Chua, Charlene (Hamilton, ON)

Charlene Chua (she/they) is an author-illustrator & member of SCBWI and CANSCAIP. She presents for JK-2, or for highschool upwards.

Virtual visits start from $150 for a half hour presentation (JK-2), $200 for 1h presentation (highschool/adults). In-person presentations please email.

HST is extra. Travel fees apply for in-person presentations (the author does not drive).

Charlene is the author-illustrator of Hug?, as well as the illustrator on numerous picture books. Books she has worked on have been shortlisted for various awards including Blue Spruce, Silver Birch, LAMBA Literary, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award. Originally from Singapore, they moved to Canada in 2007, and currently live in Hamilton, ON.

Example presentations

Book reading + drawing demonstration (JK-2, approx. 20-30min)

Reading of a selected picture book, followed by a drawing demonstration based on the book. Q+A at the end.

Careers: How I became a picture book illustrator (Highschool-adult, approx. 60min)

Presentation of my career path from starting out in illustration to transitioning into a specialized illustrator for picture books

Other notes

For in-person presentations, I need a laptop and projector. For drawing activities, an easel with paper as well as paper, markers, crayons for the children to draw along with. In-person presentations for JK-2 max 30 per group, teacher/facilitator MUST be present (excepting festivals & events).

Contact Charlene:

    Tran-Davies, Nhung (Alberta)

    
Nhung Tran-Davies

    Wrtiers’ Union Member. Member of Alberta Writers Guild, Writers’ Union Nominated: Alberta Literary Award, Blue Spruce Award, Red Maple Award

    Virtual or In-Person Visits (Alberta-based, can travel)

    Presentation in English. All ages.

    Rates: $250 for one 30 – 60 minute session, $450 for two, Plus a travel fee of $0.50/km if outside Toronto

    Virtual visit fees: $150 for each 30 mins

    Nhung’s books have been nominated for multiple awards – the Alberta Literary Award, Red Maple Award, Blue Spruce Award.

    Nhung is a physician, author, mother of three, and an advocate for social justice in education. At the age of five, her family was sponsored to Canada as refugees from the Vietnam war. She loves to write children’s stories that convey the humanity in our lives.

    Her presentations focus on the following themes:

    Refugees & immigrants, the power of kindness

    • A Grain of Rice (middle grade/YA novel)
    • The Doll (picture book)

    Poverty, the power of education

    • Ten Cents A Pound (picture book)

    Audience – ideally less than 30-40 at a time, All Venues, library preferred. Equipment required: A microphone for larger groups or in the gym, or if the room acoustics are questionable. A screen and projector for power-point.

    Contact Nhung today to book a visit:

      Contact Nhung to book a visit:

        Crawley, Oksanna (Brampton, ON)

        Author/Illustrator of levelled books for Kindergarten and Grade One

        Member of CANSCAIP and SCBWI

        Virtual presentation $100.00 + HST per one session

        Oksanna is a retired Kindergarten teacher and early literacy specialist. She loves writing funny books about a goofy, super hero hamster and has just as much fun drawing the illustrations.

        Oksanna is the author and illustrator of over 30 levelled books – Super Hammy – My First Reading Series (a collection of 15 books, Fountas & Pinnell levels A-C), and Super Hammy’s New Adventures (a collection of 15 books, Fountas & Pinnell levels D-F). She is also the author and illustrator of Super Hammy ABC. The books are also available in French and Chinese.  She writes levelled picture books for preschool, kindergarten and grade one. Books for beginning readers. Books that teachers and parents can use to help children learn to read. 

        Oksanna has two 30 or 45 min. virtual presentations for grades K to 3. Choose one.

        Presentation # 1 emphasizes reading and writing.

        • Oksanna talks about herself as a young girl and how she was bitten by the writing and drawing bugs.
        • She reads her Super Hammy books, and, using a PowerPoint presentation, shows how an idea in her head becomes a book.
        • After a short dance break, more read alouds, and then students brainstorm super powers they’d love to have. Super Hammy’s super powers are love and kindness.
        • A talk about the elements of a story ensues – setting, characters, problem, solution, beginning, middle and end with examples from a Super Hammy story.
        • Then, a Q & A.
        • The task: Students write and illustrate a story about their super power on their own time.

