Weber, Lori. Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

SCBWI, CCBC Member. Twice nominated for the Quebec Writers’ Federation Children’s and Young Adult Fiction Prize; Red Maple Award Nominee (2023); Two-time participant of Children’s Book Week. $250 for one session, $450 for two, $675 for three, $900 for full-day. Virtual visits range from $100 to $200.

Lori is the author of 11 books for youth. Her work ranges from picture book to middle grade to YA, and covers a variety of themes: family conflict, bullying, coming of age, identity, history and war. She taught English and Creative Writing for 27 years and is very comfortable speaking to groups of all ages. She loves an interactive session, where readers ask question and engage in creative activities. She has mentored many new writers and led creative writing workshops in various settings. Lori could present in French to students in French immersion.

Presentations by Age

Kindergarten to Grade 3: 30 – 40 minutes. Using My Granny Loves Hockey, Lori uses a fun interactive quiz about things women were and were not allowed to do 100 years ago. This leads to the story of Granny. Lori reads the book then asks kids to help identify some of the quirky details the illustrator chose to include. Kids can ask questions and Lori encourages them to talk to their own grandparents and older relatives about how life has changed since they were little.

Creative Writing Workshop for Students grades 7 and up: Lori leads 3 sessions (1 hour each) – one on character, one on setting, and one on symbolism. Each includes a variety of creative writing exercises to encourage young writers to use concrete detail to bring their stories to life. They work well as a set, but can be done individually as well.

Short Story Workshop for grades 7 and up: 1 hour. Using a YouTube video of “The Girl in the Purple Pants” from Deep Girls, Lori talks about the key ingredient of a great short story – that moment where it turns on a dime. She then works with students to map out a story of their own and encourages them to think about and plan that moment of epiphany or change.

War Theme Workshop for grades 7 and up: 1 to 1.5 hours. Using Lightning Lou, which is set in World War I, and The Ribbon Leaf, which is set in World War II, Lori talks about historical fiction and the process involved in writing it. Lori talks about research, weaving in fact and fiction, developing character in a historical work. She also shares stories and artifacts from her family’s own history that she used for inspiration. She encourages young writers to mine their own families’ histories for material. In a longer session, students can brainstorm and begin coming up with ideas for their own historical character. This workshop can also be done using either book on its own.

Telling a Story in Verse: 1 to 1.5 hours. Using excerpts from Yellow Mini, Lori conducts a poetry writing class where students relate the same event from multiple points of view, in verse. Students learn to pay attention to tone, diction, form, and rhythm in their creations. Students then read their work aloud to one another and offer critiques.

Lori is comfortable speaking to whole classes, or combined classes, but no group larger than 45. She loves speaking to adults as well. A projector is needed for PowerPoint; other than that, paper, pens, and pencils!

Contact Lori to book a visit:

    Alladin, Erin (Parry Sound region, ON)

    Writer’s Union member. $250+HST for one 45-60-minute session, $450+HST for two, $675 for three, $900 for a full day (four sessions). If travel is over 50 km, a CRA-based travel rate applies of $0.61 per kilometer, round trip.

    Virtual Visits: $150 for one 45-60 minute session. $125+HST for each additional visit the same day.

    Erin is an author, editor, and educator with a particular passion for outdoor education. She loves to craft energetic author presentations that bring together her years of experience creating children’s programming, teaching outdoor living skills, training adults in leadership and drama, and running gardening workshops. She published her first picture book, Outside, You Notice, after a decade of working in the children’s publishing industry and can offer a rewarding peek behind the curtain of how books are written, illustrated, contracted, edited, produced, and promoted.

    To each presentation, Erin brings her experience and training in engaging groups of every kind. She uses songs, stretches, responsive activities, and games, all focused around a central theme, to keep even the wiggliest audience learning with attention and glee. She also loves to give students the opportunity to share what they themselves have noticed outside. She can provide worksheets to teachers and leaders who want to prep their group a week or so before the presentation to go out and make some observations to share. Physical show-and-tell (e.g. produce from the garden, a cool rock, an old nest, etc.) is welcome.

    Book sales can be organized in advance. Erin will offer ordering instructions upon request.

    The following presentation frameworks can be adapted to meet an audience’s needs:

    Born Naturalists: Ideal for the youngest audiences. In a presentation full of movement, songs, and activities, Erin celebrates kids’ ability to learn about nature simply by paying attention with their own senses. Throughout the presentation, Erin invites students to share their own experiences of spending time outside and noticing interesting things. During an interactive reading of Outside, You Notice, Erin uses props to illustrate a number of the nature facts the book contains.

    Curriculum connections: the five senses; pollinators; the needs of living things; plant life cycles; mindfulness; healthy, active movement

    Notice, Wonder, Write: Ideal for grades 2 and up. In this workshop, Erin takes the audience through the process of transforming Outside, You Notice from idea to book. An interactive book reading is included, if desired. Erin then models the writing of a nonfiction paragraph using her own sensory observations paired with research. A shared writing activity follows, and worksheets are available for optional independent writing later.

    With communication beforehand, this presentation can tie in to a curriculum topic your class is currently studying.

    Custom Nature Workshop: Please contact Erin to discuss specifics if you are looking for a custom outdoor education experience centered around seed starting, a nature walk, gardening, or plant identification.

    Group Sizes:
    Erin’s Born Naturalists presentation can be conducted for any group size, but for an emphasis on discussion and student sharing, one class is ideal. For Notice, Wonder, Write workshops and custom nature workshops, maximum 35.

    Setup:
    For virtual visits, Erin prefers a setup that allows her to see all participants, since she has designed many activities to let them give responses through actions. For discussion periods, a teacher/leader should be prepared to choose which participant will speak next and to manage the mute/unmute button.

    For in-person visits, Erin requires water and a chair or stool to be available. Erin lives with chronic fatigue syndrome and, while she will be energetic and on her feet throughout most of the presentation, she will need the option to sit, particularly during any waiting periods between presentations. For Notice, Wonder, Write workshops, chart paper, a whiteboard, or similar is needed. For group sizes over 35 in a gym or auditorium, a microphone and projector are preferred (Erin can bring her own laptop if it can connect to the school’s projector, or she can bring a PDF of her slides on a USB stick)

    If outdoor space is available, it can be rewarding to conduct the Born Naturalists presentation outside (limit to 35 participants).  

    Contact Erin to book a visit:

      Norstrom, Joy (Calgary, Alberta)

      Joy Norstrom is a member of the Alexandra Writers’ Centre Society, SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) and CANSCAIP (Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers).

      Virtual visits:

      • $125 for a 30 to 45-minute meet and greet with an author. (Includes a reading and opportunity to ask questions about the writing and publishing process). Comfortable on most platforms (Google Meets, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc).

      In-person visits:

      • $125 for 30 mins (K-3)
      • $175 for 40 mins (Gr 4-6)
      • $225 for 60 mins (Gr 10-12, adults)
      • Discounts available when booking multiple sessions for the same day

      Travel fees:

      • Are you located in southern or central Alberta? The cost of travel is .50 cents per km in Calgary and reimbursement of fuel charges for destinations outside of Calgary.
      • Are you located further away? Joy loves visiting new-to-her communities. Cost of travel to be determined based on destination and means of transportation required.

      Joy Norstrom (she/her) is a contemporary fiction writer and social worker residing in Treaty 7 Territory, Calgary Alberta. Her first picture book, Marjorie Magic (Dixi Books Ltd) will be released in November 2022 and she can’t wait to share this story with readers of all ages, but especially those who dream of magic. Joy also writes short stories and novel length work. Her books Flying the Nest (2020) and Out of Play (2016) feature quirky characters facing real life difficulties.

      Presentations available:

      Joy is available to present in English and is experienced working with ESL students. She is happy to work with an interpreter.

      (k-3)

      • Meet and Greet plus Author Reading
      • How a Picture Book is Made

      (4-6)

      • How to Write a Story: Beginning, Middle and End
      • How to Make Characters that Jump off the Page

      (10 – 12)

      • Story as a Tool for Social Justice
      • Relationship Tension: How to Strengthen your Story and Keep Readers Turning Pages (when they should be asleep!)

      Joy is happy to meet outdoors (weather permitting) or indoors for informal reading and Meet and Greet with the author. For all other sessions an indoor space with limited distractions.

      Supplies needed: flip chart paper, colourful markers, a chair, and a glass of tap water works well when presenting to younger audiences.

      A projector and screen are needed for longer sessions and workshops. A table for Joy to place her materials as well as a chair are helpful.

      Joy enjoys getting to know the audience so prefers smaller groups of up to 35 students.

      Contact Joy for a visit:

        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: