Baird Warren, Jane (Ayer’s Cliff, Quebec)

Jane Warren

Writers’ Union Member. Also SCBWI, CANSCAIP, TWUC, CAA, QWF.

Rates: $150 for one classroom session (grades 4-8), $350 for half-day workshop (grades 9-12, CEGEP). Plus a travel fee of $0.50/km. For Ontario, $0.50/km if outside Toronto. Book Club visit fee $150

Travel from Toronto (though author lives in Quebec). All activities can be offered online.

Located in Quebec, Jane is a former teacher, personal trainer and coach with BPE, BEd and an MFA in Creative Writing. She’s published short fiction and poetry and has been featured on CBC radio. Her debut children’s novel HOW TO BE A GOLDFISH deals with themes of family, relationships and bullying can expand to offer a gentle introduction to discussions about alternative families, homosexuality, feminism, forced adoptions and social justice. (Grades 4-7)

How to be a goldfish by Jane Baird Warren

Writing workshops

Grades 4-8

No Shaggy Dogs Here! A fun, hands-on workshop where students learn that a good story is not just a collection of events; characters matter! Working together we will develop a collective story outline. Students choose and develop their own protagonist then, armed with our story roadmap, they are free to navigate as their imaginations allow. Suitable for a class.

Grades 9-12 (and CEGEP)

Workshops are geared to the writer wanting to hone their craft and who may be considering continuing in the field of creative writing either at university or independently. These half-day workshops focus on the student’s own writing and work best when limited in size (10-15 participants).

Book Club: Grades 4-7

Jane is available for student book clubs/ classrooms wanting to discuss HOW TO BE A GOLDFISH. Discussions can follow the Study Guide (Scholastic Canada) or can be adapted as needed.

Contact Jane for a visit:

    Hahn, Dee (Calgary, AB)

    Dee Hahn, author

    Writer’s Guild of Alberta. CANSCAIP Writing for Children finalist.

    Presentation: English. Grades: Kindergarten to grade 12.

    Rates: 225$ for 1 session, 350$ for 2, $475 for 3, and $675.00 for 4 sessions (a full day).

    Travel fees: if travel is out of province, cost of airfare is required. Within Alberta, travel is $0.50/km, round-trip. 

    Virtual Visits: 150$ for 1 session of 20-60 minutes, depending on age group. $100 for each additional session on the same day.

    Dee Hahn is an experienced and enthusiastic public speaker and former middle school teacher. Catering to all ages, she spends much of her time in both elementary and senior high classrooms. Travel is a great passion of Dee’s, and she brings a background of anthropology and history into her novels and presentations. Dee often opens her presentations with the story of how she struggled to read as a child, and her journey to becoming a writer. She also loves discussing the inspirations behind her writing, and how her century-old cabin home sparked the story seed for her debut novel, The Grave Thief.

    The Grave Thief by Dee Hahn

     The Grave Thief (Tundra Books, 2022) is a middle grade fantasy that includes themes of forgiveness, redemption, friendship, and finding strength amidst physical challenges and disability.

    Dee can accommodate for any group size or venue. She has a wide range of experience in presenting to both large assemblies and smaller classroom sessions, as well as teaching creative writing workshops. She is always excited to personalize a session and to include any specially requested topics.

    Here are a few examples of Dee’s sessions by grade:

    5 to 8 years (25 to 30 minutes): Younger elementary presentations include a brief discussion of creative writing and a ‘How to Build a Mystery’ mini workshop, as well as a personalized activity such as a classroom writing session, a live art tutorial, or a game. Sessions are dynamic with lots of audience participation, and include visuals and a video component.

    9 to 12 years (40 to 60 minutes): The Grave Thief is for this age category of readers. Middle school presentations involve a brief reading, a discussion of the creative writing process, and a trivia ‘escape room’ game (using a series of treasure chests if done in person, or a slideshow if done virtually). Sessions are interactive and involve audience participation and a Q & A.

    13 to 18 years (45 to 60 minutes): Junior and senior high school presentations delve deeper into the creative writing process and a discussion of inspirations, as well as a trivia game. Sessions focus on establishing an open dialogue with students and an in-depth Q & A.

    Creative Writing Workshops: Workshop sessions are customized for each group. For example, a middle school workshop could include a discussion on inspirations and the process of writing, developing a strong writing voice, and how to enhance the writing language we use. Classroom extension activities and ideas for teachers are also provided.

    Equipment required for Dee’s presentations:

    -A screen and projector for a PowerPoint presentation

    -An external speaker she can plug into her laptop (to amplify audio for her film clips)

    -A microphone for larger groups

    -A table to spread her books and props out

    Reviews:

    “I would rank Dee Hahn as one of the best author visits we’ve had!  Our kids were completely riveted, and the demand for her book was high. An all-around informative and completely fabulous visit is what you can expect from Dee.  I would highly recommend her!”

    -Tracy Tuttosi, Educator-Librarian at Dr. Morris Gibson School

      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:

        Lordon, Claire (Vancouver, BC)

        Claire Lordon

        Claire Lordon is an author, illustrator and Writers Union Member based in Vancouver, BC. Her presentations are in English. She presents to K-5.

        Her school visit rates are $150 for a half hour virtual presentation (for grades K-1), $200 for a 50 minute virtual presentation $250 for one 50 minute in person presentation $450 for two 50 minute in person visits $675 for three 50 minute presentations.

        GST is extra. Travel fees are extra except for the greater Vancouver area.

        Claire is the author-illustrator of one book, and the illustrator of five more. She is an experienced school speaker who loves presenting to schools. Her presentations and workshops are upbeat and fun and can be catered to your group’s needs.

        Here is a typical talk:
        Presentations include a reading, a discussion about being an author-illustrator, process sketches, how she comes up with ideas, and a fun interactive drawing game. There is also a Q&A.

        In addition to schools, she also gives presentations to libraries, conferences, organizations and more.

        Additional Presentations and Workshops:

        •How a Picture Book is Made
        Good for grades K-5

        •How Claire Became an Author-Illustrator
        Good for grades 3-5

        •Class-Created Picture Book Story
        Good for Grades 1-4

        •Professional Workshop: Create a Submission-Ready Book Dummy.

        For adults. Note this workshop is either two one-hour sessions or one 90-minute session. Priced at $500 plus GST (if applicable).

        Maximum size for presentations: 35

        Equipment needed: Drawing easel and markers, a projector and screen for some presentations.

        CONTACT CLAIRE TO BOOK A VISIT:

          Jain, Mahak (Toronto, Ontario)

          Mahak Jain

          Award-winning author, editor, and educator of fiction and poetry for young people and adults. Member of The Writers’ Union of Canada. Presents in English to all ages.

          Rates: $300 + HST per 60-min presentation ($150 + HST for 30 minutes). Virtual presentations only at this time.

          Travel: No travel costs for locations accessible via public transit in central Toronto. Actual costs for locations outside central Toronto; additional arrangements may be required (e.g., transit station pick-up/drop-off).

          Mahak’s debut picture book won the South Asia Book Award and was named a CBC Best Book of the Year, a Kirkus Best Book of the Year, and was a starred selection with the Canadian Children’s Book Centre. She has also edited children’s books for Penguin Random House Canada, Owlkids Books, Kids Can Press, and Annick Press and developed youth creative writing workshops for the Toronto Public Library. She teaches creative writing at Sheridan College.

          For grades 5 and below, she leads interactive presentations tied to one of her picture books, including a reading, a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the writing process, and curricular tie-ins. For small groups, she also incorporates an activity that engages students creatively.

          For grades 6 and up as well as for staff, she can lead creative writing workshops, introduce audiences to writing and publishing careers, present on how to write for different age groups, facilitate a discussion and activity on the creative process, or provide time management and productivity tips for creatives.

          All venues. Equipment: A screen and projector for PowerPoint; microphone for larger groups or if required for acoustics. Colouring pencils or crayons and writing surfaces for students will be required for some presentations.

          Contact Mahak to book a visit…

            Payne, Mary Jennifer (Toronto, ON)

            Mary Jennifer’s rate is $300 plus HST per session, plus travel from Toronto. For multiple visits within the same day (maximum of 4), each session is $250 plus HST. Virtual visits via Zoom are $200 plus HST. Each session is 60 minutes long. Author readings with a Q&A and/or writing workshops are available for booking.

            Jennifer Payne is an internationally published writer who’s widely known for her YA fiction, including her contributions to the award-winning Boldprint and Timelines series and her Daughters of Light trilogy. Her novels often centre around the themes of gentrification, poverty, climate change, prejudice, marginalization, resilience, etc. and feature strong, female protagonists. Mary Jennifer’s YA hi-lo novel, Enough, was praised by CM magazine as a book that, “In trying to address issues of poverty, race, and gender, the author creates a thought-provoking tale that would be useful for opening up reflection and/or discussion around inclusivity and social struggle.”

            Mary Jennifer Payne is an internationally published writer who’s widely known for her YA fiction, including her contributions to the award-winning Boldprint and Timelines series and her Daughters of Light trilogy. Her novels often centre around the themes of gentrification, poverty, climate change, prejudice, marginalization, resilience, etc. and feature strong, female protagonists. Mary Jennifer’s YA hi-lo novel, Enough, was praised by CM magazine as a book that, “In trying to address issues of poverty, race, and gender, the author creates a thought-provoking tale that would be useful for opening up reflection and/or discussion around inclusivity and social struggle.”

            Sample Writing Workshops (These can be tailored to relate more directly to my
            novel and the characters/themes therein):

            There Are Two Sides to Every Story…. You’ve heard the phrase, “There’s always two sides to a story,” right? In this workshop, I’ll unlock your imagination and allow you to give voice to those characters that didn’t get their fair shake at the spotlight in their original narrative. From Voldemort to Cinderella’s stepsisters to Anansi the Spider, the sky’s the limit in terms of who you can bring to life. Step into your character’s shoes and tell the story from his/her point of view. The workshop leads into discussions around marginalization and the inclusiveness (or lack thereof) within different narratives. This workshop will incorporate fun improvisation to get us warmed­ up. Suitable for ages 10 and up.

            Believe in Me! How to Create Realistic Characters in Your Stories. Your protagonist and antagonist, as well as your entire cast of characters, need to come alive on the page in an authentic way. Like everyone, each of your characters is a mix of complex emotions and characteristics. And they have a backstory that motivates them to behave in particular ways in different situations. This workshop will help participants really develop their characters. From deciding your protagonist’s favourite food to his/her greatest fear, you’ll end this session with a character that is “fleshed ­out” and real enough to step off the page. This workshop will incorporate drama exercises such as hot-­seating as the character being developed to help get the creative juices flowing. Suitable for ages 10 and up.

            Create, Collaborate, Celebrate! Many modern workplaces are collaborative. In this fun and fast-­paced workshop, participants will collaborate in groups of two to ­three to develop a story from a current news headline. Each story will be shared and celebrated at the end of the session. After briefly plotting some of the elements of your story, you and your partner will take turns writing sentences (or paragraphs, if you’re really daring!) to bring your narrative to life. During our sharing of work at the end of the workshop, there will be an opportunity to discuss what worked, what frustrated us, and what sparks of discovery were made along the way. Suitable for children aged 10 and up.

            Book editing and coaching for writers is available as well.

            Contact Mary Jennifer to book a visit…

              Dickson, Alessia (Vaughan/Toronto, ON)

              Alessia Dickson, author, authors' booking serviceDEAL: $225 for 1 session
              $400 for 2 sessions
              $550 for the whole day
              $80 for writing workshops
              $80 for virtual visits

              Award-winning young author of The Crystal Chronicles series. $250 + HST per session. Small group writing workshops available at $100 + HST.
              Books: $ 20 (HST included)
              Travel expenses may apply for long distances.

              Alessia Dickson is the award-winning young author of The Crystal Chronicles series. Since publishing The Crystal Chronicles at age sixteen, she has been interviewed for CBC television, appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines, and has given presentations to more than 20000 students across 70 schools in Ontario. She has worked alongside other authors such as Eric Walters and has a passion for inspiring young students. Due to her age, students really connect with Alessia and always leave her presentations inspired to achieve their own dreams.

              Alessia started writing The Crystal Chronicles, in fifth grade. She wrote the bulk of the book in grades 6, 7, and 8 and later published it in high school. As a result, many students can relate to her journey and young age. However, Alessia realizes, a lot of students are not creative writers which is talked about during her presentations. She highlights the importance for students to follow their passions, no matter if it’s writing, art, sports, dance, or something else. She especially focuses on how passion and persistence can get you anywhere, and how age is truly
              just a number. Students always leave her presentations excited to read and write, as well as motivated to pursue their own interests in their own lives.

              The Crystal Chronicles – The Crystal Chronicles follows the story of sixteen-year-old Alyssa Brooks who discovers she possesses magical powers and belongs to a supernatural race called Elementals, who can control earth, air, fire, and water. The Crystal Chronicles is often compared to international sensations such as Harry Potter, and Percy Jackson.

              The Crystal Chronicles and The Lost Temple – As the second installment in the series, The Lost Temple follows Alyssa and her friends as they journey into the Amazon searching for the first of four crystals.

              Presentations to grades 4-12.

              First 30 mins – personal introduction, explanation of the writing process including plotting, character development, editing, obstacles, and publication. Also includes writing advice and tips as well as a full synopsis about the book.
              Last 30 mins – a question and answer period for the audience and a fifteen-minute period at the very end for book sales. Purchased books includes a bookmark and a personalized signed copy to the student’s name.

              Small Group Writing Workshop

              Grades – 4-8
              Group size – max 35 students
              First 20 mins- introduction, how to build plots, characters and dialogue Last 40 mins – student writing period where she circulates the classroom and answers individual questions and offers personalized feedback. There is a voluntary sharing period at the end where students can read some of the work to the class. She can also integrate specific classroom material into the workshop. For example, many classes will be reading a certain novel or focusing on poetry or story writing.

              Virtual Visits: $100 (HST included) per session

              Preferred setting: Classroom, library or gymnasium
              Equipment: laptop, projector screen, microphone
              Grades – 4-12
              Group size – max 500

              Contact Alessia to book a visit:

              Continue reading “Dickson, Alessia (Vaughan/Toronto, ON)”

              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

                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.

                Continue reading “Skrypuch, Marsha Forchuk (Brantford ON)”

                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.

                Continue reading “Camlot, Heather (Toronto, ON)”