        Presentation #2 emphasizes reading, writing and art.

        • Oksanna talks about herself as a young girl and how she was bitten by the writing and drawing bugs.
        • She reads her Super Hammy books and, using a PowerPoint presentation, shows how an idea in her head becomes a book with an emphasis on illustrations.
        • After a short dance break, more read alouds, and then students brainstorm super powers they’d love to have. Super Hammy’s super powers are love and kindness.
        • Oksanna demonstrates how to make a 4-panel comic/how to draw and write – with a problem and a solution.
        • Then, a Q & A.
        • The task: Students make a 4-panel comic (captions and drawings) with a story about their super power on their own time.
        • Teacher will be provided with a template of a 4-panel comic to be photocopied for students.

        Audience: One class at a time, or two or three grouped together for a Zoom presentation. Oksanna would appreciate that the students be familiar with Super Hammy books. Books can be ordered from DC Canada Education Publishing. The presentations are done in English, however, Oksanna can do the read alouds in French if requested.

        Contact Oksanna to book a visit:

          Collins, Peggy (Eastern Ontario)

          Peggy Collins is an Eastern Ontario based author and illustrator and college professor. She is a member of the Writers Union of Canada, the Society of Children’s book Authors and Illustrators (SCBWI), Canadian Association of Children’s Authors Illustrators and Performers (CANSCAIP) and the CCBC.

          Peggy creates every presentation to suit the age/grade and book (or books) for the presentation, and all presentations will be done in English. As a college professor and presenter for all ages there is a presentation for every age group available.

          At this time, virtual visits are preferred but eastern Ontario in-person visits will be considered. Rates: $250 for one session, $450 for two, $675 for three, $900 for a full day (four sessions). Plus a travel fee of $0.50/km if outside the Kingston/Belleville/piston area. Virtual visit fees range from $100 – $200

          Peggy Collins has written and/or illustrated a wide variety of books that reflect social awareness, STEAM content and foster an understanding of the greater world around us.

          Rooted in a sense of wonder and play, Peggy brings this curiousity into each classroom she visits, engaging children in the creation of their own stories and artwork. She is a firm believer that every story matters and works to make sure that children feel that after her workshops. Workshops can include story generation, illustration demos (with kids drawing along), process and editing – with examples from actual projects, readings, q and a and more.

          Peggy prefers to work with individual classes for workshops (15-35 students) in-person. Virtually, depending on the wishes of the class/school she can facilitate 2 or more at a time – however would prefer no more than two to allow time for the students to interact directly with her.

          For virtual presentations the classroom must have access to a camera and teams, Peggy will provide a link prior to session. Students must be ready to draw! For in-person visits, schools should have a smart board or presentation screen, a flip pad of paper and markers, and materials for the children to draw with. Peripheral teaching materials will be emailed to teachers prior to class as well. A teacher must be present at all times during and between the presentations.

          Contact Peggy to book a visit:

            Leach, Sara (Whistler, BC).

            Sarah Leach

            Writer’s Union Member. Presentations in English for K-7. Virtual visits:  $150 for 45-60 minute session. In person visits: $250 for one session, $400 for two sessions, $800 for full day, plus travel expenses. No HST.

            Sara is an award-winning author of 9 books for children. She brings 25 years of teaching experience to her presentations.

            Sara has written picture books, chapter books and middle-grade novels and loves speaking to all age ranges within a school. She can tailor her presentations to any group of students. Some of the topics students and teachers have enjoyed most include:

            What does every story need? Sara discusses character, setting and problem using the Slug Days series and leads students to create their own story starters.

            I know that place! In this author talk based around the Jake Reynolds books, Sara describes the writing process, and how she used events and locations from her own life to add exciting details to the books.

            Where do authors get their ideas? Everyone has a story to tell, and authors draw from all parts of their lives (and sometimes those of their friends), to write a book. In this workshop Sara will describe where the ideas for her books came from, and how she used bits and pieces of experiences from throughout her life to write these fictional stories.

            Sara is happy to present in any setting, but the library is preferred. A screen and projector are helpful and a microphone and podium are required for a gym. Virtual visits can be through Google Meets or Zoom. If you have a different platform you’d like to use she’s happy to try it.

            Contact Sara to book a visit:

              McLellan, Stephanie Simpson (Newmarket, ON)

              Writers Union Member. English. Fiction (Picture Book and Mid Grade), Mr. Christie Award winner, Ruth Schwartz Award Winner, 2022 Blue Spruce Award Nominee. Grades K-3 and Grades 5-8. 

              In-Person Visits: $300 plus HST for 1 session, $500 for 2, $750 for 3 and $1000 for 4, + travel (50 cents per kilometer, round-trip for SW ON).

              Virtual Visits: $200 plus HST, for one session, 20-60 minutes, $150 for each additional session on the same day.

              Stephanie is the award-winning author of six picture books and one mid-grade novel. She reviewed children’s books for twelve years for Today’s Parent magazine (for which she got to interview the legendary Maurice Sendak!), operated an online bookstore for a few years called Neverending Stories, and wrote several scripts for the gemini-nominated children’s television series Roll Play (on Treehouse).

              Her books have won and been shortlisted for several awards (Mr. Christie Award, Ruth Schwartz Award, Chocolate Lily Award, CNIB Tiny Torgi Award, Crystal Kite Award and Blue Spruce Award) and have received starred and recommended reviews from Kirkus, CCBC, CBC Books, Quill & Quire, School Library Journal, Resource Links, TVO Kids, Chickadee Magazine, The Globe & Mail, Toronto Star, National Post, City Parent, CanLit for Little Canadians and CM Magazine.

              A passionate promoter of literacy, Stephanie has toured twice for TD Canadian Children’s Book Week: to Labrador in 2014 and Northwest Territories in 2018. Surrounding the release of her 2017 picture book, The Christmas Wind, Stephanie worked with almost 1,700 primary students in every province and territory of Canada (plus one school in Australia) on a unique literacy initiative that resulted in over 13,000 student drawings of her characters Jo, Murdock and the wind. Widely profiled by CBC, The Christmas Wind Story Project involved the Canadian Children’s Book Centre in the spring of 2016 and was a top 10 finalist in the 2016 CST Inspired Minds Learning Project Contest.

              Presentation Description

              During Stephanie’s school presentations for grades K-3, she encourages children to look for and understand their own creativity by sharing the stories behind her stories, how these stories/ideas turn into books, and what it’s like to write for a living. Specifically, she has four goals with each school presentation:

              • To entertain students with a dramatic reading of her books so they will come to know and care about her characters and about the value of story
              • To stir the writer/creator inside each student by sharing the stories behind her stories, thus empowering them to see the connection between their own lives and their own potential works of art
              • To create a natural bridge to relevant, valuable and interesting learning (e.g.Hoogie in the Middle – a simile exercise; Leon’s Song – a mini science quiz on how frogs survive the winter)
              • To give students a sense of what goes into the creation of a book (the illustrator, the publisher, the ideas) and what it’s like to write for a living 

              For grades 5-8, Stephanie will focus on her mid grade novel Sully, Messed Up to explore themes of self-esteem, identity, life choices, social-emotional learning and bullying.

              Ahead of each school visit Stephanie creates a school specific page on her website to help teachers and students prepare for her visit.

              Maximum group size: 50-60 for optimum interaction 

              Equipment required: a table, an easel (for presentation boards), water, microphone for larger groups or in the gym.

              Contact Stephanie to book a visit:

                Cohen, Tziporah (Toronto, ON)

                Tziporah Cohen

                Tziporah Cohen. Toronto, Ontario. Writers’ Union Member. English. Grades 4-7. Virtual rates: $175 per session (45-60 min). In-person rates: $250 for one session (45-60 minutes), $400 for two sessions, $600 for three. No travel costs within City of Toronto; GTA (excluding City of Toronto) $25 per 30 min car travel, rounded up. Not currently doing in-person visits outside of GTA.

                Award-winning author of middle-grade novel NO VACANCY and forthcoming picture book ON THE CORNER OF CHOCOLATE AVENUE: HOW MILTON HERSHEY BROUGHT MILK CHOCOLATE TO AMERICA (December 2022).

                Tziporah Cohen No Vacancy

                Tziporah Cohen’s NO VACANCY (Groundwood Books, 2020) was a JLG Gold Standard Selection, a Sydney Taylor Honor book, a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award, on the Bank Street College of Education’s Best Books of the Year list, on the shortlist for the winner of the CCBC Jean Little First-Novel Award, and nominated for the SYRCA Diamond Willow Award, the Hackmatack Children’s Choice Award and the Silver Birch Fiction Award. Tziporah was born in the US and came to Canada in 2008. She attended Harvard Medical School, later receiving an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is a working physician and part-time writer who loves to talk with kids about books! Presentations include:

                *Reading plus Q&A: Fifteen-minute reading and Q&A about the book (NO VACANCY) and writing process. 45-60 min.

                *Author’s Journey: How do you go from writer to author? Learn the origin story of NO VACANCY and all the steps from beginning to publication: from idea to first draft and revisions, to acquisition, editing and copy editing, cover design and book-on-the-shelf! Includes photos from the entire process and reading of a chapter from the book. 60 minutes.

                *Revision, Revision, Revision! What are the steps in going from first draft to finished story? Get an inside view on the author’s revisions of NO VACANCY, both before and after acquisition by the publisher. Includes specific examples of revision strategies (using strong verbs; show, don’t tell; adding detail; use of outlines and calendars; eliminating writing quirks, etc) with photos of manuscript. Includes reading of a chapter of the book. This presentation works best if students have read the book, but not required.

                Size limits: 100 for virtual presentations, 30 for in-person visits (60 for Reading/Q&A)

                Equipment: For virtual visits, Skype or school Zoom account. For in-person visits, laptop with Powerpoint, (can bring own laptop if it can be connected to school projector, otherwise will bring USB stick), projector and screen for Power Point presentation, table, microphone if space larger than classroom, glass of water. Teacher or librarian must be present for all presentations, virtual or in-person.

                Contact Tziporah to book a visit:

                  Cooke, Stephanie (Toronto, ON)

                  Stephanie Cooke. Toronto, ON. Writers’ Union of Canada Member. English. Fantasy, Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Middle-Grade, and Young Adult. Stephanie’s rates for school visits is $300 for one session (local schools only), $500 for two sessions or for a half-day, and $900 for a full school day (maximum four sessions), plus travel if applicable. Virtual visits are $250.

                  Stephanie Cooke is an author and editor based out of Toronto, Canada. She is the writer of ParaNorthern and the co-writer of Oh My Gods!

                  She loves to speak to people about comics, graphic novels, and writing and devotes a lot of time to helping educate people about creating, understanding, and appreciating the graphic novel medium.

                  CREATING A GRAPHIC NOVEL
                  Ever wonder how a comic book or graphic novel gets made? How many different people work on one book? What’s the process for creating a story and turning it into a graphic novel? Stephanie delves into all of this and more as she helps people explore the world of the comic book industry and sheds light on the process of writing a story from inception to completion.

                  Ages: Any

                  Group size: Any, but especially love working with smaller groups of 15-30 kids.
                  A/V needs: Projector or anything to present some images to go along with the presentation.

                  Collaboration is hands-down the best parts of creating a graphic novel. Working with someone to bring an idea to life is an incredible feeling. Having someone to bounce ideas around with is amazing and inspiring. And getting to see an artist bring what was in your head to life on the page is nothing short of magical! With her experience as a co-writer on Oh My Gods! and a co-creator on an unannounced series, Stephanie has created this presentation to help teach you about the process, what to expect, and provide exercises for you to learn from.

                  Ages: Any, but works especially well ages 6 and up (and for students and adults)
                  Group size: 15-30

                  Other topics are available upon request.

                  Contact Stephanie to book a visit…

                    van Staalduinen, Brent (Hamilton, ON)

                    van Staalduinen

                    Located in Hamilton, Ontario, Brent is a novelist and award-winning story writer, and a former army medic, radio DJ, tree planter, and high school English teacher. A member of the Writers’ Union of Canada, he’s excited about writing workshops and readings in English for grades 7-12, as well as adults and book clubs.

