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:

    Younge-Ullman, Danielle (Toronto, ON)

    Writers Union Member. White Pine Award Winner and two-time nominee, also nominated for Governor General’s award, Amy Mathers Teen Book award, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz award, among others—a total of 18 nominations and Best-of lists. YA Author of HE MUST LIKE YOU, EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL IS NOT RUINED, and LOLA CARLYE’S 12 STEP ROMANCE.

    Danielle’s virtual visit fee is $200 per 50-60 minute session. In person visits are $300 for 1 hour presentation; $550 for 2, $800 for 3, plus travel for locations outside Toronto.

    Danielle is a confident and dynamic presenter who loves talking about books with people of all ages. She attained a BA from McGill, worked for years as an actor before turning to writing, and has had a wild variety of jobs—everything from acting, to dubbing English voices for Japanese TV, to temping, to teaching Pilates, to freelance writing. Danielle lives Toronto with her husband and two daughters.

    Presentations: Because of her background in theatre, Danielle is very comfortable in front of an audience and loves engaging with readers. Though she writes teen fiction, she can also adjust her presentations for groups as young as grade 5 and 6. Presentations can be geared toward each group, and can be done with more of a workshop emphasis if required. All presentations include time for questions!

    Age range: grades 5 and up, but ideally grades 7-12. Danielle also loves presenting to and working with adult groups, and meeting with book clubs.

    Topics:

    Pantsters, Plotters & Making Soup: A discussion of the essential elements of fiction, and explanations of some of the different techniques used by writers to craft story and write fiction.

    Turning Real Life Into Fiction: The process of using your own stories as inspiration for fiction is deeper, more layered, and much more detailed than it looks. In this session, Danielle will take you through the process of distilling the essence of your experiences, and using the most compelling themes and elements to create a work of fiction, using He Must Like You and Everything Beautiful Is Not Ruined as examples.

    How to Pursue a Career as a Novelist: A presentation that explains the process of becoming a professional writer, from beginning writing through searching for an agent, to going through the process of being published. This presentation is great for students who are interested in the arts, and in the process of making decisions about their futures.

    How to Revise the Crap Out of Your Manuscript: Danielle is an in-depth and joyfully ruthless reviser. In this session she will go through the steps she takes to revise her manuscripts in a way that can also be applied to shorter works. Subjects will include character consistency, POV, tone, tightening and/or expanding, layering in new characters and plot lines, analyzing structure, and general troubleshooting of things that aren’t working. 

    Equipment: podium or desk, microphone for groups larger than 40. Maximum group size: 40-60 for optimum interaction, but Danielle is also comfortable in front of larger groups. 25 or fewer for workshops.

    Contact Danielle Younge-Ullman:

      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: