Blair, Kate (Toronto, ON)

Writers’ Union and CANSCAIP member.

Kate’s YA novels Transferral and Tangled Planet were nominated for multiple awards and optioned for TV and film. Her middle-grade novel The Magpie’s Library was named an OLA Best Bet for 2019 and nominated for the Northern Lights Award.

GTA only. $200 for 1 session, $375 for 2, $500 for 3, $600 for 4 sessions. Limited to visiting schools accessible by public transit, or where a teacher is able to provide transport from the nearest transit stop/station – no travel costs within Toronto; actual transit cost elsewhere in the GTA.

Kate’s presentations are suitable for grades 4 to 12.

Kate Blair has been a museum curator, a clown and a ride operator at a theme park. She holds a degree in history and a masters in museum studies with a specialty in education.

Her first young adult novel, Transferral, is set in an alternative version of modern London, England, where criminals are punished by having the diseases of the innocent transferred to them. It explores ideas around justice, punishment and poverty. Her second, Tangled Planet, is set in the far future, on a generation starship that has just arrived at its destination planet, and deals with the struggles of the crew to adapt to their new home. Her middle grade novel, The Magpie’s Library, is about a girl dealing with the decline of a grandparent, who discovers a door to a magical library.

Kate loves to share her enthusiasm for reading, writing, and finding your place in the world. Workshops and presentations are tailored to meet the needs of the group, and are flexible, responding to the interests and curiosity of the students. She has years of experience in museums leading school workshops and presentations with all age groups, keeping students engaged and entertained.

Kate’s presentations and workshops can cover a variety of topics, are always adapted to suit the audience and their interests, and include aspects of the following:

Writing a book: what does it take and how do you get started? Including: how to spark ideas; how to create characters; the importance of failing and how no one is any good at anything when they first start. The role of passion and practice in cultivating success, rather than ‘natural’ talent.

Space colonization: Talking about the research that went into creating a believable, fact-based world in Tangled Planet. Discussing issues that face future astronauts and space missions, from the trivial – such as using the bathroom in zero-gravity – to more serious challenges associated with long-distance space travel, exploring exoplanets and finding a home for humanity among the stars.

Crime and punishment: Talking about the research that went into Transferral and the odd and intertwined history of disease, poverty and punishment and the way that even now, disease and prejudice can go hand in hand.

Portals in fiction: discussing stories with magical and non-magical gateways and helping children to come up with their own stories involving portals.

All venues – library and classrooms preferred. Currently in-person only, due to unreliable technology. Maximum group size: 200. Equipment and other requirements: A microphone and table/podium (and preferably a projector) for larger groups, or if the presentation is in a gym or auditorium. A glass of water.

Contact Kate Blair to book a visit:

    Bender, Rebecca (Burlington ON)

    Author-Illustrator. Burlington, ON. Writers’ Union Member. Blue Spruce winner. Mainly K to 3, but also any age.

    In-person: $350 plus HST for 1 session, two for $600, three for $800 and four for $1000, + travel for destinations further than 50 km.

    Virtual visit: $200 plus HST for one session, 20-60 minutes, and $150 for each additional on the same day.

    Rebecca’s goal is to inspire children to imagine their own characters and stories and to act on it! The students will take part in creating illustrations, drawn live before their eyes, that will bring forth story ideas and animated discussion. She shares her journey of becoming an author-illustrator and her process for coming up with ideas. Rebecca requires an easel, chart paper, table, and a chair and prefers a maximum of 65 students per presentation.

    For larger groups, a variation of this presentation is done with slides. Please note a projector and sound system is required for this option.

    Rebecca also offers a workshop on jump-starting a picture book. She shows the students how to go from creating a strong central character to a solid story idea. For this, tables or clipboards and basic drawing supplies are necessary.

    Contact REBECCA TO BOOK A VISIT: