Remember to read each profile carefully, making note of individual travel parameters and other requirements, before making your request.

To request writers and illustrators for a WITS visit to your school please click on the "Request this Author" button found at the bottom of each profile. After making a selection you will see the requested name appear in your shopping cart (on the left-hand side below the WITS menu).

When you have finished making your selections, return to your shopping cart and click on "check out". You will now see your requested authors at the top of the page and can choose full day or half day visits (up to a maximum of 5 full days or the equivalent mix of half and full days totaling 5 full days).

Complete your request by filling in the school contact information and agreeing to the terms of the program. Thank you!

Works with grades: 10-12

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  • Don Aker

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Maximum group/class size: Author talks for groups small and large*. Writing workshops are ideally suited for groups of 15 to promote interactivity (maximum of 20).

    Home Region: HRM

    Will travel: Anywhere in Nova Scotia. However, schools located farther than a 90-minute drive from his home are required to pay for meals and accommodation, expenses that are not covered by WITS.

    Available: Oct - Dec, Mar - Jun. Full days only, maximum of 3 presentations per day.

    Areas of Expertise: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, and screenwriting

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: Having taught middle level and high school students, Don is comfortable presenting to students in grades 6 to 12 and offers specific writing workshops as well as more general author talks, all of them accompanied by entertaining PowerPoint presentations.

    He begins by telling students how, as a high school student, he wanted to be a writer but never felt he could actually become one, and then he describes the series of serendipitous events that led him down that writing path toward publication 20 years later. He provides a brief overview of his books, followed by a discussion of his writing process—where he gets his ideas and the three questions he needs to answer before he can begin writing any story. He always ensures there is time for students to ask questions and may offer a brief reading. Don is completely comfortable tailoring his presentations to the needs of a specific audience, particularly classes who are reading one or more of his novels (three weeks advance notice required).

    A list of past workshops is available on request.

    *For author presentations, limiting the group to 40 studentsincreases the likelihood that attendees will ask questions, but I am comforable presenting to groups far greater than that.

    Special Equipment: LCD projector, audio amplification for his laptop, projection screen, a small table, and a glass of water.  Don may require a microphone and amplifier when speaking in a big space or to larger groups.

    About the Author:Author and educational consultant Don Aker has written 20 books and has conducted workshops for students and teachers across Canada and in the United States. He is widely known for his bestselling young adult novels, among them Of Things Not Seen, winner of Atlantic Canada’s Ann Connor Brimer Award and the Canadian Authors Association’s Lilla Stirling Award; The First Stone, winner of the Ann Connor Brimer Award and Ontario’s White Pine Award; and The Space Between, which earned the Canadian Library Association’s Honour Book Award. A former language arts teacher, literacy mentor, and university instructor, Don enjoys speaking to students in grades 6 to 12, many of whom are familiar with his books in their classrooms. Don’s most recent novels are Delusion Road (HarperCollins, 2015) and Brothers in Arms: The Siege of Louisbourg (Scholastic, 2015). For more info visit: www.donaker.com

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  • Cooper Lee Bombardier

    Works with grades: 10-12

     

    Cooper Lee Bombardier is a writer and visual artist originally from the South Shore of Boston. He has been a construction worker, a cook, a carpenter, a union stagehand, a bouncer, a welder, a shop steward, a dishwasher, a truck driver, and a housepainter, among other things, for a paycheck. His writing appears in many publications and anthologies, such as The Kenyon Review, CutBank, Nailed Magazine, and The Rumpus; and recently in the Lambda Literary Award-winning anthology The RemedyEssays on Queer Health Issues, (ed. Zena Sharman) and Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Speculative Fiction From Transgender Writers, winner of the 2018 American Library Association Stonewall Book Awards Barbara Gittings Literature Award (eds. Cat Fitzpatrick and Casey Plett). The Huffington Post listed Cooper as one of “10 Transgender Artists Who Are Changing The Landscape Of Contemporary Art.” His visual art was recently curated in an exhibition called “Intersectionality” at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami, and hung recently in shows at Meow Wolf in Santa Fe, NM, the National Queer Arts Festival in San Francisco, and at Helltown Workshop in Provincetown, MA. A veteran of the original Sister Spit tours, he's performed, lectured, and exhibited art across North America. Cooper is the fiction editor at Gertrude Press, an ELL volunteer tutor for immigrant community members at his local public library. He has received fellowships from the Regional Arts and Culture Council, Lambda Literary Foundation, and RADAR Labs. Cooper Lee has taught writing at the University of Portland, Clark College, Portland State University, and at various Portland-area high schools as a writer-in-residence through Literary Art's program Writers in The Schools. He is a 2018 Visiting Writer at the Pacific Northwest College of Arts Critical Studies graduate program. Visit him at www.cooperleebombardier.com  FB: cooperfrickinleee Twitter: @CooperLeeB  IG: cooperleebomb

     

     

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  • Anne Carter

    Works with grades: 10-12

    19 books for the young at heart: Picture Books, MG Non-Fiction and Fiction, YA fiction.

    Anne divides her time writing and teaching between Toronto Island and the LaHave River, Nova Scotia. 

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  • Lesley Choyce

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Home Region: HRM

    Will travel: anywhere in NS

    Available for visits: Half day visits only, preferably afternoons.

    Areas of Expertise:   Young adult novels, fiction, history, children's fiction, poetry.

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: Lesley will read from such kids' books as Skunks for Breakfast and Far Enough Island, as well as such young adult novels as The Book of Michael, The End of the World as We Know It, Wave Warrior, Smoke and Mirrors or Shoulder the Sky (winner of the 2003 Ann Connor Brimer Children's Literature Prize). He can talk about the history of Nova Scotia (Nova Scotia Shaped by the Sea) as well. The main focus of the presentation is to get students enthusiastic about writing, imagination and creativity. Lesley also has stories to tell about skunks and ravens and brings along his poetry music videos to inspire non-book kids. He's guaranteed to entertain, intrigue and provoke. When not writing, Lesley teaches at Dalhousie University, performs spoken word poetry/music and surfs in year round.

    Special equipment: Please contact the author.

    About the author: Lesley teaches at Dalhousie University, runs Pottersfield Press and has published over 86 books for adults and kids. His Young Adult novels concern things like skateboarding, surfing, racism, environmental issues, organ transplants, and rock bands. Lesley surfs year round in the North Atlantic and is considered the father of transcendental wood-splitting. www.lesleychoyce.com

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  • Valerie Compton

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Home Region: Halifax

    Will travel: throughout NS but prefers HRM in winter months.

    Available: Sept - June

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction writing & non-fiction writing

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: Valerie’s presentations are fun, interactive and collaborative. Students at all grade levels will learn to see the hidden structure of a story and develop their own writing style. Valerie helps students in grades P – 9 to create vibrant characters and draft a story, guiding students in using imagination and revision skills. Valerie’s advanced writing and self-editing workshops are perfect for grades 10 – 12. For schools within one hour of HRM, Valerie can offer a progressive series of workshops designed to develop an advanced writing practice.

    About the Author: Valerie Compton is the author of the novel Tide Road, a finalist for the 2012 Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award. Her short fiction has been published in literary journals across Canada and shortlisted for the CBC Literary Award. Her non-fiction articles and book reviews have appeared in The Globe and Mail, Ottawa Citizen, Gourmet and elsewhere. Valerie has been leading writing workshops and mentoring writers since 2005. Visit her at http://www.narrativeagency.ca

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  • Natalie Corbett Sampson

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Maximum group/class size: Ideally one to two classes at a time, but willing to consider more with the right support and set up

    Home Region: HRM

    Will Travel: Yes, up to three hours outside of Halifax with notice

    Available: Sept-June, preferably Monday & Friday, but can do Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday with notice

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction, writing from personal experience, Young adult (YA)

    Workshop Plans: I love talking to readers and writers of all ages; besides writing, talking about writing is my favourite part of the job. My novels are fiction, based on personal experiences, a process that is important to teach young writers. I am committed to developing a workshop based on the needs and interests of the students attending. 

    I have given workshops in the public libraries, and in high schools in NS, BC, Sask, and Ont. Workshops provide direct instruction on topics including, Maintaining Point of View, Effective Grammar (yikes on the adverbs!), Outlining and Details, Dialogue, World and Character development. I include writing activites to emphasize and practice important points in those areas that can be accomplished through individual or group work. I strive to provide a supportive, comfortable atmosphere for an interactive workshop experience. I am also happy to talk about my personal publication journey and read from my novel if that is desired by the students and/or teacher. 

    About Me: I live in Hatchet Lake with my husband and four school age kids. My day job is a private practicing SLP. I have published four novels, Game Plan, a YA story about teen pgcy and adoption, Aptitude, a YA dystopian story about creativity and individuality, It Should Have Been a #GoodDay, a story about perspective, bullying and high school and Take These Broken Wings, a story about families and growing up. I have two more novels in process, one scheduled to be indie-pubbed in February and the second in the development stage. I keep an active online presence on Facebook, Twitter, Wattpad, and my blog: www.NatalieCorbettSampson.com 

     

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  • Pauline Dakin

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Maximum group/class size: Negotiable.

    Home Region:Halifax

    Will travel: Throughout Nova Scotia. Overnight accommodation may be required for travel of more than 2.5 hrs each way.

    Available:Sept - May

    Areas of Expertise: Storytelling, journalism, memoir.

     

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  • Kenneth Davidson

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Kenneth Davidson is a curriculum writer for the Nova Scotia Department of Education, Acadia University,
    and Nova Scotia Community College. Ken has decades of teaching experience at all grade levels in
    both Nova Scotia and Manitoba. He has also taught for many years at the university and college level. His
    pedagogical methods have been widely accepted and refined over the years to culminate, through the
    writing of The Elf Child, in a desire to appeal to the beautiful minds of young children.

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  • Deirdre Dwyer

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Maximum Group/Class size: preferably under 25

    Home Region: HRM

    Will travel: within HRM, Annapolis Valley, Tri-County,  Strait Regional, Chignecto-Central. Accommodation may be required for visits to  schools more than 2 hours drive from HRM.

    Available: Sept - June. Full and half day visits.

    Areas of Expertise: Poetry, non-fiction, travel writing, and living in a different culture.

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: With the students, she will talk a little about her writing background, but  will focus on reading and discussing her work and most importantly, have the students to do some writing exercises, based on the discussions. For instance, for a travel poem about Thailand, she will discuss how the palm trees are like earrings for elephants, so the students write will write about jewelry for wildlife. Deirde prefers to work with groups of 25 students or less. Or she will have students write about wildlife after she talks about her time with the Hope for Wildlife rehabilitation centre. For older students, she will discuss emotions and how to include their interests in writing.

    About the Author: Deirdre Dwyer is a poet who engages her classes in discussion about her poems, non-fiction, and the writing process. She creates various writing exercises about simile, metaphor, about animals and people, and asks the students to read their writing aloud. Her experience at the Hope for Wildlife rehabilitation center, as a community volunteer, as ex-Coordinator of a Farmers’ Market, and traveler motivate her and her students to write on a variety of topics. She is working now on finding a publisher for two poetry collections, and is working two non-fiction manuscripts about her travels in Japan, Asia, Europe, and across the USA and Canada in a camperized Volkswagen van.

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  • Andre Fenton

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Andre Fenton is an award winning spoken word artist & filmmaker who has repsented Halifax at 7 national poetry slams across Canada. He is currently on the board of directors of the Writers Federation of Nova Scotia and a member at large on the board of Spoken Word Canada. He is an author of two books. Ode to Teen Angst and his new YA novel, Worthy of Love which was published by Formac. He is based in the Halifax area.

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  • Monica Graham

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Maximum group/class size: 30 or less

    Home Region: Chignecto-Central

    Will travel: throughout NS. Accomodation required for schools 3+ hours away.

    Available: Sept - June. Full and half day visits.

    Areas of Expertise: Non-fiction: history, biography, news, trivia, opinion (suitable for grade 7 and up); workshops for younger kids; memoir–everyone has a story to tell.

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: Monica uses props and games to explain the differences among fact, fiction and opinion; and individual and group writing exercises to demonstrate how to make facts interesting. She talks about cheating - using dictionaries, thesaurus, spell-check and other tools to gain an advantage. She reads to students and answers questions about writing. If older students have writing they want to share and discuss, teachers should let Monica know in advance in order to adjust the presentation time and style. If a particular topic or project inerests the students, please let Monica know.  A flip chart or chalk/white board is handy, and students should have pen/cils and paper. MOnica does not usually employ electronic gizmos as her experience shows they are frustrating and time-consuming to set up. 

    She prefers working with groups of 30 students or less and a scent-free audience is preferred. Coffee and maybe a biscuit are appreciated after a long drive.

    About the Author: Monica Graham lives in the woods in Pictou County, where she keeps three big vegetable gardens, grows raspberries and blackberries, swats black flies, hunts for moose tracks and mushrooms and tries to keep her little dog out of the swamps. When she'’s not playing in the mud or skiing or snowshoeing,  she hides in her office and writes books, as well as stories for newspapers and magazines. She likes history and imagining the people who lived in a place long ago. A freelance journalist and former columnist, Monica has written news and feature articles for  the Halifax Chronicle HeraldRural Delivery, and others. She wrote the books Looking Back at Pictou County, The Historic Town of Pictou, Scotch Willy and Other Nicknames from Pictou County, The Great Maritime Detective, Bluenose, Historic New Glasgow, Stellarton, Trenton & Westville, and  Fire Spook, a true ghost story released in October, 2013.  In May, 2015, Nimbus Publishing released a collection of her columns called In the Spirit: Reflections on Everday Grace. Two months later, her history of Pictou Academy, called Cradle of Knowledge, was launched in advance of the school's 200th anniversary in 2016. In the works are a historic novel, a funny tale about husbands that she calls My Next Husband Will Be Normal and more - she has more ideas than time!

    Monica served as 2011-12 Writer-in-Residence at Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library, and was Writer-in-Residence at Berton House in Dawson City, Yukon, in 2008.

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  • Shauntay Grant

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Shauntay is fully booked for 2018-19. 

    Shauntay Grant is a writer and performance artist from Halifax, Nova Scotia. She teaches creative writing at Dalhousie University, and as Halifax's third poet laureate she organized Canada's first national gathering of Canadian poets laureate.

    Shauntay is a descendant of Black Loyalists, Jamaican Maroons, and Black Refugees who came to Canada during the 18th and 19th centuries. Her love of language stretches back to her storytelling roots in Nova Scotia's historic Black communities, and her homegrown artistic practice embraces African Nova Scotian history and folk culture, as well as contemporary approaches to literature and performance. Shauntay is a multidisciplinary artist with professional degrees and training in creative writing, music, and theatre. Her awards and honours include a Best Atlantic-Published Book prize from the Atlantic Book Awards, a Poet of Honour prize from Spoken Word Canada, and a Joseph S. Stauffer Prize from the Canada Council for the Arts.

    Shauntay's work has earned her invitations to present at local and international events including Canada's national Word On The Street festivals, the Vancouver Writers Festival, Ottawa's Versefest, Moncton's Frye Festival, Toronto's Luminato Festival, Australia's National Young Writers’ Festival, the Jamaica Poetry Festival, and the 10th Anniversary Launch of the Freedom Schooner Amistad in Havana, Cuba. Her plays have been presented by 2b theatre (Halifax), Neptune Theatre (Halifax), Eastern Front Theatre (Halifax), Black Theatre Workshop (Montreal), and b current (Toronto). Her poems have been published in several anthologies and literary journals including the Fieldstone Review and Contemporary Verse 2: The Canadian Journal of Poetry and Critical Writing. 

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  • Sylvia Gunnery

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Maximum group/class size: For readings, up to 75 with teachers present; 15 to 20 at writing workshops.

    Home Region: South Shore

    Will travel: throughout NS. When traveling more than 90 minutes each way, it may be necessary for the school to provide overnight accommodation

    Is available for visits: Oct & Nov, Jan - May. Full day visits only, please (3 sessions per day).

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction (chapter books for ages 6 to 8, juvenile for ages 9 to 12, teen from ages 12 to 16); picture books (non-fiction guided reading books for primary and grade one), teacher resource books on writing

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: Sylvia offers two WITS presentations as well as writing workshops.  The presentations are The Story Behind the Cover (recommended for grades 4 - 12) and Finding Stories Every Day (recommended for grades primary - 3).  These presentations are updated every year and are accompanied by PowerPoint visuals. Students will hear excerpts from her books, find out what inspired her story ideas, and learn some behind-the-scenes details about getting a book published.  In writing workshops, students will be active writers, creating their own fictional characters and making them walk and talk on the page.  Follow-up lessons will be suggested.

    About the Author: Stories have always been part of my life—my family shared stories around our kitchen table on Hillside Avenue in Halifax's Northend; I made up stories to tell my sister at night in our bedroom; I wrote stories as soon as I could form sentences and paragraphs. But I did not take myself seriously as a writer until I was almost 30 years old. That summer I studied at the Banff Centre in Alberta for five weeks. One of my teachers was W.O. Mitchell, a well known Canadian writer who taught me to trust in my own writer’s voice and to keep on writing. Now I have 23 books in print.   Game Face, the third novel in my Lorimer sports series, was nominated for the 2015 Hackmatack Award.  Road Signs That Say West, my new YA novel, will be published in 2017.  Most days you can find me here at Crescent Beach on the South Shore, working on my next book, or reading, or walking on the beach.

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  • Martine Jacquot

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Maximum class/group size: 30

    Home Region: Annapolis Valley

    Will travel: throughout NS

    Is available for visits: Sept - June. Full and half day visits.

    Areas of Expertise: children's lit, Acadian culture, French-language, Francophone countries and their culture, fiction, non-fiction, young adult, journalism, poetry, writing and publishing industry

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: With little ones, I use a PowerPoint presentation to play a game with them: they feel that they create a story when they are actually learning words and rhymes. With P1-2, I use one of my novels for young readers and we turn the story into a play full of magic as each child is assigned a part based on the story. This way, they memorize some phrases and create their own and feel they are part of an artistic event. With P3-6, I use my novels for young readers to show them what “ingredients” I use to create a story. Depending on the novel they chose, they learn about Mi’kmaq, Acadians or French cultures while having fun.

    With grades 10-12, I can talk about Acadian or French cultures, or about the culture of different countries where I spent time. I can also explain how those places inspired me and became part of my stories. This is specially appreciated by teachers who teach them social studies. We can also talk about my novels for older readers, depending on their choice. Since I am also a journalist, I can offer a workshop in journalism. With all age groups, I love spending time to answer questions and explain what it is to work as a writer. I prefer groups of 30 students or less and a computer and/or a projector are useful for showing PowerPoint or pictures. 

    About the Author: Martine Jacquot has studied and lived in France, England, Switzerland and Canada. Martine writes poetry, novels, short stories, essays, articles, and travel writing in both English and French. Pour plus d'informations cliquez ici.

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  • K.V. Johansen

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Maximum Group/Class Size: Two classes for a reading & discussion; no more than 15 students for a writing workshop. 

    Home Region: Sackville, NB (near CCRSB)

    Will travel: within the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board (approx. 90 minutes from Amherst); visits to the Halifax region require overnight accommodation be provided by the school. Please note: KV Johansen lives in Sackville, NEW BRUNSWICK.

    Available: Sept - Oct, April - June. Full days preferred. (Please note, not available the last two weeks of April 2013.)

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction writing, fantasy, science fiction &, fairy tales.

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: For a reading, I take about an hour. I read to the students, discuss the sorts of things an illustrator would consider when working with a text, and then get them to do some artwork related to the reading. This is followed by a question and answer session. If I am doing a workshop, it can take an hour to ninety minutes, depending on the age of the students. I usually talk to workshop students about some aspect of writing and literary storytelling, such as narrative point of view, character development, world-building, voice, etc.; I then have them work on an assignment, developing what we have discussed, with time left for them to read their work, and for Q&A.

    Teachers should ensure that children have drawing materials, if it's a reading, or writing materials for a workshop. Workshop groups should be no larger than 20 students, and they need to be students who are actually interested in being there, not an entire class. Mixing students from several grades for a workshop is fine.

    About the Author: K.V. Johansen has written everything from picture books to literary criticism, but most enjoys writing fantasy and science fiction for children, teens, and adults. Her most recent books are four adult epic fantasies. Some of her children's books have been translated into Danish, French, or Macedonian, and the most exotic place she has ever travelled is Macedonia, where she got to see real mountains. Her books have been shortlisted for various awards. Sometimes they’ve even won!
Johansen thinks books are the best thing there is: “They’re how we remember our past and imagine our futures. I like to read fantasy, science fiction, and manga, as well as non-fiction about history and archaeology. My dog likes to steal bookmarks out of books and eat them. Luckily, he doesn’t like to eat actual books, because my house is really small and a lot of my books live in stacks on the floor.”

    www.kvj.ca

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  • A.J.B. (John) Johnston

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Works with grades:  Grades 9 to 12

    Maximum group/class size:  No limit. I've talked to audiences of over 100

    Home Region: Halifax

    Will travel: Within a two-hour drive; farther if school can put me up for the night

    Available:  Most of the school year, but not Oct 18-30 or Nov 24-Dec 8

    Areas of Expertise:

    1. Pretty much anything to do with Louisbourg: from a sweeping overview to a detailed aspect.

    2. Landscape of Grand-Pré UNESCO World Heritage Site

    3. The links and differences between History and Fiction, using the example of my three novels inspired by historical figure Thomas Pichon.

    I have been giving public presentations on Louisbourg for decades; on Grand-Pré for likely 15 years; and on my fiction (and how my novels grew out of my work as an historian) for about four years.

    I can adapt the talks to different audiences and for different lengths of time.

    I require the school to be equipped with its own PowerPoint projector and laptop, so that the visual portion of the presentation is on a memory stick.

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  • shalan joudry

    Works with grades: 10-12

    SHALAN IS FULLY BOOKED FOR 2018-19. 

    Works With Grades: P-12

    Maximum Group/Class Size: Workshops or cultural discussion best for one class or less (30 max); readings and storytelling mixed presentation can be large group in gymnasium/outside. 

    Home Region: Annapolis Valley Regional School Board and Tri-County School Board

    Will Travel: Throughout NS when available

    Available: Best months for availability are January/February for closer schools. March-May for any school. 

    Areas of Expertise: Poetry, Mi'kmaw culture and history, Mi'kmaw short stories/legends, and ecology.

    Presentation Style/Workshop Ideas: In a class setting, I share a drum song, poetry, descriptions about my life and worldview, and short stories as legends or inspired by nature and culture. I can also cover workshop or discussion topics such as Mi'kmaw cultural ways of creating story and reflecting on language and worldview. I can lead a creative writing exercise. Also, I can present to a large group (whole school) as a reading or performance style presentation. 

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  • Allison Lawlor

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Maximum Group/Class Size: 25

    Will Travel: Within HRM

    Available: Sept-June

    Areas of Expertise: Journalism, non-fiction

    Presentation Style/Workshop Ideas: I can lead a workshop on the basics of journalism. How to find a good story, how to ask the right questions, how to find and incorporate good details, and finally how to put together an interesting and balanced story. I can help students work together to make a journal/book or newspaper. 

     

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  • Josh MacDonald

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Maximum Class/Group Size: 30-40

    Home Region: HRM

    Will travel: within HRM, Chignecto-Central, Annapolis Valley, South Shore. (within 100 km from Dartmouth).

    Is available for visits: Sept - June. Full and half day visits.

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction (ages 13+), Playwriting & Screenwriting

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: Josh is deeply encouraging to students -- "If I can do it, then absolutely, so can you! You CAN follow a life in the arts!" Josh will engage students in a fun, free-range and interactive discussion about creative writing and the storytelling process, as well as present A/V selections from his own work. Special Equipment: Josh needs a television, DVD player and a working remote control.

    Josh loves to talk about creative writing with students of any age, and with junior high & high school students in particular. Josh grew up in the N.S. school system (he attended Oxford School & QEHS) and discovered his love for storytelling via supportive teachers and programs similar to WITS! An award-winning short-fiction writer by 16, Josh grew up to be a professional writer & actor for stage, film and television. Josh is a lively and engaging speaker (and a recognizable performer from his acting work). Josh has been a playwriting instructor at Dalhousie University, NSCAD and Neptune Theatre. 

    (Josh’s feature-length movies THE CORRIDOR (an award-winning horror-thriller: Best of iTunes 2012, Next Wave Best Screenplay-- Fantastic Fest, Austin, TX, etc.) and FAITH, FRAUD & MINIMUM WAGE (a comedy-drama based on his play HALO, featuring stars from Superbad, Californication, 24 and Picnicface) are currently available on DVD, iTunes, and Netflix. Josh's directorial debut short film, GAME, has played film festivals and won awards across the world.)

    Trailer for Faith, Fraud & Minimum Wage: www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVs5VL2kH8s

    Trailer for The Corridor: www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pD_7pZm5Cg

    Trailor for the Game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9mqsv6sywI

     

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  • Sarah Mian

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Maximum group/class size: Any size 

    Will travel: Maritimes

    About the author: Sarah Mian is from Dartmouth, NS. Her debut novel When the Saints won the Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award, the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award, and was a finalist for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. She lives in Queensland, Nova Scotia.

    Presentation: I possess a BEd in Secondary School Education and have extensive Primary-12 classroom experience as a substitute teacher. I have given creative writing workshops at the Writing on Fire Teen Writing Experience and taught an adult fiction course at the Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia.

    I am passionate about inspiring young writers and have developed a variety of creative writing exercises suitable for all grade levels. As a Writer-in-the-Schools, I engage students in the creative writing process and share the journey of how I achieved my childhood dream to become a published novelist. 

     

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  • Philip Moscovitch

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Maximum Group/Class Size: 30
    Home Region: HRM
    Will travel: throughout NS. I enjoy travelling throughout the province for visits. Please keep in mind that I will require meals and accommodation if I'm travelling a considerable distance.
    Is available for visits: Sept - June. Full and half days.
    Areas of Expertise: Fiction, Graphic novels, Journalism, Non-Fiction, Interviewing techniques, Radio, Documentary.
    Presentation style/workshop ideas: I am most frequently asked to offer workshops on writing comics, but I also offer presentations on kickstarting fiction writing, working on non-fiction, and effective ways to interview and ask questions.

    Comics

    Ever wonder how a comic is put together? What does the writer do? How about the illustrator? Using real-life examples from my 14 years writing the "Daisy Dreamer" comic for Chickadee, I talk about the process of writing comics and share scripts and artwork with students. I also share exercises for building characters and stories. These sessions generally run 45-60 minutes.

    I also offer longer sessions (half day or more) that go more deeply into the process of creating comics and that include time for students to work on their own longer-term comics creations.

    Oral History/Interviewing

    "Someone should write that down!"

    For teachers and students interested in finding and recording the stories around them, I offer a workshop on how to zero in on great stories and get people to talk about them.As a freelance writer and broadcaster, I have interviewed hundreds of people - including the first person from PEI to play Major League Baseball, a member of the last Leafs team to win the Stanley Cup, the first photographer to snap underwater shots of Titanic, the most active 99-year-old I've ever met, and even family members. Students have the technology they need to record stories. My workshop teaches them how to find those stories, and how to approach subjects in a way that encourages them to share them.As part of this workshop we practice hands-on in class, which is always fun.

    Kickstart Your Fiction

    In school, I was the kid who never had any ideas. Now I have too many of them. This workshop uses photos and fun, effective writing prompts to help students find and quickly develop their ideas for short stories, comics, or longer works. 

    Other Workshops

    I am open to ideas! If you have something different you'd like me to do, let's chat about it.

    Language

    I am bilingual (I make part of my living as a French-English translator) and can do presentations and workshops in French for immersion classes.

    Je suis bilingue, originaire de Montréal, et tous mes ateliers et présentations sont également disponibles en français.

    Equipment

    I need an LCD projector.


    If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me. You can also keep up with me on Twitter @PhilMoscovitch.

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  • Magi Nams

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Home Region: Chignecto-Central 

    Will travel: HRM, Strait & Chignecto-Central within 200 kilometres distance of Tatamagouche.

    Is available for visits: October to June. Local schools only from January to March. Full day visits preferred, but will accept half-day visits to local schools.

    Grades: P-12

    Maximum number of students: 60

    Areas of Expertise: Non-Fiction, nature writing, travel writing, fiction.

    Grades P-3: Magi leads an interactive discussion about the steps involved in writing nature non-fiction, tailoring her presentation to the audience’s age and illustrating it with a PowerPoint slideshow of African wildlife. She reads a captivating Ranger Rick magazine story, encourages questions, and leads the students in writing a co-operative fiction story. Magi requires a projector, a whiteboard, pens, and two tables on which to put materials. Sessions are 30 to 45 minutes. Maximum 2 classes per session.

    Grades 4-6: Magi guides students through a discussion about the parts of a story and the use of specific words to create strong images. She illustrates these topics via readings from her books and/or Ranger Rick articles. She conducts timed creative writing exercises which lead students to link ideas and explore personal responses through fiction and non-fiction writing. Magi requires a whiteboard, pens, and a table on which to put materials. Sessions are 45 to 60 minutes. Maximum 30 students per session.

    Grades 7-9: Magi conducts timed fiction and non-fiction creative writing exercises that explore linking ideas, personal responses to positives and negatives, and creating believable settings, characters, and dialogue. Sessions are 60 to 75 minutes. Maximum 30 students per session.

    Grades 10-12: Magi leads short fiction writing exercises that focus on creating evocative settings and moods and exploring characterization through vivid narrative and dialogue. She also offers timed writing exercises that explore personal responses and offer insight for crafting fiction. Sessions are 75 to 90 minutes. Maximum 30 students per session.

    About the author: Magi Nams is the author of the travel trilogy Cry of the Kiwi: A Family's New Zealand Adventure and has published dozens of nature articles for Ranger Rick magazine. She has published poetry, biographical profiles, radio essays, and has conducted writing workshops for children and adults throughout Nova Scotia. Magi is the recipient of a National Wildlife Federation magazine writing award. 

     

     

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  • Chad Norman

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Chad Norman lives and writes in Truro, NS. Throughout his life he has visited many levels of schools, colleges, and university, but elementary, junior, and high schools are his favourite. he nejoys reading from his books and giving talks about his life as poet. He also enjoys providing workshops, which get students writing poems, and eventually reading them aloud. At the moment he is preparing to go to Denmark in October 2016, having been invited by the Nordic Assn. for Canadian Studies, to give talks on Canadian Poetry, and readings from his new book, Selected & New Poems, in Copenhagen and Aarhus. Promotion readings will also take place in Malmo, Sweden.

     

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  • Elizabeth Peirce

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Maximum group size: 35 for in-class presentations; 20 for food-based workshops

    Home region: central Halifax

    Will travel: within 3 hours of HRM, weather permitting

    Available: September--June

    Areas of expertise: local history, Nova Scotia pirates, growing and preserving food, self-sufficiency, parenting, ESL teaching

    Presentation style/workshop ideas:

    Elizabeth brings fifteen years of university-level teaching experience to her presentations and workshops. She is a passionate advocate for local food and self-sufficiency in food and has used her books on gardening and preserving as the beginning point for classroom discussion on how our current food system operates and how relearning skills like growing a garden, cooking, and preserving the harvest are positive acts of resiliency in the face of rapid global change and uncertainty. She has made pickles with high school students, jam with adults, and hodge-podge with kids, encouraging them to ask their elders for favourite recipes and the stories connected with food in their families.

    Her books on two infamous piracy cases in nineteenth century Nova Scotia complement any junior or senior high school curriculum on Maritime history (or Canadian history) and provide a realistic glimpse into the desperate lives that engaged in piracy as a last resort, rather than the glamourous depiction of pirates students may be familiar with from popular film.

    For students aged 5 to 8, Elizabeth reads from her picture book, The Big Flush, encouraging them to think of something they're afraid of (like a loudly-flushing public toilet for her four-year-old son--the inspiration for this book) and how writing about it and sharing with others can help.

    Elizabeth is based in Halifax and can travel throughout the province on non-snowy days for school visits.

    For workshops involving food preparation, use of the school's kitchen or cafeteria would be helpful.

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  • Jon Peirce

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Home Region: Halifax

    Will travel to: Annapolis Valley, Tri-County, South Shore.

    Availability: Sept.-June, full and half days.

    Maximun number of students: 15 but can be flexible.

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction, History & Folklore, Journalism, Memoir, Non-fiction, Poetry, Young Adult.

    Presentation Style: Education is far more rewarding when it draws on th expertise of all class members rather than on mine alone. My style is strongly participatory, and student-centred. I place a lot of emphasis on reading work aloud to train the ear and voice. I have a flair for the dramatic, and believe in having lots of fun. 

    Biography: I am an essayist, memoirist, non-fiction writer, free-lance journalist, short story writer, and actor whose work has been published widely in Canada. 

     

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  • Jen Powley

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Jen Powley is a 39-year-old prairie girl living in Canada’s ocean playground. She left Alberta after a degree in social sciences at the King’s University College in Edmonton, where she edited the school newspaper. Powley moved across the country to pursue an after-degree in journalism at the University of King’s College in Halifax. Following that, in 2001, she moved back to Halifax after a summer in Alberta. She then held jobs at the Independent Living Resource Centre (now Independent Living Nova Scotia) and the Nova Scotia League for Equal Opportunities. Realizing she could not engineer the type of societal change she wanted, Powley returned to school earning her Master’s of Urban Planning at Dalhousie University, and then worked for five years at the Ecology Action Centre. Losing her voice due to her multiple sclerosis, Powley recognized the presentations the job required were no longer feasible so she returned to the University of King’s College to pursue her Master’s of Fine Arts in Creative Non-Fiction. In May 2017, Powley released her first and only book, a memoir Just Jen, published by Roseway, an imprint of Fernwood Publishing. 

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  • Sherry D. Ramsey

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Home Region: Cape Breton

    Will travel: within Cape Breton and Strait Regions, further if accommodations are arranged.

    Available: Full and half days.

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction, non-fiction, Poetry, Editing and Publishing, Science fiction & Fantasy

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: For grades P-3, Sherry often offers interactive visual presentations on storytelling or how books come into being. This includes a brief storytelling session or reading. For older students, she often offers an interactive session with students where they brainstorm story ideas from student input. Her talks generally revolve around at least one of the following topics: how to build interesting stories and characters; discussion and practice creating vibrant backdrops for stories; discussing the different stages of writing as they apply to students and professional writers. She also often addresses topics that revolve around writing speculative fiction and poetry -- definitions of "speculative", finding ideas, and what makes a strong story within or outside various genres.

    For elementary grades Sherry can manage two classes together (if they are not too large); for junior high and high school she prefers no more than one class at a time.

    About the Author: Sherry D. Ramsey writes speculative fiction for both adults and young adults. To read Sherry's bio and a complete list of publications click here. When she's not actually writing, Sherry moderates her local writers' group, participates in a vibrant writing community in the virtual world of Second Life, and sometimes even spends time with her husband and two children at their home in Cape Breton.

    www.sherrydramsey.com

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  • Suzanne Rent

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Area of expertise: Newspaper and magazine writing and editing, interviewing, and publishing.

    Availabilty: October 2018 to June 2019.

    Willing to travel outside of HRM. 

    Suzanne Rent has worked in the Halifax media since 2003 and has experience in newspapers, magazines, televsion, and radio. Her work has appeared in The Chronicle Herald, Halifax Magazine, East Coast Living, Halifax Examiner, Globe and Mail, Canadian Business, and many others. 

    She has experience mentoring students and adult learners in the writing and editing process. When she was the editor of Our Children Magazine, she created a student-correspondent program in which she mentored elementary-age students whose work was published in the magazine. In 2015, she was shortlisted for the Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence for this student-correspondent program.

    She taught a Journalism 101 program to adult learners at the Dartmouth Literacy Network and the Bedford-Sackville Literacy Network.

    Suzanne is currently working on a 10-episode radio show called The Great Nova Scotia Songbook,  which will be launched in November 2018. This series will chronicle the history of music in Nova Scotia, including the music of First Nations communities to today's hip-hop artists. To date, she's interviewed 45 musicians and industry talents for this project.

    Suzanne has a special industry in Nova Scotia history, genealogy, music, community news, and the extraordinary stories of everyday people.

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  • Tom Ryan

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Tom Ryan is the author of several books for young readers. He has been nominated for the White Pine Award, the Stellar Award and the Hackmatack Award, and two of his books were Junior Library Guild selections. His young adult novels, Way to Go and Tag Along, were chosen for the ALA Rainbow List, in 2013 and 2014. He was a 2017 Lambda Literary Fellow in Young Adult Fiction. For more information, visit www.tomryanauthor.com

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  • Julian Smith

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Maximum Group/Class Size: Any size

    Home Region: Yarmouth County

    Will Travel: Anywhere in Yarmouth, Digby, & Shelburne Counties. Will travel further, but mileage and/or accommodation may be required.

    Available: Year-Round

    Areas of Expertise: Science Fiction & Fantasy (Speculative Fiction)

    Workshop/Presentation Style: Julian is available to teach fiction workshops that focus on imagination, creativity, and storytelling through the lens of speculative fiction. Many of today's most popular books, movies, and video games fall under the umbrella of science fiction and fantasy. These genres have a remarkable ability to capture the imaginations of young people and reading and writing speculative fiction encourages students to think about the world in new and imaginative ways.

    In his workshops, Julian introduces students to some important narrative ingredients — such as character, conflict, and setting — and uses examples from literature and pop culture to keep students engaged. Through a series of brainstorming activities and writing exercises students will learn how to generate compelling ideas and turn those ideas into their own stories. By the end of the workshop, students will have the foundation of a work of original fiction.

    About the Author: Julian Mortimer Smith has published more than a dozen science fiction and fantasy stories in some of the world's top speculative fiction magazines, including Asimov'sTerraform, and Daily Science Fiction. He has also published non-fiction pieces in SaltscapesCottage Magazine, and The Skinny. He is a member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) and SF Canada.

    Julian lives in Yarmouth and spends his days writing copy for a web design company. He previously made a living as a freelance editor, working on projects ranging from romance novels to board games. When he lived in Edinburgh he worked as the books section editor of The Skinny, a Scottish arts and entertainment magazine.

    Julian has a bachelor's degree in English literature from McGill Univeristy in Montreal and a Master's in Communication and Culture from York University in Toronto. You can find out more about his writing at his website: http://julianmortimersmith.com/

     

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  • Steve Vernon

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Works with grades: 2-12

    Will travel: to most areas of NS (driver must be arranged)

    Available: Sept - June

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction, storytelling, history and folklore

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: Steve has been telling his stories and writing fiction for nearly twenty years, and is used to working with many age groups. As a rule, he uses his storytelling techniques and high energy presentation to teach children about the basics of writing and storytelling. His sessions demonstrate the story arc, the writer’s voice and point of view, descriptive techniques, and simple imaginative hands-on workshop skills. Steve likes to entertain, educate and leave students with a groundwork of practical information they can use to tell stories, write papers, write fiction and enjoy the good old-fashioned art of communication. At the end of one of Steve’s workshops, the students all want to write.

    For Steve's presentations, he will need something to write on (flip chart or blackboard) and enough room to move around as he tells his stories. He’s not what you’d describe as a sedate storyteller.

    About the Author: Born in the woods of the North Canadian Shield and living in Nova Scotia for the last 35 years, Steve Vernon learned the story telling tradition from his grandfather. He has read on CBC radio, Breakfast Television, Global Noon and at schools and libraries across Nova Scotia. Steve's high voltage storytelling production, Word of Mouth, was written under the auspices of the now dissolved Nova Scotia Arts Council and presented two years running at the Halifax Fringe Festival.

    Steve is Nova Scotia’s most entertaining writer and collector of ghost stories – and I guarantee that even the most relaxed student is going to sit up and listen when they find out that a writer of ghost stories and horror fiction is in the classroom. Steve's energetic and down-to-earth approach towards teaching storytelling and writing reaches school kids from grades 2 to 12. They listen and enjoy and ultimately learn from his entertaining presentations.

    Steve has written several ghost story collections for regional publisher Nimbus – including the bestselling Halifax Haunts: Exploring the City’s Spookiest Spaces – as well as a very popular novel for young readers Sinking Deeper and a children’s picture book Maritime Monsters. Steve has a brand new ghost story collection coming out in the fall of 2011 entitled The Lunenburg Werewolf And Other Stories of the Supernatural.

     
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  • Alice Walsh

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Home Region: HRM

    Will travel: throughout Nova Scotia

    Available: Sept - June. Full and half days.

    Maximum number of students: 45-50

    Areas of Expertise: Picture Books, Juvenile, Young Adult, Fiction and Non-Fiction

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: My workshops are a mixture of discussion and hands-on writing. Using short writing exercises, students will explore the importance of dialogue, imagery, description, and showing vs. telling. Using examples from my own writing, I will discuss how real life experiences and events can be transformed into fictional stories. Also, I will show how to create unique, vibrant, and unforgettable characters and their importance to the story.      

    Depending on the length of the workshop, the students will create a character, and will invent a problem (conflict) for that character. I will then discuss how this problem is essential to the development of the plot. 

    For younger children, P-2, I will discuss story characters, and how they grow in the writer’s imagination. Using examples from my own picture books, we will explore concepts such as: Who is the main character? What is the character’s problem?  How does the character go about solving the problem?  

    The main focus of my workshop is to get students excited about the creative writing process.

    About the author: Alice Walsh writes fiction and non-fiction for adults and children, and her articles and short stories have been published in various magazines and anthologies.  Her published work includes three books for adults as well as eight books for children and young adults. A number of her books have been short listed or won awards such as the Hackmatack, and the Canadian Children’s Book Centre Choice. Her juvenile novel, Pomiuk: Prince of the North (Beach Holme) won the 2005 Ann Connor Brimer award. Another YA novel, A Sky Black with Crows (Red Deer), was nominated for the same award. Her most recent novel, A Long Way From Home, was a finalist for the 2013-14 Hackmatack award.

    Alice has degrees in English and Criminology from St. Mary’s University, and a MA in Children’s Literature from Acadia University. She has worked as a pre-school teacher, a creative writing instructor, and a probation officer. She has participated in The Labrador Creative Arts Festival, Winter Set in Summer Festival, and was Writer in Residence at Terra Nova National Park during the summer 2005.

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Works with grades: 7-9

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  • Don Aker

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Maximum group/class size: Author talks for groups small and large*. Writing workshops are ideally suited for groups of 15 to promote interactivity (maximum of 20).

    Home Region: HRM

    Will travel: Anywhere in Nova Scotia. However, schools located farther than a 90-minute drive from his home are required to pay for meals and accommodation, expenses that are not covered by WITS.

    Available: Oct - Dec, Mar - Jun. Full days only, maximum of 3 presentations per day.

    Areas of Expertise: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, and screenwriting

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: Having taught middle level and high school students, Don is comfortable presenting to students in grades 6 to 12 and offers specific writing workshops as well as more general author talks, all of them accompanied by entertaining PowerPoint presentations.

    He begins by telling students how, as a high school student, he wanted to be a writer but never felt he could actually become one, and then he describes the series of serendipitous events that led him down that writing path toward publication 20 years later. He provides a brief overview of his books, followed by a discussion of his writing process—where he gets his ideas and the three questions he needs to answer before he can begin writing any story. He always ensures there is time for students to ask questions and may offer a brief reading. Don is completely comfortable tailoring his presentations to the needs of a specific audience, particularly classes who are reading one or more of his novels (three weeks advance notice required).

    A list of past workshops is available on request.

    *For author presentations, limiting the group to 40 studentsincreases the likelihood that attendees will ask questions, but I am comforable presenting to groups far greater than that.

    Special Equipment: LCD projector, audio amplification for his laptop, projection screen, a small table, and a glass of water.  Don may require a microphone and amplifier when speaking in a big space or to larger groups.

    About the Author:Author and educational consultant Don Aker has written 20 books and has conducted workshops for students and teachers across Canada and in the United States. He is widely known for his bestselling young adult novels, among them Of Things Not Seen, winner of Atlantic Canada’s Ann Connor Brimer Award and the Canadian Authors Association’s Lilla Stirling Award; The First Stone, winner of the Ann Connor Brimer Award and Ontario’s White Pine Award; and The Space Between, which earned the Canadian Library Association’s Honour Book Award. A former language arts teacher, literacy mentor, and university instructor, Don enjoys speaking to students in grades 6 to 12, many of whom are familiar with his books in their classrooms. Don’s most recent novels are Delusion Road (HarperCollins, 2015) and Brothers in Arms: The Siege of Louisbourg (Scholastic, 2015). For more info visit: www.donaker.com

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  • Cooper Lee Bombardier

    Works with grades: 7-9

     

    Cooper Lee Bombardier is a writer and visual artist originally from the South Shore of Boston. He has been a construction worker, a cook, a carpenter, a union stagehand, a bouncer, a welder, a shop steward, a dishwasher, a truck driver, and a housepainter, among other things, for a paycheck. His writing appears in many publications and anthologies, such as The Kenyon Review, CutBank, Nailed Magazine, and The Rumpus; and recently in the Lambda Literary Award-winning anthology The RemedyEssays on Queer Health Issues, (ed. Zena Sharman) and Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Speculative Fiction From Transgender Writers, winner of the 2018 American Library Association Stonewall Book Awards Barbara Gittings Literature Award (eds. Cat Fitzpatrick and Casey Plett). The Huffington Post listed Cooper as one of “10 Transgender Artists Who Are Changing The Landscape Of Contemporary Art.” His visual art was recently curated in an exhibition called “Intersectionality” at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami, and hung recently in shows at Meow Wolf in Santa Fe, NM, the National Queer Arts Festival in San Francisco, and at Helltown Workshop in Provincetown, MA. A veteran of the original Sister Spit tours, he's performed, lectured, and exhibited art across North America. Cooper is the fiction editor at Gertrude Press, an ELL volunteer tutor for immigrant community members at his local public library. He has received fellowships from the Regional Arts and Culture Council, Lambda Literary Foundation, and RADAR Labs. Cooper Lee has taught writing at the University of Portland, Clark College, Portland State University, and at various Portland-area high schools as a writer-in-residence through Literary Art's program Writers in The Schools. He is a 2018 Visiting Writer at the Pacific Northwest College of Arts Critical Studies graduate program. Visit him at www.cooperleebombardier.com  FB: cooperfrickinleee Twitter: @CooperLeeB  IG: cooperleebomb

     

     

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  • Anne Carter

    Works with grades: 7-9

    19 books for the young at heart: Picture Books, MG Non-Fiction and Fiction, YA fiction.

    Anne divides her time writing and teaching between Toronto Island and the LaHave River, Nova Scotia. 

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  • Lesley Choyce

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Home Region: HRM

    Will travel: anywhere in NS

    Available for visits: Half day visits only, preferably afternoons.

    Areas of Expertise:   Young adult novels, fiction, history, children's fiction, poetry.

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: Lesley will read from such kids' books as Skunks for Breakfast and Far Enough Island, as well as such young adult novels as The Book of Michael, The End of the World as We Know It, Wave Warrior, Smoke and Mirrors or Shoulder the Sky (winner of the 2003 Ann Connor Brimer Children's Literature Prize). He can talk about the history of Nova Scotia (Nova Scotia Shaped by the Sea) as well. The main focus of the presentation is to get students enthusiastic about writing, imagination and creativity. Lesley also has stories to tell about skunks and ravens and brings along his poetry music videos to inspire non-book kids. He's guaranteed to entertain, intrigue and provoke. When not writing, Lesley teaches at Dalhousie University, performs spoken word poetry/music and surfs in year round.

    Special equipment: Please contact the author.

    About the author: Lesley teaches at Dalhousie University, runs Pottersfield Press and has published over 86 books for adults and kids. His Young Adult novels concern things like skateboarding, surfing, racism, environmental issues, organ transplants, and rock bands. Lesley surfs year round in the North Atlantic and is considered the father of transcendental wood-splitting. www.lesleychoyce.com

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  • Jan L. Coates

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Maximum group/class size: prefers to work with one class at a time, but open to other situations as required. Full-day & Half-day visits.


    Home Region: Annapolis Valley

    Will travel: HRM, Chignecto-Central, Annapolis Valley, Tri-County & South Shore (But I'm open to other areas)

    Available: Oct, Nov, good-weather days January-March, May. Full and half day visits.

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction writing (middle grade novels, books for emergent readers, picture books)

    Presentation style/workshop ideas:

    a) GRADES P-4:

    I read one of my picture books, A Halifax Time-Travelling TuneSky PigRainbows in the Dark or The King of Keji, then chat about it. This requires 30 minutes for P/1 groups, and I also have relevant activity sheets we do together re wishing, dreaming and/or rainbows. For grades 2, 3, and 4, the picture book presentation takes about an hour as I have a 15 minute PowerPoint I use to generate discussion of the writing life, and also a hands-on, fun, guessing-game creative writing exercise.  Each student chooses either a place or a thing and writes a brief description of it using the "other" four senses (not sight). The students then take turns reading their descriptions to their classmates who attempt to guess what the place or thing is. It's harder than it sounds! But it's a great exercise to get kids thinking beyond how things look when they use description in their own writing, and it's fun!

    b) Grades 4/5-9:

    I read a bit from Talking to the Moon, A Hare in the Elephant’s TrunkThe Power of Harmony, or Rocket Man, depending on the age level, or the teacher's choice. I also use my PPT to generate discussion around the books' themes (searching for a place to belong, bullying, pursuing dreams, Lost Boys of Sudan) and chat about tools we all possess and use as W.R.I.T.E.R.S. (words, reading, imagination, thesaurus, experience/emotions, rewriting, senses), and I'm happy to answer any and all questions. I use the same writing exercise described above, which works well with all ages, and I'm always open to discussing specific aspects of the writing process, as suggested by teachers. 


    c) Grades 2 and up: I am open to suggestions from teachers if there's a certain aspect of writing they'd like me to address. As well, I sometimes read from one of my current works-in-progress as I'm always looking for feedback from readers. 

    About the Author: I'm curious about everybody, and I like to watch strangers and imagine their lives; Why is he doing that? How did that raccoon get in there? What would she do if...? Basically, I'm nosey. Being a visiting author is one of my favorite parts of being a writer because I get to share my love of reading and writing with lots of other people with big imaginations and amazing ideas. 

    In my free time, I play badminton, shop at Frenchy's, travel, go to the gym, and lately, I've been learning to illustrate with watercolour pencils. In addition to my trade books, I've also written sixteen English as a Second Language chapter books which are mainly used in Korean language schools, and two adult ESL workbooks. Besides my Golden Irish, Charlie, I live with my husband, Don, in Wolfville. My kids Liam and Shannon are young adults who both live in southern Ontario :(

    For more info visit: www.jancoates.ca

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  • Valerie Compton

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Home Region: Halifax

    Will travel: throughout NS but prefers HRM in winter months.

    Available: Sept - June

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction writing & non-fiction writing

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: Valerie’s presentations are fun, interactive and collaborative. Students at all grade levels will learn to see the hidden structure of a story and develop their own writing style. Valerie helps students in grades P – 9 to create vibrant characters and draft a story, guiding students in using imagination and revision skills. Valerie’s advanced writing and self-editing workshops are perfect for grades 10 – 12. For schools within one hour of HRM, Valerie can offer a progressive series of workshops designed to develop an advanced writing practice.

    About the Author: Valerie Compton is the author of the novel Tide Road, a finalist for the 2012 Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award. Her short fiction has been published in literary journals across Canada and shortlisted for the CBC Literary Award. Her non-fiction articles and book reviews have appeared in The Globe and Mail, Ottawa Citizen, Gourmet and elsewhere. Valerie has been leading writing workshops and mentoring writers since 2005. Visit her at http://www.narrativeagency.ca

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  • Natalie Corbett Sampson

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Maximum group/class size: Ideally one to two classes at a time, but willing to consider more with the right support and set up

    Home Region: HRM

    Will Travel: Yes, up to three hours outside of Halifax with notice

    Available: Sept-June, preferably Monday & Friday, but can do Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday with notice

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction, writing from personal experience, Young adult (YA)

    Workshop Plans: I love talking to readers and writers of all ages; besides writing, talking about writing is my favourite part of the job. My novels are fiction, based on personal experiences, a process that is important to teach young writers. I am committed to developing a workshop based on the needs and interests of the students attending. 

    I have given workshops in the public libraries, and in high schools in NS, BC, Sask, and Ont. Workshops provide direct instruction on topics including, Maintaining Point of View, Effective Grammar (yikes on the adverbs!), Outlining and Details, Dialogue, World and Character development. I include writing activites to emphasize and practice important points in those areas that can be accomplished through individual or group work. I strive to provide a supportive, comfortable atmosphere for an interactive workshop experience. I am also happy to talk about my personal publication journey and read from my novel if that is desired by the students and/or teacher. 

    About Me: I live in Hatchet Lake with my husband and four school age kids. My day job is a private practicing SLP. I have published four novels, Game Plan, a YA story about teen pgcy and adoption, Aptitude, a YA dystopian story about creativity and individuality, It Should Have Been a #GoodDay, a story about perspective, bullying and high school and Take These Broken Wings, a story about families and growing up. I have two more novels in process, one scheduled to be indie-pubbed in February and the second in the development stage. I keep an active online presence on Facebook, Twitter, Wattpad, and my blog: www.NatalieCorbettSampson.com 

     

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  • Pauline Dakin

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Maximum group/class size: Negotiable.

    Home Region:Halifax

    Will travel: Throughout Nova Scotia. Overnight accommodation may be required for travel of more than 2.5 hrs each way.

    Available:Sept - May

    Areas of Expertise: Storytelling, journalism, memoir.

     

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  • Kenneth Davidson

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Kenneth Davidson is a curriculum writer for the Nova Scotia Department of Education, Acadia University,
    and Nova Scotia Community College. Ken has decades of teaching experience at all grade levels in
    both Nova Scotia and Manitoba. He has also taught for many years at the university and college level. His
    pedagogical methods have been widely accepted and refined over the years to culminate, through the
    writing of The Elf Child, in a desire to appeal to the beautiful minds of young children.

