: $250 for one one-hour session, $450 for two, $675 for three, plus a travel fee of $0.50/km if outside Waterloo. Virtual visit rates: $200 for one one-hour session, $150 for each additional session on the same day.

    Dr. Dana L. Church is a middle-grade nonfiction writer who loves turning fascinating science hidden in scholarly journals into prose that is fun and accessible for everyone.

    Dr. Dana L. Church has a PhD in animal cognition, which means she spends a lot of time figuring out how other animals think, remember, learn, make decisions, and solve problems. She spent many years studying bumble bees and loves to talk about why they are such amazing little creatures. Dana’s presentations include background about how she was originally terrified of bees but then eventually fell in love with them. She also answers questions such as, What are bumble bees, anyway? Why are they important? Are bees in trouble? How do scientists study bees? What can we do to help save the bees? She loves answering questions from the audience. Dana can also chat about her journey to becoming a published author, her writing process, and what it’s like to write nonfiction.

    Dana used to teach outrageously large undergraduate classes in university so she really doesn’t have a size limit for her audience. She finds that her PowerPoint slides are handy for showing people photos of all different kinds of bumble bees that exist, so for in-person visits, if she could hook up her Mac laptop to a projector, that would be great. For virtual visits, she can adapt to any platform, and if she can share her screen, even better.

    Contact Dana to book a visit:

      Vermond, Kira (Guelph, ON)

      Vermond, Kira (Guelph, ON)

      Writers’ Union Member and eligible for subsidies. Norma Fleck winner. Kirkus Best Book 2020. Forest of Reading finalist (multiple). Numerous starred reviews in Canada and U.S. Grades 3-8.

      Rates: $350 for one session, $650 for two, $875 for three (plus HST). Travel costs waived in Guelph, Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Milton and local area. NEW! For virtual 30-50 minute sessions: $200 +HST. Want to book Kira and one of her talented illustrators for a joint presentation? Please ask for rates. (Psst! They’re super fun – the illustrators “live draw” while Kira speaks. It’s a party on your screen….)

      With her background in broadcast and journalism, Kira is a talented and experienced presenter who knows how to tell entertaining, true stories that bring new concepts to life with warmth and humour. Kira believes strongly that there’s nothing “non about non-fiction.” So whether she’s exploring why worms come out when it rains, why yap stones are the coolest form of currency, or how fondue became a fad, her high-energy and interactive style makes for engaging, funny and educational sessions. Kira is also able to tailor stories for multiple ages and grades. Flexibility is her middle name.

      What kids say about Kira and her author talks:

      That was way better than I expected.

      I can’t believe you have some grey hair. You’re too funny to be old.

      You sign books weird.” (It’s true. She does.)

      Presentations

      Here is a sample of Kira’s sessions: She is also happy to cater to your class based on any of her books, or do a more traditional author reading and Q&A visit.

      What’s up with fads and trends? 

      Would you ever swallow a live goldfish? Pour a bucket of ice water over your head? Wear seriously ugly shoes? Who would do that? And — more importantly — why? Trends may seem trivial on the surface, but they have the power to make regular people do pretty irregular things! Jump into the frenzied world of viral videos and songs, faddish food and clothes, and even dangerous crazes!

      NEW ON REQUEST: Coming together online, Trending: How and Why Stuff Gets Popular (Owlkids, 2020) author Kira Vermond and illustrator Clayton Hanmer tell (and draw!) stories about how fads take off and spread, how they can be crafted to lure you in — and how to recognize bandwagon behaviour the minute you see it. (The pandemic toilet paper craze, anyone?)

      To listen to a sample, google: “The Buzz: Kids Edition.” Or find the podcast wherever you listen to your pods.

      Length 30-60 minutes, depending on class needs
      For grades 3-6

      Why don’t cars run on apple juice, anyway?

      Can rats burp? If you sneeze in space, will your head explode? And why do we have butts? With a team of Ontario Science Centre experts, Kira wrote two Q&A books that serve up fun and surprising answers to science questions from curious kids. In this interactive session, students discover mind-blowing facts about our world and beyond, from burps to black holes, T. rexes to time travel.

      NEW ON REQUEST: Coming together online, author Kira Vermond and illustrator Suharu Ogawa tell (and draw!) stories about science facts based on real kids’ questions.

      Length 30-60 minutes, depending on class needs
      For grades 3-6

      Let’s talk money!

      Credit cards, bartering and yap stones. What do they have in common? They’re all part of my dynamic presentation for schools and libraries. With money and personal finance getting more airplay at schools across Canada and the U.S., Kira makes the curriculum come to life with fun stories, weird anecdotes and audience participation. Kids check out a counterfeit bill, discuss the downside to winning the lottery, and examine their own values and beliefs about what makes a person rich. After this presentation, students will never look at a can of beans or a bag of jellybeans in the same way again! (Schedule a visit to find out why….)

      Length: 50-60 minutes

      For grades 5-8

      Maximum number of students per session: JK-G2 up to 50 students. 100+ for older grades. Writing workshops for middle school students are best for small groups (12-25 students).

      I am comfortable presenting in classroom, library, auditorium, and gymnasium. (Library preferred.)

      Equipment and other requirements

      A microphone for large rooms or groups, a table for props, chair for breaks, glass of water.

      A black or white board, or flip chart. Markers or chalk.

      I request that a librarian, teacher or other school representative be present throughout presentations. Thank you!

      Contact Kira for a visit

        Groc, Isabelle (Vancouver, BC)

        Writer’s Union member. Member of the Children’s Writers & Illustrators of British Columbia Society; Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers; Society of Environmental Journalists; American Society of Journalists and Authors. Fellow of the Explorers Club; UK Royal Geographical Society: Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

        Isabelle is available for author visits, school and library presentations, and conferences.
        Virtual presentations only during COVID.

        In-person visit rates (45 minutes to 1 hour): $300 for one session: $450 for two; $650 for three: $850 for the full day (four sessions) plus GST. Travel fees (airfare and lodging) apply for in-person visits outside the Lower Mainland.

        Virtual visit rates (30 minutes to 1 hour): $200-250 per session (plus GST).

        Isabelle Groc is an award-winning writer, conservation photographer, documentary filmmaker, and children’s book author focusing on environmental science, wildlife conservation, endangered species and the relationships between people and the natural world.

        Isabelle grew up in France and now lives in Vancouver. With degrees in journalism from Columbia University and urban planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she brings a unique perspective to documenting the impacts of human activities on threatened species and habitats. Her stories and photographs have appeared in international media including National Geographic News, BBC Wildlife, Canadian Wildlife, New Scientist, and The Guardian. Isabelle has also written and directed over a dozen films on wildlife.

        Her book Conservation Canines: How Dogs Work for the Environment has been chosen as a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard selection and the book has already received a starred review from the American Library Association’s Booklist and highly recommended reviews from the Canadian Review of Materials and the School Library Journal.

        Gone is Gone: Wildlife Under Threat was a finalist for the 2021 Yellow Cedar Award. Sea Otters: A Survival Story  is the winner of the 2021 American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) in the children’s book category and is on the 2021 Outstanding Science Trade Book List. Her documentary Toad People won a Wildscreen Panda Impact Award. 
        Isabelle loves sharing her passion for the natural world with audiences of all ages, and delivers unique presentations, supported by stunning visuals and film clips. Isabelle’s background as a writer, photojournalist and filmmaker greatly enhances her presentations as she shares personal stories from working in the field alongside conservationists and scientists to inspire and educate students. Her presentations are also relevant to adults who want to make a difference for the natural world.

        Presentations (all grades)

        Wildlife’s best friends: dogs working for conservation (all grades)

        Based on Isabelle’s book Conservation Canines: How Dogs Work for the Environment, Isabelle shares the stories of brave canines working to protect wildlife around the world.

        Act for the wild: Conservation close to home (all grades)

        Wildlife conservation starts on our doorstep. You don’t have to travel to the most remote corners of the earth to engage with wildlife. Any step you can take to protect habitat and wildlife close to home makes a difference and helps create global impact.

        Combining stories, photographs and short film clips, this talk presents the “how” and “why” of endangered species around the world, what people are doing to conserve them, and what children can do on their own and with their families to reduce their impact, engage with the wild, and take steps to protect habitat and wildlife close to home. The book draws from field stories and photographs from Isabelle’s book: Gone is Gone: Wildlife under Threat.

        Sea otters: A survival story (all grades)

        Hunted to near extinction for their fur during the 18th and 19th centuries, sea otters are returning to their territories from California to Alaska, through dedicated conservation efforts. They symbolize the large impact — both positive and negative — that humans can have on wildlife. They now have also unleashed their great ecological powers and have become one of the best examples of a keystone species.

        Based on Isabelle’s book, Sea Otters: A Survival Story, this engaging and visual
        presentation takes audiences on a tale of survival and transformation. Drawing from the author’s journey in sea otter country along the Pacific Coast over a period of ten years, the presentation explores the otters’ unique lifestyle, their remarkable comeback from the brink of extinction, and how they leave their mark (or pawprint) on the environment, in obvious and subtle ways.

        British Columbia’s species at risk (all grades)

        From burrowing owls to grizzly bears, rattlesnakes and American badgers, British Columbia is home to more wild plant and animal species than any other province in Canada and is also one of the last holdouts for many large mammals that once roamed much of North America. Sadly many of these species are at risk. Learn about BC’s species at risk through this compelling presentation supported by Isabelle’s photographs, films, and field anecdotes, working alongside conservation groups and scientists to obtain better protection for some of Canada’s most precious species.

        Wildlife’s best friends: dogs working for conservation (all grades)

        Based on Isabelle’s upcoming book to be published in the fall 2021, Isabelle shares the stories of brave canines working to protect wildlife around the world.

        Storytelling programs (secondary and adults)

        The three programs below appeal to young people and adults who are interested in and/or consider careers in the environmental sector, journalism, photojournalism, documentary filmmaking, and conservation photography.

        From whales to toads: visual storytelling for conservation (Grades 9-12)

        Bringing attention to little-known, elusive, under-appreciated species that people do not often see in the wild can be a challenge for environmental groups or anyone interested in making a difference for wildlife conservation. Visual storytelling tools can help address this disconnect and renew public commitment for those species that are often overshadowed by more charismatic members of the natural world. Drawing from examples of impact-driven storytelling campaigns, Isabelle’s presentation explores how photography, filmmaking, art, and visual branding combined with science-based information can all work together to give new voices to endangered species, inviting the public to experience the natural world in a powerful and intimate way and take action for wildlife conservation.

        Life of a Conservation Photographer: Stories from the field (grades 9 to 12)

        From photographing mountain caribou from a helicopter to working with scientists capturing narwhal in the Arctic’s freezing waters, Isabelle has many field stories and photographs to share. In this presentation she highlights her work with scientists in the field, how she develops trust, builds story angles, adapts to different working environments, and how her photography and stories can help build public exposure on important science and conservation work.

        Story and Photographs By…: The Craft of Storytelling (grades 9 to 12)

        In this program, Isabelle shares her experience as an environmental photojournalist and how she combines photography and words to tell conservation stories.  She shares her creative process and discusses best practices for crafting pitches, finding the right audience, and taking a project from concept to publication.

        In-person visit equipment: microphone for larger group, table, screen and projector for PowerPoint presentation, speakers for video and audio clips, and adaptors necessary to work with Isabelle’s MacBook.
        Vegetarian lunch for full-day visit; water
        Maximum number of students per session: flexible. And varies with program.

        Virtual visits: conducted via Zoom or other preferred online platform; support personnel (to moderate and manage technical aspects)

        Contact Isabelle to book a visit:

          Laidlaw, Rob (Toronto, ON)

          Rob LaidlawToronto. Writers’ Union Member. Silver Birch Non-Fiction Award and Hackmatack Award winner.  All ages. Rob’s rate is $250 for one session, $450 for 2, $600 for 3, $800 for 4 (maximum of 4 per day / if outside of Toronto area minimum of 2 per day), plus travel costs for locations outside of Toronto. Virtual Visits: (first 15 minute session is free), subsequent 30 – 60  minute sessions $100, Skype. No HST.

          Rob is an award-winning author of nine children’s books, biologist, professional wildlife campaigner, part-time adventurer and recipient of the prestigious Federic A. McGrand Lifetime Achievement Award for substantial contributions to animal welfare in Canada. Continue reading “Laidlaw, Rob (Toronto, ON)”

          Bow, Erin (Kitchener, ON)

          erinbow1Writers’ Union Member.  $400 plus HST for one session; $150 for each additional session in the same area on the same day – can be split between schools.   Travel costs waived in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, and the townships.

          Erin writes YA science fiction and fantasy, with a middle grade debut coming in 2019.  With multiple awards, she’s considered one of Canada’s rising stars: Quill and Quire calls her “a new master,” and the CBC says she’s “so close to YA superstardom she can probably taste it.”  As a presenter she’s down-to-earth and funny, working to give students real answers and emotional honesty.

          “I’ve had many novelists visit my classes over the years, but I can honestly say I’ve never seen one connect so well with a teenaged audience. —A.J. Blauer, Acting Head of Literary Arts, Canterbury High School (Ottawa, Ontario)

          Continue reading “Bow, Erin (Kitchener, ON)”

          Carmichael, LE PhD (Trenton, ON)

          Carmichael1

          Writers’ Union Member. Award-winning author of more than 20 STEM books for kids.

          Lindsey is only offering virtual visits at this time. Fees: $300 for up to 1 hour, $200 for each additional presentation on the same day, to a maximum of 4 hours.

          Lindsey specializes in making science engaging, relevant, and above all, fun. She also has 20 years’ experience as a writing instructor, offering workshops for both children and adults. 

          Continue reading “Carmichael, LE PhD (Trenton, ON)”

          Blair, Kate (Toronto)

          Writers’ Union Member. Kate Blair is unavailable for bookings for the remainder of the school year.

          Kate’s debut YA novel Transferral was nominated for multiple awards and optioned for a potential TV series. Tangled Planet is set for release in the fall of 2017. $200 for 1 session, $375 for 2, $500 for 3, $600 for 4 sessions. Limited to visiting schools accessible by public transit, or where a teacher is able to provide transport from the nearest transit stop/station – no travel costs within Toronto; actual transit cost elsewhere in the GTA. Continue reading “Blair, Kate (Toronto)”

          Storms, Patricia (Toronto)

          Writers’ Union Member. Fun and funny cartoonist, children’s illustrator and picture book author and ukulele lady. $300 + HST for 1 session, $500 for 2, $800 for 3 and $1,000 for 4. Continue reading “Storms, Patricia (Toronto)”

          Becker, Helaine (Toronto, ON)

          Toronto. Writers’ Union Member. National Bestseller. 2+time Silver Birch winner. Multi awards. K-8. Please note: Helaine’s rate is $800 + HST for two sessions, $1000 + HST for three and $1250 +HST for four, plus travel from Toronto.

          Helaine is an experienced and passionate presenter – and so funny that she is often told she should be a stand-up comedian. She can do up to four side-splitting and inspirational presentations in the same school or area in a day. As the author of picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, non-fiction and YA novels, she routinely presents to an entire school over the course of a day. She also loves speaking to adult groups and showing off her underwear (her underwear puppet, that is).

          Continue reading “Becker, Helaine (Toronto, ON)”