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:

    West Lewis, Amanda (Perth, ON)

    Member of The Writer’s Union of Canada; Society of Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators (SCBWI); Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators & Performers (Canscaip); Access Copyright; MASC Artist/Instructor

    Presentations:

    One Session, In-Person: 50 minutes $395 + HST

    One Session, Virtual: 50-minute session: $265 + HST
    Half-day, In-Person or Virtual: Two 50-minute sessions $545 + HST
    Full-day, In-Person or Virtual: Three 50-minute sessions $670 + HST

    Workshops:

    One Session (Virtual only): 50-minute session: $265 + HST

    Half-Day, In-Person or Virtual: Two 60-minute sessions, or a two-hour session: $ 365 + HST

    Full-Day, In-Person or Virtual: Three 60-minute sessions: $525 +HST

    Travel $.50/km roundtrip outside of GTA and Eastern Ontario

    AMANDA WEST LEWIS is a writer, theatre creator, calligrapher and experienced teaching artist who is passionately interested in exploring the world from the perspective of young people. Her most recent book These Are Not the Words, is a semi-autobiographical novel that uses prose, poetry, jazz and Shakespeare to confront addiction and mental health issues in the lower East side of Manhattan, 1963. Previous books include award nominated September 17 (about the City of Benares disaster, 1940) and The Pact (based on the true-life story of a young boy in Nazi Germany). Amanda has published eight books for young readers and was the Founder and Artistic Director of the Ottawa Children’s Theatre. She weaves her backgrounds in theatre and calligraphy to teach and present to students of all ages.

    All of Amanda’s presentations and workshops are adapted to the age of the group. They are geared to each class’s needs and curriculum interests. She loves to work with you to support what you are doing. Please inquire.

    Examples of Presentations/Readings:

    All presentations include a Q & A

    Maximum audience size 300

    (Grades 5 – 12)

    “Jazz and The Tempest” explores the creation of These Are Not the Words, a novel in poetry and prose. Working with examples from the novel, we’ll explore how sound and rhythm can reflect character and pace. As we dig deeper, we will look at how the novel’s difficult themes of addiction and mental health were presented through poetry.

    “Conflict From Both Sides” tells the story behind the story, revealing the true events and people that inspired the novels September 17 and The Pact. We’ll look at images of children from England and Germany during World War 2, to understand the challenges they faced during wartime. The focus is on an empathetic understanding from a child’s perspective view and touches on propaganda, indoctrination, racism, and survival.

    Equipment And Other Requirements: A projector compatible with a MAC or a computer for a memory stick.

    Examples of Workshops

    Adapted to the age of the students

    Maximum 30 students

    Grades 1- 4 & 5 – 12

    “Thrum, Hiss, Warble”

    Writing poetry lets you play with language, and rediscover joy in the sound, rhythm, look and meaning of words. It’s the foundation for any writer to learn their craft, no matter what genre they work in. In this workshop we’ll play with the elasticity of language and discover a unique and individual writer’s voice. 

    “What’s Beyond?”

    Drawing on improvisation and drama games, this workshop will explore character motivation, points of view and dialogue as we discover the hidden meaning beyond the words. Conveying the space between words –– the pauses in life –– is an essential skill for any writer.

    Grades 5 – 12

    “Who’s in the Picture?”

    A picture can tell you a lot about a person. But it’s the writer who discovers who that person is and how they fit into a story. This workshop will use photographs and pictures to get participants creating characters and inventing unique and vibrant stories. You’ll dig deeper with some role-play and dialogue writing. But beware – characters often take on lives of their own and drag you off on unexpected adventures!

    “Illuminated Letters”

    The workshop helps to develop a love and passion for letters, combining writing skills with artwork.  We start by writing simple poems based on participants’ names. Students are then shown how to draw Versal letters in the style of 15th Century Books of Hours. These illuminated letters will be used to create a uniquely decorated poem.

    Workshop Equipment: Writing implements. Chalkboard or Flip Chart. In addition: “What’s Beyond” requires a bit of space to move. “Illuminated Letters” requires paper and pencil. Amanda will bring all additional supplies.

    Contact Amanda to book a visit:

      Matas, Carol (Winnipeg, MB,)

      Carol Matas, Winnipeg, MB, member, Writers’ Union of Canada, English. Grades K- 12.

      One hour in person $350 plus GST, $600.00 plus GST for 2 sessions, plus travel. One hour virtual visit, $200.00 plus GST.

      Carol is the internationally best selling author of over 45 books for young people, which have received over 100 awards and honours and been translated into 16 languages.  

      Photo: Chantal Picton Holowka.

      Carol Matas will have a new Holocaust novel, A Struggle For Hope, out this fall with Scholastic Canada. It tells the story of Ruth, a Holocaust survivor who has made the dangerous trip to Palestine after the war. She and other survivors tell their stories as a way of making sense of the world and Ruth discovers how powerful stories can be – for good and for ill. Winnipeg, Manitoba.

      Carol has written historical, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary novels. She is about to have her first picture book published. She has written early readers, middle grade novels and young adult novels and a YA crossover book. She often gets emails from young people  telling her that they didn’t like to read until they discovered her books, and she is thrilled to cultivate new readers. Many of  Carol’s  presentations are about her Holocaust novels. In these sessions she delves into the roots of antisemitism and racism which informed Hitler’s worldview. She loves to talk about “big questions” using books like Cloning Miranda, when she encourages discussions about what it means to be a human being.

      Who’s Looking for science based presentations.

      There is no size limit as long as a microphone is provided for in person visits, even in small venues – although the perfect venue is a library.

      Carol does virtual visits all over North America, most recently Atlanta, Georgia to present “The War Within,” a Civil War novel.

      Writers’ Union; Canscaip; SCBWI. Also presents to adults.

      Carol’s books have garnered over 100 awards and honours, including 2 nominations for the Governor General’s Award; the Silver Birch Award; a New York Times Notable book; a Sydney Taylor Award; a National Jewish Book Award finalist; an ALA Best Book of the Year for YA; a Helen and Stan Vine Canadian Jewish Book Award for Young People; CCBC Best Book for Kids and Teens; New York Public Library, book for the Teen Age; and the Geoffrey Bilson Award. They have also been translated into 16 languages and many have been best sellers. Daniel’s Story has sold over 1 million copies in the United States and Canada. 

      Contact Carol to book a visit

        Sher, Emil (Toronto, ON)

        Emil Sher - author photo

        Writers’ Union Member. Emil’s rates are (add HST) $350 for one session, $500 for two in the same half-day, $700 for three and $900 for four (max. 4 per day, min 2 per half-day if outside GTA). A limited number of subsidies are available for Unpacking the Holocaust: A Playwright’s Journey.

        Emil’s author visits have taken him across Ontario and to Quebec, Nova Scotia and the Yukon, and he has been warmly received by teachers and students alike.

        “Emil takes the students on an emotional, real and engaging journey through captivating visuals and heartfelt storytelling. Amazing!” (Clayton Park Junior High, Halifax)

        “Mr Sher – I think you should write a book about yourself. I think you should do more good work of teaching ‘cause it was amazing! Don’t change anything!” (Grey Mountain Primary School, Whitehorse)

        Emil writes for children of all ages, from babies to teens. His debut young adult novel, Young Man with Camera, was a Governor General’s Award finalist and described as “one of the few books for this generation that will stick with them into adulthood.” He has written acclaimed board books and picture books, and his adaptation of Hana’s Suitcase, the beloved book by Karen Levine, was heralded as “an exceptional means to teach young children about the Holocaust.”

        Young Man with Camera: Behind the Scenes (Grade 5 and up)
        Emil takes students behind the scenes of a novel punctuated with striking photographs. Students are given a glimpse of the writing process — how much of writing is rewriting — and then explore the book’s themes. In small groups they look at a photograph and are asked to make up a story about what might have happened beyond the frame, to consider a fundamental question about how we interpret the world: for all that we see, what goes unseen and unsai

        Unpacking the Holocaust: A Playwright’s Journey (Grade 5 and up)
        What are the challenges, the choices, the considerations when the Holocaust is to be both honoured and dramatized on stage? How can sets, costumes, masks, slides and silence give voice to an unspeakable tragedy? Emil uses projections and video footage from past productions of Hana’s Suitcase to explore the choices he made in taking a book and retelling it on stage.

        Away We Go: Storytelling with Sticky Notes (Grade 1 – 3) This picture book about a young child’s fears about going to sleepover camp for the first time is told entirely through sticky notes. Emil inflates a balloon and shares his board books and picture books to illustrate the basics of storytelling. This leads to a hands-on workshop where students use illustrator Qin Leng’s rough sketches to write and illustrate their own version of Away.

        Emil’s presentations are approximately one hour. He has other presentations he can share upon request and is happy to create workshops for writers’ craft classes and to modify his talks to meet the curriculum needs of teachers.

        Equipment requirements: a screen and projector he can connect to his MacBook, and a table for materials.

        Contact Emil for a visit:

          Skrypuch, Marsha Forchuk (Brantford ON)

          Writers Union Member. Fiction & NF, 2X Silver Birch winner, 2x Red Cedar Winner, Yellow Cedar Winner. Multi awards. All ages. $400 plus HST for 1 session, $650 for 2, $900 for 3 and $1100 for 4, + travel (50 cents per kilometer, round-trip for SW ON).

          Virtual Visits: $300 plus HST, for one session, 20-60 minutes, $200 for each additional session on the same day.

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          Camlot, Heather (Toronto, ON)

          Writers’ Union Member. Fiction and nonfiction writer. Heather’s rates are $250 for one session, $450 for two, $650 for three, $800 for four/full day (may be shared with a neighbouring school). $150 for a virtual visit. HST applies. No travel costs within Toronto. Able to present in English and French.

          Heather is an award-winning children’s author, journalist, editor and translator. Her two middle-grade novels, CLUTCH and THE OTHER SIDE, received Skipping Stones Honor Awards and nominations for Forest of Reading, among other honors. CLUTCH was also named a 2017 Best Book from Kirkus Reviews.

          Heather is also an accomplished nonfiction writer. The critically acclaimed middle-grade WHAT IF SOLDIERS FOUGHT WITH PILLOWS? TRUE STORIES OF IMAGINATION AND DETERMINATION (available in French as Et si les soldats se battaient avec des oreillers ?) was published in 2020 and three more books will be available in 2022:

          • I CAN’T DO WHAT? STRANGE LAWS AND RULES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
          • SECRET SCHOOLS: TRUE STORIES OF THE DETERMINATION TO LEARN
          • THE PRISONER AND THE WRITER, the story of wrongly imprisoned Captain Alfred Dreyfus and author Emile Zola’s fight to have him set free.

          In her presentations, Heather aims to entertain and educate, leaving the audience interested in writing fiction and nonfiction as well as looking into their own history for inspiration.

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          Aihoshi, Susan (Toronto, ON)

          Writers’ Union of Canada member. Author of Torn Apart: The Internment Diary of Mary Kobayashi, about the uprooting and incarceration of Japanese Canadians in WWII. Writer-in-residence at Vancouver’s Historic Joy Kogawa House (Fall 2017).  150-km distance from Toronto. $175.00 per session (no HST). Travel costs by public transit apply outside Toronto.
          Continue reading “Aihoshi, Susan (Toronto, ON)”