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  • Deirdre Dwyer

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Maximum Group/Class size: preferably under 25

    Home Region: HRM

    Will travel: within HRM, Annapolis Valley, Tri-County,  Strait Regional, Chignecto-Central. Accommodation may be required for visits to  schools more than 2 hours drive from HRM.

    Available: Sept - June. Full and half day visits.

    Areas of Expertise: Poetry, non-fiction, travel writing, and living in a different culture.

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: With the students, she will talk a little about her writing background, but  will focus on reading and discussing her work and most importantly, have the students to do some writing exercises, based on the discussions. For instance, for a travel poem about Thailand, she will discuss how the palm trees are like earrings for elephants, so the students write will write about jewelry for wildlife. Deirde prefers to work with groups of 25 students or less. Or she will have students write about wildlife after she talks about her time with the Hope for Wildlife rehabilitation centre. For older students, she will discuss emotions and how to include their interests in writing.

    About the Author: Deirdre Dwyer is a poet who engages her classes in discussion about her poems, non-fiction, and the writing process. She creates various writing exercises about simile, metaphor, about animals and people, and asks the students to read their writing aloud. Her experience at the Hope for Wildlife rehabilitation center, as a community volunteer, as ex-Coordinator of a Farmers’ Market, and traveler motivate her and her students to write on a variety of topics. She is working now on finding a publisher for two poetry collections, and is working two non-fiction manuscripts about her travels in Japan, Asia, Europe, and across the USA and Canada in a camperized Volkswagen van.

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  • Andre Fenton

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Andre Fenton is an award winning spoken word artist & filmmaker who has repsented Halifax at 7 national poetry slams across Canada. He is currently on the board of directors of the Writers Federation of Nova Scotia and a member at large on the board of Spoken Word Canada. He is an author of two books. Ode to Teen Angst and his new YA novel, Worthy of Love which was published by Formac. He is based in the Halifax area.

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  • Monica Graham

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Maximum group/class size: 30 or less

    Home Region: Chignecto-Central

    Will travel: throughout NS. Accomodation required for schools 3+ hours away.

    Available: Sept - June. Full and half day visits.

    Areas of Expertise: Non-fiction: history, biography, news, trivia, opinion (suitable for grade 7 and up); workshops for younger kids; memoir–everyone has a story to tell.

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: Monica uses props and games to explain the differences among fact, fiction and opinion; and individual and group writing exercises to demonstrate how to make facts interesting. She talks about cheating - using dictionaries, thesaurus, spell-check and other tools to gain an advantage. She reads to students and answers questions about writing. If older students have writing they want to share and discuss, teachers should let Monica know in advance in order to adjust the presentation time and style. If a particular topic or project inerests the students, please let Monica know.  A flip chart or chalk/white board is handy, and students should have pen/cils and paper. MOnica does not usually employ electronic gizmos as her experience shows they are frustrating and time-consuming to set up. 

    She prefers working with groups of 30 students or less and a scent-free audience is preferred. Coffee and maybe a biscuit are appreciated after a long drive.

    About the Author: Monica Graham lives in the woods in Pictou County, where she keeps three big vegetable gardens, grows raspberries and blackberries, swats black flies, hunts for moose tracks and mushrooms and tries to keep her little dog out of the swamps. When she'’s not playing in the mud or skiing or snowshoeing,  she hides in her office and writes books, as well as stories for newspapers and magazines. She likes history and imagining the people who lived in a place long ago. A freelance journalist and former columnist, Monica has written news and feature articles for  the Halifax Chronicle HeraldRural Delivery, and others. She wrote the books Looking Back at Pictou County, The Historic Town of Pictou, Scotch Willy and Other Nicknames from Pictou County, The Great Maritime Detective, Bluenose, Historic New Glasgow, Stellarton, Trenton & Westville, and  Fire Spook, a true ghost story released in October, 2013.  In May, 2015, Nimbus Publishing released a collection of her columns called In the Spirit: Reflections on Everday Grace. Two months later, her history of Pictou Academy, called Cradle of Knowledge, was launched in advance of the school's 200th anniversary in 2016. In the works are a historic novel, a funny tale about husbands that she calls My Next Husband Will Be Normal and more - she has more ideas than time!

    Monica served as 2011-12 Writer-in-Residence at Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library, and was Writer-in-Residence at Berton House in Dawson City, Yukon, in 2008.

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  • Shauntay Grant

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Shauntay is fully booked for 2018-19. 

    Shauntay Grant is a writer and performance artist from Halifax, Nova Scotia. She teaches creative writing at Dalhousie University, and as Halifax's third poet laureate she organized Canada's first national gathering of Canadian poets laureate.

    Shauntay is a descendant of Black Loyalists, Jamaican Maroons, and Black Refugees who came to Canada during the 18th and 19th centuries. Her love of language stretches back to her storytelling roots in Nova Scotia's historic Black communities, and her homegrown artistic practice embraces African Nova Scotian history and folk culture, as well as contemporary approaches to literature and performance. Shauntay is a multidisciplinary artist with professional degrees and training in creative writing, music, and theatre. Her awards and honours include a Best Atlantic-Published Book prize from the Atlantic Book Awards, a Poet of Honour prize from Spoken Word Canada, and a Joseph S. Stauffer Prize from the Canada Council for the Arts.

    Shauntay's work has earned her invitations to present at local and international events including Canada's national Word On The Street festivals, the Vancouver Writers Festival, Ottawa's Versefest, Moncton's Frye Festival, Toronto's Luminato Festival, Australia's National Young Writers’ Festival, the Jamaica Poetry Festival, and the 10th Anniversary Launch of the Freedom Schooner Amistad in Havana, Cuba. Her plays have been presented by 2b theatre (Halifax), Neptune Theatre (Halifax), Eastern Front Theatre (Halifax), Black Theatre Workshop (Montreal), and b current (Toronto). Her poems have been published in several anthologies and literary journals including the Fieldstone Review and Contemporary Verse 2: The Canadian Journal of Poetry and Critical Writing. 

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  • Sylvia Gunnery

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Maximum group/class size: For readings, up to 75 with teachers present; 15 to 20 at writing workshops.

    Home Region: South Shore

    Will travel: throughout NS. When traveling more than 90 minutes each way, it may be necessary for the school to provide overnight accommodation

    Is available for visits: Oct & Nov, Jan - May. Full day visits only, please (3 sessions per day).

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction (chapter books for ages 6 to 8, juvenile for ages 9 to 12, teen from ages 12 to 16); picture books (non-fiction guided reading books for primary and grade one), teacher resource books on writing

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: Sylvia offers two WITS presentations as well as writing workshops.  The presentations are The Story Behind the Cover (recommended for grades 4 - 12) and Finding Stories Every Day (recommended for grades primary - 3).  These presentations are updated every year and are accompanied by PowerPoint visuals. Students will hear excerpts from her books, find out what inspired her story ideas, and learn some behind-the-scenes details about getting a book published.  In writing workshops, students will be active writers, creating their own fictional characters and making them walk and talk on the page.  Follow-up lessons will be suggested.

    About the Author: Stories have always been part of my life—my family shared stories around our kitchen table on Hillside Avenue in Halifax's Northend; I made up stories to tell my sister at night in our bedroom; I wrote stories as soon as I could form sentences and paragraphs. But I did not take myself seriously as a writer until I was almost 30 years old. That summer I studied at the Banff Centre in Alberta for five weeks. One of my teachers was W.O. Mitchell, a well known Canadian writer who taught me to trust in my own writer’s voice and to keep on writing. Now I have 23 books in print.   Game Face, the third novel in my Lorimer sports series, was nominated for the 2015 Hackmatack Award.  Road Signs That Say West, my new YA novel, will be published in 2017.  Most days you can find me here at Crescent Beach on the South Shore, working on my next book, or reading, or walking on the beach.

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  • Martine Jacquot

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Maximum class/group size: 30

    Home Region: Annapolis Valley

    Will travel: throughout NS

    Is available for visits: Sept - June. Full and half day visits.

    Areas of Expertise: children's lit, Acadian culture, French-language, Francophone countries and their culture, fiction, non-fiction, young adult, journalism, poetry, writing and publishing industry

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: With little ones, I use a PowerPoint presentation to play a game with them: they feel that they create a story when they are actually learning words and rhymes. With P1-2, I use one of my novels for young readers and we turn the story into a play full of magic as each child is assigned a part based on the story. This way, they memorize some phrases and create their own and feel they are part of an artistic event. With P3-6, I use my novels for young readers to show them what “ingredients” I use to create a story. Depending on the novel they chose, they learn about Mi’kmaq, Acadians or French cultures while having fun.

    With grades 10-12, I can talk about Acadian or French cultures, or about the culture of different countries where I spent time. I can also explain how those places inspired me and became part of my stories. This is specially appreciated by teachers who teach them social studies. We can also talk about my novels for older readers, depending on their choice. Since I am also a journalist, I can offer a workshop in journalism. With all age groups, I love spending time to answer questions and explain what it is to work as a writer. I prefer groups of 30 students or less and a computer and/or a projector are useful for showing PowerPoint or pictures. 

    About the Author: Martine Jacquot has studied and lived in France, England, Switzerland and Canada. Martine writes poetry, novels, short stories, essays, articles, and travel writing in both English and French. Pour plus d'informations cliquez ici.

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  • K.V. Johansen

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Maximum Group/Class Size: Two classes for a reading & discussion; no more than 15 students for a writing workshop. 

    Home Region: Sackville, NB (near CCRSB)

    Will travel: within the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board (approx. 90 minutes from Amherst); visits to the Halifax region require overnight accommodation be provided by the school. Please note: KV Johansen lives in Sackville, NEW BRUNSWICK.

    Available: Sept - Oct, April - June. Full days preferred. (Please note, not available the last two weeks of April 2013.)

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction writing, fantasy, science fiction &, fairy tales.

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: For a reading, I take about an hour. I read to the students, discuss the sorts of things an illustrator would consider when working with a text, and then get them to do some artwork related to the reading. This is followed by a question and answer session. If I am doing a workshop, it can take an hour to ninety minutes, depending on the age of the students. I usually talk to workshop students about some aspect of writing and literary storytelling, such as narrative point of view, character development, world-building, voice, etc.; I then have them work on an assignment, developing what we have discussed, with time left for them to read their work, and for Q&A.

    Teachers should ensure that children have drawing materials, if it's a reading, or writing materials for a workshop. Workshop groups should be no larger than 20 students, and they need to be students who are actually interested in being there, not an entire class. Mixing students from several grades for a workshop is fine.

    About the Author: K.V. Johansen has written everything from picture books to literary criticism, but most enjoys writing fantasy and science fiction for children, teens, and adults. Her most recent books are four adult epic fantasies. Some of her children's books have been translated into Danish, French, or Macedonian, and the most exotic place she has ever travelled is Macedonia, where she got to see real mountains. Her books have been shortlisted for various awards. Sometimes they’ve even won!
Johansen thinks books are the best thing there is: “They’re how we remember our past and imagine our futures. I like to read fantasy, science fiction, and manga, as well as non-fiction about history and archaeology. My dog likes to steal bookmarks out of books and eat them. Luckily, he doesn’t like to eat actual books, because my house is really small and a lot of my books live in stacks on the floor.”

    www.kvj.ca

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  • A.J.B. (John) Johnston

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Works with grades:  Grades 9 to 12

    Maximum group/class size:  No limit. I've talked to audiences of over 100

    Home Region: Halifax

    Will travel: Within a two-hour drive; farther if school can put me up for the night

    Available:  Most of the school year, but not Oct 18-30 or Nov 24-Dec 8

    Areas of Expertise:

    1. Pretty much anything to do with Louisbourg: from a sweeping overview to a detailed aspect.

    2. Landscape of Grand-Pré UNESCO World Heritage Site

    3. The links and differences between History and Fiction, using the example of my three novels inspired by historical figure Thomas Pichon.

    I have been giving public presentations on Louisbourg for decades; on Grand-Pré for likely 15 years; and on my fiction (and how my novels grew out of my work as an historian) for about four years.

    I can adapt the talks to different audiences and for different lengths of time.

    I require the school to be equipped with its own PowerPoint projector and laptop, so that the visual portion of the presentation is on a memory stick.

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  • shalan joudry

    Works with grades: 7-9

    SHALAN IS FULLY BOOKED FOR 2018-19. 

    Works With Grades: P-12

    Maximum Group/Class Size: Workshops or cultural discussion best for one class or less (30 max); readings and storytelling mixed presentation can be large group in gymnasium/outside. 

    Home Region: Annapolis Valley Regional School Board and Tri-County School Board

    Will Travel: Throughout NS when available

    Available: Best months for availability are January/February for closer schools. March-May for any school. 

    Areas of Expertise: Poetry, Mi'kmaw culture and history, Mi'kmaw short stories/legends, and ecology.

    Presentation Style/Workshop Ideas: In a class setting, I share a drum song, poetry, descriptions about my life and worldview, and short stories as legends or inspired by nature and culture. I can also cover workshop or discussion topics such as Mi'kmaw cultural ways of creating story and reflecting on language and worldview. I can lead a creative writing exercise. Also, I can present to a large group (whole school) as a reading or performance style presentation. 

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  • Allison Lawlor

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Maximum Group/Class Size: 25

    Will Travel: Within HRM

    Available: Sept-June

    Areas of Expertise: Journalism, non-fiction

    Presentation Style/Workshop Ideas: I can lead a workshop on the basics of journalism. How to find a good story, how to ask the right questions, how to find and incorporate good details, and finally how to put together an interesting and balanced story. I can help students work together to make a journal/book or newspaper. 

     

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  • Josh MacDonald

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Maximum Class/Group Size: 30-40

    Home Region: HRM

    Will travel: within HRM, Chignecto-Central, Annapolis Valley, South Shore. (within 100 km from Dartmouth).

    Is available for visits: Sept - June. Full and half day visits.

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction (ages 13+), Playwriting & Screenwriting

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: Josh is deeply encouraging to students -- "If I can do it, then absolutely, so can you! You CAN follow a life in the arts!" Josh will engage students in a fun, free-range and interactive discussion about creative writing and the storytelling process, as well as present A/V selections from his own work. Special Equipment: Josh needs a television, DVD player and a working remote control.

    Josh loves to talk about creative writing with students of any age, and with junior high & high school students in particular. Josh grew up in the N.S. school system (he attended Oxford School & QEHS) and discovered his love for storytelling via supportive teachers and programs similar to WITS! An award-winning short-fiction writer by 16, Josh grew up to be a professional writer & actor for stage, film and television. Josh is a lively and engaging speaker (and a recognizable performer from his acting work). Josh has been a playwriting instructor at Dalhousie University, NSCAD and Neptune Theatre. 

    (Josh’s feature-length movies THE CORRIDOR (an award-winning horror-thriller: Best of iTunes 2012, Next Wave Best Screenplay-- Fantastic Fest, Austin, TX, etc.) and FAITH, FRAUD & MINIMUM WAGE (a comedy-drama based on his play HALO, featuring stars from Superbad, Californication, 24 and Picnicface) are currently available on DVD, iTunes, and Netflix. Josh's directorial debut short film, GAME, has played film festivals and won awards across the world.)

    Trailer for Faith, Fraud & Minimum Wage: www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVs5VL2kH8s

    Trailer for The Corridor: www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pD_7pZm5Cg

    Trailor for the Game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9mqsv6sywI

     

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  • Sarah Mian

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Maximum group/class size: Any size 

    Will travel: Maritimes

    About the author: Sarah Mian is from Dartmouth, NS. Her debut novel When the Saints won the Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award, the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award, and was a finalist for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. She lives in Queensland, Nova Scotia.

    Presentation: I possess a BEd in Secondary School Education and have extensive Primary-12 classroom experience as a substitute teacher. I have given creative writing workshops at the Writing on Fire Teen Writing Experience and taught an adult fiction course at the Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia.

    I am passionate about inspiring young writers and have developed a variety of creative writing exercises suitable for all grade levels. As a Writer-in-the-Schools, I engage students in the creative writing process and share the journey of how I achieved my childhood dream to become a published novelist. 

     

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  • Philip Moscovitch

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Maximum Group/Class Size: 30
    Home Region: HRM
    Will travel: throughout NS. I enjoy travelling throughout the province for visits. Please keep in mind that I will require meals and accommodation if I'm travelling a considerable distance.
    Is available for visits: Sept - June. Full and half days.
    Areas of Expertise: Fiction, Graphic novels, Journalism, Non-Fiction, Interviewing techniques, Radio, Documentary.
    Presentation style/workshop ideas: I am most frequently asked to offer workshops on writing comics, but I also offer presentations on kickstarting fiction writing, working on non-fiction, and effective ways to interview and ask questions.

    Comics

    Ever wonder how a comic is put together? What does the writer do? How about the illustrator? Using real-life examples from my 14 years writing the "Daisy Dreamer" comic for Chickadee, I talk about the process of writing comics and share scripts and artwork with students. I also share exercises for building characters and stories. These sessions generally run 45-60 minutes.

    I also offer longer sessions (half day or more) that go more deeply into the process of creating comics and that include time for students to work on their own longer-term comics creations.

    Oral History/Interviewing

    "Someone should write that down!"

    For teachers and students interested in finding and recording the stories around them, I offer a workshop on how to zero in on great stories and get people to talk about them.As a freelance writer and broadcaster, I have interviewed hundreds of people - including the first person from PEI to play Major League Baseball, a member of the last Leafs team to win the Stanley Cup, the first photographer to snap underwater shots of Titanic, the most active 99-year-old I've ever met, and even family members. Students have the technology they need to record stories. My workshop teaches them how to find those stories, and how to approach subjects in a way that encourages them to share them.As part of this workshop we practice hands-on in class, which is always fun.

    Kickstart Your Fiction

    In school, I was the kid who never had any ideas. Now I have too many of them. This workshop uses photos and fun, effective writing prompts to help students find and quickly develop their ideas for short stories, comics, or longer works. 

    Other Workshops

    I am open to ideas! If you have something different you'd like me to do, let's chat about it.

