Kamal, Sheena

Adult thrillers and bold, gritty YA fiction. Globe and Mail bestselling author, Strand Magazine Critics Award Winner, Macavity Award Winner, Kobo Emerging Writer Prize Winner, White Pine Nominee, Crime Writers of Canada Nominee. All ages. $400 plus HST for 1 session + travel. Virtual Visits: $300 plus HST per session.

Sheena is an internationally published, critically acclaimed author of adult thrillers and young adult fiction. She holds an HBA in Political Science from the University of Toronto and was awarded a TD Canada Trust scholarship for community leadership and activism around the issue of homelessness.

Her debut novel The Lost Ones (US)/Eyes Like Mine (UK) won the 2018 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize, a Strand Magazine Critics Award and Macavity Award for Best First Novel. It has been sold in fifteen countries and was a Globe and Mail Bestseller, a Time Magazine Recommended Read, an iBooks Best Book, a Bustle Best Book and a Powell’s Pick. Fight Like a Girl is her debut YA novel and is also published in the UK by Hot Key Books.

Additionally, her writing has been featured in The Guardian (U.K.), BustleThe Irish Times (Ireland), Writers Digest, and Entertainment Weekly.

She enjoys giving workshops about the writing process, connecting with your creativity, and finding your voice.

Contact Sheena to book a visit:

    Cooke, Stephanie (Toronto, ON)

    Stephanie Cooke. Toronto, ON. Writers’ Union of Canada Member. English. Fantasy, Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Middle-Grade, and Young Adult. Stephanie’s rates for school visits is $300 for one session (local schools only), $500 for two sessions or for a half-day, and $900 for a full school day (maximum four sessions), plus travel if applicable. Virtual visits are $250.

    Stephanie Cooke is an author and editor based out of Toronto, Canada. She is the writer of ParaNorthern and the co-writer of Oh My Gods!

    She loves to speak to people about comics, graphic novels, and writing and devotes a lot of time to helping educate people about creating, understanding, and appreciating the graphic novel medium.

    CREATING A GRAPHIC NOVEL
    Ever wonder how a comic book or graphic novel gets made? How many different people work on one book? What’s the process for creating a story and turning it into a graphic novel? Stephanie delves into all of this and more as she helps people explore the world of the comic book industry and sheds light on the process of writing a story from inception to completion.

    Ages: Any

    Group size: Any, but especially love working with smaller groups of 15-30 kids.
    A/V needs: Projector or anything to present some images to go along with the presentation.

    Collaboration is hands-down the best parts of creating a graphic novel. Working with someone to bring an idea to life is an incredible feeling. Having someone to bounce ideas around with is amazing and inspiring. And getting to see an artist bring what was in your head to life on the page is nothing short of magical! With her experience as a co-writer on Oh My Gods! and a co-creator on an unannounced series, Stephanie has created this presentation to help teach you about the process, what to expect, and provide exercises for you to learn from.

    Ages: Any, but works especially well ages 6 and up (and for students and adults)
    Group size: 15-30

    Other topics are available upon request.

    Contact Stephanie to book a visit…

      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:

        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

          Withers, Pam

          Writers’ Union Member. Red Maple nominee 2013, 2019 and 2020. YA. Silver Nautilus Book Award 2012. Numerous other award nominations. $225 virtual visit with Pam, co-author Arooj Hayat*, or both; $300 for one session, $500 for two, $700 for three. No HST; includes all expenses. No maximum audience size. Occasional pickup/drop-off requested.

          Writers’ Union Member. Red Maple nominee 2013, 2019 and 2020. YA. Silver Nautilus Book Award 2012. Numerous other award nominations. $225 virtual visit with Pam, co-author Arooj Hayat*, or both; $300 for one session, $500 for two, $700 for three. No HST; includes all expenses. No maximum audience size. Occasional pickup/drop-off requested.

          Silver Nautilus Book Award 2012
          Silver Nautilus Book Award 2012 and 2020
           

          Pam has written 21 best-selling YA sports and outdoor adventure books particularly popular with teen boys. A former journalist, editor and outdoor guide who has kayaked the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, she’s a sought-after speaker for her high-energy, humorous presentations. She has presented extensively across North America for 30 years. The Parkour Club (written by Pam and co-author Arooj Hayat*), promotes cultural diversity and counters Islamophobia (while being a nail-biting sports and adventure story). One Egyptian YA book reviewer wrote, “a story for the whole world to read and learn from.”

          Her lively one-hour presentation for grades 4-12 includes:
           Short readings
           Tales of her own adventures
           Humorous anecdotes of how she researches her material
           The patience & persistence it takes to achieve success
           Special encouragement to boys
           The importance of rewriting & accepting criticism
           Tips on writing & getting published
           Extreme-sports video clips
           Q & A time

          Writing workshop: Pam also offers a fun, one-hour interactive workshop on doing research to make your writing more real.

          Equipment required for in-person visits: Projector and laptop for my USB flash drive; table and water.

          Contact Pam to book a visit:

            Bow, James (Kitchener, ON)

             

             

             

             

             

            Waterloo Region (Available for GTA, Hamilton, Niagara, London and parts in between). Writers’ Union Member. VPRS checked and logged with TDSB. English author. Middle grade, young adult. Grades 5 to 12. James’ rate is $300 for one 45-60 min session, $550 for 2, $750 for 3, $900 for 4 (max 4 per day), plus travel by car or transit). HST extra. 

            photo credit: Christine Saunders photographer

            James has published three MG-YA fantasies, one YA-SF and has two YA fantasies coming in 2019. His YA-SF novel Icarus Down won the 2017 Prix Aurora Award for best Canadian YA SF Novel.

            Continue reading “Bow, James (Kitchener, ON)”

            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)”

            Younge-Ullman, Danielle (Toronto, ON)

            Writers Union Member. White Pine Award Winner and two-time nominee, also nominated for Governor General’s award, Amy Mathers Teen Book award, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz award, among others—a total of 18 nominations and Best-of lists. YA Author of HE MUST LIKE YOU, EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL IS NOT RUINED, and LOLA CARLYE’S 12 STEP ROMANCE.

            Danielle’s virtual visit fee is $200 per 50-60 minute session. In person visits are $300 for 1 hour presentation; $550 for 2, $800 for 3, plus travel for locations outside Toronto.

            Danielle is a confident and dynamic presenter who loves talking about books with people of all ages. She attained a BA from McGill, worked for years as an actor before turning to writing, and has had a wild variety of jobs—everything from acting, to dubbing English voices for Japanese TV, to temping, to teaching Pilates, to freelance writing. Danielle lives Toronto with her husband and two daughters.

            Presentations: Because of her background in theatre, Danielle is very comfortable in front of an audience and loves engaging with readers. Though she writes teen fiction, she can also adjust her presentations for groups as young as grade 5 and 6. Presentations can be geared toward each group, and can be done with more of a workshop emphasis if required. All presentations include time for questions!

            Age range: grades 5 and up, but ideally grades 7-12. Danielle also loves presenting to and working with adult groups, and meeting with book clubs.

            Topics:

            Pantsters, Plotters & Making Soup: A discussion of the essential elements of fiction, and explanations of some of the different techniques used by writers to craft story and write fiction.

            Turning Real Life Into Fiction: The process of using your own stories as inspiration for fiction is deeper, more layered, and much more detailed than it looks. In this session, Danielle will take you through the process of distilling the essence of your experiences, and using the most compelling themes and elements to create a work of fiction, using He Must Like You and Everything Beautiful Is Not Ruined as examples.

            How to Pursue a Career as a Novelist: A presentation that explains the process of becoming a professional writer, from beginning writing through searching for an agent, to going through the process of being published. This presentation is great for students who are interested in the arts, and in the process of making decisions about their futures.

            How to Revise the Crap Out of Your Manuscript: Danielle is an in-depth and joyfully ruthless reviser. In this session she will go through the steps she takes to revise her manuscripts in a way that can also be applied to shorter works. Subjects will include character consistency, POV, tone, tightening and/or expanding, layering in new characters and plot lines, analyzing structure, and general troubleshooting of things that aren’t working. 

            Equipment: podium or desk, microphone for groups larger than 40. Maximum group size: 40-60 for optimum interaction, but Danielle is also comfortable in front of larger groups. 25 or fewer for workshops.

            Contact Danielle Younge-Ullman:

              Hohn, Nadia (Toronto)

              The Writers Union member. Picture book. All ages. $350 for 1 session (60 min) $ 600 for 2 sessions of 60 minutes (1/2 day)$ 400 for 2 x 30 minute sessions (great for JK to 1). Full day (4 sessions) $ 1000. + kilometrage. Can present in English and French.

              Nadia is fully booked for the remainder of the 2021/2022 school season. She is currently scheduling for the 2022/2023 school year. 

              Malaika’s Costume (2016) and Malaika’s Winter Carnival (2017).

              Continue reading “Hohn, Nadia (Toronto)”