McLaughlin, Kate (Waterbury, Connecticut)

USA Today and Amazon bestseller. 2022 White Pine winner. 2023 White Pine nominee. Multiple American awards. Young Adult and Adult focus. In-person visits, airfare/travel + accommodation. Negotiable depending on location and event.

Virtual visits $250 + HST for 30-60 minutes. $400 for two sessions. Multiple session rate negotiable.

Kate is a multi-genre author with several pen names and more than twenty-years’ experience in the publishing industry. She has written for several big New York houses and has spoken at events such as Book Expo America, DragonCon and New York ComicCon. She has also taught writing classes and given workshops on writing and publishing. Born in Nova Scotia, Kate lived in Halifax, Ottawa and Toronto before moving to the US with her husband.

On the Young Adult level, Kate has done many in-school visits and loves talking to teens about books, writing and life in general. She is flexible with her presentation style, focusing on the needs of the audience rather than a set program. She is more than happy to work with teachers and educators if there are certain topics they wish to see covered and can quickly adapt if the situation calls for it. While her books tend to deal with heavier social issues, Kate is a very positive person and carries that vibe into her presentations.

Kate often talks about how young she was when she first discovered books and writing, how that love of fiction got her through her teen years, and how she was eventually able to realize her dream of being a writer. Having also self-published, she is able to speak to kids – and adults – not only on how to break into the traditional market, but also how to make it in the indy market as well. She also offers workshops on plotting, character and finding your voice through studying other writers. As a veteran of the publishing industry, she is able to speak on almost any topic if there is a preference.

Some possible topics of discussion based on Kate’s books include Human Trafficking and sexual assault (What Unbreakable Looks Like, 2022 White Pine winner), social media and the public obsession with serial killers (Daughter, 2023 White Pine nominee), and dissociative identity disorder and mental health (Pieces of Me, April 2023 release).

Kate has no requirements of venue, but preference is given to those that allow her to connect and interact with the audience.

Contact Kate to book a visit:

    Bobet, Leah. (Toronto. ON)

    Fiction, Poetry, and Non-Fiction. OLA Best Bets selection. Winner of the Prix Aurora Award, Sunburst Award, Utopia Award, Copper Cylinder Award, and Lydia Langstaff Prize; shortlisted for the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy, Cybils Award, and Canadian Library Association Young Adult Book Award.

    $350 for one hour-long session, $600 for two, $850 for three, and $1000 for four, plus transit costs to public transit-accessible schools, or where transport from the nearest transit stop/station is available. For virtual visits: $275 for one session, 60-90 minutes, $175 for each additional session on the same day. Leah is happy to discuss alternate rates with high-needs or under-resourced schools.

    Fantasy novelist, bookseller, critic, and editor Leah Bobet knows the half the joy of reading is getting curious about something new. She gives inclusive, information-rich presentations that make sure to keep things fun—and emphasize the talents participants already have. She specializes in fantasy and science fiction, climate fiction, and poetry, and strongly believes in a supportive, positive presentation style that emphasizes tools over rules. The goal: to make sure students leave feeling confident, curious, and inspired.

    Leah works with groups from Grade 7 and up (adults included!) and has given presentations and workshops at Toronto Public Library, Oakville Public Library, London Book Camp, Word on the Street, the Tucson Festival of Books, and universities across North America. Presentations are tailored to fit your group’s interests and current classroom topics, and can be custom-designed for your group with appropriate lead time.

    Recent presentation topics include:

    Writing Urban Fantasy: Finding Magic in Your Neighbourhood

    A workshop-style presentation for fantasy readers, geography classes, or Writer’s Craft groups, this presentation introduces students to the core concepts of writing urban fantasy and finding places in one’s everyday world where magic can fit. Includes a 30-minute writing and sharing activity, and focuses on the basic skill of reading and writing fantasy: seeing wonder in our everyday surroundings.

    Where It Comes From: Worldbuilding, the Apocalypse, and All Our Stuff

    Using Leah’s 2015 YA novel An Inheritance of Ashes as a basis, this presentation talks about the everyday things we use—sugar, plastic, soap—and how many people’s work goes into building our average day.  Through showing how Ashes builds a post-apocalyptic world without industrialization, the group discusses repurposing, reusing, sharing economies, and how making it yourself can be a lot of fun.

    This presentation is great for classes focusing on sustainability, materials science, or environmental studies.

    Above and Toronto’s Secret Spaces

    Using Leah’s 2012 novel Above as a jumping-off point, this presentation digs into Toronto’s (very real!) underground sewers, tunnels, and abandoned places to explore the cooler side of local history, and how our neighbourhoods are made of not just buildings but experiences.

    This semi-interactive presentation touches on fantasy-novel worldbuilding, but prompts students to explore how people move through the same spaces in different ways, consider whose stories we tell

    —and think about how we design space for the society we want.

    This presentation is a great fit for classes focusing on Canadian history, social studies, or geography.

    Poetry is music

    Poetry can be intimidating—or not! This presentation draws on pop songs, contemporary poetry, and music theory to show participants how to think of poetry as a house made of sound. The goal: to take down obstacles between poetry and readers.

    This presentation is a great fit for English or music classes, or as an extracurricular for school choir groups.

    Equipment: Leah is happy to work with groups of up to 75, though workshops will run best when capped at 20 participants. Screen and projector appreciated for Powerpoint presentations; clear sound equipment for poetry presentations. If the room is larger or has difficult acoustics, a microphone is appreciated, as is a bottle of water. For multi-presentation days, a strictly gluten-free lunch or snacks (celiac-safe) are greatly appreciated.

    Contact Leah to book a visit: