Vitalis, Jessica (Waterloo, ON)

Writer’s Union, CANSCAIP, SCBWI. 45 to 60-minute virtual session: $250. In person: $300 (1 session—available in Waterloo region only), $600 (2 sessions), $850 (3 sessions), $1000 (4 sessions). Sessions may be split between nearby schools on the same day. Prices quoted do not include travel costs. (Travel costs waived in Waterloo, Kitchener, Cambridge and Guelph.)

JESSICA VITALIS is a Columbia MBA-wielding author and presenter on a mission to write and share entertaining and thought-provoking literature. She founded Magic in the Middle, a series of free monthly recorded book talks, to help educators introduce young readers to new fantasy books. She was recently named a 2021 Canada Council of the Arts Grant Recipient and featured on CBCs Here and Now. The Wolf’s Curse and The Rabbit’s Gift are standalone companion novels published by Greenwillow/HarperCollins. Two more books, Coyote Queen, and an unnamed standalone, will follow in 2023 and 2024.

When she’s not writing, Jessica’s favorite activity is talking about writing; her presentations are best suited for students grades four and up (and adults of any age). She is also available for festivals, conferences, and keynote speeches and can speak to issues ranging from SEL topics to grief and healing.

Offerings include (but are not limited to):

The Story Behind the Story: This interactive presentation includes the inspiration behind Jessica’s books, a short reading, stories of tenacity and perseverance related to her unusual childhood and 13-year journey to publication, and a peek at the revision process (including the most important tool in her writer’s toolbox!). Q&A included. For small or large groups (grades 4+).

Stand Out From The Crowd: Creating Compelling Characters: In this hands-on writing workshop, participants look at what makes characters come alive in readers’ hearts and minds and learn how to develop memorable characters using the author’s secret technique to show and not tell. For smaller groups (ages 10 to adult).

The Building Blocks of Story: Using the building blocks of story, we’ll work through a flexible pre-writing strategy that provides authors with a framework to draft a novel without bogging them down or making the drafting process feel too prescriptive. For small or large groups (adults only).

“Jessica’s presentation was so inspiring and energizing for our fifth and sixth grade students! Her stories––both on and off the page––are magnetic. A couple of our more reluctant learners sought Jessica out after the talk to connect with her and have their photos takes. What a wonderful celebration of reading and writing!” -Elementary school librarian

“Jessica did a beautiful presentation for my 7th grade reading classes. My students were engrossed! At the end, she answered all of their questions about being an author, the writing process, and everything in between! It was such a fantastic experience for my students!” – 7th Grade Teacher

“[Jessica’s] presentation totally changed my life! It was so incredibly helpful and exactly what I needed for my writing.” -Workshop attendee

Maximum group size: No limit on large group offerings. Smaller group offerings are better suited for individual school classes or conference breakout sessions.

Venues: Flexible as long as a microphone and projection screen are available.

Tech Requirements: Microphone (when necessary), digital projector and screen (most presentations are accompanied by PowerPoint slides; Jessica can either hook up with her laptop or bring in a flash drive), water, and lunch (for full day visits).

Jessica looks forward to connecting with you!

Contact Jessica 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:

      Grant, Joyce (Toronto, ON)

      Joyce Grant

      Writers’ Union of Canada member; journalism, fiction, picture books. Rainforest of Reading Award winner, Top 10 Best Books (Ontario Library Association) and Best Books (Canadian Children’s Book Centre). All ages.

      $350 for an engaging, high-energy customized one-hour presentation (in-person or online), $250 for a Q&A session only.

      Joyce is a subject-matter expert on “fake news” and journalism. She is a freelance journalist and owner of internationally award-winning TeachingKidsNews.com.

      BOOKS:

      * Can You Believe It? How to Spot Fake News and Find the Facts, 2022, illustrated by Kathleen Marcotte. Illustrated non-fiction. Themes: Fake news, critical thinking, journalism.
      * Gabby picture books: Gabby, Gabby: Wonder Girl, Gabby: Drama Queen. Themes: text to concrete things, friendship, creativity, phonics
      * Middle-grade baseball novels for reluctant readers: Tagged Out and Sliding Home. Themes: bullying, diversity, teamwork, empathy

      Joyce delivers high-energy, interactive, engaging presentations and workshops for all ages. She has written picture books with a literacy angle, and middle-grade baseball novels that deliver baseball action with underlying social themes (immigration, bullying, diversity, teamwork).

      Joyce is also co-founder of TeachingKidsNews.com: free, kid-friendly news plus curriculum connections. She is a freelance journalist and her popular “How to Avoid Fake News” presentations can be tailored for students or teachers.

      “We were honoured to have Joyce Grant as a keynote speaker and workshop presenter. Our audience of about 200 people (was) captivated by her content … students were incredibly engaged and just ate up what she had to tell us.”
      —Laura Alopaeus-Gomes, Literacy Lead K-6, Algoma District School Board, 2018

      NOVELS:
      SLIDING HOME
      This middle-grade baseball novel focuses on Miguel, who is holding down part-time jobs so he can bring his father to Canada from El Salvador. Set in Toronto's Christie Pits baseball field.
      (Sequel to Tagged Out.) Themes: immigration, teamwork, diversity, empathy, baseball.

      TAGGED OUT
      Fast-paced middle-grade baseball novel for reluctant readers. Includes a strong secondary character who is gay. Themes: diversity, tolerance, empathy, teamwork, baseball.
      A teaching guide is available free.

      PICTURE BOOKS:
      GABBY 
      When Gabby drops her magic book, all its letters fall out. Whatever she spells with those letters
      comes to life! Includes two pages of literacy activities. (Illustrator: Jan Dolby)
      A teaching guide is available free.

      Also in the series:
      GABBY: WONDER GIRL (Includes question words.)
      GABBY: DRAMA QUEEN (Includes words with consonant blends.)

      PRESENTATIONS—GENERAL INFO:
      Joyce customizes her high-energy, interactive presentations to suit your students and support their learning. She can speak to most ages, but asks that they’re grouped (ie, K-1, 2-3, 4-6, 5+).

      Groups can be small (one to two classes) or larger, depending on how hands-on you want the presentation to be. Presentations for younger students are 40 minutes; for older students, 45 minutes to an hour. All presentations include Q&A.

      HOW TO AVOID FAKE NEWS
      Gr. 4-7
      Identify and avoid fake news—and find the good stuff online. Includes how to think more critically.
      “Practical and engaging. The students are still talking about it, and the teachers have been using your ideas in their classrooms!”

      WORD SCRAMBLE
      K-3
      Super energetic, interactive presentations using scrambled letters. Includes a behind-the- scenes look at how picture books are made.
      “Interactive and fun!”

      CHARACTER, SETTING, PROBLEM, MAGIC!
      Gr. 2-3
      Together, we build an exciting story and then we act it out.
      “The kids loved it—we went back to the classroom and built more stories!”

      WRITING WORKSHOPS
      Gr. 4-9
      Journalism (writing headlines, interviewing, the 5 Ws) and picture book workshops. 
      “Real-world, hands-on learning.”

      GETTING KIDS READING
      Parents
      Parent/literacy night coming up? My popular, practical session for parents will help you get your kid reading.

      HOW TO TEACH KIDS TO AVOID FAKE NEWS
      Teachers
      Practical, popular presentations for teachers and teacher-candidates.

      KEYNOTES AND SKYPE VISITS
      Students or Adults
      Memorable keynotes for conferences and meetings (price to be discussed), and Skype visits
      ($250/45 mins). 

      EQUIPMENT REQUIRED:
      I use PowerPoint, so I’ll need a projector and screen. Oh! And a bottle of water, please. My voice projects well (a-hem!), but if you think your space requires a microphone, I’ll need you to supply that—preferably hand-held.
      I’m fine with small groups (one or two classes) or larger auditoriums. The bigger the group, the less hands-on the session, so workshops are best with a smaller group. I have great presentations for nearly every age group. Here are the preferred grade groupings: K to 1, grades 2 to 3, grades 4 to 6, grades 5 and up. I also present to teachers and teacher-candidates and to parents (ie, literacy night).

      To book Joyce, please send us an email using the form below:

        • Can You Believe It? How to Spot Fake News and Find the Facts, 2022, illustrated by Kathleen Marcotte. Illustrated non-fiction. Themes: Fake news, critical thinking, journalism.
        • Gabby picture books: Gabby, Gabby: Wonder Girl, Gabby: Drama Queen. Themes: text to concrete things, friendship, creativity, phonics
        • Middle-grade baseball novels for reluctant readers: Tagged Out and Sliding Home. Themes: bullying, diversity, teamwork, empathy

        Narsimhan, Mahtab (BC)

        Mahtab Narsimhan- H20-209960 8x10 300Writers’ Union Member. Silver Birch winning author available for school, public library, and conference visits. Member of The Writers’ Union of Canada. Continue reading “Narsimhan, Mahtab (BC)”

        MacKay, Elly (Owen Sound)

        Writers’ Union Member. Author, illustrator, picture books, Forest of Reading, lightbox, paper, children’s books, primary, workshop, art project. Elly’s rate is $275 for one session, $475 for two, $675 for three and $800 for four, plus local travel from Toronto when in the area (either taxi or being picked up by a teacher to accommodate her in bringing her miniature theatre and supplies). Continue reading “MacKay, Elly (Owen Sound)”

        Scrimger, Richard (Toronto)

        Writers’ Union Member. Funny-serious novelist. Multi awards. $350.00 for one presentation, $600.00 for two, $850.00 for three, or $1000.00 for four. HST and maybe a rental vehicle (moving back to the city, he gave away his car) extra. Continue reading “Scrimger, Richard (Toronto)”