Fiction, Poetry, and Non-Fiction. OLA Best Bets selection. Winner of the Prix Aurora Award, Sunburst Award, Utopia Award, Copper Cylinder Award, and Lydia Langstaff Prize; shortlisted for the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy, Cybils Award, and Canadian Library Association Young Adult Book Award.
$350 for one hour-long session, $600 for two, $850 for three, and $1000 for four, plus transit costs to public transit-accessible schools, or where transport from the nearest transit stop/station is available. For virtual visits: $275 for one session, 60-90 minutes, $175 for each additional session on the same day. Leah is happy to discuss alternate rates with high-needs or under-resourced schools.
Fantasy novelist, bookseller, critic, and editor Leah Bobet knows the half the joy of reading is getting curious about something new. She gives inclusive, information-rich presentations that make sure to keep things fun—and emphasize the talents participants already have. She specializes in fantasy and science fiction, climate fiction, and poetry, and strongly believes in a supportive, positive presentation style that emphasizes tools over rules. The goal: to make sure students leave feeling confident, curious, and inspired.
Leah works with groups from Grade 7 and up (adults included!) and has given presentations and workshops at Toronto Public Library, Oakville Public Library, London Book Camp, Word on the Street, the Tucson Festival of Books, and universities across North America. Presentations are tailored to fit your group’s interests and current classroom topics, and can be custom-designed for your group with appropriate lead time.
Recent presentation topics include:
Writing Urban Fantasy: Finding Magic in Your Neighbourhood
A workshop-style presentation for fantasy readers, geography classes, or Writer’s Craft groups, this presentation introduces students to the core concepts of writing urban fantasy and finding places in one’s everyday world where magic can fit. Includes a 30-minute writing and sharing activity, and focuses on the basic skill of reading and writing fantasy: seeing wonder in our everyday surroundings.
Where It Comes From: Worldbuilding, the Apocalypse, and All Our Stuff
Using Leah’s 2015 YA novel An Inheritance of Ashes as a basis, this presentation talks about the everyday things we use—sugar, plastic, soap—and how many people’s work goes into building our average day. Through showing how Ashes builds a post-apocalyptic world without industrialization, the group discusses repurposing, reusing, sharing economies, and how making it yourself can be a lot of fun.
This presentation is great for classes focusing on sustainability, materials science, or environmental studies.
Above and Toronto’s Secret Spaces
Using Leah’s 2012 novel Above as a jumping-off point, this presentation digs into Toronto’s (very real!) underground sewers, tunnels, and abandoned places to explore the cooler side of local history, and how our neighbourhoods are made of not just buildings but experiences.
This semi-interactive presentation touches on fantasy-novel worldbuilding, but prompts students to explore how people move through the same spaces in different ways, consider whose stories we tell
—and think about how we design space for the society we want.
This presentation is a great fit for classes focusing on Canadian history, social studies, or geography.
Poetry is music
Poetry can be intimidating—or not! This presentation draws on pop songs, contemporary poetry, and music theory to show participants how to think of poetry as a house made of sound. The goal: to take down obstacles between poetry and readers.
This presentation is a great fit for English or music classes, or as an extracurricular for school choir groups.
Equipment: Leah is happy to work with groups of up to 75, though workshops will run best when capped at 20 participants. Screen and projector appreciated for Powerpoint presentations; clear sound equipment for poetry presentations. If the room is larger or has difficult acoustics, a microphone is appreciated, as is a bottle of water. For multi-presentation days, a strictly gluten-free lunch or snacks (celiac-safe) are greatly appreciated.