                    Virtual rates:

                    • Single session of up to 60 mins: $150.

                    In-person rates:

                    • Single session, up to 60mins: $250.
                    • Two sessions, $500. Full day (max four sessions), $900.
                    • No mileage required if distance is less than 25km from downtown Hamilton (L8P 1A1). For SW and Eastern Ontario, mileage will be calculated at the CRA rate of $0.59/km, return. For spots beyond, a travel fee will be determined based on most economical transport and accommodation needs.

                    Brent is a dynamic public speaker and highly experienced educator, and easily accommodates for the different needs of his audiences. He offers two types of visits: workshops and/or readings and Q&As. For all sessions, subject matter will be tailored to the needs of the hosting organization and local curriculum requirements (experience with Ontario/IB/MYP/Pennsylvania curricula).

                    A sampling of topics Brent has covered (not exhaustive — have an idea or theme you’d like to explore? Just ask!):

                    • Novel writing
                    • The elements of short fiction
                    • Creative nonfiction
                    • Memoir
                    • Travel writing
                    • Teaching creative writing
                    • Character
                    • Story structure
                    • Conflict and tension
                    • Submitting work to literary journals and magazines
                    • Editing and proofreading
                    • Setting up a writing workshop
                    • Publishing with small presses
                    • Contests and “making a mark”
                    • Finding and landing the right literary agent
                    • Self-publication and the digital marketplace
                    • Social media and self-promotion

                    …and more!

                    For virtual visits, Brent prefers Zoom. For in-person visits, Brent requires a computer, projector, and screen. If the room is larger than a standard classroom, he’ll need a microphone, preferably wearable.

                    van Staalduinen is pronounced: van-Stal-die-nen.

                    Contact Brent to book a visit:

                      Prins, Marie (Colborne, ON)

                      Marie Prins, Colborne, Ontario, Writers Union Member, English, Grades 2-6,

                      Rates: $225 for one session, $400 for two, $600 for three, $800 for full day (4 sessions), plus travel fee of .50/km round trip

                       Virtual Visits Only at This Time – $150 for one 40-60 minute session, $125 for each additional session on the same day

                      Marie is a remedial reading teacher who is passionate about helping children learn to read and love to read. Sharing books and stories with her students has been a highlight when she meets with them, one on one, or in group settings.

                      Marie tailors each presentation to the children in front of her, sharing her experience as a storyteller, researcher, and writer in order to inspire them to read for the love of it and write to share their own stories. Her middle grade novel The Girl From the Attic is a time travel story that offers historical insight into rural Ontario, explores family dynamics past and present, and touches on themes of health/disease pertaining to asthma, tuberculosis, and pandemics. It received two awards in 2021 from Story Monsters Ink – first in Family, second in Mid-grade. Her children’s story “Grammy’s Mittens, ”about a young girl dealing with the death of her grandmother before Christmas, appears in Volume Three of Cloud Lake Literary magazine.

                      Workshops –

                      Storytelling with Q & A, featuring The Girl From the Attic (grades 2-6) This workshop includes sharing the book’s backstory and additional historical information about octagonal houses (book’s setting), rural life in the early 1900s, and the plague of tuberculosis before the advent of antibiotics. A Teacher’s Guide is available for classrooms who either read the book before or after the visit.

                      Time Travel Writing Workshops (grades 5 & 6) – In this workshop, Marie will help children brainstorm ideas for past or future time-travel, choose characters and settings, discover portals, plot story arcs, and devise story endings.

                      Nuts and Bolts of Editing One’s Own Writing (grades 2-6) – This workshop includes brainstorming creative writing ideas (“what if”), using a writer’s notebook, working with learning buddies, rereading to check spelling & grammar, and using examples from the editing process of The Girl From the Attic and “Grammy’s Mittens” to demonstrate how one edits own writing.

                      Classroom, library, workshop visits – Virtually for 2021/2022, on Zoom or Google Meets (willing to try other platforms) with school or library hosting the event. Storytelling Presentation – either one or multiple classrooms; Writing Workshops prefers small groups of 15 or less.

                      Will consider small, in-person groups in a library or similar setting.

                      Contact Marie to book a visit: