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: Annapolis Valley

    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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  • Janet Barkhouse

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Maximum Group/Class Size: 20-25 for workshops; 100 for readings

    Home Region: South Shore Regional School Board

    Will Travel: Within 150 km of Mahone Bay

    Available: Nov-May. Half-day visits. 

    Areas of Expertise: For younger grades, Sable Island; Cape Breton coal mining history; lighthouses in Nova Scotia. For all grades, writing workshops (especially poetry workshops). 

    Presentation Style/Workshop Ideas: For younger children, I generally read from Keeper of the LightPit Pony: The Picture Book, and Sable Island - Imagine!, and share appropriate artifacts and images. Questions and interruptions welcome. All writing workshops are done in small group format--creative, hands-on, interactive. 

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  • Chris Benjamin

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Maximum group/class size: prefers groups of 25

    Home Region: Halifax

    Will travel: within HRM, Annapolis Valley & South Shore

    Available: Oct - June. Full & half day visits.

    Areas of Expertise: fiction, non-fiction, journalism, magazine writing, travel, environment, social justice, residential school.

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: I do an interactive workshop on writing for print and online media.  I have students interview each other and tell stories about their partners, and other interactive activities. A lot of the workshop focuses on how to find and tell engaging, entertaining and moving stories, including how to ask good questions. I prefer to work with groups of 25 students or less.

    Access to a projector to show photos and some video is ideal, but not essential.

    About the author: Chris Benjamin is an award-winning author, a novelist, journalist, and environmentalist. He loves visiting schools because he always learns about the latest pop stars from eager students. To learn more about Chris please visit his public profile by clicking on the link at the top.

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  • L. E. Carmichael

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Areas of Expertise: Science, Nonfiction, Research and Writing Workshops

    Available: Year round

    Home Region: Halifax Regional Municipality

    Will Travel: Throughout Nova Scotia. Mileage and/or accommodations may be required outside of HRM.

    Equipment: Data projector and screen for powerpoint slides. Microphone for large groups. Internet access is helpful.

    Maximum group size: Comfortable with full-school assemblies, but prefers small groups (less than 35) for hands-on workshops.

    Programs and Workshops: Lindsey's science programs include engaging discussions about the topics of her books, with a brief reading and time for questions. Depending on grade level, group size, and program length, hands-on experiments involving DNA or animal communication can also be included.

    Lindsey also offers writing workshops for junior and senior high. "Writing Down the Feels" teaches young writers to manipulate their readers' emotions through language, while "A Supernatural Guide to Character Building" explores the interdependence of character and plot with examples from the hit TV show. For high school students, Lindsey also offers academic writing workshops on topics like research, essay structure, and lab reports.

    Visit Lindsey's website or contact her for further program details.

    About the Author: Lindsey Carmichael never outgrew that stage of childhood when nothing's more fun than amazing your friends with your stockpile of weird and wonderful facts.  Her sense of wonder came in handy during her career as a scientist, and in 2006, she received the Governor General's Medal for her PhD thesis, Ecological Genetics of Northern Wolves and Arctic Foxes.  Lindsey finds talking about science more fun than doing it, however, and now writes for kids, teens, and occasionally adults (a sense of wonder is essential for this, too). Lindsey publishes under the name L. E. Carmichael, and her work has appeared in Dig, Highlights for Children, and National Geographic Extreme Explorer. Her 21 published science books cover everything from animals to hybrid cars. Fox Talk was a Benjamin Franklin Awards Silver Medalist, and Fuzzy Forensics: DNA Fingerprinting Gets Wild holds the 2014 Lane Anderson Award for exceptional children's science writing. When not digging up obscure or wacky details for her next nonfiction project, Lindsey's probably working on her young adult fantasy novel.

     

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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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  • Alison DeLory

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Home Region: HRM

    Will travel: Within 80 kms of Halifax

    Available: Sept–June. Full days required for South Shore, Chignecto-Central, Annapolis Valley; half days fine in HRM

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction, creative non-fiction, and journalism

    Maximum number of students per session: Grades P–3, 40 students. Grades 4–12, 60 max.

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: This is my eighth year with WITS and I love meeting educators and students, hearing their stories, and work-shopping ideas. Elementary students will enjoy my middle grade adventure fiction book Scotia Sinker (May 2015; sequel to Lunar Lifter). With junior high and high school students I plan to talk about creative non-fiction and how I came to write my YA short story Some of My Parts in the Becoming Fierce (Fierce Ink Press, 2014) anthology. I'd like to explore memoir writing with junior high and high school students, and the narrative process involved in telling stories about their own lives.

    As a journalist with two decades of experience writing for newspapers, magazines and websites, I can discuss research, interviewing and reporting. I often talk about the stages of writing, staying open and receptive to criticism and feedback, and unblocking. I may introduce an exercise such as writing/drawing comics or use one of my own pieces of journalistic writing to discuss pre-writing, drafting, revising, final copy. I talk about how good writing is both simple and clean, yet rich with dynamic and colourful details and description. Exercises are age dependent and flexible based on the classroom's preferences.

    In summary, I try to inspire students to use their imaginations and experience writing as something joyful, purposeful, and satisfying. I welcome open dialogue in the planning stages of the visit and will try to accommodate special requests to cover specific concepts that support the curriculum.

    Teachers and students should know in advance that I will be visiting. If P-6 students are familiar with Scotia Sinker and/or Lunar Lifter the visit is more exciting. If grades 7-12 students are familiar with Some of My Parts (my Fierce Short story) they may find the session enriched. Contact me in advance for copies. A library or classroom with a flipchart or whiteboard is all I require. Students grades 3 and above should come with pencils and paper.

    "How very privileged we at Michael Wallace School were today to welcome Alison DeLory to our school as part of the Writer’s In Schools program. She was fantastic with the children and did an awesome presentation. She is a born teacher as well as story teller. Our students really enjoyed having her and are far richer in their writing craft with the things she was able to share.” — Jane Matheson, Principal

    About the Author: Alison is an author, freelance journalist, editor, writing instructor, and consultant. Her children's chapter book, Lunar Lifter, was published in April 2012 and hit number 1 on the Nova Scotia bestseller list in May 2012. Lunar Lifter is the story of two children’s ingenuity and resourcefulness when they unexpectedly find themselves rocketing through space in a cardboard refrigerator box. She published its sequel called Scotia Sinker in 2015.

    Some of My Parts , a young adult (YA) short story written for teenagers, was published in November 2013 by Fierce Ink Press as part of the Fierce Shorts series. It was included in the Becoming Fierce (Fierce Ink Press 2014) anthology that become a Quill & Quire top pick for 2014.



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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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  • 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: I use props and games to help students understand the differences among fact, fiction and opinion; and individual and group writing exercises to demonstrate how to make facts interesting. I talk about "“cheating:"” using dictionaries, thesaurus, spell-check, etc. to gain an advantage. If there is time, I read to them and answer questions about writing. If students are older and have writing they’d like to share and discuss, I'’ll do that if there is time, or instead of a presentation. If that is the case, the teacher should please tell me ahead of time. Please, teachers, tell me if there is any particular topic or project that interests the students. A flip chart or chalk/white board is handy. (If it's a flip chart, the class can keep the pages and they don't have to take notes.) The students should have pen/cils and paper. I don'’t usually use electronic gizmos, because I spend too much time trying to get other peoples’ equipment to work!

    I prefer 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, 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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  • Vicki Grant

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Works with Grades: 4-12

    Maximum group/class size: 60 per session.

    Home Region: Halifax

    Will travel: within the HRM. Schools outside the area, contact Vicki directly at www.vickigrant.com 

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

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction (ages 10 - 18)

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: Vicki has been called "one of the funniest writers working today" (The VancouverSun). She’s been an advertising copywriter, screenwriter and YA novelist. She can talk on any of these topics but focuses primarily on what goes into writing comic novels and mysteries.

    “A wonderful rapport with students of any age.” Ellenvale Junior High

    Please note: a full-day visit is 4 sessions, a half-day is 2.


    About the Author: Vicki has been called “a superb storyteller” (CCBC) with “a wonderful sense of comedy” (CM Magazine). After a stint in advertising, she wrote TV scripts for Theodore Tugboat, Big Comfy Couch and her own Gemini Award–winning comedy, Scoop & Doozie. Her comic mystery Quid Pro Quo won the Arthur Ellis Award and was nominated for the Edgar Award and the CLA's Book of the Year. Not Suitable for Family Viewing won the Red Maple Award and shortlisted for the Stellar, Snow Willow, CLA and Manitoba Readers Choice awards. Her latest novel, Small Bones, is one of seven linked books in Orca's Secrets series. Vicki has also written, directed and produced three CBC-TV documentaries.

    www.vickigrant.com

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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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  • Jennifer Hatt

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Maximum class/group size: no preference

    Home Region: Chignecto-Central

    Will travel: throughout NS

    Is available for visits: Jan - April. Full and half day visits. As a freelance writer, Jennifer's work schedule is variable and can change quickly - some flexibility in scheduling may be required.

    Areas of Expertise: non-fiction, journalism, magazine and newsletter writing

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: My background in both non-fiction & fiction writing gives numerous possibilities for workshops. In my 15 years with WITS, I have never given the same workshop twice. Usually, my workshop is designed once I make contact with the school and we discuss schedule, student numbers, format, and the like. Where possible, I will tailor my workshops to complement a topic being covered in the classroom or an extracurricular program. Examples include:

    • Career Day: Job and entrepreneurial opportunities in writing and publishing
    • Fiction vs Non-Fiction: What are the differences in reading, writing, and analyzing; why do we need both?
    • Paint with Words: essential grammar made practical and fun
    • School newspaper: revitalizing the one you have or setting up a new one

    I also have given general workshops on:

    • Day in the life of a reporter: the roles of a reporter, the influences on what makes it to print/on-line, showcasing the essential skills we all have to be reporters & why our voices matter
    • Day in the life of an author: how I became a fiction writer, why I switched from non-fiction to fiction, books that influence my writing, determining your own author voice and what influences your writing

    I have spent an entire day working with a select group of students, and at other schools I have repeated the same small presentation several times to more than a hundred students. I am comfortable with any format. My presentations are low-tech: flipchart & markers to keep notes for the classand a small table to set up my mini-library is all I need. I talk a bit, read a bit to share favourite passages of my and other writing, and try to incorporate discussion and questions as much as possible. My goal for every workshop is to impart a love, or at least a respect, for reading, the written word, and our own unique voices.

    About the Author: Jennifer Hatt was born in Halifax and raised in Liverpool, Nova Scotia, earning her first writing award in high school for her short story of a family living in coal mining’s shadow. Eight years later, she and fellow editorial staff were awarded the 1992 Thomson Newspapers Award of Excellence, North America, for their coverage of the Westray Mine Disaster. Jennifer has won the Thompson Newspapers Award of Excellence for Canadian Newspapers, circulation under 15,000, non-deadline writing, for "The Silent Thief", depicting the struggle of two men to cope with the slow loss of their wives to Alzheimer Disease. She is also the Thompson Newspapers Award of Excellence winner for East Coast Newspapers, circulation under 12,000, for "Double Vision", an exploration of the battle over herbicide use in Nova Scotia forests.

    in 2010 Jennifer released her debut novel, Finding Maria, which was named a Semifinalist in the Kindle Book Review Best Indie Book of 2012. A prequel, Orchids for Billie, was released in 2011 and the third book in the series, On the Scent of a Mandarin Moon, was published in 2012. Jennifer lives in charmed chaos with her husband, three children and one cat in New Glasgow, NS. www.findingmaria.com.

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  • Michael Haynes

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Works with grades: 7-12

    Maximum group/class size:  no limit, depending on type of presentation

    Home Region: Central Nova Scotia

    Will travel: throughout the province

    Available: Oct - June. Full & half day visits.

    Areas of Expertise: travel, outdoors (hiking/biking).

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: I will either talk about the various places in the outdoors where one might walk and bike recreationally (appropriate for larger groups), or discuss the requirements of writing non-fiction, including developing a working relationship with a publisher (smaller groups).

    Access to a projector and screen to show photos and some video is essential.

    About the author: Michael Haynes has written ten guides on hiking and biking trails in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Québec, and Ontario. He has been a regular contributor to CBC Radio in Halifax, Sydney and Ottawa. In addition to books and radio appearances, Haynes has published numerous articles about Canada's outdoors, both locally and nationally, and presented at trail conferences in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Australia.

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  • Kate Inglis

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Will travel: HRM, South Shore & Annapolis Valley (no more than 1 hour drive from Chester each way)

    Is available for visits: Jan - Dec

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction (ages 4 - 8, 8 - 14)

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: Kate has led student experiences from kindergarten to grade 12 across the country, from downtown Calgary to the Inuit outport of Makkovik, Labrador. Workshops include:

    (Grades K-3): Childrens' Monster Poetry—Through imaginative physical play, this workshop encourages young children to become their own storytellers.

    (Grades 4-6): The Craft Of Story-Making—This workshop inspires kids to write, illustrate, and share their stories, with creative prompts and media to practice plot, suspense, dialogue, setting, description, and voice development.

    (Jr/Sr High) The Creativity Myth—In this workshop, we'll consider the very different practices of writing and editing, and we'll explore storytelling as a tool to grapple with (or escape from) life. Students will be encouraged to develop their own voices, and turn reflection into poetry, prose, or stories.

    About the Author: Kate lives along the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada, where she was born. In November 2009 her first novel was published — The Dread Crew: Pirates of the Backwoods, a book January Magazine calls "a spirited tale, gorgeously rendered." It was illustrated by Governor General award-winning Sydney Smith, and was nominated for a Hackmatack Award and a Red Cedar Award. The sequel, Flight of the Griffons, was released in spring 2014.

    In spring 2016, Kate's third book was released with Nimbus, illustrated by the brilliant Eric Orchard: If I Were A Zombie—fun-loving monster poetry for 4-8 year olds.

    www.kateinglis.com

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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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  • Allison Lawlor

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Maximum Group/Class Size: 25

    Will Travel: Within HRM

    Available: Sept-June

    Areas of Expertise: Journalism, creative 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. 

    I can also lead students through a number of fun and engaging writing exercises that will help their writing become more descriptive and engaging. 

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  • James Leck

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Works with grades: 4 - 12

    Maximum Group/Class Size: 90

    Home Region: HRM

    Will travel: Anywhere on mainland NS. Visits to Cape Breton, Strait Regional, and Tri-County will require overnight accommodation on the evening before the visit.

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

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction Writing, Young Adult Fiction, Writing Mysteries and Suspense

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: Workshops: I have taught at the middle school and high school levels in Japan, Kuwait and in Nova Scotia. I also have extensive presentation experience, having appeared at schools as a guest speaker in Kuwait, Hong Kong, Saskatchewan, Ottawa, Toronto, and in the Halifax area over the past ten years as well as teaching creative writing to adults and teens at NSCAD. I typically run a one hour workshop in which the students create their own mystery applying the techniques that I use as a published author. I provide worksheets that take the students through this process and include additional activities that can be used by the teacher at a later date. For classes that I have previously visited, I have developed a Character Creation Workshop which will help students develop fictional characters on the fly and learn how they can be developed to make them feel like a real person in the future. However, I am very flexible regarding the content of the presentation and I am comfortable with groups of up to 90 students.

    About the Author: James Leck has worked as a high school teacher in Canada, Japan, and Kuwait. The Adventures of Jack Lime, and The Further Adventures of Jack Lime (Kids Can Press) are the first two books in a series of mysteries that will follow his teenage private eye, Jack Lime, as he solves mysteries in the fictional town of Iona. His latest book, After Dark, is a story about a boy who ends up in a small town just as a mysterious virus breaks out, turning his new neighbours (and most of the town) into zombie-vampires. The Adventures of Jack Lime was named as one of the Top Ten First Novels for Youth by Booklist Magazine, and After Dark is nominated for the 2017 Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Awards. Currently, James lives in Dartmouth with his wife and two children.

    Awards and Recommendations

    After Dark
    Shortlisted for The Hackmatack Children's Choice Award 2017

    The Further Adventures of Jack Lime
    Shortlisted for the CCBC John Spray Mystery Award 2014
    
Shortlisted for The Diamond Willow Award 2014

    Ontario Library Association Best Bet book for 2013
    
Best Books of the Year for Children and Young Adults, Bank Street Children’s Book Committee 2013

    Best Books for Kids & Teens, Canadian Children’s Book Centre 2013

    The Adventures of Jack Lime
    Shortlisted for The Hackmatack Children's Choice Award 2012
    
Shortlisted for The Manitoba Young Reader's Choice Award 2012

    Shortlisted for The Arthur Ellis Award for Best Juvenile Crime Book 2011
    
Selected by Booklist Magazine as one of the Top Ten Books for Youth and as one of the Top Ten Crime Fiction Books for Youth of 2010

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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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  • Hugh R. MacDonald

    Works with grades: 10-12

     Hugh is a member of the Writers in the Schools (WITS) program through WFNS. Hugh enjoys going into schools to meet with young people and sharing his passion for writing. His presentation includes readings from his work, using his songs and his videos to share thoughts on his writing process, and encouraging young people to try their own hand at writing. WITS grade level P-12

    Trapper Boy was selected by Dr. Patrick Howard of Cape Breton University’s Education Department as a novel around which to develop a Teacher Resource. The resource is currently available at no charge for teachers using Trapper Boy.

     

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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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  • Carol Moreira

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Home Region: Halifax

    Will Travel: South Shore & Annapolis Valley

    Is available for visits: Sept-June, full and half days

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction, Journalism, Young Adult, poetry

    Presentation: In her presentation, Carol looks at the principles of good writing, which can be applied across genres. She shares excerpts from her work that demonstrate and clarify these points. Topics under discussion include: how to engage the reader, how to handle plot, and how to evoke character and atmosphere. Students are given the opportunity to write and share their work. 

    About the Author: Carol is a prize-winning journalist. She has had two young adult novels published by regional publishers. She is working on a sequel to her YA fantasy Membrane. She is a contributor to the recently published non-fiction immigration anthology Coming Here, Being Here (Guernica Press), and she was a poetry finalist in the 2015 Atlantic Writing Competition. 

    Carol is happy to focus on any or all of these genres. Her current works-in-progress include a new novel, a prose poem on the Bay of Fundy, a series of poems on the subject of anxiety, from which she has suffered. Carol is currently a partner in the regional news and data sit www.entrevestor.com. 

    The first chapter of Carol's young adult fantasy, Membrane, (Fierce Ink Press, 2013) can be accessed here: http//www.scribd.com/doc/141395689/Mmbrane-by-Carol-Moreira-Chapter-1

     

     

     

     

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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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  • B.R. Myers

    Works with grades: 10-12

    B.R. Myers spent most of her teen years behind the covers of Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, and Lois Duncan. When she's not putting her characters in awkward situations, she works as a registered nurse in Halifax, NS, where she lives with her husband and their two children. You can find her online at bethanymyers.blogspot.ca.

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Matt Robinson

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Matt Robinson is a poet (and dog-person) from Halifax, NS, who works at Saint Mary’s University. He writes poems about dogs, hockey, Halifax, baseball, love, and mailboxes, among other things.

     

     

    A typical presentation by Matt would include an engaging reading of a number of his poems, followed by a Q&A / discussion (of the poems, poetry in general, the writing process, and the publishing process). Interactive poetry-making activities involving writing and/or creativity-spurring exercises are also involved if students wish to write.

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  • Richard Rudnicki

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Will travel: Throughout Nova Scotia

    Available: September to June, full and half days.

    Maximum number of students: no maximum

    Areas of expertise: Stories in Words and Pictures

    Presentation Style: My presentation style is free and relaxed. I respect children and engage them in a conversational style. I aim to encourage the creative streak running through all of us. As an artist, book illustrator and author I articulate both the written and visual sides of telling stories with words and pictures. My talks are animated with slides, and readings that include relevant information discovered while working on the book, and the process I used to create it. I paint and illustrate realistically and out of respect for subject and reader I ensure that material culture is portrayed as accurate and truthfully as possible. I encourage children’s curiosity through open dialogue, and am often led to talk about my views on the creative human spirit. I am open and candid about my views on the feelings and emotions that makes us human. I present in simple language suitable for the age group, and try to reach each child inclusively and individually. I hope to give insight into the creative process and make it accessible. If time permits I will give a drawing demonstration, or do a drawing or writing exercise. 

    About the Author/Illustrator: I enjoy stories words and pictures, and have illustrated nine picture books. Two of them I wrote. Most of my books are about Canadian history, such as Viola Desmond Won’t be Budged, and Cyrus Eaton: Champion for Peace. I look for stories from Nova Scotia’s past, with an eye toward justice for the “underdog”. Some of my books are for very young children, such as Gracie, the Public Garden’s Duck, and Gus the Tortoise Goes for a Walk. As well, I paint historical scenes from Canada’s past, landscapes and portraits. I take commissions, have private students, conduct workshops and give illustrated talks at schools and conferences.

     

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  • Sarah Sawler

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Maximum group/class size: 30

    Home region: HRM

    Will travel: Yes

    Available: September 2016-May 2017

    Areas of Expertise: journalism, research, non-fiction, nova scotia history, young adult, creative non-fiction, digital media

    Sarah Sawler is an award-winning journalist whose with bylines in such publications as Quill & Quire, Halifax Magazine, The Chronicle Herald and Atlantic Business Magazine. Her first book, 100 Things You Don't Know About Nova Scotia, was published by Nimbus Publishing in April 2016, and she's currently working on her next book, 100 Things You Don't Know About Atlantic Canada (For Kids). 

    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.

    Sarah is also a creative non-fiction writer. Her first published piece, a short YA story called Leaving for Good, was published by Fierce Ink Books in 2014. 

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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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  • Gloria Ann Wesley

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Home Region: HRM

    Will travel: Yes

    Works with grades: 4-12

    Maximum group/class size: 100

    Available: During the school year. Teachers may email questions directly regarding her novels. 

    Areas of expertise: Black History, History & Folklore, Poetry, Young Adult

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: Gloria has developed a lively and informative presentation based on her young adult historical novels, Chasing Freedom and If This Is Freedom. The books tells the story of struggle of Black Loyalists and their arrival in Canada. Gloria uses Powerpoint for her talks and will require a computer for the presentation.

    "Reading Wesley, you hear that sweet, special Africadian lingo, ‘right to the marrow in the bones.’ By the end, you understand why folks’d ‘rather be ruled by the king than a bunch of rebels with nothing to offer but gab and blood.’ But you can’t gain freedom without experiencing ‘a rough tussle and a good shake.’ Grab hold of this tale: It won’t let you go."

    - George Elliott Clarke

    About the Author: Gloria Ann Wesley is an African Nova Scotian educator and writer who holds the distinction of being the first published Black Nova Scotian poet having published her first book of poetry, To My Someday Child in 1975. Wesley’s poetry appears in three Canadian anthologies. Her work also includes two volumes of poetry: Woman Sing and Burlap and Lace. Her first novel, Chasing Freedom, 2011, was short-listed by the 2012 Atlantic Book Award’s for the Ann Connor Brimer Award for Young Adult Fiction.

     

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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: Annapolis Valley

    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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  • L. E. Carmichael

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Areas of Expertise: Science, Nonfiction, Research and Writing Workshops

    Available: Year round

    Home Region: Halifax Regional Municipality

    Will Travel: Throughout Nova Scotia. Mileage and/or accommodations may be required outside of HRM.

    Equipment: Data projector and screen for powerpoint slides. Microphone for large groups. Internet access is helpful.

    Maximum group size: Comfortable with full-school assemblies, but prefers small groups (less than 35) for hands-on workshops.

    Programs and Workshops: Lindsey's science programs include engaging discussions about the topics of her books, with a brief reading and time for questions. Depending on grade level, group size, and program length, hands-on experiments involving DNA or animal communication can also be included.

    Lindsey also offers writing workshops for junior and senior high. "Writing Down the Feels" teaches young writers to manipulate their readers' emotions through language, while "A Supernatural Guide to Character Building" explores the interdependence of character and plot with examples from the hit TV show. For high school students, Lindsey also offers academic writing workshops on topics like research, essay structure, and lab reports.

    Visit Lindsey's website or contact her for further program details.

    About the Author: Lindsey Carmichael never outgrew that stage of childhood when nothing's more fun than amazing your friends with your stockpile of weird and wonderful facts.  Her sense of wonder came in handy during her career as a scientist, and in 2006, she received the Governor General's Medal for her PhD thesis, Ecological Genetics of Northern Wolves and Arctic Foxes.  Lindsey finds talking about science more fun than doing it, however, and now writes for kids, teens, and occasionally adults (a sense of wonder is essential for this, too). Lindsey publishes under the name L. E. Carmichael, and her work has appeared in Dig, Highlights for Children, and National Geographic Extreme Explorer. Her 21 published science books cover everything from animals to hybrid cars. Fox Talk was a Benjamin Franklin Awards Silver Medalist, and Fuzzy Forensics: DNA Fingerprinting Gets Wild holds the 2014 Lane Anderson Award for exceptional children's science writing. When not digging up obscure or wacky details for her next nonfiction project, Lindsey's probably working on her young adult fantasy novel.

     

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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, Sky 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 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 (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:

    A picture book creation workshop; this takes a minimum of 2 hours as the students write and illustrate simple picture books, and requires follow-up time by the classroom teacher. 

    d)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 procrastinate. 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 Toronto :(

    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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  • Alison DeLory

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Home Region: HRM

    Will travel: Within 80 kms of Halifax

    Available: Sept–June. Full days required for South Shore, Chignecto-Central, Annapolis Valley; half days fine in HRM

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction, creative non-fiction, and journalism

    Maximum number of students per session: Grades P–3, 40 students. Grades 4–12, 60 max.

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: This is my eighth year with WITS and I love meeting educators and students, hearing their stories, and work-shopping ideas. Elementary students will enjoy my middle grade adventure fiction book Scotia Sinker (May 2015; sequel to Lunar Lifter). With junior high and high school students I plan to talk about creative non-fiction and how I came to write my YA short story Some of My Parts in the Becoming Fierce (Fierce Ink Press, 2014) anthology. I'd like to explore memoir writing with junior high and high school students, and the narrative process involved in telling stories about their own lives.

    As a journalist with two decades of experience writing for newspapers, magazines and websites, I can discuss research, interviewing and reporting. I often talk about the stages of writing, staying open and receptive to criticism and feedback, and unblocking. I may introduce an exercise such as writing/drawing comics or use one of my own pieces of journalistic writing to discuss pre-writing, drafting, revising, final copy. I talk about how good writing is both simple and clean, yet rich with dynamic and colourful details and description. Exercises are age dependent and flexible based on the classroom's preferences.

    In summary, I try to inspire students to use their imaginations and experience writing as something joyful, purposeful, and satisfying. I welcome open dialogue in the planning stages of the visit and will try to accommodate special requests to cover specific concepts that support the curriculum.

    Teachers and students should know in advance that I will be visiting. If P-6 students are familiar with Scotia Sinker and/or Lunar Lifter the visit is more exciting. If grades 7-12 students are familiar with Some of My Parts (my Fierce Short story) they may find the session enriched. Contact me in advance for copies. A library or classroom with a flipchart or whiteboard is all I require. Students grades 3 and above should come with pencils and paper.

    "How very privileged we at Michael Wallace School were today to welcome Alison DeLory to our school as part of the Writer’s In Schools program. She was fantastic with the children and did an awesome presentation. She is a born teacher as well as story teller. Our students really enjoyed having her and are far richer in their writing craft with the things she was able to share.” — Jane Matheson, Principal

    About the Author: Alison is an author, freelance journalist, editor, writing instructor, and consultant. Her children's chapter book, Lunar Lifter, was published in April 2012 and hit number 1 on the Nova Scotia bestseller list in May 2012. Lunar Lifter is the story of two children’s ingenuity and resourcefulness when they unexpectedly find themselves rocketing through space in a cardboard refrigerator box. She published its sequel called Scotia Sinker in 2015.

    Some of My Parts , a young adult (YA) short story written for teenagers, was published in November 2013 by Fierce Ink Press as part of the Fierce Shorts series. It was included in the Becoming Fierce (Fierce Ink Press 2014) anthology that become a Quill & Quire top pick for 2014.



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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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  • 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: I use props and games to help students understand the differences among fact, fiction and opinion; and individual and group writing exercises to demonstrate how to make facts interesting. I talk about "“cheating:"” using dictionaries, thesaurus, spell-check, etc. to gain an advantage. If there is time, I read to them and answer questions about writing. If students are older and have writing they’d like to share and discuss, I'’ll do that if there is time, or instead of a presentation. If that is the case, the teacher should please tell me ahead of time. Please, teachers, tell me if there is any particular topic or project that interests the students. A flip chart or chalk/white board is handy. (If it's a flip chart, the class can keep the pages and they don't have to take notes.) The students should have pen/cils and paper. I don'’t usually use electronic gizmos, because I spend too much time trying to get other peoples’ equipment to work!

    I prefer 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, 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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  • Vicki Grant

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Works with Grades: 4-12

    Maximum group/class size: 60 per session.

    Home Region: Halifax

    Will travel: within the HRM. Schools outside the area, contact Vicki directly at www.vickigrant.com 

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

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction (ages 10 - 18)

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: Vicki has been called "one of the funniest writers working today" (The VancouverSun). She’s been an advertising copywriter, screenwriter and YA novelist. She can talk on any of these topics but focuses primarily on what goes into writing comic novels and mysteries.

    “A wonderful rapport with students of any age.” Ellenvale Junior High

    Please note: a full-day visit is 4 sessions, a half-day is 2.


    About the Author: Vicki has been called “a superb storyteller” (CCBC) with “a wonderful sense of comedy” (CM Magazine). After a stint in advertising, she wrote TV scripts for Theodore Tugboat, Big Comfy Couch and her own Gemini Award–winning comedy, Scoop & Doozie. Her comic mystery Quid Pro Quo won the Arthur Ellis Award and was nominated for the Edgar Award and the CLA's Book of the Year. Not Suitable for Family Viewing won the Red Maple Award and shortlisted for the Stellar, Snow Willow, CLA and Manitoba Readers Choice awards. Her latest novel, Small Bones, is one of seven linked books in Orca's Secrets series. Vicki has also written, directed and produced three CBC-TV documentaries.

    www.vickigrant.com

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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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  • Jennifer Hatt

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Maximum class/group size: no preference

    Home Region: Chignecto-Central

    Will travel: throughout NS

    Is available for visits: Jan - April. Full and half day visits. As a freelance writer, Jennifer's work schedule is variable and can change quickly - some flexibility in scheduling may be required.

    Areas of Expertise: non-fiction, journalism, magazine and newsletter writing

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: My background in both non-fiction & fiction writing gives numerous possibilities for workshops. In my 15 years with WITS, I have never given the same workshop twice. Usually, my workshop is designed once I make contact with the school and we discuss schedule, student numbers, format, and the like. Where possible, I will tailor my workshops to complement a topic being covered in the classroom or an extracurricular program. Examples include:

    • Career Day: Job and entrepreneurial opportunities in writing and publishing
    • Fiction vs Non-Fiction: What are the differences in reading, writing, and analyzing; why do we need both?
    • Paint with Words: essential grammar made practical and fun
    • School newspaper: revitalizing the one you have or setting up a new one

    I also have given general workshops on:

    • Day in the life of a reporter: the roles of a reporter, the influences on what makes it to print/on-line, showcasing the essential skills we all have to be reporters & why our voices matter
    • Day in the life of an author: how I became a fiction writer, why I switched from non-fiction to fiction, books that influence my writing, determining your own author voice and what influences your writing

    I have spent an entire day working with a select group of students, and at other schools I have repeated the same small presentation several times to more than a hundred students. I am comfortable with any format. My presentations are low-tech: flipchart & markers to keep notes for the classand a small table to set up my mini-library is all I need. I talk a bit, read a bit to share favourite passages of my and other writing, and try to incorporate discussion and questions as much as possible. My goal for every workshop is to impart a love, or at least a respect, for reading, the written word, and our own unique voices.

    About the Author: Jennifer Hatt was born in Halifax and raised in Liverpool, Nova Scotia, earning her first writing award in high school for her short story of a family living in coal mining’s shadow. Eight years later, she and fellow editorial staff were awarded the 1992 Thomson Newspapers Award of Excellence, North America, for their coverage of the Westray Mine Disaster. Jennifer has won the Thompson Newspapers Award of Excellence for Canadian Newspapers, circulation under 15,000, non-deadline writing, for "The Silent Thief", depicting the struggle of two men to cope with the slow loss of their wives to Alzheimer Disease. She is also the Thompson Newspapers Award of Excellence winner for East Coast Newspapers, circulation under 12,000, for "Double Vision", an exploration of the battle over herbicide use in Nova Scotia forests.

    in 2010 Jennifer released her debut novel, Finding Maria, which was named a Semifinalist in the Kindle Book Review Best Indie Book of 2012. A prequel, Orchids for Billie, was released in 2011 and the third book in the series, On the Scent of a Mandarin Moon, was published in 2012. Jennifer lives in charmed chaos with her husband, three children and one cat in New Glasgow, NS. www.findingmaria.com.

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  • Michael Haynes

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Works with grades: 7-12

    Maximum group/class size:  no limit, depending on type of presentation

    Home Region: Central Nova Scotia

    Will travel: throughout the province

    Available: Oct - June. Full & half day visits.

    Areas of Expertise: travel, outdoors (hiking/biking).

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: I will either talk about the various places in the outdoors where one might walk and bike recreationally (appropriate for larger groups), or discuss the requirements of writing non-fiction, including developing a working relationship with a publisher (smaller groups).

    Access to a projector and screen to show photos and some video is essential.

    About the author: Michael Haynes has written ten guides on hiking and biking trails in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Québec, and Ontario. He has been a regular contributor to CBC Radio in Halifax, Sydney and Ottawa. In addition to books and radio appearances, Haynes has published numerous articles about Canada's outdoors, both locally and nationally, and presented at trail conferences in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Australia.

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  • Kate Inglis

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Will travel: HRM, South Shore & Annapolis Valley (no more than 1 hour drive from Chester each way)

    Is available for visits: Jan - Dec

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction (ages 4 - 8, 8 - 14)

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: Kate has led student experiences from kindergarten to grade 12 across the country, from downtown Calgary to the Inuit outport of Makkovik, Labrador. Workshops include:

    (Grades K-3): Childrens' Monster Poetry—Through imaginative physical play, this workshop encourages young children to become their own storytellers.

    (Grades 4-6): The Craft Of Story-Making—This workshop inspires kids to write, illustrate, and share their stories, with creative prompts and media to practice plot, suspense, dialogue, setting, description, and voice development.

    (Jr/Sr High) The Creativity Myth—In this workshop, we'll consider the very different practices of writing and editing, and we'll explore storytelling as a tool to grapple with (or escape from) life. Students will be encouraged to develop their own voices, and turn reflection into poetry, prose, or stories.

    About the Author: Kate lives along the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada, where she was born. In November 2009 her first novel was published — The Dread Crew: Pirates of the Backwoods, a book January Magazine calls "a spirited tale, gorgeously rendered." It was illustrated by Governor General award-winning Sydney Smith, and was nominated for a Hackmatack Award and a Red Cedar Award. The sequel, Flight of the Griffons, was released in spring 2014.

    In spring 2016, Kate's third book was released with Nimbus, illustrated by the brilliant Eric Orchard: If I Were A Zombie—fun-loving monster poetry for 4-8 year olds.

    www.kateinglis.com

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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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  • Allison Lawlor

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Maximum Group/Class Size: 25

    Will Travel: Within HRM

    Available: Sept-June

    Areas of Expertise: Journalism, creative 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. 

    I can also lead students through a number of fun and engaging writing exercises that will help their writing become more descriptive and engaging. 

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  • James Leck

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Works with grades: 4 - 12

    Maximum Group/Class Size: 90

    Home Region: HRM

    Will travel: Anywhere on mainland NS. Visits to Cape Breton, Strait Regional, and Tri-County will require overnight accommodation on the evening before the visit.

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

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction Writing, Young Adult Fiction, Writing Mysteries and Suspense

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: Workshops: I have taught at the middle school and high school levels in Japan, Kuwait and in Nova Scotia. I also have extensive presentation experience, having appeared at schools as a guest speaker in Kuwait, Hong Kong, Saskatchewan, Ottawa, Toronto, and in the Halifax area over the past ten years as well as teaching creative writing to adults and teens at NSCAD. I typically run a one hour workshop in which the students create their own mystery applying the techniques that I use as a published author. I provide worksheets that take the students through this process and include additional activities that can be used by the teacher at a later date. For classes that I have previously visited, I have developed a Character Creation Workshop which will help students develop fictional characters on the fly and learn how they can be developed to make them feel like a real person in the future. However, I am very flexible regarding the content of the presentation and I am comfortable with groups of up to 90 students.

    About the Author: James Leck has worked as a high school teacher in Canada, Japan, and Kuwait. The Adventures of Jack Lime, and The Further Adventures of Jack Lime (Kids Can Press) are the first two books in a series of mysteries that will follow his teenage private eye, Jack Lime, as he solves mysteries in the fictional town of Iona. His latest book, After Dark, is a story about a boy who ends up in a small town just as a mysterious virus breaks out, turning his new neighbours (and most of the town) into zombie-vampires. The Adventures of Jack Lime was named as one of the Top Ten First Novels for Youth by Booklist Magazine, and After Dark is nominated for the 2017 Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Awards. Currently, James lives in Dartmouth with his wife and two children.

    Awards and Recommendations

    After Dark
    Shortlisted for The Hackmatack Children's Choice Award 2017

    The Further Adventures of Jack Lime
    Shortlisted for the CCBC John Spray Mystery Award 2014
    
Shortlisted for The Diamond Willow Award 2014

    Ontario Library Association Best Bet book for 2013
    
Best Books of the Year for Children and Young Adults, Bank Street Children’s Book Committee 2013

    Best Books for Kids & Teens, Canadian Children’s Book Centre 2013

    The Adventures of Jack Lime
    Shortlisted for The Hackmatack Children's Choice Award 2012
    
Shortlisted for The Manitoba Young Reader's Choice Award 2012

    Shortlisted for The Arthur Ellis Award for Best Juvenile Crime Book 2011
    
Selected by Booklist Magazine as one of the Top Ten Books for Youth and as one of the Top Ten Crime Fiction Books for Youth of 2010

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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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  • Hugh R. MacDonald

    Works with grades: 7-9

     Hugh is a member of the Writers in the Schools (WITS) program through WFNS. Hugh enjoys going into schools to meet with young people and sharing his passion for writing. His presentation includes readings from his work, using his songs and his videos to share thoughts on his writing process, and encouraging young people to try their own hand at writing. WITS grade level P-12

    Trapper Boy was selected by Dr. Patrick Howard of Cape Breton University’s Education Department as a novel around which to develop a Teacher Resource. The resource is currently available at no charge for teachers using Trapper Boy.

     

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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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  • Carol Moreira

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Home Region: Halifax

    Will Travel: South Shore & Annapolis Valley

    Is available for visits: Sept-June, full and half days

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction, Journalism, Young Adult, poetry

    Presentation: In her presentation, Carol looks at the principles of good writing, which can be applied across genres. She shares excerpts from her work that demonstrate and clarify these points. Topics under discussion include: how to engage the reader, how to handle plot, and how to evoke character and atmosphere. Students are given the opportunity to write and share their work. 

    About the Author: Carol is a prize-winning journalist. She has had two young adult novels published by regional publishers. She is working on a sequel to her YA fantasy Membrane. She is a contributor to the recently published non-fiction immigration anthology Coming Here, Being Here (Guernica Press), and she was a poetry finalist in the 2015 Atlantic Writing Competition. 

    Carol is happy to focus on any or all of these genres. Her current works-in-progress include a new novel, a prose poem on the Bay of Fundy, a series of poems on the subject of anxiety, from which she has suffered. Carol is currently a partner in the regional news and data sit www.entrevestor.com. 

    The first chapter of Carol's young adult fantasy, Membrane, (Fierce Ink Press, 2013) can be accessed here: http//www.scribd.com/doc/141395689/Mmbrane-by-Carol-Moreira-Chapter-1

     

     

     

     

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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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  • B.R. Myers

    Works with grades: 7-9

    B.R. Myers spent most of her teen years behind the covers of Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, and Lois Duncan. When she's not putting her characters in awkward situations, she works as a registered nurse in Halifax, NS, where she lives with her husband and their two children. You can find her online at bethanymyers.blogspot.ca.

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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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  • 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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  • Richard Rudnicki

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Will travel: Throughout Nova Scotia

    Available: September to June, full and half days.

    Maximum number of students: no maximum

    Areas of expertise: Stories in Words and Pictures

    Presentation Style: My presentation style is free and relaxed. I respect children and engage them in a conversational style. I aim to encourage the creative streak running through all of us. As an artist, book illustrator and author I articulate both the written and visual sides of telling stories with words and pictures. My talks are animated with slides, and readings that include relevant information discovered while working on the book, and the process I used to create it. I paint and illustrate realistically and out of respect for subject and reader I ensure that material culture is portrayed as accurate and truthfully as possible. I encourage children’s curiosity through open dialogue, and am often led to talk about my views on the creative human spirit. I am open and candid about my views on the feelings and emotions that makes us human. I present in simple language suitable for the age group, and try to reach each child inclusively and individually. I hope to give insight into the creative process and make it accessible. If time permits I will give a drawing demonstration, or do a drawing or writing exercise. 

    About the Author/Illustrator: I enjoy stories words and pictures, and have illustrated nine picture books. Two of them I wrote. Most of my books are about Canadian history, such as Viola Desmond Won’t be Budged, and Cyrus Eaton: Champion for Peace. I look for stories from Nova Scotia’s past, with an eye toward justice for the “underdog”. Some of my books are for very young children, such as Gracie, the Public Garden’s Duck, and Gus the Tortoise Goes for a Walk. As well, I paint historical scenes from Canada’s past, landscapes and portraits. I take commissions, have private students, conduct workshops and give illustrated talks at schools and conferences.

     

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  • Sarah Sawler

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Maximum group/class size: 30

    Home region: HRM

    Will travel: Yes

    Available: September 2016-May 2017

    Areas of Expertise: journalism, research, non-fiction, nova scotia history, young adult, creative non-fiction, digital media

    Sarah Sawler is an award-winning journalist whose with bylines in such publications as Quill & Quire, Halifax Magazine, The Chronicle Herald and Atlantic Business Magazine. Her first book, 100 Things You Don't Know About Nova Scotia, was published by Nimbus Publishing in April 2016, and she's currently working on her next book, 100 Things You Don't Know About Atlantic Canada (For Kids). 

    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.

    Sarah is also a creative non-fiction writer. Her first published piece, a short YA story called Leaving for Good, was published by Fierce Ink Books in 2014. 

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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

    Will Travel: All of NS

    Available: Sept. - June

    Maximum Students: 25-30

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

    Presentation: 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. 

    Midnight Marauders and Moonlight Marauders are on the Teachers' Book Order List! Contact: Glen Margaret Publishing. Email: gmp@ eastlink.ca. Look for Mystery Marauders Christmas 2016. 

     

     

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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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  • Gloria Ann Wesley

    Works with grades: 7-9

    Home Region: HRM

    Will travel: Yes

    Works with grades: 4-12

    Maximum group/class size: 100

    Available: During the school year. Teachers may email questions directly regarding her novels. 

    Areas of expertise: Black History, History & Folklore, Poetry, Young Adult

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: Gloria has developed a lively and informative presentation based on her young adult historical novels, Chasing Freedom and If This Is Freedom. The books tells the story of struggle of Black Loyalists and their arrival in Canada. Gloria uses Powerpoint for her talks and will require a computer for the presentation.

    "Reading Wesley, you hear that sweet, special Africadian lingo, ‘right to the marrow in the bones.’ By the end, you understand why folks’d ‘rather be ruled by the king than a bunch of rebels with nothing to offer but gab and blood.’ But you can’t gain freedom without experiencing ‘a rough tussle and a good shake.’ Grab hold of this tale: It won’t let you go."

    - George Elliott Clarke

    About the Author: Gloria Ann Wesley is an African Nova Scotian educator and writer who holds the distinction of being the first published Black Nova Scotian poet having published her first book of poetry, To My Someday Child in 1975. Wesley’s poetry appears in three Canadian anthologies. Her work also includes two volumes of poetry: Woman Sing and Burlap and Lace. Her first novel, Chasing Freedom, 2011, was short-listed by the 2012 Atlantic Book Award’s for the Ann Connor Brimer Award for Young Adult Fiction.

     

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Works with grades: P-6

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  • Kent Baker

    Works with grades: P-6

    Kent Baker enjoys helping students open to their own creativity trhrough drawing or writing.  He usually reads fto younger children (5-10) from his book Finster Frets and then has them draw impressions based on the work.  Older students (10-13) are treated to a Writers Workshop taiiored to their age and needs.

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  • Janet Barkhouse

    Works with grades: P-6

    Maximum Group/Class Size: 20-25 for workshops; 100 for readings

    Home Region: South Shore Regional School Board

    Will Travel: Within 150 km of Mahone Bay

    Available: Nov-May. Half-day visits. 

    Areas of Expertise: For younger grades, Sable Island; Cape Breton coal mining history; lighthouses in Nova Scotia. For all grades, writing workshops (especially poetry workshops). 

    Presentation Style/Workshop Ideas: For younger children, I generally read from Keeper of the LightPit Pony: The Picture Book, and Sable Island - Imagine!, and share appropriate artifacts and images. Questions and interruptions welcome. All writing workshops are done in small group format--creative, hands-on, interactive. 

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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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  • L. E. Carmichael

    Works with grades: P-6

    Areas of Expertise: Science, Nonfiction, Research and Writing Workshops

    Available: Year round

    Home Region: Halifax Regional Municipality

    Will Travel: Throughout Nova Scotia. Mileage and/or accommodations may be required outside of HRM.

    Equipment: Data projector and screen for powerpoint slides. Microphone for large groups. Internet access is helpful.

    Maximum group size: Comfortable with full-school assemblies, but prefers small groups (less than 35) for hands-on workshops.

    Programs and Workshops: Lindsey's science programs include engaging discussions about the topics of her books, with a brief reading and time for questions. Depending on grade level, group size, and program length, hands-on experiments involving DNA or animal communication can also be included.

    Lindsey also offers writing workshops for junior and senior high. "Writing Down the Feels" teaches young writers to manipulate their readers' emotions through language, while "A Supernatural Guide to Character Building" explores the interdependence of character and plot with examples from the hit TV show. For high school students, Lindsey also offers academic writing workshops on topics like research, essay structure, and lab reports.

    Visit Lindsey's website or contact her for further program details.

    About the Author: Lindsey Carmichael never outgrew that stage of childhood when nothing's more fun than amazing your friends with your stockpile of weird and wonderful facts.  Her sense of wonder came in handy during her career as a scientist, and in 2006, she received the Governor General's Medal for her PhD thesis, Ecological Genetics of Northern Wolves and Arctic Foxes.  Lindsey finds talking about science more fun than doing it, however, and now writes for kids, teens, and occasionally adults (a sense of wonder is essential for this, too). Lindsey publishes under the name L. E. Carmichael, and her work has appeared in Dig, Highlights for Children, and National Geographic Extreme Explorer. Her 21 published science books cover everything from animals to hybrid cars. Fox Talk was a Benjamin Franklin Awards Silver Medalist, and Fuzzy Forensics: DNA Fingerprinting Gets Wild holds the 2014 Lane Anderson Award for exceptional children's science writing. When not digging up obscure or wacky details for her next nonfiction project, Lindsey's probably working on her young adult fantasy novel.

     

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  • Richard Charlton

    Works with grades: P-6

    Maximum group/class size: Richard prefers to work with groups of approx. 20 students per session. (Grades 1-4)

    Home Region: Halifax

    Will travel: HRm and anywhere no more than an hours drive. 

    Available: Sept - June. Full and half day visits. For visits outside HRM, a full day is preferred.

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction writing, non-fiction writing, children's literature, poetry, playwriting & screenwriting

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: Richard prefers to present with the children in a semi-circle around him,in a library if available, or a room set aside to which the classes come. He does introductions, then begins interacting with them. His favourite topics are observing and the importance of specific topics, why writing was invented and communicating through cards and letters and email, writing stories. He asks the children what they write about, encourages them to use imagination to write fiction, and shows them how books are made. He sometimes uses audio recordings (music) to aid him in his presentation and often reads the introductory chapters to one of his books. A CD player is useful. It is best if students come with name tags. Richard's presentations are lively and full of props and entertainment!

    Richard created the Kippernickker Adventure Stories for his first five grandchildren who lived in California at the time, and had asked their Granddad to write down the stories he used to tell under the trees when visiting. Ten Kippernickker Stories were written, six of which are now published and recorded on audio CD.

    About the Author: Richard is a retired Electrical Engineer and a Granddad. He lives in Dartmouth with wife June (a retired primary school teacher), and they have three married children who have between them produced eleven grandchildren, all of whom love to read.

    He created the Kippernickker Adventure Stories for his first five grandchildren who lived in California at the time, and had asked their Granddad to write down the stories he used to tell under the trees when visiting. Ten Kippernickker Stories were written, six of which are now published and recorded on audio CD.

    Richard (Dick) has other books and is also a playwright with several plays published and performed; on stage, studio and TV. In 2007 a full length movie was released from one of his plays. The sixth Kippernickker book Great Uncle Oliver's Code was published in 2012. Check the website for full details: www.kippernickker.com or dickcharlton.com

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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, Sky 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 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 (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:

    A picture book creation workshop; this takes a minimum of 2 hours as the students write and illustrate simple picture books, and requires follow-up time by the classroom teacher. 

    d)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 procrastinate. 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 Toronto :(

    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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  • Alison DeLory

    Works with grades: P-6

    Home Region: HRM

    Will travel: Within 80 kms of Halifax

    Available: Sept–June. Full days required for South Shore, Chignecto-Central, Annapolis Valley; half days fine in HRM

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction, creative non-fiction, and journalism

    Maximum number of students per session: Grades P–3, 40 students. Grades 4–12, 60 max.

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: This is my eighth year with WITS and I love meeting educators and students, hearing their stories, and work-shopping ideas. Elementary students will enjoy my middle grade adventure fiction book Scotia Sinker (May 2015; sequel to Lunar Lifter). With junior high and high school students I plan to talk about creative non-fiction and how I came to write my YA short story Some of My Parts in the Becoming Fierce (Fierce Ink Press, 2014) anthology. I'd like to explore memoir writing with junior high and high school students, and the narrative process involved in telling stories about their own lives.

    As a journalist with two decades of experience writing for newspapers, magazines and websites, I can discuss research, interviewing and reporting. I often talk about the stages of writing, staying open and receptive to criticism and feedback, and unblocking. I may introduce an exercise such as writing/drawing comics or use one of my own pieces of journalistic writing to discuss pre-writing, drafting, revising, final copy. I talk about how good writing is both simple and clean, yet rich with dynamic and colourful details and description. Exercises are age dependent and flexible based on the classroom's preferences.

    In summary, I try to inspire students to use their imaginations and experience writing as something joyful, purposeful, and satisfying. I welcome open dialogue in the planning stages of the visit and will try to accommodate special requests to cover specific concepts that support the curriculum.

    Teachers and students should know in advance that I will be visiting. If P-6 students are familiar with Scotia Sinker and/or Lunar Lifter the visit is more exciting. If grades 7-12 students are familiar with Some of My Parts (my Fierce Short story) they may find the session enriched. Contact me in advance for copies. A library or classroom with a flipchart or whiteboard is all I require. Students grades 3 and above should come with pencils and paper.

    "How very privileged we at Michael Wallace School were today to welcome Alison DeLory to our school as part of the Writer’s In Schools program. She was fantastic with the children and did an awesome presentation. She is a born teacher as well as story teller. Our students really enjoyed having her and are far richer in their writing craft with the things she was able to share.” — Jane Matheson, Principal

    About the Author: Alison is an author, freelance journalist, editor, writing instructor, and consultant. Her children's chapter book, Lunar Lifter, was published in April 2012 and hit number 1 on the Nova Scotia bestseller list in May 2012. Lunar Lifter is the story of two children’s ingenuity and resourcefulness when they unexpectedly find themselves rocketing through space in a cardboard refrigerator box. She published its sequel called Scotia Sinker in 2015.

    Some of My Parts , a young adult (YA) short story written for teenagers, was published in November 2013 by Fierce Ink Press as part of the Fierce Shorts series. It was included in the Becoming Fierce (Fierce Ink Press 2014) anthology that become a Quill & Quire top pick for 2014.



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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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  • Carole Glasser Langille

    Works with grades: P-6

    Maximum Group/Class Size: none specified

    Home Region: HRM

    Will travel: South Shore or HRM

    Available for visits: Full days only. Overnight accommodation may be required for schools that are more than a couple hours away.

    Areas of Expertise: Writing stories and  poetry

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: I read my children’s books to the class (Where the Wind Sleeps, and Interview With A Stick Collector. Then I lead the class in a discussion and we make up a story together. The teacher records the ideas as the children raise their hands and participate. Then the children illustrate their story.

    For older classes, (grades 4 and 5, I give a poetry workshop. I read poems to students, then I give an exercise and students write their own poem using metaphor and alliteration and other poetic techniques.

    About the Author: Several selections from Carole Langille's most recent book of poetry, Late In A Slow Time, have been adapted to music by renowned Canadian composer Chan Ka Nin. The production, also called Late In A Slow Time debuted at the 2006 Sound Symposium in St. John's, Newfoundland and will be on Duo Concertante's forthcoming CD.

    Her second book of poetry, In Cannon Cave, was nominated for a Governor General's Award in 1997, and the Atlantic Poetry Prize in 1998. Her children's book, Where the Wind Sleeps, was the Canadian Children's Book Center Choice in 1996. Her most recent children's book is Interview With A Stick Collector.

    Her book of short stories, When I Always Wanted Something, was long listed for the 2009 ReLit Award for short fiction.

    Originally from New York City, where she studied with the poets John Ashbery and Carolyn Forche among others, Carole now lives in Black Point, Nova Scotia.

    She has taught at The Humber School for Writing Summer Program, Maritime Writer's Workshop, the Community of Writers in Tatamagouche, and at Women's Words the University of Alberta. She has taught Creative Writing at Mount Saint Vincent University, Writing for the Arts at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and currently teaches Creative Writing: Poetry at Dalhousie University.

    Carole has given poetry readings in Athens, Delhi, Prague, London England, New York City, Kirkcudbright Scotland, and throughout Canada. She has received Canada Council Grants for poetry, non-fiction and fiction as well as Nova Scotia Cultural Arts grants for poetry and fiction.

     

     

     

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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: I use props and games to help students understand the differences among fact, fiction and opinion; and individual and group writing exercises to demonstrate how to make facts interesting. I talk about "“cheating:"” using dictionaries, thesaurus, spell-check, etc. to gain an advantage. If there is time, I read to them and answer questions about writing. If students are older and have writing they’d like to share and discuss, I'’ll do that if there is time, or instead of a presentation. If that is the case, the teacher should please tell me ahead of time. Please, teachers, tell me if there is any particular topic or project that interests the students. A flip chart or chalk/white board is handy. (If it's a flip chart, the class can keep the pages and they don't have to take notes.) The students should have pen/cils and paper. I don'’t usually use electronic gizmos, because I spend too much time trying to get other peoples’ equipment to work!

    I prefer 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, 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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  • Vicki Grant

    Works with grades: P-6

    Works with Grades: 4-12

    Maximum group/class size: 60 per session.

    Home Region: Halifax

    Will travel: within the HRM. Schools outside the area, contact Vicki directly at www.vickigrant.com 

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

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction (ages 10 - 18)

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: Vicki has been called "one of the funniest writers working today" (The VancouverSun). She’s been an advertising copywriter, screenwriter and YA novelist. She can talk on any of these topics but focuses primarily on what goes into writing comic novels and mysteries.

    “A wonderful rapport with students of any age.” Ellenvale Junior High

    Please note: a full-day visit is 4 sessions, a half-day is 2.


    About the Author: Vicki has been called “a superb storyteller” (CCBC) with “a wonderful sense of comedy” (CM Magazine). After a stint in advertising, she wrote TV scripts for Theodore Tugboat, Big Comfy Couch and her own Gemini Award–winning comedy, Scoop & Doozie. Her comic mystery Quid Pro Quo won the Arthur Ellis Award and was nominated for the Edgar Award and the CLA's Book of the Year. Not Suitable for Family Viewing won the Red Maple Award and shortlisted for the Stellar, Snow Willow, CLA and Manitoba Readers Choice awards. Her latest novel, Small Bones, is one of seven linked books in Orca's Secrets series. Vicki has also written, directed and produced three CBC-TV documentaries.

    www.vickigrant.com

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  • Joyce Grant-Smith

    Works with grades: P-6

    Maxium group/class size: prefers groups of 25 students or less.

    Home Region: Annapolis Valley

    Will travel: within Annapolis Valley, Digby to Wolfville

    Available: Sept - June full and half days

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction (ages 8 to 14), Non-fiction, Animal stories & Acadian culture

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: I begin my WITS presentation with a short talk about what inspires my writing. Most elementary school classes are interested in The Latch, An Acadian Adventure, as it falls within the social studies curriculum. I show the students my collection of Acadian artifacts, which helped to inspire me to write The Latch. Then I do a short reading from the novel.

    Then I begin the writing segment of the workshop, where students engage in writing activities. I introduce the idea of strong verbs - words that bring writing alive. If time allows, I present activities that help the students learn how to add details to writing. As a former teacher, I enjoy exploring skills with students that enhance their pleasure and competence when writing. I sometimes use a Power Point presentation so an LCD projector would be useful, but it's not a necessity.

    About the Author: I have lived in the beautiful Annapolis Royal area for most of my life. I love to travel but always like to come home again to N.S. My supportive husband and I have raised two children and many, many animals during our lives together.

    I have recently retired from teaching, and I thoroughly enjoy spending time in classrooms. I prefer class sizes that are not too large, as I like to give the students as much individual attention as possible.

    I grew up loving to write. When I became an adult, I continued to polish my work until I was able to get magazine articles, short stories and books published. To date, I have published the three books mentioned above.




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  • Daphne Greer

    Works with grades: P-6

      

    Maximum group/class size: I'm comfortable talking to large groups of children, but two classes max for the ability to do individual group work. Once classroom is ideal. I am very flexible. 

    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 fiction, overcoming obstacles, power of positive thinking, talking about the Kids Help Phone, understanding people with special needs.

    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 latest novel, 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."

    “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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  • Jennifer Hatt

    Works with grades: P-6

    Maximum class/group size: no preference

    Home Region: Chignecto-Central

    Will travel: throughout NS

    Is available for visits: Jan - April. Full and half day visits. As a freelance writer, Jennifer's work schedule is variable and can change quickly - some flexibility in scheduling may be required.

    Areas of Expertise: non-fiction, journalism, magazine and newsletter writing

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: My background in both non-fiction & fiction writing gives numerous possibilities for workshops. In my 15 years with WITS, I have never given the same workshop twice. Usually, my workshop is designed once I make contact with the school and we discuss schedule, student numbers, format, and the like. Where possible, I will tailor my workshops to complement a topic being covered in the classroom or an extracurricular program. Examples include:

    • Career Day: Job and entrepreneurial opportunities in writing and publishing
    • Fiction vs Non-Fiction: What are the differences in reading, writing, and analyzing; why do we need both?
    • Paint with Words: essential grammar made practical and fun
    • School newspaper: revitalizing the one you have or setting up a new one

    I also have given general workshops on:

    • Day in the life of a reporter: the roles of a reporter, the influences on what makes it to print/on-line, showcasing the essential skills we all have to be reporters & why our voices matter
    • Day in the life of an author: how I became a fiction writer, why I switched from non-fiction to fiction, books that influence my writing, determining your own author voice and what influences your writing

    I have spent an entire day working with a select group of students, and at other schools I have repeated the same small presentation several times to more than a hundred students. I am comfortable with any format. My presentations are low-tech: flipchart & markers to keep notes for the classand a small table to set up my mini-library is all I need. I talk a bit, read a bit to share favourite passages of my and other writing, and try to incorporate discussion and questions as much as possible. My goal for every workshop is to impart a love, or at least a respect, for reading, the written word, and our own unique voices.

    About the Author: Jennifer Hatt was born in Halifax and raised in Liverpool, Nova Scotia, earning her first writing award in high school for her short story of a family living in coal mining’s shadow. Eight years later, she and fellow editorial staff were awarded the 1992 Thomson Newspapers Award of Excellence, North America, for their coverage of the Westray Mine Disaster. Jennifer has won the Thompson Newspapers Award of Excellence for Canadian Newspapers, circulation under 15,000, non-deadline writing, for "The Silent Thief", depicting the struggle of two men to cope with the slow loss of their wives to Alzheimer Disease. She is also the Thompson Newspapers Award of Excellence winner for East Coast Newspapers, circulation under 12,000, for "Double Vision", an exploration of the battle over herbicide use in Nova Scotia forests.

    in 2010 Jennifer released her debut novel, Finding Maria, which was named a Semifinalist in the Kindle Book Review Best Indie Book of 2012. A prequel, Orchids for Billie, was released in 2011 and the third book in the series, On the Scent of a Mandarin Moon, was published in 2012. Jennifer lives in charmed chaos with her husband, three children and one cat in New Glasgow, NS. www.findingmaria.com.

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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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  • Kate Inglis

    Works with grades: P-6

    Will travel: HRM, South Shore & Annapolis Valley (no more than 1 hour drive from Chester each way)

    Is available for visits: Jan - Dec

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction (ages 4 - 8, 8 - 14)

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: Kate has led student experiences from kindergarten to grade 12 across the country, from downtown Calgary to the Inuit outport of Makkovik, Labrador. Workshops include:

    (Grades K-3): Childrens' Monster Poetry—Through imaginative physical play, this workshop encourages young children to become their own storytellers.

    (Grades 4-6): The Craft Of Story-Making—This workshop inspires kids to write, illustrate, and share their stories, with creative prompts and media to practice plot, suspense, dialogue, setting, description, and voice development.

    (Jr/Sr High) The Creativity Myth—In this workshop, we'll consider the very different practices of writing and editing, and we'll explore storytelling as a tool to grapple with (or escape from) life. Students will be encouraged to develop their own voices, and turn reflection into poetry, prose, or stories.

    About the Author: Kate lives along the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada, where she was born. In November 2009 her first novel was published — The Dread Crew: Pirates of the Backwoods, a book January Magazine calls "a spirited tale, gorgeously rendered." It was illustrated by Governor General award-winning Sydney Smith, and was nominated for a Hackmatack Award and a Red Cedar Award. The sequel, Flight of the Griffons, was released in spring 2014.

    In spring 2016, Kate's third book was released with Nimbus, illustrated by the brilliant Eric Orchard: If I Were A Zombie—fun-loving monster poetry for 4-8 year olds.

    www.kateinglis.com

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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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  • 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

    Available: Oct - June, Half day bookings only

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction, 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 new trilogy, The Lobster Chronicles, features the accidental capture of a giant lobster as told from the perspective of three different boys. Her mystery novel, The Spotted Dog Last Seen, takes place in a historic cemetery, and will be followed by the prequel, The Missing Dog is Spotted, this spring.

    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, 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 100 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.

    About the Author: Jessica grew up on the Canadian Prairies. Today, she lives with her family and their pet tortoise in downtown Halifax in a house that is close to 150 years old. The floors slope, and all the marbles end up in one corner, including the tortoise.


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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, creative 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. 

    I can also lead students through a number of fun and engaging writing exercises that will help their writing become more descriptive and engaging. 

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  • James Leck

    Works with grades: P-6

    Works with grades: 4 - 12

    Maximum Group/Class Size: 90

    Home Region: HRM

    Will travel: Anywhere on mainland NS. Visits to Cape Breton, Strait Regional, and Tri-County will require overnight accommodation on the evening before the visit.

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

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction Writing, Young Adult Fiction, Writing Mysteries and Suspense

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: Workshops: I have taught at the middle school and high school levels in Japan, Kuwait and in Nova Scotia. I also have extensive presentation experience, having appeared at schools as a guest speaker in Kuwait, Hong Kong, Saskatchewan, Ottawa, Toronto, and in the Halifax area over the past ten years as well as teaching creative writing to adults and teens at NSCAD. I typically run a one hour workshop in which the students create their own mystery applying the techniques that I use as a published author. I provide worksheets that take the students through this process and include additional activities that can be used by the teacher at a later date. For classes that I have previously visited, I have developed a Character Creation Workshop which will help students develop fictional characters on the fly and learn how they can be developed to make them feel like a real person in the future. However, I am very flexible regarding the content of the presentation and I am comfortable with groups of up to 90 students.

    About the Author: James Leck has worked as a high school teacher in Canada, Japan, and Kuwait. The Adventures of Jack Lime, and The Further Adventures of Jack Lime (Kids Can Press) are the first two books in a series of mysteries that will follow his teenage private eye, Jack Lime, as he solves mysteries in the fictional town of Iona. His latest book, After Dark, is a story about a boy who ends up in a small town just as a mysterious virus breaks out, turning his new neighbours (and most of the town) into zombie-vampires. The Adventures of Jack Lime was named as one of the Top Ten First Novels for Youth by Booklist Magazine, and After Dark is nominated for the 2017 Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Awards. Currently, James lives in Dartmouth with his wife and two children.

    Awards and Recommendations

    After Dark
    Shortlisted for The Hackmatack Children's Choice Award 2017

    The Further Adventures of Jack Lime
    Shortlisted for the CCBC John Spray Mystery Award 2014
    
Shortlisted for The Diamond Willow Award 2014

    Ontario Library Association Best Bet book for 2013
    
Best Books of the Year for Children and Young Adults, Bank Street Children’s Book Committee 2013

    Best Books for Kids & Teens, Canadian Children’s Book Centre 2013

    The Adventures of Jack Lime
    Shortlisted for The Hackmatack Children's Choice Award 2012
    
Shortlisted for The Manitoba Young Reader's Choice Award 2012

    Shortlisted for The Arthur Ellis Award for Best Juvenile Crime Book 2011
    
Selected by Booklist Magazine as one of the Top Ten Books for Youth and as one of the Top Ten Crime Fiction Books for Youth of 2010

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  • Diane Carmel Léger

    Works with grades: P-6

    Home Region: Moncton, N.B.

    Travel: anywhere in NS, accommodation required for destinations 3 hours or more from Moncton

    Available: September-June-Full and half day visits

    Expertise: Acadian History, Emily Carr, rainforest of Vancouver Island

    Group size: Maximum 60, but 30 ideal

    Equipment required: LCD projector, screen, table for props

    Presentation style: As a former French Immersion teacher (k-6), Diane can adapt her sessions to suit the needs of each class. All of her presentations show that it is easier to use one's experiences to build a story.

    Diane grew up in the Acadian village of Memramcook, New Brunswick. She taught in her home province, before moving to Victoria, where she taught for 20 years. Homesickness led her to writing the historical novel, La butte à Pétard, which has been continuously published since 1989. It has been studied in Canadian and Cajun schools, and its augmented edition won the 2006 Hackmatack Award for French Fiction. Diane has written several novels and award-winning picture books, including the bestseller Maxine's Tree, which depicts her family's effort to save the tallest Sitka Spruce in the world.  A polished presenter in both languages, she has toured schools and libraries, in Canada and the United States.

    Her latest short novel, La patate cadeau OU la vraie histoire de la poutine râpée and her translation, Piau's Potato Present, is a story of friendship, peace and of the poutine râpée. According to the German settlers of Moncton, Pierre Belliveau from the Annapolis Valley, saved them from starvation in the 18th century.

    Her new picture book, Mémére Soleil Nannie-Lune and her translation, My Two Grandmothers are amusing and loving comparisons of her Acadian and Scottish grandmothers in the 1960s.  

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  • Hugh R. MacDonald

    Works with grades: P-6

     Hugh is a member of the Writers in the Schools (WITS) program through WFNS. Hugh enjoys going into schools to meet with young people and sharing his passion for writing. His presentation includes readings from his work, using his songs and his videos to share thoughts on his writing process, and encouraging young people to try their own hand at writing. WITS grade level P-12

    Trapper Boy was selected by Dr. Patrick Howard of Cape Breton University’s Education Department as a novel around which to develop a Teacher Resource. The resource is currently available at no charge for teachers using Trapper Boy.

     

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  • Heather MacKenzie-Carey

    Works with grades: P-6

    Maximum Group/Class size: 30

    Home Region: South Shore

    Will travel: thoughout NS, overnight accommodation required for drives over 300km from the Mahone Bay area. Full day preferred if over 300km.

    Available: Sept - June, full and half days

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction, non-fiction, picture books

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: Heather is comfortable with all ages and class sizes. She will customize her presentation to match curriculum outcomes, teacher needs, time available and class size.

    For P - 6, Heather typically prefers a 30 minute time slot when she reads "Melvins Balloons". She follow the reading with a question and answer discussion of favorite colors, and the writing process, including the steps from idea to publication. Heather will leave follow-up activities with the classroom teacher. These activities range from coloring a balloon for Melvin, writing a letter to Melvin, or publishing a book review on Melvin's blog or facebook page. All Activities can be found at melvinsballoons.blogspot.com

    For older grades, Heather will bring examples of her non-fiction books, magazine articles and blog writing. She will discuss various styles of writing, differences between fiction and non-fiction, and methods of publishing including freelance writing, traditional book publishing, self-publishing and new hybrids developed due to technological advances. These presentations are typically an hour in lenght.

    For older grades or motivated groups, Heather provides a 3 hour workshop focues on taking a family story, event, thought, or area of expertise through the writing process. She discusses how to identify whether your story might be developed into a picture book, chapter book, fiction or non-fiction article or book. Heather reviews the steps of researching for submission, writing a query letter, and choosing a publisher.

    Based on her non-fiction writing, Heather provides workshops for teachers on emotional healing strategies as an approach to health and wellness.

    About the Author: Heather MacKenzie-Carey, the founder of Pixie Dust Healing, comes from a medical background and has worked as a health educator, paramedic, teacher, and in counselling and consulting capacities. Heather is the author of Melvin's Balloons. www.pixiedusthealing.com

    "Melvin's Balloons is a burst of colour for the ears, eyes and imagination of kids and grown-ups everywhere. A colourful and touching addition to any home or school library."
    - S. Rosborough, Elementary school librarian

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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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  • Melanie Mosher

    Works with grades: P-6

    HOME REGION: Halifax

    WILL TRAVEL: Anywhere in Nova Scotia.

    GROUP SIZE: up to 30.

    WORKS WITH GRADES: P-6.

    AREAS OF EXPERTISE: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Picture Books

    AVAILABLE: September-Dec and March-June

    PRESENTATION STYLE:  I am grateful to have the opportunity to interact with the ones who might read my stories. My presentations include a reading, discussion, and some writing. I try to keep it fun and informal. We talk about the who, what, where, when, why, and how of the story and discuss how changing any one of these aspects could alter the story. Just think of what might have happened if the Three Bears went to Goldilocks house instead of the other way around.

    We try our hand at some creativity exercises to get the imagination soaring.

    We also talk about the process of writing: prewriting, draft, revise, edit, rewriting, and polish.

    Presentations run about an hour (a bit less for the younger grades). I am open to input from the teachers.

    My main objective is that we all walk away excited about reading and writing, and inspired to pick up that next great book or try a hand at writing one.



     



     
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  • Carrie Muller

    Works with grades: P-6

    Works with grades:

    Will travel: HRM only

    Is available for visits: Oct-Nov, Jan-March

    Areas of Expertise: fiction & picture books

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: Carrie presents a swashbuckling program for younger students featuring a lively participatory reading of The Terrible Horrible Smelly Pirate with some extra “mermaid riddles’ thrown in and some fun with pirate vocabulary and storytelling.Characters and setting feature prominently as the class has some fun with making up their own story of adventure featuring local settings. The session ends with time for questions.

     
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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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  • 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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  • Tim Reeves-Horton

    Works with grades: P-6

    In The News Program

    Works with grade: 6

    Home Region: South Shore

    Will travel: any school in the South Shore Regional School Board

    Available: Sept - June. The In The News program takes place over several weeks with at least three visits to the school. This counts as one full day. One class per program.

    Maximum number of students: One class of average size.

    Areas of Expertise: Journalism, Media Literacy

    Presentation style/workshop ideas:

    In the News Program

    Students learn about media by creating their own newspaper and publishing it for a large, appropriate audience via their community newspaper and website.

    Two-hour program launch on Day 1

    One and a half-hour check-in/update on Day 2

    30-minute delivery of published newspapers, review and wrap-up on Day 3

    The three separate sessions are booked as one day.

    Students increase their media literacy by creating their own relevant media and publishing it to an appropriate audience. 

    Tim works in conjunction with LighthouseNOW (publishers of the Progress Enterprise newspaper and Lighthousenow.ca) to offer South Shore Gr. 6 classes the opportunity to produce their own student newspaper that is published as a two-page spread in the LighthouseNOW Progress Enterprise and on Lighthousenow.ca to an audience of more than 20,000. 

    The program is launched with an introduction to media literacy in which students are shown a range of examples and are asked to consider media as a powerful agent for change. The class reviews their local community newspaper for examples of media as an agent for change and then works to create an outline of potential articles, stories and photographs for their own newspaper reflecting their own lives, schools and communities. 

    Following the initial visit, students work on their chosen assignments preparing for Tim's second visit several days later. The articles are then completed with Tim over another few days and submitted to LighthouseNOW for publication. The program takes place over a three-week period, scheduledto meet the needs of the teacher adn the class.

    For a look at the program in action, check out these videos: http://vimeopro.com/lighthousehd/in-the-news

    About the Author: After 16 years as a teacher Tim turned to media production, establishing credits with CBC Television, National Geographic Channel, Parks Canada, United Way and many more. Tim now works as a media producer on the South Shore with Picnic Studios.

     
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  • Richard Rudnicki

    Works with grades: P-6

    Will travel: Throughout Nova Scotia

    Available: September to June, full and half days.

    Maximum number of students: no maximum

    Areas of expertise: Stories in Words and Pictures

    Presentation Style: My presentation style is free and relaxed. I respect children and engage them in a conversational style. I aim to encourage the creative streak running through all of us. As an artist, book illustrator and author I articulate both the written and visual sides of telling stories with words and pictures. My talks are animated with slides, and readings that include relevant information discovered while working on the book, and the process I used to create it. I paint and illustrate realistically and out of respect for subject and reader I ensure that material culture is portrayed as accurate and truthfully as possible. I encourage children’s curiosity through open dialogue, and am often led to talk about my views on the creative human spirit. I am open and candid about my views on the feelings and emotions that makes us human. I present in simple language suitable for the age group, and try to reach each child inclusively and individually. I hope to give insight into the creative process and make it accessible. If time permits I will give a drawing demonstration, or do a drawing or writing exercise. 

    About the Author/Illustrator: I enjoy stories words and pictures, and have illustrated nine picture books. Two of them I wrote. Most of my books are about Canadian history, such as Viola Desmond Won’t be Budged, and Cyrus Eaton: Champion for Peace. I look for stories from Nova Scotia’s past, with an eye toward justice for the “underdog”. Some of my books are for very young children, such as Gracie, the Public Garden’s Duck, and Gus the Tortoise Goes for a Walk. As well, I paint historical scenes from Canada’s past, landscapes and portraits. I take commissions, have private students, conduct workshops and give illustrated talks at schools and conferences.

     

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  • Sarah Sawler

    Works with grades: P-6

    Maximum group/class size: 30

    Home region: HRM

    Will travel: Yes

    Available: September 2016-May 2017

    Areas of Expertise: journalism, research, non-fiction, nova scotia history, young adult, creative non-fiction, digital media

    Sarah Sawler is an award-winning journalist whose with bylines in such publications as Quill & Quire, Halifax Magazine, The Chronicle Herald and Atlantic Business Magazine. Her first book, 100 Things You Don't Know About Nova Scotia, was published by Nimbus Publishing in April 2016, and she's currently working on her next book, 100 Things You Don't Know About Atlantic Canada (For Kids). 

    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.

    Sarah is also a creative non-fiction writer. Her first published piece, a short YA story called Leaving for Good, was published by Fierce Ink Books in 2014. 

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  • Geraldine Tuck

    Works with grades: P-6

    Works with Grades: 3-6

    Will Travel: All of NS

    Available: Sept. - June

    Maximum Students: 25-30

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

    Presentation: 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. 

    Midnight Marauders and Moonlight Marauders are on the Teachers' Book Order List! Contact: Glen Margaret Publishing. Email: gmp@ eastlink.ca. Look for Mystery Marauders Christmas 2016. 

     

     

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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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  • Nancy Wilcox Richards

    Works with grades: P-6

    Maximum group/class size: 1- 2 classes at a time

    Home Region: South Shore 

    Will Travel:"Full Day" visits only for schools outside Lunenburg County

    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

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  • George Elliot Clarke

    Works with grades: Unspecified

    Works with grades: 10-12

    Maximum group/class size:

    Home Region: Ontario

    Will travel: anywhere in NS, but needs a lot of notice as he lives in Toronto. Multiple bookings from neighboring schools are welcome as it makes it easier for George to make the trip down if he has a number of bookings back-to-back.

    Available for visits: Sept - June

    Areas of Expertise: Fiction (ages 15+), non-fiction (15+, black history), poetry, theatre

    Presentation style/workshop ideas: George usually performs dramatic readings from various works. George's writing is very powerful: it's wise that both teachers and students acquaint themselves with sevral of his poems before his visit.

    About the Author: Born in Windsor, NS, in 1960 and raised in Halifax, George Elliott Clarke is widely recognized as one of the essential poets of our time. Drawing upon African-Nova Scotian history and culture, plus his vast erudition in English literature and history, political science and sociology, Clarke's works are jam-packed with music and meaning. Awarded prizes for his poetry and fiction, as well as honours for his scholarship, Clarke is the G. J. Pratt professor of Canadian literature at the University of Toronto, but still owns land in Nova Scotia - in the black community of Three Mile Plains.

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  • Sheldon Currie

    Works with grades: Unspecified
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