    Language

    I am bilingual (I make part of my living as a French-English translator) and can do presentations and workshops in French for immersion classes.

    Je suis bilingue, originaire de Montréal, et tous mes ateliers et présentations sont également disponibles en français.

    Equipment

    I need an LCD projector.


    If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me. You can also keep up with me on Twitter @PhilMoscovitch.

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  • Magi Nams

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Home Region: Chignecto-Central 

    Will travel: HRM, Strait & Chignecto-Central within 200 kilometres distance of Tatamagouche.

    Is available for visits: October to June. Local schools only from January to March. Full day visits preferred, but will accept half-day visits to local schools.

    Grades: P-12

    Maximum number of students: 60

    Areas of Expertise: Non-Fiction, nature writing, travel writing, fiction.

    Grades P-3: Magi leads an interactive discussion about the steps involved in writing nature non-fiction, tailoring her presentation to the audience’s age and illustrating it with a PowerPoint slideshow of African wildlife. She reads a captivating Ranger Rick magazine story, encourages questions, and leads the students in writing a co-operative fiction story. Magi requires a projector, a whiteboard, pens, and two tables on which to put materials. Sessions are 30 to 45 minutes. Maximum 2 classes per session.

    Grades 4-6: Magi guides students through a discussion about the parts of a story and the use of specific words to create strong images. She illustrates these topics via readings from her books and/or Ranger Rick articles. She conducts timed creative writing exercises which lead students to link ideas and explore personal responses through fiction and non-fiction writing. Magi requires a whiteboard, pens, and a table on which to put materials. Sessions are 45 to 60 minutes. Maximum 30 students per session.

    Grades 7-9: Magi conducts timed fiction and non-fiction creative writing exercises that explore linking ideas, personal responses to positives and negatives, and creating believable settings, characters, and dialogue. Sessions are 60 to 75 minutes. Maximum 30 students per session.

    Grades 10-12: Magi leads short fiction writing exercises that focus on creating evocative settings and moods and exploring characterization through vivid narrative and dialogue. She also offers timed writing exercises that explore personal responses and offer insight for crafting fiction. Sessions are 75 to 90 minutes. Maximum 30 students per session.

    About the author: Magi Nams is the author of the travel trilogy Cry of the Kiwi: A Family's New Zealand Adventure and has published dozens of nature articles for Ranger Rick magazine. She has published poetry, biographical profiles, radio essays, and has conducted writing workshops for children and adults throughout Nova Scotia. Magi is the recipient of a National Wildlife Federation magazine writing award. 

     

     

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  • Chad Norman

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Chad Norman lives and writes in Truro, NS. Throughout his life he has visited many levels of schools, colleges, and university, but elementary, junior, and high schools are his favourite. he nejoys reading from his books and giving talks about his life as poet. He also enjoys providing workshops, which get students writing poems, and eventually reading them aloud. At the moment he is preparing to go to Denmark in October 2016, having been invited by the Nordic Assn. for Canadian Studies, to give talks on Canadian Poetry, and readings from his new book, Selected & New Poems, in Copenhagen and Aarhus. Promotion readings will also take place in Malmo, Sweden.

     

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  • Elizabeth Peirce

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Maximum group size: 35 for in-class presentations; 20 for food-based workshops

    Home region: central Halifax

    Will travel: within 3 hours of HRM, weather permitting

    Available: September--June

    Areas of expertise: local history, Nova Scotia pirates, growing and preserving food, self-sufficiency, parenting, ESL teaching

    Presentation style/workshop ideas:

    Elizabeth brings fifteen years of university-level teaching experience to her presentations and workshops. She is a passionate advocate for local food and self-sufficiency in food and has used her books on gardening and preserving as the beginning point for classroom discussion on how our current food system operates and how relearning skills like growing a garden, cooking, and preserving the harvest are positive acts of resiliency in the face of rapid global change and uncertainty. She has made pickles with high school students, jam with adults, and hodge-podge with kids, encouraging them to ask their elders for favourite recipes and the stories connected with food in their families.

    Her books on two infamous piracy cases in nineteenth century Nova Scotia complement any junior or senior high school curriculum on Maritime history (or Canadian history) and provide a realistic glimpse into the desperate lives that engaged in piracy as a last resort, rather than the glamourous depiction of pirates students may be familiar with from popular film.

    For students aged 5 to 8, Elizabeth reads from her picture book, The Big Flush, encouraging them to think of something they're afraid of (like a loudly-flushing public toilet for her four-year-old son--the inspiration for this book) and how writing about it and sharing with others can help.

    Elizabeth is based in Halifax and can travel throughout the province on non-snowy days for school visits.

    For workshops involving food preparation, use of the school's kitchen or cafeteria would be helpful.

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  • Jon Peirce

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Home Region: Halifax

    Will travel to: Annapolis Valley, Tri-County, South Shore.

    Availability: Sept.-June, full and half days.

    Maximun number of students: 15 but can be flexible.

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction, History & Folklore, Journalism, Memoir, Non-fiction, Poetry, Young Adult.

    Presentation Style: Education is far more rewarding when it draws on th expertise of all class members rather than on mine alone. My style is strongly participatory, and student-centred. I place a lot of emphasis on reading work aloud to train the ear and voice. I have a flair for the dramatic, and believe in having lots of fun. 

    Biography: I am an essayist, memoirist, non-fiction writer, free-lance journalist, short story writer, and actor whose work has been published widely in Canada. 

     

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  • Sherry D. Ramsey

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Home Region: Cape Breton

    Will travel: within Cape Breton and Strait Regions, further if accommodations are arranged.

    Available: Full and half days.

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction, non-fiction, Poetry, Editing and Publishing, Science fiction & Fantasy

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: For grades P-3, Sherry often offers interactive visual presentations on storytelling or how books come into being. This includes a brief storytelling session or reading. For older students, she often offers an interactive session with students where they brainstorm story ideas from student input. Her talks generally revolve around at least one of the following topics: how to build interesting stories and characters; discussion and practice creating vibrant backdrops for stories; discussing the different stages of writing as they apply to students and professional writers. She also often addresses topics that revolve around writing speculative fiction and poetry -- definitions of "speculative", finding ideas, and what makes a strong story within or outside various genres.

    For elementary grades Sherry can manage two classes together (if they are not too large); for junior high and high school she prefers no more than one class at a time.

    About the Author: Sherry D. Ramsey writes speculative fiction for both adults and young adults. To read Sherry's bio and a complete list of publications click here. When she's not actually writing, Sherry moderates her local writers' group, participates in a vibrant writing community in the virtual world of Second Life, and sometimes even spends time with her husband and two children at their home in Cape Breton.

    www.sherrydramsey.com

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  • Suzanne Rent

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Area of expertise: Newspaper and magazine writing and editing, interviewing, and publishing.

    Availabilty: October 2018 to June 2019.

    Willing to travel outside of HRM. 

    Suzanne Rent has worked in the Halifax media since 2003 and has experience in newspapers, magazines, televsion, and radio. Her work has appeared in The Chronicle Herald, Halifax Magazine, East Coast Living, Halifax Examiner, Globe and Mail, Canadian Business, and many others. 

    She has experience mentoring students and adult learners in the writing and editing process. When she was the editor of Our Children Magazine, she created a student-correspondent program in which she mentored elementary-age students whose work was published in the magazine. In 2015, she was shortlisted for the Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence for this student-correspondent program.

    She taught a Journalism 101 program to adult learners at the Dartmouth Literacy Network and the Bedford-Sackville Literacy Network.

    Suzanne is currently working on a 10-episode radio show called The Great Nova Scotia Songbook,  which will be launched in November 2018. This series will chronicle the history of music in Nova Scotia, including the music of First Nations communities to today's hip-hop artists. To date, she's interviewed 45 musicians and industry talents for this project.

    Suzanne has a special industry in Nova Scotia history, genealogy, music, community news, and the extraordinary stories of everyday people.

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  • Tom Ryan

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Tom Ryan is the author of several books for young readers. He has been nominated for the White Pine Award, the Stellar Award and the Hackmatack Award, and two of his books were Junior Library Guild selections. His young adult novels, Way to Go and Tag Along, were chosen for the ALA Rainbow List, in 2013 and 2014. He was a 2017 Lambda Literary Fellow in Young Adult Fiction. For more information, visit www.tomryanauthor.com

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  • Julian Smith

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Maximum Group/Class Size: Any size

    Home Region: Yarmouth County

    Will Travel: Anywhere in Yarmouth, Digby, & Shelburne Counties. Will travel further, but mileage and/or accommodation may be required.

    Available: Year-Round

    Areas of Expertise: Science Fiction & Fantasy (Speculative Fiction)

    Workshop/Presentation Style: Julian is available to teach fiction workshops that focus on imagination, creativity, and storytelling through the lens of speculative fiction. Many of today's most popular books, movies, and video games fall under the umbrella of science fiction and fantasy. These genres have a remarkable ability to capture the imaginations of young people and reading and writing speculative fiction encourages students to think about the world in new and imaginative ways.

    In his workshops, Julian introduces students to some important narrative ingredients — such as character, conflict, and setting — and uses examples from literature and pop culture to keep students engaged. Through a series of brainstorming activities and writing exercises students will learn how to generate compelling ideas and turn those ideas into their own stories. By the end of the workshop, students will have the foundation of a work of original fiction.

    About the Author: Julian Mortimer Smith has published more than a dozen science fiction and fantasy stories in some of the world's top speculative fiction magazines, including Asimov'sTerraform, and Daily Science Fiction. He has also published non-fiction pieces in SaltscapesCottage Magazine, and The Skinny. He is a member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) and SF Canada.

    Julian lives in Yarmouth and spends his days writing copy for a web design company. He previously made a living as a freelance editor, working on projects ranging from romance novels to board games. When he lived in Edinburgh he worked as the books section editor of The Skinny, a Scottish arts and entertainment magazine.

    Julian has a bachelor's degree in English literature from McGill Univeristy in Montreal and a Master's in Communication and Culture from York University in Toronto. You can find out more about his writing at his website: http://julianmortimersmith.com/

     

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  • Geraldine Tuck

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Works with Grades: 3-6  Also 7-9

    Will Travel: All of NS

    Available: Sept. - June

    Maximum Students: 25-30

    Area of Expertise: Taught grades 2,4,5, 6

    Presentation: Grades 3-6 This interactive presentation dresses volunteers as book characters, detective, rum runner, and gold miner. The large, hands-on display illustrates historical research. Author read exciting passage from each book. An oral exercise demonstrates editing techniques. Drawing for a free t-shirt end the visit.

    GRADES 7-9 The fourth book in the Marauders Series is suitable for older grades due to the content dealing with the halifax Explosion. A power point presentation discusses the explosion and hoe the author used artifacts and newspaper clippings to plot a story. An interactive lesson where students piece together their own historical fiction is offered. 

    Midnight Marauders , Moonlight Marauders and Mystery Marauders are on the Teachers' Book Order List! watch for, Halifax Explosion Mystery, available late september 2017. Contact: Glen Margaret Publishing. Email: gmp@ eastlink.ca. Books also available in all Chapters Book Stores.

     

     

     

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  • Steve Vernon

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Works with grades: 2-12

    Will travel: to most areas of NS (driver must be arranged)

    Available: Sept - June

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction, storytelling, history and folklore

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: Steve has been telling his stories and writing fiction for nearly twenty years, and is used to working with many age groups. As a rule, he uses his storytelling techniques and high energy presentation to teach children about the basics of writing and storytelling. His sessions demonstrate the story arc, the writer’s voice and point of view, descriptive techniques, and simple imaginative hands-on workshop skills. Steve likes to entertain, educate and leave students with a groundwork of practical information they can use to tell stories, write papers, write fiction and enjoy the good old-fashioned art of communication. At the end of one of Steve’s workshops, the students all want to write.

    For Steve's presentations, he will need something to write on (flip chart or blackboard) and enough room to move around as he tells his stories. He’s not what you’d describe as a sedate storyteller.

    About the Author: Born in the woods of the North Canadian Shield and living in Nova Scotia for the last 35 years, Steve Vernon learned the story telling tradition from his grandfather. He has read on CBC radio, Breakfast Television, Global Noon and at schools and libraries across Nova Scotia. Steve's high voltage storytelling production, Word of Mouth, was written under the auspices of the now dissolved Nova Scotia Arts Council and presented two years running at the Halifax Fringe Festival.

    Steve is Nova Scotia’s most entertaining writer and collector of ghost stories – and I guarantee that even the most relaxed student is going to sit up and listen when they find out that a writer of ghost stories and horror fiction is in the classroom. Steve's energetic and down-to-earth approach towards teaching storytelling and writing reaches school kids from grades 2 to 12. They listen and enjoy and ultimately learn from his entertaining presentations.

    Steve has written several ghost story collections for regional publisher Nimbus – including the bestselling Halifax Haunts: Exploring the City’s Spookiest Spaces – as well as a very popular novel for young readers Sinking Deeper and a children’s picture book Maritime Monsters. Steve has a brand new ghost story collection coming out in the fall of 2011 entitled The Lunenburg Werewolf And Other Stories of the Supernatural.

     
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  • Alice Walsh

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Home Region: HRM

    Will travel: throughout Nova Scotia

    Available: Sept - June. Full and half days.

    Maximum number of students: 45-50

    Areas of Expertise: Picture Books, Juvenile, Young Adult, Fiction and Non-Fiction

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: My workshops are a mixture of discussion and hands-on writing. Using short writing exercises, students will explore the importance of dialogue, imagery, description, and showing vs. telling. Using examples from my own writing, I will discuss how real life experiences and events can be transformed into fictional stories. Also, I will show how to create unique, vibrant, and unforgettable characters and their importance to the story.      

    Depending on the length of the workshop, the students will create a character, and will invent a problem (conflict) for that character. I will then discuss how this problem is essential to the development of the plot. 

    For younger children, P-2, I will discuss story characters, and how they grow in the writer’s imagination. Using examples from my own picture books, we will explore concepts such as: Who is the main character? What is the character’s problem?  How does the character go about solving the problem?  

    The main focus of my workshop is to get students excited about the creative writing process.

    About the author: Alice Walsh writes fiction and non-fiction for adults and children, and her articles and short stories have been published in various magazines and anthologies.  Her published work includes three books for adults as well as eight books for children and young adults. A number of her books have been short listed or won awards such as the Hackmatack, and the Canadian Children’s Book Centre Choice. Her juvenile novel, Pomiuk: Prince of the North (Beach Holme) won the 2005 Ann Connor Brimer award. Another YA novel, A Sky Black with Crows (Red Deer), was nominated for the same award. Her most recent novel, A Long Way From Home, was a finalist for the 2013-14 Hackmatack award.

    Alice has degrees in English and Criminology from St. Mary’s University, and a MA in Children’s Literature from Acadia University. She has worked as a pre-school teacher, a creative writing instructor, and a probation officer. She has participated in The Labrador Creative Arts Festival, Winter Set in Summer Festival, and was Writer in Residence at Terra Nova National Park during the summer 2005.

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  • Wade White

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Home Region: Annapolis Valley

    Will travel: Throughout Nova Scotia (weather permitting)

    Available: September to June (full and half days)

    Maximum class/group size: Any size

    Areas of Expertise: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Editing/Revision Process

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: The main focus of my workshop is to present students with a basic framework for creating their own stories and also provide them with several key tools for editing and revising. The presentation is designed to fill a 45–60 minute time slot. It is visual and interactive, and I invite students to participate throughout.

    The core of the presentation is broken into two parts: writing and revision. The writing part involves a group storytelling exercise that focuses on developing a basic 6-step framework for how to outline a story. For older students, this might also include writing an actual scene from the story if time allows. The framework is reinforced at each step using examples from my books.

    In the revision part of the presentation, we examine our group story and discuss ways we could improve it. For older students, this might involve editing their scenes from the writing exercise if time allows. The editing lessons are reinforced using examples from my own early drafts.

    In terms of equipment, the presentation uses PowerPoint, but where access to technology is limited a whiteboard or blackboard will suffice.

    About the author: Wade writes middle grade fantasy and science fiction. His first novel, The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes, was BEA 2016 Middle Grade Buzz Book, an Indies Introduce Summer/Fall 2016 selection, was included in the 2016 ABC Best Books for Young Readers as well as the Children’s Book Review Best New Kids Books for Preteens and Tweens (September 2016), and received a starred listing by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre in the Spring 2017 “Best Books for Kids & Teens.” His second novel, The Adventurer’s Guide to Dragons (and Why They Keep Biting Me), was released on September 5, 2017, and he is currently working on the third installment in his series, The Adventurer’s Guide to Treasure (and How to Steal It).

    Wade has given presentations and readings and conducted workshops with students in schools and libraries in both the US and Canada. In 2017, he received the Emerging Author Award from the Atlantic Independent Bookseller's Association.

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Works with grades: P-6

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  • Jane Baskwill

    Works with grades: P-6

    Maximum group/class size: 60 students for readings (not workshops) and depending on the venue

    Home Region: Annapolis Valley

    Will travel: anywhere in NS. If further than 3 hours drive, overnight accommodation is required the night before.

    Is available for visits: Sept - June. Full & half day visits.

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction (grades 2-6), picture books (grades P-6), poetry (grades 3-6), memoir (grades 2-6), making blank books & journals (grades P-6),playwriting/screenwriting

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: Jane is a former classroom teacher and is comfortable presenting to students from Grade Primary to Six. Her interactive sessions appeal to both large and small groups. She shares her journey to become an author and talks about her writing process, as well as reads from some of her published books. Jane connects her writing to environmental and peace education through her PowerPoint presentations. Her newest novel links to local history and she shares how local and family places and events can provide the material for writing. Jane will also adapt her sessions to the specific needs of her host school or individual classes. She also offers hands-on workshops on making journals and blank books for writing and drawing; poetry writing workshops; keeping a writer’s notebook and journal.

    Jane requires an LCD projector, screen, and computer. Internet access and CD player are used when available. Materials for special workshops such as book-making will be discussed when booking. There is no special preparation required by teachers for students attending Jane’s sessions.

    About the Author: I was born in Queens, New York, but since becoming a Canadian citizen, I have lived in the Annapolis Valley where I appreciate daily the gifts the earth has to share. I can watch a fox steal a pear from beneath the tree in my back yard, listen to red-tailed hawks argue over a recently caught meal, smell the arrival of a family of skunks, and taste the wild blackberries that grow in our back field. I have always been concerned about planet Earth and as a teacher and a principal I helped my students learn about what they could do to help care for the planet and how they could work for a more peaceful world. As a writer, I share my message through three of my picture books: Somewhere, Touch the Earth and If Peace Is… I also help classes and schools share their own messages in poetry and books. I worked with Holland Road School on a school-wide writing project that resulted in the book: A Kid’s Guide to Making and Being A Friend. I have written plays for children and adults and have written many books for teachers. I am now on the Faculty of Education at Mount Saint Vincent University.

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  • Anne Carter

    Works with grades: P-6

    19 books for the young at heart: Picture Books, MG Non-Fiction and Fiction, YA fiction.

    Anne divides her time writing and teaching between Toronto Island and the LaHave River, Nova Scotia. 

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  • Lesley Choyce

    Works with grades: P-6

    Home Region: HRM

    Will travel: anywhere in NS

    Available for visits: Half day visits only, preferably afternoons.

    Areas of Expertise:   Young adult novels, fiction, history, children's fiction, poetry.

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: Lesley will read from such kids' books as Skunks for Breakfast and Far Enough Island, as well as such young adult novels as The Book of Michael, The End of the World as We Know It, Wave Warrior, Smoke and Mirrors or Shoulder the Sky (winner of the 2003 Ann Connor Brimer Children's Literature Prize). He can talk about the history of Nova Scotia (Nova Scotia Shaped by the Sea) as well. The main focus of the presentation is to get students enthusiastic about writing, imagination and creativity. Lesley also has stories to tell about skunks and ravens and brings along his poetry music videos to inspire non-book kids. He's guaranteed to entertain, intrigue and provoke. When not writing, Lesley teaches at Dalhousie University, performs spoken word poetry/music and surfs in year round.

    Special equipment: Please contact the author.

    About the author: Lesley teaches at Dalhousie University, runs Pottersfield Press and has published over 86 books for adults and kids. His Young Adult novels concern things like skateboarding, surfing, racism, environmental issues, organ transplants, and rock bands. Lesley surfs year round in the North Atlantic and is considered the father of transcendental wood-splitting. www.lesleychoyce.com

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  • Jan L. Coates

    Works with grades: P-6

    Maximum group/class size: prefers to work with one class at a time, but open to other situations as required. Full-day & Half-day visits.


    Home Region: Annapolis Valley

    Will travel: HRM, Chignecto-Central, Annapolis Valley, Tri-County & South Shore (But I'm open to other areas)

    Available: Oct, Nov, good-weather days January-March, May. Full and half day visits.

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction writing (middle grade novels, books for emergent readers, picture books)

    Presentation style/workshop ideas:

    a) GRADES P-4:

    I read one of my picture books, A Halifax Time-Travelling TuneSky PigRainbows in the Dark or The King of Keji, then chat about it. This requires 30 minutes for P/1 groups, and I also have relevant activity sheets we do together re wishing, dreaming and/or rainbows. For grades 2, 3, and 4, the picture book presentation takes about an hour as I have a 15 minute PowerPoint I use to generate discussion of the writing life, and also a hands-on, fun, guessing-game creative writing exercise.  Each student chooses either a place or a thing and writes a brief description of it using the "other" four senses (not sight). The students then take turns reading their descriptions to their classmates who attempt to guess what the place or thing is. It's harder than it sounds! But it's a great exercise to get kids thinking beyond how things look when they use description in their own writing, and it's fun!

    b) Grades 4/5-9:

    I read a bit from Talking to the Moon, A Hare in the Elephant’s TrunkThe Power of Harmony, or Rocket Man, depending on the age level, or the teacher's choice. I also use my PPT to generate discussion around the books' themes (searching for a place to belong, bullying, pursuing dreams, Lost Boys of Sudan) and chat about tools we all possess and use as W.R.I.T.E.R.S. (words, reading, imagination, thesaurus, experience/emotions, rewriting, senses), and I'm happy to answer any and all questions. I use the same writing exercise described above, which works well with all ages, and I'm always open to discussing specific aspects of the writing process, as suggested by teachers. 


    c) Grades 2 and up: I am open to suggestions from teachers if there's a certain aspect of writing they'd like me to address. As well, I sometimes read from one of my current works-in-progress as I'm always looking for feedback from readers. 

    About the Author: I'm curious about everybody, and I like to watch strangers and imagine their lives; Why is he doing that? How did that raccoon get in there? What would she do if...? Basically, I'm nosey. Being a visiting author is one of my favorite parts of being a writer because I get to share my love of reading and writing with lots of other people with big imaginations and amazing ideas. 

    In my free time, I play badminton, shop at Frenchy's, travel, go to the gym, and lately, I've been learning to illustrate with watercolour pencils. In addition to my trade books, I've also written sixteen English as a Second Language chapter books which are mainly used in Korean language schools, and two adult ESL workbooks. Besides my Golden Irish, Charlie, I live with my husband, Don, in Wolfville. My kids Liam and Shannon are young adults who both live in southern Ontario :(

    For more info visit: www.jancoates.ca

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  • Valerie Compton

    Works with grades: P-6

    Home Region: Halifax

    Will travel: throughout NS but prefers HRM in winter months.

    Available: Sept - June

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction writing & non-fiction writing

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: Valerie’s presentations are fun, interactive and collaborative. Students at all grade levels will learn to see the hidden structure of a story and develop their own writing style. Valerie helps students in grades P – 9 to create vibrant characters and draft a story, guiding students in using imagination and revision skills. Valerie’s advanced writing and self-editing workshops are perfect for grades 10 – 12. For schools within one hour of HRM, Valerie can offer a progressive series of workshops designed to develop an advanced writing practice.

    About the Author: Valerie Compton is the author of the novel Tide Road, a finalist for the 2012 Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award. Her short fiction has been published in literary journals across Canada and shortlisted for the CBC Literary Award. Her non-fiction articles and book reviews have appeared in The Globe and Mail, Ottawa Citizen, Gourmet and elsewhere. Valerie has been leading writing workshops and mentoring writers since 2005. Visit her at http://www.narrativeagency.ca

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  • Kenneth Davidson

    Works with grades: P-6

    Kenneth Davidson is a curriculum writer for the Nova Scotia Department of Education, Acadia University,
    and Nova Scotia Community College. Ken has decades of teaching experience at all grade levels in
    both Nova Scotia and Manitoba. He has also taught for many years at the university and college level. His
    pedagogical methods have been widely accepted and refined over the years to culminate, through the
    writing of The Elf Child, in a desire to appeal to the beautiful minds of young children.

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  • Deirdre Dwyer

    Works with grades: P-6

    Maximum Group/Class size: preferably under 25

    Home Region: HRM

    Will travel: within HRM, Annapolis Valley, Tri-County,  Strait Regional, Chignecto-Central. Accommodation may be required for visits to  schools more than 2 hours drive from HRM.

    Available: Sept - June. Full and half day visits.

    Areas of Expertise: Poetry, non-fiction, travel writing, and living in a different culture.

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: With the students, she will talk a little about her writing background, but  will focus on reading and discussing her work and most importantly, have the students to do some writing exercises, based on the discussions. For instance, for a travel poem about Thailand, she will discuss how the palm trees are like earrings for elephants, so the students write will write about jewelry for wildlife. Deirde prefers to work with groups of 25 students or less. Or she will have students write about wildlife after she talks about her time with the Hope for Wildlife rehabilitation centre. For older students, she will discuss emotions and how to include their interests in writing.

    About the Author: Deirdre Dwyer is a poet who engages her classes in discussion about her poems, non-fiction, and the writing process. She creates various writing exercises about simile, metaphor, about animals and people, and asks the students to read their writing aloud. Her experience at the Hope for Wildlife rehabilitation center, as a community volunteer, as ex-Coordinator of a Farmers’ Market, and traveler motivate her and her students to write on a variety of topics. She is working now on finding a publisher for two poetry collections, and is working two non-fiction manuscripts about her travels in Japan, Asia, Europe, and across the USA and Canada in a camperized Volkswagen van.

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  • Monica Graham

    Works with grades: P-6

    Maximum group/class size: 30 or less

    Home Region: Chignecto-Central

    Will travel: throughout NS. Accomodation required for schools 3+ hours away.

    Available: Sept - June. Full and half day visits.

    Areas of Expertise: Non-fiction: history, biography, news, trivia, opinion (suitable for grade 7 and up); workshops for younger kids; memoir–everyone has a story to tell.

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: Monica uses props and games to explain the differences among fact, fiction and opinion; and individual and group writing exercises to demonstrate how to make facts interesting. She talks about cheating - using dictionaries, thesaurus, spell-check and other tools to gain an advantage. She reads to students and answers questions about writing. If older students have writing they want to share and discuss, teachers should let Monica know in advance in order to adjust the presentation time and style. If a particular topic or project inerests the students, please let Monica know.  A flip chart or chalk/white board is handy, and students should have pen/cils and paper. MOnica does not usually employ electronic gizmos as her experience shows they are frustrating and time-consuming to set up. 

    She prefers working with groups of 30 students or less and a scent-free audience is preferred. Coffee and maybe a biscuit are appreciated after a long drive.

    About the Author: Monica Graham lives in the woods in Pictou County, where she keeps three big vegetable gardens, grows raspberries and blackberries, swats black flies, hunts for moose tracks and mushrooms and tries to keep her little dog out of the swamps. When she'’s not playing in the mud or skiing or snowshoeing,  she hides in her office and writes books, as well as stories for newspapers and magazines. She likes history and imagining the people who lived in a place long ago. A freelance journalist and former columnist, Monica has written news and feature articles for  the Halifax Chronicle HeraldRural Delivery, and others. She wrote the books Looking Back at Pictou County, The Historic Town of Pictou, Scotch Willy and Other Nicknames from Pictou County, The Great Maritime Detective, Bluenose, Historic New Glasgow, Stellarton, Trenton & Westville, and  Fire Spook, a true ghost story released in October, 2013.  In May, 2015, Nimbus Publishing released a collection of her columns called In the Spirit: Reflections on Everday Grace. Two months later, her history of Pictou Academy, called Cradle of Knowledge, was launched in advance of the school's 200th anniversary in 2016. In the works are a historic novel, a funny tale about husbands that she calls My Next Husband Will Be Normal and more - she has more ideas than time!

    Monica served as 2011-12 Writer-in-Residence at Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library, and was Writer-in-Residence at Berton House in Dawson City, Yukon, in 2008.

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  • Shauntay Grant

    Works with grades: P-6

    Shauntay is fully booked for 2018-19. 

    Shauntay Grant is a writer and performance artist from Halifax, Nova Scotia. She teaches creative writing at Dalhousie University, and as Halifax's third poet laureate she organized Canada's first national gathering of Canadian poets laureate.

    Shauntay is a descendant of Black Loyalists, Jamaican Maroons, and Black Refugees who came to Canada during the 18th and 19th centuries. Her love of language stretches back to her storytelling roots in Nova Scotia's historic Black communities, and her homegrown artistic practice embraces African Nova Scotian history and folk culture, as well as contemporary approaches to literature and performance. Shauntay is a multidisciplinary artist with professional degrees and training in creative writing, music, and theatre. Her awards and honours include a Best Atlantic-Published Book prize from the Atlantic Book Awards, a Poet of Honour prize from Spoken Word Canada, and a Joseph S. Stauffer Prize from the Canada Council for the Arts.

    Shauntay's work has earned her invitations to present at local and international events including Canada's national Word On The Street festivals, the Vancouver Writers Festival, Ottawa's Versefest, Moncton's Frye Festival, Toronto's Luminato Festival, Australia's National Young Writers’ Festival, the Jamaica Poetry Festival, and the 10th Anniversary Launch of the Freedom Schooner Amistad in Havana, Cuba. Her plays have been presented by 2b theatre (Halifax), Neptune Theatre (Halifax), Eastern Front Theatre (Halifax), Black Theatre Workshop (Montreal), and b current (Toronto). Her poems have been published in several anthologies and literary journals including the Fieldstone Review and Contemporary Verse 2: The Canadian Journal of Poetry and Critical Writing. 

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  • Daphne Greer

    Works with grades: P-6

      

    Maximum group/class size: I'm comfortable talking to large groups of children. 

    Home region:  Annapolis Valley

    Will travel:  HRM & Annapolis Valley  and beyond if travel and accomadtions are provided.

    Available: Sept  – June. Full day or half day visits.

    Areas of expertise: writing, power of positive thinking, talking about the Kids Help Phone, inspiring children to dream

    Presentation style/ workshop ideas: Daphne talks about the power of believing in one self and loves to help inspire that in others. She uses her own journey of how she became a writer to prove this point. She shows a very short inspirational video and ties it in with writing. Several of her hands on activities are geared towards the importance of not expecting things to be perfect on the first try. Her presentation is very interactive with several activities geared towards the writing process. She uses her first young adult novel, Maxed Out as a tipping point for discussions around: special needs, bullying, Kids Help Phone etc. Her stroy, Jacob's Landing is a coming of age story. Tanita Davis (blogger from California) describes Jacob's landing best. "Like a perfect summer day - warm, but with just a kiss of breeze - Daphne Greer's book celebrates the best things about foster care, family, friendships, and bridging the generations to make our own truths. This is a book you'll want to hug." Her latest book, Camped Out (due in October) follows the characters in Maxed Out. 

    “Dear Daphne, thank you for your visit. You really inspired the students and myself. The kids are still talking about your visit and they’re practising the breathing strategy you showed them. We have the believe sign hanging and it serves as a great reminder to all of us. We have one more chapter to read in your book. They are really enjoying it and are very curious when your next book will be published. We had a great conversation about the Kids Help Phone today in class.” - Janet Ross, grade five teacher, RKT Elementary, Dart., NS

    About the author: Daphne, a mother of four girls has worked with individuals with special needs for over 16 years. Her first novel, Maxed Out was a nominee for the 2013 Best Quick Read by the American Library Association. Before having children she volunteered on the Adult Help Phone in Halifax which provided her with the ability to use the Kids Help Phone in Maxed Out. She loves spreading the word about this amazing service that they provide for kids in Canada. She is very comfortable working with kids and will put people at ease very quickly.  Her second YA novel, Jacob's Landing, published by Nimbus is a 2016-17 Hackmatack Nominee, and a 2016 Silver Birch finalist. Her third novel, Camped Out will be published by Orca in the fall of 2017. It is the sequel to Maxed Out. She has a Bachelor of Child Studies from Mt St Vincent University. 




     

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  • Doretta Groenendyk

    Works with grades: P-6

    Maximum group/class size: one class at a time, approx. 25 - 30 students

    Will travel: within the Annapolis Valley/Halifax

    Available: Oct-June (Full Days only)

    Areas of Expertise: Picture books, Illustration

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: Stories seem to follow me wherever I go: they chase my bicycle, appear under rocks, pour out of a teapot and fall from the sky. I love to look at pictures and make paintings of things I dream about doing, or of events that I find enchanted, cosy or whimsical. Sometimes I can't tell what comes first, my pictures or my words.

    When I share my work with classrooms, it is usually a bright and creative adventure. I have travelled and have lived in different places and these stories usually creep into my classroom visits. I often bring in objects and paintings and have a lot of fun sharing all the stuff behind the making of each book. Mostly I can inspire kids to feel that absolutely they have stories to tell and this can happen in words, pictures, or both.

    This year I have a new book: A Harbour Seal in Halifax based on the actual events in the city of March 2015. Students will be active drawers for this one, and begin their own story strip!

    As well, I can offer workshops on BULLY 101. these have been engaging presentations, complete with collage making.

    About the Author: Doretta graduated from NSCAD with a BA in Art Education. She then worked in Swaziland, Africa for a year and then Igloolik, Nunavut for another two. Before and after these diverse experiences, she was an avid traveller and tree planter.

    Once settled in Nova Scotia, Doretta worked as an artist in classrooms through AVRSB, the program Arts Infusion, the Paints program, and as a volunteer. Her paintings are represented by the Harvest Gallery in Wolfville, Details Gallery in Charlottetown, and Art Sales and Rentals at the AGNS in Halifax.

    To date, Doretta''s books include:

    • Bounce Beans and Burn
    • Fiddles and Spoons
    • I'm writing a story
    • Snow for Christmas
    • Thank You for My Bed
    • A Bluenose Christmas
    • Spin to Sea
    • Bully 101
    • Step outside
    • Hockey Morning Noon and Night
    • I'm Drawing a Picture
    • A Harbour Seal in Halifax

     

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  • Sylvia Gunnery

    Works with grades: P-6

    Maximum group/class size: For readings, up to 75 with teachers present; 15 to 20 at writing workshops.

    Home Region: South Shore

    Will travel: throughout NS. When traveling more than 90 minutes each way, it may be necessary for the school to provide overnight accommodation

    Is available for visits: Oct & Nov, Jan - May. Full day visits only, please (3 sessions per day).

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction (chapter books for ages 6 to 8, juvenile for ages 9 to 12, teen from ages 12 to 16); picture books (non-fiction guided reading books for primary and grade one), teacher resource books on writing

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: Sylvia offers two WITS presentations as well as writing workshops.  The presentations are The Story Behind the Cover (recommended for grades 4 - 12) and Finding Stories Every Day (recommended for grades primary - 3).  These presentations are updated every year and are accompanied by PowerPoint visuals. Students will hear excerpts from her books, find out what inspired her story ideas, and learn some behind-the-scenes details about getting a book published.  In writing workshops, students will be active writers, creating their own fictional characters and making them walk and talk on the page.  Follow-up lessons will be suggested.

    About the Author: Stories have always been part of my life—my family shared stories around our kitchen table on Hillside Avenue in Halifax's Northend; I made up stories to tell my sister at night in our bedroom; I wrote stories as soon as I could form sentences and paragraphs. But I did not take myself seriously as a writer until I was almost 30 years old. That summer I studied at the Banff Centre in Alberta for five weeks. One of my teachers was W.O. Mitchell, a well known Canadian writer who taught me to trust in my own writer’s voice and to keep on writing. Now I have 23 books in print.   Game Face, the third novel in my Lorimer sports series, was nominated for the 2015 Hackmatack Award.  Road Signs That Say West, my new YA novel, will be published in 2017.  Most days you can find me here at Crescent Beach on the South Shore, working on my next book, or reading, or walking on the beach.

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  • Jackie Halsey

    Works with grades: P-6

    Maximum group/class size: Jackie prefers working with groups of no more than 40 students

    Home Region: HRM

    Will travel: Within one hour of downtown Dartmouth only.

    Is available for visits: Sept - June. Full and half day visits.

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction, Picture Books, Historical Fiction (particularly childworkers).

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: For the younger grades, Jackie focuses on her book (co authored by Carrie Muller), The Terrible Horrible Smelly Pirate.  In this rambunctios program she gives an animated reading of the book, throws in some Mermaid riddles and gets the students to help her design their own Terrible Horrible Pirate.  There may even been time for some storytelling.

    For older grades Jackie talks about the writing process and her passion for putting children into history. She reads from her historical fiction books - Peggy's Letters, Bluenose Adventure and Explosion Newsie. Peggy's Letters is a short novel about being a child in London during the Second World War. Bluenose Adventure is a school-age picture book about the young boys who worked on the fishing schooners in the 1920's.Explosion Newsie is a story about a paperboy and the Halifax Explosion. These readings are accompanied with an interpretive power point presentation that has proven to be a great starting point for class discussion. Bluenose Adventure and Explosion Newsie are part of a collection of books about child workers - a very interesting and thought provoking topic.

     

    About the Author: Jackie was born in London, England. After several globetrotting years she and her family discovered Nova Scotia and have lived here ever since. She attended the West Sussex College of Art in England and as a mature student, graduated with honours from Mount Saint Vincent University. Before becoming a full-time writer, Jackie worked as a children’s programmer in the Youth Services department of Alderney Gate Library. Her days were filled with storytimes and puppet shows. She has written four books her latest, Bluenose Adventure, is a story about the young boys, who worked on the fishing schooners in the 1920s.

    Her first book, Peggy’s Letters, a short novel based on her Mother’s wartime stories, was a Canadian Children’s Book Center 2006, Our Choice starred selection. It was nominated for both the 2007 Hackmatack Children’s Choice Award and the 2007 Rocky Mountain Children’s Book Award and was an Honour Book in the 2007 Silver Birch Express Award. The Terrible Horrible Smelly Pirate, co-authored by Carrie Muller, is a rollicking piratical picture book which continues to find itself on local best seller lists.

    Jackie really enjoys being part of the Writers in the Schools program and when not writing you’ll probably find her throwing pots in a local pottery studio or volunteering with Feed Nova Scotia.
    Jackie loves anything to do with the sea particularly, tall ships, beach walks, snorkelling and whale watching. She and her husband live in a little old house overlooking Halifax Harbour. What better place to keep an eye out for Bluenose and rickerty-rackerty pirate ships.

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  • Pamela Hickman

    Works with grades: P-6

    Maximum class/group size: 50

    Home Region: Annapolis Valley

    Will travel: throughout NS. Full and half day visits, overnight accommodation required for schools more than 2 hours from the Valley.

    Available: Sept - June. Full and half day visits.

    Areas of Expertise: Non-fiction writing, natural history and the sciences.

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: Pam begins her discussion with her motivation for writing non-fiction nature books, what is involved in finding her information and how she (and they) can go about gathering facts through exploration outside. She’ll read from one of her short books and discuss some of the extraordinary features of seemingly ordinary creatures. Following that, she’ll
    show the students some special natural objects and then demonstrate how they can make
    a series of simple “gadgets” for outdoor exploration. If there’s time, she has a fun game to
    play. She likes to end with some questions from the audience. If teachers would like a more
    in-depth review of the process of writing, editing and book production, that can be
    arranged in advance of the visit. Note: Pamela prefers to stay in one space and have the kids come to her in groups of no more than 50 (2 classes). All she needs are two large display tables and a chair at the front of the room.

    About the Author: Pamela Hickman was born and raised in Mississauga, Ontario. She holds an Honours Bachelor degree in Environmental Studies and Biology from the University of Waterloo. She was the Education Co-ordinator for the Federation of Ontario Naturalists for 7 years. During that period, Pamela wrote several education kits and other natural history material for children. In 1989, Pamela began a freelance writing career and has published over 35 books to date. She moved to Canning, N.S. with her husband and three daughters in 1992. Pamela divides her time between her writing, family and volunteer work in her community.

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  • Martine Jacquot

    Works with grades: P-6

    Maximum class/group size: 30

    Home Region: Annapolis Valley

    Will travel: throughout NS

    Is available for visits: Sept - June. Full and half day visits.

    Areas of Expertise: children's lit, Acadian culture, French-language, Francophone countries and their culture, fiction, non-fiction, young adult, journalism, poetry, writing and publishing industry

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: With little ones, I use a PowerPoint presentation to play a game with them: they feel that they create a story when they are actually learning words and rhymes. With P1-2, I use one of my novels for young readers and we turn the story into a play full of magic as each child is assigned a part based on the story. This way, they memorize some phrases and create their own and feel they are part of an artistic event. With P3-6, I use my novels for young readers to show them what “ingredients” I use to create a story. Depending on the novel they chose, they learn about Mi’kmaq, Acadians or French cultures while having fun.

    With grades 10-12, I can talk about Acadian or French cultures, or about the culture of different countries where I spent time. I can also explain how those places inspired me and became part of my stories. This is specially appreciated by teachers who teach them social studies. We can also talk about my novels for older readers, depending on their choice. Since I am also a journalist, I can offer a workshop in journalism. With all age groups, I love spending time to answer questions and explain what it is to work as a writer. I prefer groups of 30 students or less and a computer and/or a projector are useful for showing PowerPoint or pictures. 

    About the Author: Martine Jacquot has studied and lived in France, England, Switzerland and Canada. Martine writes poetry, novels, short stories, essays, articles, and travel writing in both English and French. Pour plus d'informations cliquez ici.

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  • K.V. Johansen

    Works with grades: P-6

    Maximum Group/Class Size: Two classes for a reading & discussion; no more than 15 students for a writing workshop. 

    Home Region: Sackville, NB (near CCRSB)

    Will travel: within the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board (approx. 90 minutes from Amherst); visits to the Halifax region require overnight accommodation be provided by the school. Please note: KV Johansen lives in Sackville, NEW BRUNSWICK.

    Available: Sept - Oct, April - June. Full days preferred. (Please note, not available the last two weeks of April 2013.)

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction writing, fantasy, science fiction &, fairy tales.

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: For a reading, I take about an hour. I read to the students, discuss the sorts of things an illustrator would consider when working with a text, and then get them to do some artwork related to the reading. This is followed by a question and answer session. If I am doing a workshop, it can take an hour to ninety minutes, depending on the age of the students. I usually talk to workshop students about some aspect of writing and literary storytelling, such as narrative point of view, character development, world-building, voice, etc.; I then have them work on an assignment, developing what we have discussed, with time left for them to read their work, and for Q&A.

    Teachers should ensure that children have drawing materials, if it's a reading, or writing materials for a workshop. Workshop groups should be no larger than 20 students, and they need to be students who are actually interested in being there, not an entire class. Mixing students from several grades for a workshop is fine.

    About the Author: K.V. Johansen has written everything from picture books to literary criticism, but most enjoys writing fantasy and science fiction for children, teens, and adults. Her most recent books are four adult epic fantasies. Some of her children's books have been translated into Danish, French, or Macedonian, and the most exotic place she has ever travelled is Macedonia, where she got to see real mountains. Her books have been shortlisted for various awards. Sometimes they’ve even won!
Johansen thinks books are the best thing there is: “They’re how we remember our past and imagine our futures. I like to read fantasy, science fiction, and manga, as well as non-fiction about history and archaeology. My dog likes to steal bookmarks out of books and eat them. Luckily, he doesn’t like to eat actual books, because my house is really small and a lot of my books live in stacks on the floor.”

    www.kvj.ca

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  • shalan joudry

    Works with grades: P-6

    SHALAN IS FULLY BOOKED FOR 2018-19. 

    Works With Grades: P-12

    Maximum Group/Class Size: Workshops or cultural discussion best for one class or less (30 max); readings and storytelling mixed presentation can be large group in gymnasium/outside. 

    Home Region: Annapolis Valley Regional School Board and Tri-County School Board

    Will Travel: Throughout NS when available

    Available: Best months for availability are January/February for closer schools. March-May for any school. 

    Areas of Expertise: Poetry, Mi'kmaw culture and history, Mi'kmaw short stories/legends, and ecology.

    Presentation Style/Workshop Ideas: In a class setting, I share a drum song, poetry, descriptions about my life and worldview, and short stories as legends or inspired by nature and culture. I can also cover workshop or discussion topics such as Mi'kmaw cultural ways of creating story and reflecting on language and worldview. I can lead a creative writing exercise. Also, I can present to a large group (whole school) as a reading or performance style presentation. 

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  • Jessica Scott Kerrin

    Works with grades: P-6

    Works with grades: 3 - 7

    Maximum Group/Class Size: 75 (if larger, school must provide a mic)

    Home Region: HRM

    Will travel: HRM or Digby County (my son lives there)

    Available: November - May

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction Series, Adventure, Writing for Boys

    Workshop/presentation ideas: “Jessica presses all the right buttons, giving this age/reading level a most likeable character, a boy whose foibles, bravado – mostly false – and basic good-heartedness are perhaps not too unlike the reader’s own.” (Globe and Mail).

    Jessica Scott Kerrin is the author of Martin Bridge, a highly acclaimed award-winning adventure series for boys. Her trilogy, The Lobster Chronicles, features the accidental capture of a giant lobster as told from the perspective of three different boys. Her mystery novels, The Spotted Dog Last Seen, and its prequel, The Missing Dog is Spotted, feature a historic cemetery. Her new adventure novel, The Things Owen Wrote, brings readers to Iceland.

    Jessica’s jam-packed presentation to early chapter book readers is a behind-the-scenes look at the daily experiences she writes stories about. Her presentation lasts up to an hour and involves props, writing exercises short readings and video clips sure to keep students engaged and glued to their seats. In terms of curriculum outcomes, students will:
       - identify sources for creative inspiration
       - understand how brainstorming works to launch a writing assignment
       - discover how to take an idea and shape it into a story
       - and, develop an appreciation for all the stages of editing and good writing habits

    Reported results following her visit have included: an increase in library borrowing; an enhanced understanding of the writing process; a surge in creativity; and the application of new techniques for creative writing. Often, students will declare that they’ll be writers when they grow up, too!

    Jessica is in high demand and has presented to over 150 schools across Canada and the United States. She is often asked to return to schools for repeat visits. She also enjoys book tours, especially in remote locations. Note: Jessica brings her own technical/computer equipment. It takes her 30 minutes to set-up; therefore, a gym or a library works best. In addition to set-up time, schools will need to provide a white screen for her projector, uncless they have a smartboard.

    About the Author: Jessica grew up on the Canadian Prairies. Today, she lives with her family and their hunting dog in downtown Halifax in a house that is close to 150 years old. The floors slope, and all the balls she tosses to her dog roll into one corner.


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  • Beth Ann Knowles

    Works with grades: P-6


    Maximum Group Size/Class Size: 30-40

    Home Region: South Shore

    Will Travel: Anywhere within an hour of Bridgewater (South Shore, HRM, Valley...)

    Available: Sept - June

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction (ages 4-8), Picture Books

    Presentation Style/Workshop Ideas: Beth Ann is an ESL teacher and works with pre-K to junior high students. She has presented to elementary classes and community groups and she is passionate about the environment.

    Her fun-filled creative presentations include the reading of her debut children's book, Row Bot, and involve student centred discussions of environmental and friendship themes. Workshop content can depend on the age of the group but often includes: illustrating, creative writing, making predictions, coloring, rhymes and humour, as well as discussions on the road to being a writer and illustrator.  

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  • Allison Lawlor

    Works with grades: P-6

    Maximum Group/Class Size: 25

    Will Travel: Within HRM

    Available: Sept-June

    Areas of Expertise: Journalism, non-fiction

    Presentation Style/Workshop Ideas: I can lead a workshop on the basics of journalism. How to find a good story, how to ask the right questions, how to find and incorporate good details, and finally how to put together an interesting and balanced story. I can help students work together to make a journal/book or newspaper. 

     

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  • Judith Meyrick

    Works with grades: P-6

    Judith Meyrick’s writing has appeared in various publications in both Canada and New Zealand. Humour, précis, opinion and short story – her articles have been published in the NZ Listener, the NZ Woman’s Weekly, Pandora Publishing, The Avondale Press, Atlantic Books Today and Landscape Architectural Review. For three years, her book review column, Review Bites, ran in the Halifax Herald. Her children’s book, Gracie the Public Gardens Duck (Nimbus), won Best Published Book and Best Illustrated Book at the Atlantic Book Awards in 2007.

    She is currently researching and writing a non-fiction book set in Nova Scotia and New Zealand, and she visits Ottawa as much as possible to spend time with her new granddaughter.

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  • Sarah Mian

    Works with grades: P-6

    Maximum group/class size: Any size 

    Will travel: Maritimes

    About the author: Sarah Mian is from Dartmouth, NS. Her debut novel When the Saints won the Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award, the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award, and was a finalist for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. She lives in Queensland, Nova Scotia.

    Presentation: I possess a BEd in Secondary School Education and have extensive Primary-12 classroom experience as a substitute teacher. I have given creative writing workshops at the Writing on Fire Teen Writing Experience and taught an adult fiction course at the Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia.

    I am passionate about inspiring young writers and have developed a variety of creative writing exercises suitable for all grade levels. As a Writer-in-the-Schools, I engage students in the creative writing process and share the journey of how I achieved my childhood dream to become a published novelist. 

     

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  • Philip Moscovitch

    Works with grades: P-6

    Maximum Group/Class Size: 30
    Home Region: HRM
    Will travel: throughout NS. I enjoy travelling throughout the province for visits. Please keep in mind that I will require meals and accommodation if I'm travelling a considerable distance.
    Is available for visits: Sept - June. Full and half days.
    Areas of Expertise: Fiction, Graphic novels, Journalism, Non-Fiction, Interviewing techniques, Radio, Documentary.
    Presentation style/workshop ideas: I am most frequently asked to offer workshops on writing comics, but I also offer presentations on kickstarting fiction writing, working on non-fiction, and effective ways to interview and ask questions.

    Comics

    Ever wonder how a comic is put together? What does the writer do? How about the illustrator? Using real-life examples from my 14 years writing the "Daisy Dreamer" comic for Chickadee, I talk about the process of writing comics and share scripts and artwork with students. I also share exercises for building characters and stories. These sessions generally run 45-60 minutes.

    I also offer longer sessions (half day or more) that go more deeply into the process of creating comics and that include time for students to work on their own longer-term comics creations.

    Oral History/Interviewing

    "Someone should write that down!"

    For teachers and students interested in finding and recording the stories around them, I offer a workshop on how to zero in on great stories and get people to talk about them.As a freelance writer and broadcaster, I have interviewed hundreds of people - including the first person from PEI to play Major League Baseball, a member of the last Leafs team to win the Stanley Cup, the first photographer to snap underwater shots of Titanic, the most active 99-year-old I've ever met, and even family members. Students have the technology they need to record stories. My workshop teaches them how to find those stories, and how to approach subjects in a way that encourages them to share them.As part of this workshop we practice hands-on in class, which is always fun.

    Kickstart Your Fiction

    In school, I was the kid who never had any ideas. Now I have too many of them. This workshop uses photos and fun, effective writing prompts to help students find and quickly develop their ideas for short stories, comics, or longer works. 

    Other Workshops

    I am open to ideas! If you have something different you'd like me to do, let's chat about it.

    Language

    I am bilingual (I make part of my living as a French-English translator) and can do presentations and workshops in French for immersion classes.

    Je suis bilingue, originaire de Montréal, et tous mes ateliers et présentations sont également disponibles en français.

    Equipment

    I need an LCD projector.


    If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me. You can also keep up with me on Twitter @PhilMoscovitch.

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  • Magi Nams

    Works with grades: P-6

    Home Region: Chignecto-Central 

    Will travel: HRM, Strait & Chignecto-Central within 200 kilometres distance of Tatamagouche.

    Is available for visits: October to June. Local schools only from January to March. Full day visits preferred, but will accept half-day visits to local schools.

    Grades: P-12

    Maximum number of students: 60

    Areas of Expertise: Non-Fiction, nature writing, travel writing, fiction.

    Grades P-3: Magi leads an interactive discussion about the steps involved in writing nature non-fiction, tailoring her presentation to the audience’s age and illustrating it with a PowerPoint slideshow of African wildlife. She reads a captivating Ranger Rick magazine story, encourages questions, and leads the students in writing a co-operative fiction story. Magi requires a projector, a whiteboard, pens, and two tables on which to put materials. Sessions are 30 to 45 minutes. Maximum 2 classes per session.

    Grades 4-6: Magi guides students through a discussion about the parts of a story and the use of specific words to create strong images. She illustrates these topics via readings from her books and/or Ranger Rick articles. She conducts timed creative writing exercises which lead students to link ideas and explore personal responses through fiction and non-fiction writing. Magi requires a whiteboard, pens, and a table on which to put materials. Sessions are 45 to 60 minutes. Maximum 30 students per session.

    Grades 7-9: Magi conducts timed fiction and non-fiction creative writing exercises that explore linking ideas, personal responses to positives and negatives, and creating believable settings, characters, and dialogue. Sessions are 60 to 75 minutes. Maximum 30 students per session.

    Grades 10-12: Magi leads short fiction writing exercises that focus on creating evocative settings and moods and exploring characterization through vivid narrative and dialogue. She also offers timed writing exercises that explore personal responses and offer insight for crafting fiction. Sessions are 75 to 90 minutes. Maximum 30 students per session.

    About the author: Magi Nams is the author of the travel trilogy Cry of the Kiwi: A Family's New Zealand Adventure and has published dozens of nature articles for Ranger Rick magazine. She has published poetry, biographical profiles, radio essays, and has conducted writing workshops for children and adults throughout Nova Scotia. Magi is the recipient of a National Wildlife Federation magazine writing award. 

     

     

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  • Chad Norman

    Works with grades: P-6

    Chad Norman lives and writes in Truro, NS. Throughout his life he has visited many levels of schools, colleges, and university, but elementary, junior, and high schools are his favourite. he nejoys reading from his books and giving talks about his life as poet. He also enjoys providing workshops, which get students writing poems, and eventually reading them aloud. At the moment he is preparing to go to Denmark in October 2016, having been invited by the Nordic Assn. for Canadian Studies, to give talks on Canadian Poetry, and readings from his new book, Selected & New Poems, in Copenhagen and Aarhus. Promotion readings will also take place in Malmo, Sweden.

     

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  • Elizabeth Peirce

    Works with grades: P-6

    Maximum group size: 35 for in-class presentations; 20 for food-based workshops

    Home region: central Halifax

    Will travel: within 3 hours of HRM, weather permitting

    Available: September--June

    Areas of expertise: local history, Nova Scotia pirates, growing and preserving food, self-sufficiency, parenting, ESL teaching

    Presentation style/workshop ideas:

    Elizabeth brings fifteen years of university-level teaching experience to her presentations and workshops. She is a passionate advocate for local food and self-sufficiency in food and has used her books on gardening and preserving as the beginning point for classroom discussion on how our current food system operates and how relearning skills like growing a garden, cooking, and preserving the harvest are positive acts of resiliency in the face of rapid global change and uncertainty. She has made pickles with high school students, jam with adults, and hodge-podge with kids, encouraging them to ask their elders for favourite recipes and the stories connected with food in their families.

    Her books on two infamous piracy cases in nineteenth century Nova Scotia complement any junior or senior high school curriculum on Maritime history (or Canadian history) and provide a realistic glimpse into the desperate lives that engaged in piracy as a last resort, rather than the glamourous depiction of pirates students may be familiar with from popular film.

    For students aged 5 to 8, Elizabeth reads from her picture book, The Big Flush, encouraging them to think of something they're afraid of (like a loudly-flushing public toilet for her four-year-old son--the inspiration for this book) and how writing about it and sharing with others can help.

    Elizabeth is based in Halifax and can travel throughout the province on non-snowy days for school visits.

    For workshops involving food preparation, use of the school's kitchen or cafeteria would be helpful.

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  • Sherry D. Ramsey

    Works with grades: P-6

    Home Region: Cape Breton

    Will travel: within Cape Breton and Strait Regions, further if accommodations are arranged.

    Available: Full and half days.

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction, non-fiction, Poetry, Editing and Publishing, Science fiction & Fantasy

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: For grades P-3, Sherry often offers interactive visual presentations on storytelling or how books come into being. This includes a brief storytelling session or reading. For older students, she often offers an interactive session with students where they brainstorm story ideas from student input. Her talks generally revolve around at least one of the following topics: how to build interesting stories and characters; discussion and practice creating vibrant backdrops for stories; discussing the different stages of writing as they apply to students and professional writers. She also often addresses topics that revolve around writing speculative fiction and poetry -- definitions of "speculative", finding ideas, and what makes a strong story within or outside various genres.

    For elementary grades Sherry can manage two classes together (if they are not too large); for junior high and high school she prefers no more than one class at a time.

    About the Author: Sherry D. Ramsey writes speculative fiction for both adults and young adults. To read Sherry's bio and a complete list of publications click here. When she's not actually writing, Sherry moderates her local writers' group, participates in a vibrant writing community in the virtual world of Second Life, and sometimes even spends time with her husband and two children at their home in Cape Breton.

    www.sherrydramsey.com

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  • Suzanne Rent

    Works with grades: P-6

    Area of expertise: Newspaper and magazine writing and editing, interviewing, and publishing.

    Availabilty: October 2018 to June 2019.

    Willing to travel outside of HRM. 

    Suzanne Rent has worked in the Halifax media since 2003 and has experience in newspapers, magazines, televsion, and radio. Her work has appeared in The Chronicle Herald, Halifax Magazine, East Coast Living, Halifax Examiner, Globe and Mail, Canadian Business, and many others. 

    She has experience mentoring students and adult learners in the writing and editing process. When she was the editor of Our Children Magazine, she created a student-correspondent program in which she mentored elementary-age students whose work was published in the magazine. In 2015, she was shortlisted for the Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence for this student-correspondent program.

    She taught a Journalism 101 program to adult learners at the Dartmouth Literacy Network and the Bedford-Sackville Literacy Network.

    Suzanne is currently working on a 10-episode radio show called The Great Nova Scotia Songbook,  which will be launched in November 2018. This series will chronicle the history of music in Nova Scotia, including the music of First Nations communities to today's hip-hop artists. To date, she's interviewed 45 musicians and industry talents for this project.

    Suzanne has a special industry in Nova Scotia history, genealogy, music, community news, and the extraordinary stories of everyday people.

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  • Nancy Rose

    Works with grades: P-6

    NANCY IS FULLY BOOKED FOR 2018-19. 

    Maximum group/class size: I prefer to work with classes no larger than 25 so everyone can see the pictures in the books as I read, and can see the miniature props I bring along.

    Home Region: HRM (Hubley)

    Will travel: Preferably within an hour of HRM weather permitting, and further if accomodations are provided for schools more than a couple hours away. 

    Available: Full and Half days on Mondays and Fridays and possibly Wednesdays.

    Areas of Expertise: fiction, grades p-6 and photography and crafts. 

    My presentation style is relaxed and casual and paced for the age group I am speaking with.  I like to read one or more books to the students after discussing how I went from being a photographer to the author of four children's picture books. I bring along some of the miniature props I have made which appear in the books and the students love to look at them and speculate about where I hid the peanuts. We usually have quite an interesting discussion about fiction and non-fiction and the challenges of writing a story using real photos of real animals...how the story is created in my mind but how it also needs to be edited to match the actual photographs. Older students are intrigued with the craft and photography aspects of the process and I talk about the role of the editors and publishers and how a book goes from "backyard to bookstore".

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  • Tom Ryan

    Works with grades: P-6

    Tom Ryan is the author of several books for young readers. He has been nominated for the White Pine Award, the Stellar Award and the Hackmatack Award, and two of his books were Junior Library Guild selections. His young adult novels, Way to Go and Tag Along, were chosen for the ALA Rainbow List, in 2013 and 2014. He was a 2017 Lambda Literary Fellow in Young Adult Fiction. For more information, visit www.tomryanauthor.com

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  • Sarah Sawler

    Works with grades: P-6

    Maximum group/class size: 30

    Home region: HRM

    Will travel: Will travel an hour outside of HRM in any direction. May consider travelling farther depending on circumstances.

    Available: September 2018-May 2019

    Areas of Expertise: Children's and Adult Non-Fiction, Journalism, Media Literacy, Publishing, The Editing Process, Communication, Nova Scotia History, Creative Non-Fiction

    Sarah Sawler is an award-winning journalist whose with bylines in publications like the Quill & Quire, Halifax Magazine, Atlantic Books Today, and Atlantic Business Magazine. She's the author of the regional bestseller 100 Things You Don't Know About Nova Scotia, and her most recent books, 100 Things You Don't Know About Atlantic Canada (For Kids) and Be Prepared: The Frankie MacDonald Guide to Life, the Weather, and Everything were published in Spring 2018.

    Throughout her journalism career, Sarah has interviewed a broad range of people, from politicians and CEOs to actors and musicians. She writes on a range of topics, but prefers writing about the arts and technology over just about anything else. One of her favourite projects was her Atlantic Books Today column, "Origin Stories", where she talks to authors about the moment they decided to take writing seriously. 

     

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  • Geraldine Tuck

    Works with grades: P-6

    Works with Grades: 3-6  Also 7-9

    Will Travel: All of NS

    Available: Sept. - June

    Maximum Students: 25-30

    Area of Expertise: Taught grades 2,4,5, 6

    Presentation: Grades 3-6 This interactive presentation dresses volunteers as book characters, detective, rum runner, and gold miner. The large, hands-on display illustrates historical research. Author read exciting passage from each book. An oral exercise demonstrates editing techniques. Drawing for a free t-shirt end the visit.

    GRADES 7-9 The fourth book in the Marauders Series is suitable for older grades due to the content dealing with the halifax Explosion. A power point presentation discusses the explosion and hoe the author used artifacts and newspaper clippings to plot a story. An interactive lesson where students piece together their own historical fiction is offered. 

    Midnight Marauders , Moonlight Marauders and Mystery Marauders are on the Teachers' Book Order List! watch for, Halifax Explosion Mystery, available late september 2017. Contact: Glen Margaret Publishing. Email: gmp@ eastlink.ca. Books also available in all Chapters Book Stores.

     

     

     

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  • Alice Walsh

    Works with grades: P-6

    Home Region: HRM

    Will travel: throughout Nova Scotia

    Available: Sept - June. Full and half days.

    Maximum number of students: 45-50

    Areas of Expertise: Picture Books, Juvenile, Young Adult, Fiction and Non-Fiction

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: My workshops are a mixture of discussion and hands-on writing. Using short writing exercises, students will explore the importance of dialogue, imagery, description, and showing vs. telling. Using examples from my own writing, I will discuss how real life experiences and events can be transformed into fictional stories. Also, I will show how to create unique, vibrant, and unforgettable characters and their importance to the story.      

    Depending on the length of the workshop, the students will create a character, and will invent a problem (conflict) for that character. I will then discuss how this problem is essential to the development of the plot. 

    For younger children, P-2, I will discuss story characters, and how they grow in the writer’s imagination. Using examples from my own picture books, we will explore concepts such as: Who is the main character? What is the character’s problem?  How does the character go about solving the problem?  

    The main focus of my workshop is to get students excited about the creative writing process.

    About the author: Alice Walsh writes fiction and non-fiction for adults and children, and her articles and short stories have been published in various magazines and anthologies.  Her published work includes three books for adults as well as eight books for children and young adults. A number of her books have been short listed or won awards such as the Hackmatack, and the Canadian Children’s Book Centre Choice. Her juvenile novel, Pomiuk: Prince of the North (Beach Holme) won the 2005 Ann Connor Brimer award. Another YA novel, A Sky Black with Crows (Red Deer), was nominated for the same award. Her most recent novel, A Long Way From Home, was a finalist for the 2013-14 Hackmatack award.

    Alice has degrees in English and Criminology from St. Mary’s University, and a MA in Children’s Literature from Acadia University. She has worked as a pre-school teacher, a creative writing instructor, and a probation officer. She has participated in The Labrador Creative Arts Festival, Winter Set in Summer Festival, and was Writer in Residence at Terra Nova National Park during the summer 2005.

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  • Wade White

    Works with grades: P-6

    Home Region: Annapolis Valley

    Will travel: Throughout Nova Scotia (weather permitting)

    Available: September to June (full and half days)

    Maximum class/group size: Any size

    Areas of Expertise: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Editing/Revision Process

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: The main focus of my workshop is to present students with a basic framework for creating their own stories and also provide them with several key tools for editing and revising. The presentation is designed to fill a 45–60 minute time slot. It is visual and interactive, and I invite students to participate throughout.

    The core of the presentation is broken into two parts: writing and revision. The writing part involves a group storytelling exercise that focuses on developing a basic 6-step framework for how to outline a story. For older students, this might also include writing an actual scene from the story if time allows. The framework is reinforced at each step using examples from my books.

    In the revision part of the presentation, we examine our group story and discuss ways we could improve it. For older students, this might involve editing their scenes from the writing exercise if time allows. The editing lessons are reinforced using examples from my own early drafts.

    In terms of equipment, the presentation uses PowerPoint, but where access to technology is limited a whiteboard or blackboard will suffice.

    About the author: Wade writes middle grade fantasy and science fiction. His first novel, The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes, was BEA 2016 Middle Grade Buzz Book, an Indies Introduce Summer/Fall 2016 selection, was included in the 2016 ABC Best Books for Young Readers as well as the Children’s Book Review Best New Kids Books for Preteens and Tweens (September 2016), and received a starred listing by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre in the Spring 2017 “Best Books for Kids & Teens.” His second novel, The Adventurer’s Guide to Dragons (and Why They Keep Biting Me), was released on September 5, 2017, and he is currently working on the third installment in his series, The Adventurer’s Guide to Treasure (and How to Steal It).

    Wade has given presentations and readings and conducted workshops with students in schools and libraries in both the US and Canada. In 2017, he received the Emerging Author Award from the Atlantic Independent Bookseller's Association.

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  • Nancy Wilcox Richards

    Works with grades: P-6

    Maximum group/class size: 1 class at a time

    Home Region: South Shore 

    Will Travel:"Full Day" visits only

    Is Available for Visits: during the school year (weather dependent in the winter) 

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction: picture books; beginning chapter books for Grades 2-4; teacher resource books on writing and guided reading

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: Nancy can offer a variety of presentations that revolve around character education themes in her books.  Using PowerPoint to frame her presentation she will engage young readers about the writing process, discuss how ideas are transformed into books and get students enthused about writing.  Presentation choices include: bullying (How to Tame a Bully, How to Handle a Bully, How to Outplay a Bully); overcoming adversity (Claire’s Race); building friendships (How to Be a Friend, We’re All Friends Here) and the value of honesty (How to Fix a Lie). Often there is a hands-on activity with the presentation.  Students will hear excerpts from Nancy’s books, find out what inspired her story ideas, and learn some behind-the-scenes details about getting a book published. 

    About the Author: Nancy Wilcox Richards is a retired elementary teacher and a published writer for over 25 years. Through Scholastic Canada, she has authored three Canadian best selling picture books (Farmer Joe's Hot Day,Farmer Joe Goes to the City, Farmer Joe Baby-Sits), and six beginning chapter books (How to Tame a Bully, How to Outplay a Bully, How to Handle a Bully, How to be a Friend, How to Get Awesome and the Hackmatack-nominated bok, How to Fix a Lie). Her book, We're All Friends Here, was short-listed for the Blue Spruce Award and the Rainforest of Reading Award. As a little kid, Nancy told lots of fibs but feels that this overactive imagination serves her well today, as a writer! She is always looking for an event that will spark and idea for her next book. When she is not reading or writing, she spends time with her family and friends, goes for long walks, does lakeside yoga, or anything else that sounds fun and interesting! 

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  • Frances Wolfe

    Works with grades: P-6

    Home region: Halifax

    Will travel: Anywhere in N.S. in September, October, November, April, May and June. All visits more than 200 kilometers away from her home in Portuguese Cove must be full-days and will require overnight accommodations. These full days may be split between two schools, if they are in close proximity. She will only travel in HRM during the month of December. All visits to schools are if weather permits.

    Availability: Sept.-June, full and half days. A full day consists of three sessions, two in the morning and one in the afternoon. The half day consists of two sessions in the morning. All sessions are one hour in length.

    Works with grades: P-6

    Group Size: Works best with groups of 60 or fewer children and would prefer to have grade primary children mixed with an older grade (grades 1 or 2).
     
    Areas of Expertise: Illustration, Picture books, Poetry.
     
    Presentation style: The content of sessions is adjusted to take into consideration the ages and interest levels of the children attending. All sessions include:
     
    - interactive discussion
     
    - storytelling segment
     
    - visual displays
     
    - readings from the works
     
    - question and answer session
     
    There is no special preperation required by the teachers in advance of my visit. I prefer to introduce the books to the children myself. Post presentation, teachers often find that the children wish to discuss what they have seen and heard, and they are often inspired to create and illustrate stories of their own as a result.
     
    Regarding equipment , my needs are simple. I require a bottle of water and two sturdy tables on which to display some of the original art from the books and other visual aids.
     
    About the Author: Frances Wolfe is a native of Nova Scotia. She lives in a house, which she and her husband have built, on a piece of shoreline that has been in her family for more than one hundred years. It is, therefore, no surprise that her first two books Where I Live (published by Tundra Books in 2001 and winner of the Emilia Frances Howard Gibbon Award for illustration and the Anne Connor Brimer Award for children's literature) and One Wish (published by Tundra Books in 2004 and winner of the Mayor's Award for Excellence in Illustration) give praise to the quiet joys that the young, and young at heart, experience during a summer by the sea. Her third book, The Little Toy Shop (published by Tundra Books in 2008) is a tale of love lost and found again at the most magical time of Christmas.
     
    Frances is a self-taught artist and illustrator and worked for thirty-two years at the Halifax Public Library, thirty of which were spent working in the Youth Services department. During her time at the library, she did a great deal of children's programming - craft programs, puppet making, puppet performances, mural painting and story telling. She very much enjoys working with children and looks forward each year to her WITS visits.


     

     
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Works with grades: Unspecified

P

  • Sandra Phinney

    Works with grades: Unspecified

    Works with grades: P-12 (Alas, not in 2018/19)

    Will travel: Throughout NS (and further afield in Canada giving adult workshops.)

    Is available for visits: SORRY, NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE 2018/19 WITS PROGRAM

    Areas of Expertise: Magazine writing (features on various topics and travel writing); wirting non-fiction books.

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: For 2018-19, Sandra is able to give four workshops: Travel Writing; Narrative Writing, Memoir Writing, and How to Start a Freelance Business. These workshops run from half a day for full day sessions (and, sometimes, two-day sessions.) For course outlines, please contact the her by email sandracphinney@gmail.com of by phone 902 648-0462

    About the Author: Sandra writes from her perch overlooking the Tusket River in Yarmouth county, NS. Her articles have appeared in over 70 Canadian and American magazines including AAA Living, The United Church Observer, Saltscapes, Imperial Oil Review, Atlantic Business Magazine, The Chronicle Herald, and Subaru's Six Star Magazine. Her cover stories and profiles span the worlds of business, lifestyle and travel to name a few. She's created short documentaries for CBC radio; writes advertorial copy, brochures, and web content for a variety of corporate clients; does script writing for videos; has been published in anthologies, and has penned a variety of columns.  

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