Jain, Mahak (Toronto, Ontario)

Mahak Jain

Member of The Writers’ Union of Canada. Presents in English to all ages, including adults, and presentations can be customized to audience. Award-winning author, editor, and educator of fiction and poetry for young people (especially picture books) and adult.

Rates: $150+HST for 30-min presentations (minimum two); $300+HST for each 60-min presentation. Maximum of three presentations in a day, regardless of length. Virtual visits are $100+HST for 30 minutes (minimum two) and $200+HST for 60 minutes.  

Travel: No travel costs for locations accessible via public transit in Toronto. Actual transit costs for schools accessible by public transit in the GTA plus; for locations inaccessible by transit, additional arrangements may be required (e.g., pick-up and drop-off).

Maya_cover-1 Mahak Jain

Mahak’s debut picture book won the South Asia Book Award and was named a CBC Best Book of the Year, a Kirkus Best Book of the Year, and was a starred selection with the Canadian Children’s Book Centre. She has also published fiction and poetry for adults and has been longlisted for the Writers’ Trust of Canada/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize. As well as being an author, she has acquired and edited children’s and adult fiction for publication. She is a professor of creative writing at Sheridan College, and she has also led interactive creative writing workshops for young people at public schools and through the Toronto Public Library.

Because of her array of experience, Mahak’s presentations are highly customizable to the interests and curricular needs of educators and librarians.

For grades 5 and below, she can lead interactive presentations tied to one of her picture books, including a reading, a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the writing process, and an activity that engages students creatively. Maximum group size: 30

For example, a presentation on Maya about India, animals and trees, and the power of storytelling: a reading, an overview of the connection between the animals and tree featured in the book and India and how storytelling and the imagination can be used as a form of connection. Includes interactive discussion with students about the notable animals and trees in their lives and a visual arts and/or writing activity, adjusted to format, size of audience, and grade level.

For grades 6 and up as well as for staff, she can lead creative writing workshops with prompts and feedback, introduce audiences to careers in the publishing industry (children’s or adult), present on how to write for different age groups, facilitate a discussion and activity on the creative process, or provide time management and productivity tips for creatives. No maximum group size, but workshops are suited to groups of 20 or fewer.

All venues, library preferred. Equipment: A screen and projector for PowerPoint; microphone for larger groups or if required for acoustics. Colouring pencils or crayons and writing surfaces for students will be required for some presentations.

Contact Mahak to book a visit…

    Davis, Aubrey (Toronto)

    Writers’ Union Member. Fiction picture books storyteller multi-awards all ages.
    Aubrey’s rate is $400 per session plus HST and mileage outside Toronto
    Virtual Visits: $200 plus HST, 45 minutes.

    Continue reading “Davis, Aubrey (Toronto)”

    Cotter, Charis (Newfoundland)

    Writers’ Union Member. Multiple award-winner. Newfoundland and Labrador Book Award 2020. Hackmatack 2019 Winner. Silver Birch 2016 Honour Book, IODE Violet Downey Award, Ann Connor Brimer Award. Fiction, Newfoundland ghost stories. $350 for one session, $650 for two sessions, plus HST and mileage.

    Virtual visits: $175 plus HST for 60 minutes. $125 plus HST for 40 minutes.

    Charis’s spooky, suspenseful books and her playful approach to writing and ghosts get rave reviews from students and teachers. She has toured schools and libraries across Canada, thrilling audiences with her Newfoundland ghost stories and her unique, imagination-based writing workshops.

    VIRTUAL VISITS
    Specially designed for the COVID challenges of 2020 and 2021. Choose a virtual visit that suits your students and budget.

    Grades 4 to 6: 60 minutes. Newfoundland ghost storytelling session plus Q&A Platform: Google Meet, Zoom, or whatever platform your school prefers.

    Disembodied Ghost Tour—Halloween and Beyond 2020
    A virtual school visit from Charis and a host of Newfoundland ghosts! She’ll take your students on a creepy tour of the most haunted island in the world, showing how traditional ghost stories reflect the landscape, culture and history of Newfoundland. Charis has two new Newfoundland middle grade ghost books released in 2020: Screech! Ghost Stories from Old Newfoundland and Footsteps in Bay de Verde: A Mysterious Tale. Her virtual visit features stories and pictures from both books, a Q&A, a discussion guide and a ghost story challenge for students to collect their own ghost stories from families and friends. For some reason, Newfoundland has more ghosts than anywhere else. Ghosts in the ocean, ghosts on the barrens, ghosts in lighthouses, and ghosts at kitchen parties. Some stories go back hundreds of years, like the Old Hollies, said to be the victims of shipwrecks, who are heard screaming in the wind just before a bad storm. She tells a very old story about a ghostly longboat glimpsed in the fog near Baccalieu Island and describes an unsettling experience she had herself on the barrens one dark Newfoundland night. She ends with a spine-chilling account of ghostly footsteps in Bay de Verde in the 1920s.

    Grades 4 to 6: 40 minutes. Reading and discussion about writing life plus Q&A. Platform: Google Meet, Zoom, or whatever platform your school prefers.

    Meet the Author: Reading and Q&A

    Charis will do a reading from one of her books and then talk about her writing life: her inspiration, how she became a writer, her daily writing routine and how much editing and rewriting goes into writing a book. Then she will answer questions from students about writing and her books.

    The teacher and students can decide which of the following books they want Charis to read from.

    If the students have access to the book in question, and are either reading it in class or reading it independently, that helps the discussion. Book sales can be arranged through Charis if necessary.

    Screech! Ghost Stories from Old Newfoundland
    An illustrated collection of ten spine-tingling Newfoundland ghost stories, including ghost ships, haunted houses, the Old Hag, death tokens and other strange phenomena from that very haunted island. Each story is given geographical and historical context, with a tribute to the original storyteller.

    The Ghost Road
    Cousins Ruth and Ruby are spending the summer in Buckle, a small Newfoundland community. To solve a deadly family mystery, they must find their way along the invisible Ghost Road with its disturbing visions of the past.

    The Painting
    This haunting novel is about Annie, who lives in Toronto, and Claire, who lives in a lighthouse in Newfoundland. Annie falls through a painting of the lighthouse and finds herself with Claire, who thinks she’s a ghost.

    The Swallow: A Ghost Story
    This spooky, full-length novel tells the story of Polly and Rose, two twelve-year-old girls who live behind a cemetery. A haunted house, a curse and a family secret all come to light as the two friends unravel a troubling mystery.

    IN-PERSON VISITS
    Grades 4 to 6: 75 minutes. Newfoundland ghost storytelling session plus Q &A. Maximum number of students per session: 125. Preferred venue: Classroom or library where students can sit in a group on the floor. The darker the better!

    Equipment: Table. Chair.

    The Ghost Road and Other Newfoundland Ghost Stories
    Charis tells some traditional Newfoundland ghost stories from Screech! and Footsteps in Bay de Verde, showing how traditional ghost stories reflect the landscape, culture and history of Newfoundland. For some reason, Newfoundland has more ghosts than anywhere else. Ghosts in the ocean, ghosts on the barrens, ghosts in lighthouses, and ghosts at kitchen parties. Using stories she has collected herself, Charis takes her audience on a creepy tour of that very haunted island. Some stories go back hundreds of years, like the Old Hollies, said to be the victims of shipwrecks, who are heard screaming in the wind just before a bad storm. She tells a very old story about a ghostly longboat glimpsed in the fog near Baccalieu Island and describes an unsettling experience she had herself on the barrens one dark Newfoundland night. She ends with a spine-chilling account of ghostly footsteps in Bay de Verde in the 1920s.

    Grades 4 to 6: 75 minutes. Writing workshop and Q&A. Maximum number of students per session: 60. Preferred venue: Classroom or library where students can sit in a group on the floor.

    Easel or whiteboard with markers, table, chair.

    The Painting: A Writing Workshop
    Charis presents a writing workshop based on her novel, The Painting, where 12-year-old Annie walks inside a painting of a lighthouse in Newfoundland. After a dramatized reading from The Painting, Charis leads the students through a series of visualizations, using Annie’s experience of walking inside a painting as a model to illustrate how to imagine the setting of a story. Students will create the details of an imaginary world, using all five senses to bring it to life. Along the way, Charis shares some thoughts about her inspiration and writing process for The Painting. At the end of the workshop, she talks about her books and answers questions about the writing life.

    WHAT TEACHERS AND LIBRARIANS SAY ABOUT CHARIS
    “Charis Cotter is a wonderfully engaging storyteller.  She had the students on the edge of their seats with every tale.  She was also very in tune with the needs of the students throughout the presentation.”
    —Tanya Panacci, Bruce Trail Public School, Milton, Ontario

     “Charis Cotter is an exceptional writer of age-appropriate ghost stories.  Her workshop readings and easy manner of engagement ignites in her audience a sense of wonder which fires the imagination.”
     —Bronać Gallagher, Grade 5 teacher, Lakecrest Independent School, St. John’s, Newfoundland

    Contact to book Charis: