Leatherdale, Mary Beth (Toronto, ON)

Writers’ Union Member. Her picture book, middle grade and YA non-fiction have received many awards and accolades in Canada including Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Non-Fiction, Silver Birch Honour Book, Red Maple nominee (2x), as well as in the U.S. (Excellence in Non-Fiction YALSA finalist, Kirkus Prize Nomination, Junior Library Guild Selection) and internationally (White Raven Award). $300 + HST for 1 hour presentation; $500 + HST for 2 + travel for locations outside Toronto.

Virtual Visits: $250 plus HST, 60 minutes, Skype/Zoom/Google Talk. HST extra.

Mary Beth loves visiting schools and connecting with kids, sharing personal stories and engaging students with interactive activities. For more than 25 years, she has been involved with researching, developing and writing books, magazines and resources for students and educators. She holds a Master of Education from the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education (OISE). Mary Beth’s books have been selected for readers’ choice awards in Ontario, British Columbia, Illinois, Maine, Texas and Bangkok. She has presented at schools and libraries in Ontario, British Columbia and Kansas City, Missouri.

Presentations:
JK- Gr. 3 – TERRY FOX AND ME: Storytelling session plus Q & A. For older children she includes a Powerpoint presentation, with an interactive look behind the curtain at how an idea becomes a book.
Gr. 4-8: STORMY SEAS: This presentation focuses on Mary Beth’s Silver Birch Honour Book STORMY SEAS. In an interactive presentation, students are invited to take on the roles of the young boat refugees featured in the book. Through discussion and powerpoint resources, we explore the factors that force families to leave their home, the difficult choices they must make, and the challenges of adapting to a new home. Works best in a classroom or library space.
Gr. 4 -8: WHAT WRITERS DO AND HOW THEY DO IT: As a writer and editor, Mary Beth has lots of experience in taking an idea and through perseverance and many drafts turning it into an award-winning book. Sharing fiction and non-fiction examples from both sides of the desk, Mary Beth will help students better understand real-life research, writing and revision process.
*ALL PRESENTATIONS ARE AVAILABLE FOR VIRTUAL VISITS.

Mary Beth is happy to adapt her presentations to meet the curriculum needs of teachers. Educator’s guides are available online.

Grades: JK through 6
Maximum number of students per session: 60 for grades JK – 2, 80 for older grades
Setting: school library or classroom (no gyms, please!)
Requirements: digital projector, screen or Smartboard, a microphone if the presentation is more than 50 kids, small table. If a laptop is available at the school, let her know and she’ll bring her presentation on a USB flash drive.

Contact Mary Beth:

    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)”

    Carmichael, LE PhD (Trenton, ON)

    Carmichael1

    Writers’ Union Member. Award-winning author of more than 20 STEM books for kids.

    Fees for on-site visits: $350 + HST for up to one hour, $600 + HST half day, $900 + HST full day (4 hours). Travel and/or accommodation fees may also apply. Fees for virtual visits: $300 + HST for up to 1 hour, $200 + HST for each additional presentation on the same day, to a maximum of 4 hours.

    Lindsey specializes in making science engaging, relevant, and above all, fun. She also has 20 years’ experience as a writing instructor, offering workshops for both children and adults. 

    NEW STEM PROGRAM for 2023-24!

    (Ant)Arctic Adaptations: Wildlife at the Ends of the Earth. The polar regions are bitterly cold, freeze-dried wildernesses, where the wind can blow harder than hurricanes. They are also the only places on Earth where day—and night—last up to six months. And yet, many animals not only survive in these extreme environments, they thrive! After a brief introduction to the Arctic and Antarctica, kids will be asked to brainstorm a list of polar species. We’ll discuss the adaptations that help their favourite animals stay warm, find food, and raise their babies, all in two of the harshest habitats on the planet. Then, we’ll explore the extreme adaptations of some less-familiar species… including one that protects itself with projectile vomit! 

    This presentation draws on Lindsey’s experience living in the Arctic, her PhD research on northern wolves and arctic foxes, and her favourite facts from her all-new STEM book, PolarWildlife at the Ends of the Earth. Best for grades 4-6.

    STEM Programs for K-3

    What Is a Forest For? Introducing the Boreal Forest. The boreal forest is the largest, most northern forest in the world… and 29% of it is right here in Canada! This introduction to the boreal biome will help kids understand why forests matter. We’ll explore biodiversity with a look at the animals – both iconic and obscure! – who call the boreal forest home. Using a movement activity, we’ll then discuss photosynthesis and how it helps forests prevent climate change. This program runs approximately 30 minutes, leaving plenty of time to answer students’ questions.

    Laura and the Locusts. In 1875, a swarm of Rocky Mountain locusts destroyed Laura Ingalls Wilder’s family farm. This presentation integrates Laura’s descriptions of the swarm (from On the Banks of Plum Creek) with the newest scientific information on Locust Migration. It’s creepy, crawly fun!

    STEM Programs for 4-6

    Fur and Feathers and Frogs, Oh My! Amazing Animals of the Boreal Forest. Who calls the boreal forest home? Moose and loons and beavers are both iconic and familiar; tanukis and teals and star-nosed moles, not so much! After a brief introduction to the boreal forest, kids will be asked to brainstorm a list of boreal species. We’ll take a few moments to learn about some of the biome’s more unusual occupants, through a reading from The Boreal Forest that brings these species to vivid life. From the reading, kids will identify three common adaptations for surviving boreal winters, with examples of animals that use each one. We’ll then discuss two extreme winter adaptations before ending with plenty of time for questions.

    Ocean Migrations – Over the Ice and Under the Sea. What do wolves, humpback whales, and arctic foxes have in common? Whether over the ice or under the sea, their life cycles all include migration. Drawing on discoveries from Humpback Whale Migration and Lindsey’s award-winning PhD research, this program explores different types of migration and how the world’s oceans influence animal movements. The potential impacts of global climate change on wildlife migration are also discussed.

    STEM Programs for 7-12

    Source or Sink? The Carbon Cycle and Climate Change. Carbon sinks are ecosystems that trap more CO2 via photosynthesis than they release into the atmosphere each year. As our climate changes, scientists fear that some carbon sinks could become carbon sources… accelerating further warming. In this presentation, we’ll explore the stages of the carbon cycle in the context of the boreal forest and the polar regions, showing how regional events connect to a global process.  After discussing the impacts of climate change on life in northern and polar ecosystems, kids will take action by brainstorming simple strategies they can use to reduce their carbon footprints, influence climate policy, and preserve these vast Canadian wildernesses for future generations.

    Writing Workshops

    Grades 4-6: What’s Your Book About? How to Decide What to Leave Out. “What’s your book about?” is the second-most-common thing people ask a writer – just after “Where do you get your ideas?” But before we can tell other people, we have to be able to tell ourselves. Knowing what the book is really about lets us research efficiently, revise strategically, and avoid time-consuming tangents… producing a final draft that’s concise, cohesive, and effective. In this presentation, I share the coolest animal facts that aren’t in The Boreal Forest, and explain exactly why I cut them. Then, we’ll walk through each draft of the book’s opening scene, exploring the step-by-step-decision-making process of rewriting. Throughout the program, two-minute challenges will give students a chance to apply these techniques to their own manuscripts.

    Grades 7-12: Writing Down the Feels. Why do we forget some stories, while others stay with us for years? Be they nonfiction, fiction, or poetry, stories with staying power are the ones that make us feel. This workshop explores the connections between language and emotions, teaching writers how to manipulate their reader’s response. Students will harness the emotional resonance of vivid words and figures of speech, bringing their descriptions to life.

    Important Info:

    For on-site visits, Lindsey requires a laptop and projector for PowerPoint slides.

    For virtual visits, Lindsey can present in Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, and YouTube Live. She can accommodate schedules in a range of time zones.


      Schmidt, René (Trenton, ON)

      René Schmidt is the author of four books by Scholastic Canada on Canadian Disasters series, and received the Red Maple Honour Book award for Leaving Fletchville.

      $275 for one session, $375 for two, $525 for three and for $750 for four sessions.  No travel charge will be asked within 100 km of Trenton Ontario. Skype sessions are available for $150 per session.

      FACT vs. FICTION.  Where do you get your information from?  As well as his regular presentations, René Schmidt is presenting on teaching students to separate known fact from rumours and fiction.

      Do you teach any students that don’t have a clue

      about fiction or non-fiction what’s opinion, what’s true?

      Because in our world of media confusion

      many students can’t tell between real and illusion.

      They research something and come up with actual

       opinions or hearsay but nothing proven factual.

      Did they read it on Facebook or other media social

      (because we all can be fooled by arguments emotional).

      So I tell what I found researching Canadian Disasters,

      including many times when rumors spread faster than truth…

      My rule is: don’t trust any source that can’t be fired

      for lying or misleading the public or whoever hired – them

      Be it books or newspapers, TV or Internet media;

      a lot of real facts can be found in Google or Wikipedia.

      But trust only sources with something valuable to lose,

       like a job, or tenure, or a reputation; they should have no excuse…

       for lying.

      To your students I’ll bring funny stories of misinformation

      and tragic ones too, that fooled our nation.

      Because the falsehoods we sift through are no real mystery

      bogus stories are endemic through Canada’s history.

      So invite me to your school if your principal has a budget

      and you and I will teach research and how to judge it.

      Q & A sessions follow all presentations.

      As a member of the Writer’s Union of Canada, René’s presentations qualify for the Ontario Writer’s In The Schools grants (WITS) program.

      Contact Rene to book a visit:

        Zweig, Eric (Owen Sound ON)

        Writers’ Union Member. Hockey historian and author. Available for school and library visits. Eric’s rate is $300 for one session, $500 for two, or $750 for three, plus HST. Mileage costs can often be negotiated for multiple bookings or for presentations in the GTA. For virtual visits, the fee is $200 per session.
        Continue reading “Zweig, Eric (Owen Sound ON)”