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:

    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:

      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)”

      Blair, Kate (Toronto, ON)

      Writers’ Union and CANSCAIP member.

      Kate’s YA novels Transferral and Tangled Planet were nominated for multiple awards and optioned for TV and film. Her middle-grade novel The Magpie’s Library was named an OLA Best Bet for 2019 and nominated for the Northern Lights Award.

      GTA only. $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.

      Kate’s presentations are suitable for grades 4 to 12.

      Kate Blair has been a museum curator, a clown and a ride operator at a theme park. She holds a degree in history and a masters in museum studies with a specialty in education.

      Her first young adult novel, Transferral, is set in an alternative version of modern London, England, where criminals are punished by having the diseases of the innocent transferred to them. It explores ideas around justice, punishment and poverty. Her second, Tangled Planet, is set in the far future, on a generation starship that has just arrived at its destination planet, and deals with the struggles of the crew to adapt to their new home. Her middle grade novel, The Magpie’s Library, is about a girl dealing with the decline of a grandparent, who discovers a door to a magical library.

      Kate loves to share her enthusiasm for reading, writing, and finding your place in the world. Workshops and presentations are tailored to meet the needs of the group, and are flexible, responding to the interests and curiosity of the students. She has years of experience in museums leading school workshops and presentations with all age groups, keeping students engaged and entertained.

      Kate’s presentations and workshops can cover a variety of topics, are always adapted to suit the audience and their interests, and include aspects of the following:

      Writing a book: what does it take and how do you get started? Including: how to spark ideas; how to create characters; the importance of failing and how no one is any good at anything when they first start. The role of passion and practice in cultivating success, rather than ‘natural’ talent.

      Space colonization: Talking about the research that went into creating a believable, fact-based world in Tangled Planet. Discussing issues that face future astronauts and space missions, from the trivial – such as using the bathroom in zero-gravity – to more serious challenges associated with long-distance space travel, exploring exoplanets and finding a home for humanity among the stars.

      Crime and punishment: Talking about the research that went into Transferral and the odd and intertwined history of disease, poverty and punishment and the way that even now, disease and prejudice can go hand in hand.

      Portals in fiction: discussing stories with magical and non-magical gateways and helping children to come up with their own stories involving portals.

      All venues – library and classrooms preferred. Currently in-person only, due to unreliable technology. Maximum group size: 200. Equipment and other requirements: A microphone and table/podium (and preferably a projector) for larger groups, or if the presentation is in a gym or auditorium. A glass of water.

      Contact Kate Blair to book a visit: