Apply for Writer & Illustrator Bookings

APPLICATIONS OPEN SEPTEMBER 8, 2020

Browse writers & illustrators below — or filter them by literary genre and grade-level expertise.

Before requesting a writer or illustrator, read their profile carefully, noting individual program locations, travel parameters, and other requirements. Writers who must travel 2+ hours for a WITS visit may require overnight accommodations at the expense of the school. Hosting a WITS visit also requires ensuring writers have adequate breaks (between sessions) and an offer of lunch (if working for a full day).

Step 1.

To initiate a request for a writer or illustrator to visit your school, click 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 “WITS cart,” located at the top of the profiles section.

You may select multiple authors within a single request form, but please do not request more writers than you are able to accommodate into your school programming year.

One teacher or school representative should make all WITS bookings for the school.

Step 2.

When you have finished making your selections, click “Check Out” in your “WITS cart.”

You will be taken the to WITS application form, where you can choose full-day or half-day visits for each of your requested authors (up to a maximum of 5 days per school). Carefully fill out and submit this form.

Step 3.

A formal confirmation of approved WITS funding is sent within 3 – 4 weeks of the receipt of your request.

This confirmation includes a list of writers approved for visits at your school, contact information for each writer, the details of the agreement, and an estimate of the co-pay payable by your school. Contact these writers within one month of receiving confirmation to discuss the specifics of their visit (regardless of whether the visit is happening immediately or next May).

Schools that have cancelled past bookings without appropriate reason or notice may not be able to participate in the WITS program.

Step 4.

After the visit, WFNS will issue an invoice to your school via email, which is payable by cheque within 2 weeks of the visit.

To request hard copies of invoices by mail or fax, please contact Linda Hudson, Arts Education Officer, at wits@writers.ns.ca

Schools with outstanding fees from previous years will not be able to participate in the WITS program until all outstanding fees have been paid.

WITS Cart

Looks like you need to add some authors!

WITS Writer & Illustrator Profiles

Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail


Works with Grades: Grades P-6

Maximum group/class size: Flexible

Home Region: Halifax Regional Municipality

Will travel:

Happy to discuss this. I love to travel and visit different places, and if it works for my schedule and our budget, I’m open to it!

Availability:

Flexible availability. Let’s chat about what works best for both of us!

Areas of Expertise:

I can speak to historical nonfiction picture books using my Alis the Aviator book, as well as to the writing and publishing process from children’s writing up through adult fiction and nonfiction.

For Q&As, I find students mostly want to pick my brain about life as an author, how and why I came to be a writer, and what I find the biggest challenges (and rewards are). They also love to share their connections with the text, aircraft, and people and places featured.

Presentation style/workshop ideas:

Happy to work with you to design something that complements your curriculum needs and your students. We could do (for example) a Q&A style, facilitated discussion, writing workshop, or read-aloud. Or something brand new that we dream up together!

About the Author:

I am a warm, funny presenter who loves to connect with people of all ages and backgrounds around books, writing, history, and more. I’ve done read-alouds to groups of kindergartners; done interactive presentations with teens in the juvenile justice system; and worked with elementary school students on their writing.


Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail

Request author Works with Grades: Grades P-6 Maximum group/class size:...

Elizabeth Glenn-Copeland


Works with Grades: Grades 10-12, Grades 7-9, Grades P-6

Maximum group/class size: I can work with a full class or a smaller group, depending on our agreed-upon goals.

Home Region: Cumberland South

Will travel:

It looks like for a while, we’ll be working virtually. I am happy to revisit this questions when the pandemic has calmed down.

Availability:

What I Offer

I love working with my teacher collaborators to find ways of supporting young writers to find their own unique voice. I offer workshops in poetry, creative writing, playwriting and spoken word.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions about my programs. I’d love to design a program for your school.

High School and Middle School: Ideally I like to have a group over a period of 90 minutes and meet with them a minimum of 3 times.

Grades 3 to 8: 45 to 60 minute slots are recommended with a minimum of 3 visits.

Grades 1 and 2: Here the focus is storytelling and creating orally. I often include a visual art component as well.

I am available for residency opportunities!

“When are you coming back?”

Gr. 5 student–Townsview School / Woodstock, N.B.

 

Areas of Expertise:

Creative Writing

Playwriting

Poetry

Spoken-word Performance

Focus on encouragement, specifics of writing craft including writing from the senses.

I have a soft spot for working with learning disabled students; students on the spectrum; students w/ writing challenges; children w/ physical disabilities.

Presentation style/workshop ideas:

Experiential

Fun and challenging

Writing Craft

Oral Literacy

As I design my workshops specifically for those I am working with, I would ask that you contact me with specifics about the goals you might like to achieve through having me work with your class/school at which time I will gladly provide specifics.

 

About the Author:

My presentation style is experiential and fun with a focus on encouragement, even those students who appear to not have an interest in writing. I believe in the power of play as a way into deep learning.

I have over thirty years professional experience as an arts educator working with Learning through the Arts, World Vision, The Institute of Child Study, The MacMillan Institute, The Storytellers’ School of Toronto, ArtSmarts and more. With my husband, composer Beverly Glenn-Copeland, I completed over 6 artist residencies in N.B. schools between 2012 and 2018.

“Best writing workshop I’ve ever attended.  Everything was terrific.”

Participant – The Knowlton Literary Festival 2016


Elizabeth Glenn-Copeland

Request author Works with Grades: Grades 10-12, Grades 7-9, Grades...

Genevieve Graham


Works with Grades: Grades 10-12, Grades 7-9, Grades P-6

Maximum group/class size: doesn't matter

Home Region: Halifax, Nova Scotia

Will travel:

Half hour drive outside of Halifax

Virtual appearances

Availability:

Usually one hour, any season.

 

Areas of Expertise:

Historical Fiction, Canadian History

  • The Halifax Explosion (1917), Acadian Expulsion (1755), Klondike Gold Rush (1898), Canada’s British Home Children (1869-1948), Christie Pits Riot (1933 Toronto), Canadians in the Battle of Hong Kong/POW camps (1941-45)

Writing in General

 

Presentation style/workshop ideas:

I am open to the teacher’s suggestions – if you are working on a specific theme (ie a part of Canadian history, or Creative Writing), I can work around that. I can include a discussion about the book, historical fiction, Canadian history, the writing/publishing process, and am open to Q&A anytime.

About the Author:

Genevieve Graham moved to Nova Scotia in 2008 and fell in love with the integral history woven into every aspect of this province. Almost immediately, she realized how little she knew about the history, not only of Nova Scotia but of all of Canada, and she embarked on a mission to correct that, using her love of historical fiction as a palette.

All her novels have spent numerous weeks on the Canadian bestsellers list. Most recently, Genevieve focused her research and passion on the dark, little known story of Canada’s British Home Children in “The Forgotten Home Child”. Despite bookstore shutdowns across the country due to COVID-19, “The Forgotten Home Child” became an “instant #1 bestseller” and remained on that list for 19 weeks – 11 of those at #1. It achieved the #5 position in Canadian Fiction for 2020 and educated tens of thousands of readers about this important part of our history.

Genevieve Graham is prolific and determined, dedicated to bringing Canadian history to life through the popular, mainstream market of commercial historical fiction. Having started writing relatively late in life (in her forties), she has already published five novels with Simon & Schuster Canada in five years, and is eager to keep on that same track for years to come.


Genevieve Graham

Request author Works with Grades: Grades 10-12, Grades 7-9, Grades...

Lauren Soloy


Works with Grades: Grades 10-12, Grades 7-9, Grades P-6

Maximum group/class size:

Home Region: Annapolis County

Will travel:

Will travel within two hours of driving (Halifax, South Shore, or Yarmouth.) Will consider further trips with overnight stays.

Availability:

Areas of Expertise:

Lauren is the author and illustrator of When Emily was Small, an unconventional picture book ode to revered Canadian artist, Emily Carr.

Presentation style/workshop ideas:

Lauren can do presentations that focus either on writing or on illustrating, or a mix of the two.  All presentations are adjusted to match the age of the students.

For a writing-focussed workshop, she will do a reading from one of her books and then talk about what goes into crafting a good story. She will talk about editing and rewriting, where she gets inspiration, and what it’s like to be a professional author. She will include time at the end for questions.

For an illustration-focussed workshop, she will show work from the books and talk about the work that goes into crafting a good illustration. She will talk about the process of revising images, building up from starting small, and where she gets inspiration. She will include time for questions and live drawing requests. *For all virtual visits in 2020, Lauren will include a studio tour, and sneak peek into the process of making the next book.

In addition, Lauren can offer a presentation specifically designed around her book, WHEN EMILY WAS SMALL, published in June of 2020. When Emily was Small was inspired by the writings of famed Canadian artist (and honorary member of the Group of Seven), Emily Carr. Lauren can talk a little bit about Emily’s life and work, as well as what it meant to be a Canadian woman painter in the early 1900s. For younger students, there are activity sheets and craft activities. For older students, she can trace the process of being inspired by another artist’s work, and how to incorporate that into your own work in fun and surprising ways.

 

 

About the Author:

Lauren Soloy is the author and illustrator of When Emily was Small. She has lived on both coasts of Canada, always within reach of the sea.  She currently lives in a 140-year-old house in the wilds of Nova Scotia with her librarian husband, two curious children, an ever-expanding collection of books, two hives of bees, and one cat.  She has a Visual Arts BFA with Honours from the University of Victoria, and a certificate of Fine Furniture from Camosun College.  Along the way, she has learned to make a Queen Anne Highboy, a pottery mug, a hand knit pair of socks, a headstand, and a mess.  

Lauren has been employed by the Annapolis Valley Regional Library as a library clerk and programmer for several years, and has run programs for all ages – from toddlers to seniors. She specializes in art and craft programs that are fun to make, and provide impressive results!


Lauren Soloy

Author & illustrator of When Emily was Small

Anne Kelly


Works with Grades: Grades P-6

Maximum group/class size: 25-30

Home Region: HRM

Will travel:

1.5 hours from Metro Halifax (Truro, Bridgewater, Lunenburg, Wolfville, Kentville, etc.)

Also available virtually across the province.

Availability:

half days or full days

September-June

Areas of Expertise:

English as an additional language

English writing skills

Canadian history

Presentation style/workshop ideas:

For grades P-6, Anne shares stories of her own writing experience and discusses where story ideas come from, how to do historical research for a story, and the importance of editing and re-writing. Anne’s presentations are interactive and  informal, with lots of time for students’ questions. She also emphasizes the importance of the students’ own reading and writing.

About the Author:

Anne has a Masters degree in Teaching-English-as-an-Additional-Language, and worked with adult Newcomers to Canada for twenty-five years as an EAL teacher, program coordinator and language assessor. She has been passionate about reading and writing since she was a young child. While at home with her children, she completed two writing courses through The Institute for Children’s Literature in Connecticut. The short story which eventually became her novel, Jacques’ Escape, was written as an assignment for one of these courses.

Along with reading and writing, Anne also loves Canadian history. She learned about the deportation of the Acadians in elementary school, and became curious about what happened to the Acadians after they left their homes in Acadia.  That curiosity led her first to Grand Pre and then to the Massachusetts archives, and became the basis for her book.

Anne is a natural teacher, and loves to share her passions with young readers and writers.


Anne Kelly

Request author Works with Grades: Grades P-6 Maximum group/class size:...

Nina Munteanu


Works with Grades: Grades 10-12

Maximum group/class size: 25

Home Region: Toronto, Ontario

Will travel:

No travelling for now (during COVID). All online.

Availability:

Open to all options.

Areas of Expertise:

novel and short story writing (specialty in speculative fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and eco-fiction / clifi

Memoir

scientific and lay public non-fiction / articles

creative non-fiction

Presentation style/workshop ideas:

I normally do a lecture / workshop discussion style. This includes some material that I present, followed by excercises, prompted writing and discussion related to the lecture material followed in turn by novel or short story sharing by students with discussion and critique.

About the Author:

See above. For examples and more information see my website: www.ninamunteanu.me


Nina Munteanu

Ecologist and novelist specializing in aquatic ecosystems

John A. Read


Works with Grades: Grades 10-12, Grades 7-9, Grades P-6

Maximum group/class size: n/a

Home Region: NS

Will travel:

40 minutes

Availability:

all visit lengths; all terms

Areas of Expertise:

Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Exploration

Presentation style/workshop ideas:

Will bring telescopes, or will demonstrate astronomy software on the computer.

About the Author:

JOHN A. READ is a telescope operator at the Burke-Gaffney Observatory a member of the Halifax Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) and recently graduated with a degree in astrophysics from Saint Mary’s University. In 2020 he was presented with an RASC award for Excellence in Science Communication. John also cohosts RASC’s series “Explore the Universe Online.” He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.


John A. Read

Telescope operator and non-fiction author

Kanaar Bell


Works with Grades: Grades 10-12, Grades 7-9, Grades P-6

Maximum group/class size:

Home Region:

Will travel:

Availability:

Areas of Expertise:

Presentation style/workshop ideas:

About the Author:


Kanaar Bell

Community builder and spoken word artist

Chad Lucas

Chad Lucas

Request author

Clare O’Connor


Works with Grades: Grades P-6

Maximum group/class size: n/a

Home Region: Halifax Regional Municipality

Will travel:

Anywhere in Nova Scotia

Availability:

Single periods or half day within a 100Km radius of HRM, Half day outside HRM

Available for grades 3 to 6

Areas of Expertise:

Middle grade fiction

Presentation style/workshop ideas:

All workshops/presentations are considered a partnership with the teacher or librarian. Within the topics noted above, presentations are customized to support learning outcomes based on student and school interest. However, general themes are resilience, dealing with change, challenging assumptions, and bullying. Depending on the length of time provided, exercises are also included.

Skateboard Sibby was identified by Quill and Quire magazine as a “helpful classroom resource to provide an entry point for anti-bias and inclusive language and to open up important conversations on gender identity, self-identity, and inclusivity.” I have created a chapter-by-chapter downloadable discussion guide to support teacher or librarian led classroom discussions about Skateboard Sibby. This guide, or a portion of it, can be used in advance of a presentation if of interest.

About the Author:

I am the author of Skateboard Sibby, a middle-grade novel about an 11-year-old super skateboarder dealing with lots of changes, including the loss of her confidence and her identity as a skateboarder. I have written extensively as a freelance writer and have now published my first middle-grade fiction. I enjoy speaking about the process of writing and using Sibby to launch into discussions on change, resilience, confidence building, bullying, and inclusivity.


Clare O’Connor

Author of "Skateboard Sibby"

Briana Corr Scott


Works with Grades: Grades P-6

Maximum group/class size:

Home Region:

Will travel:

Availability:

Areas of Expertise:

Presentation style/workshop ideas:

About the Author:

Briana Corr Scott is an illustrator and writer based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. She tells stories about the beauty of the natural world in her oil paintings, paper doll creations and children’s literature. Her first and second picture books, “She Dreams of Sable Island,” and “The Book of Selkie” were published by Nimbus Publishing Ltd. in 2019. She is currently working on “Wildflower,” to be released in spring 2021. Briana has shown her work in solo and group shows at Argyle Fine Art and Teichart Gallery in Halifax. Her work has appeared internationally in online features, films and magazines. She has read aloud from “She Dreams of Sable Island” and discussed her writing process and art practice at numerous events, including public talks at Argyle Fine Art, “Word on the Street” at the Halifax Public Library and the Museum of Natural History in Halifax.


Briana Corr Scott

Illustrator and author of children's literature

Virginia Konchan


Works with Grades: Grades 10-12, Grades 7-9, Grades P-6

Maximum group/class size:

Home Region:

Will travel:

Availability:

Areas of Expertise:

Adult and YA literature, storytelling, poetry, memoir, and mentoring young writers

Presentation style/workshop ideas:

Visits include a 15-minute PowerPoint presentation/discussion about writing and the editing process, a short reading, and a collaborative writing activity such as Exquisite Corpse or working with prompts. The presentation has been adapted for online delivery.

About the Author:

Virginia is the author of three books and four chapbooks, and her writing has appeared widely in the US and Canada.  A seasoned educator, editor, literary publisher, and certified yoga instructor, in her spare time she enjoys teaching yoga, singing, playing the piano, and exploring Nova Scotia’s walking trails.

Notable books: The End of Spectacle, Any God Will Do, and Anatomical Gift 


Virginia Konchan

Author of poetry, short fiction, translations, and criticism

Thibault Jacquot-Paratte


Works with Grades: Grades 10-12, Grades 7-9

Maximum group/class size: 10-15

Home Region: Annapolis

Will travel:

I’ve been told that this year, the program was done via the internet.

Availability:

I can work half days. Full days might be possible if we plan a specific date where I can make myself available.

Areas of Expertise:

– Poetry (over 10 years professional practice in 2 languages. Knowledge of theory and practice).
– Short stories / fiction (multiple publications.
– Longer prose (Non-fiction : experience in journalistic and academic writing / Fiction : planing a novel, work/organization methods, “what type of novel do you want to write?”)
– Theatre/drama (what kind of theatre? What do you want to communicate? Working on characters and stage atmosphere).

I am not a writer who takes commercial fiction as the standard. With me, students will also be brought to look at experimental writing and writing techniques. If discussing novels, we can discuss “ploted” and “plotless” novels. If talking about poetry, we will discuss narrative, non-narrative, versified and prose poetry, etc. If discussing theatre, we will talk about impression, expression, realism, fantasy, etc. For me, giving a workshop does not work solely on focussing the people who take it, but broadening their scope.

Presentation style/workshop ideas:

Workshop theme examples:

– Playing with language / language deconstruction and prose writing.
– Alter egos, friends, and strangers : building characters and distancing yourself from your writing.
– Not just action; writing ideas : how can literature become engaged? (constructing plots around ideas, or putting ideas into stories).
– World building : techniques on creating a credible culture.
– A poetry of action : narrative poetry, and poetic thought in event sequences.

The workshops would mostly encompass sharing and discussing, but would also feature a presentation of different aspects of the workshop themes, as well as textual examples. For example, on writing ideas, we could look at prose by C.F. Ramuz, Mongo Beti or poetry by the likes of Edith Södergran. On world building we could lean on different alphabets in the world, and how different languages and alphabets inspired authors like Tolkien or Guy G. Kay – and the importance of distancing oneself from mirroring existing cultures. For poetry in action, we could look at narrative poetry by authors such as Inger Christensen, T.S. Elliot or Blaise Cendrars, in order to see how sequencing events and action can create a poetic narration. In-class exercises would accompany these examples.

About the Author:

Born in Nova Scotia, Canada, in 1993, Thibault Jacquot-Paratte started publishing poetry in 2010, as well as writing and performing his own songs. He has, since then, published poetry, short stories, essays, and plays, in both French and English, in North America and Europe. Some of his plays have been produced for the stage, and in 2017 and 2019, he was also brought to co-direct short films in Denmark and in Canada. He has been able to travel on four continents, and perform or read before diverse audiences. He obtained a Batchelor’s from the Sorbonne (Nordic Studies) in 2015, and a Master’s (focus in Sociology) in 2017, with exchanges and scholarships to Finland (Vaasa), Norway (Tromsø), and Denmark (Askov).

As a writer he has published poetry, short stories, essays and drama (in journals, and as books), in both French and English. Some of his plays have been performed. His writing styles span multiple genres – Contemporary, Sci-fi, realism, satire, absurdism… In 2019 he was selected to be one of two official poets of the National Acadian Society during the National Acadian Congress in PEI and New Brunswick.

During presentations, he tries to give as much information as he can, while making sure participants can keep up, ask as many questions as they want, and are motivated by regular activities. Used to working with the theatre, he knows that energy, a positive attitude, and positive reinforcement are essential to keep a group interested.


Thibault Jacquot-Paratte

From the Annapolis Valley. Travelled across North Amrica, Europe, India,...

Janice Landry


Works with Grades: Grades 10-12, Grades 7-9, Grades P-6

Maximum group/class size:

Home Region:

Will travel:

Availability:

Areas of Expertise:

Presentation style/workshop ideas:

About the Author:


Janice Landry

Non-fiction writer with a focus on wellness

Greg Loewen


Works with Grades: Grades 10-12, Grades 7-9

Maximum group/class size: 20

Home Region: Colchester County

Will travel:

Within 45 minutes drive or provincially in virtual.

Availability:

open

Areas of Expertise:

critical non-fiction, scholarly non-fiction, commercial self-help

fantasy adventure YA fiction, short fiction, introspective adult fiction

Presentation style/workshop ideas:

Grades 7-9:
–   Fiction: What is a story and why tell one? The history of storytelling and the written word. The differences between facts, beliefs and opinions and how the truth participates in all three at once. How can you communicate your experiences to others through writing? How much of oneself gets put into something that isn’t exactly true? How does your experience translate into characters and plots? The basic mechanics of narrative.
–   Non fiction: What is the world and how do you describe the world as it is? The differences between science and history, between nature and culture. How did facts originate and what are their purposes today? Format and presentation: seminar and workshop with writing break-outs, sharing of work, script-like role-play readings and reading assignments.

Grades 10-12:
–   Fiction: Character creation and development, use of allegory, metaphor, the construction of plot and the conveyance of emotional intensity. How to communicate human concerns using non-human characters and unearthly places and spaces. How to make your story have a purpose beyond itself.
–   Non-fiction: What is discourse? What is authority? How do you question both? Learning how to read for meaning and not mere descriptive fact. How did the concept of factuality develop and who does it benefit? Blurring fact and fiction can make for great writing but also for dangerous lying; how to avoid the dark side of creativity.
–   Bonus: university and college preparation: What do professors want? How to write for post-secondary courses and what it means to learn how to think for yourselves.  Format and presentation: seminar and workshop with writing break-outs, sharing of work, script-like role-play readings and reading assignments.

About the Author:

G.V. Loewen is the author of thirty books in print and is one of Canada’s leading contemporary thinkers. His non-fiction works include books in education, ethics, health, aesthetics and social theory. He recently wrote a eleven volume adventure saga for young persons and other shorter fiction works.


Greg Loewen

Author of over two-dozen non-fiction books

Suzanne Rent


Works with Grades: Grades 10-12, Grades 7-9, Grades P-6

Maximum group/class size:

Home Region: HRM

Will travel:

Willing to travel outside of HRM.

Availability:

Areas of Expertise:

Newspaper and magazine writing and editing, interviewing, and publishing.

Presentation style/workshop ideas:

About the Author:

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

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

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

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

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


Suzanne Rent

Experienced newspaper, magazine, television, and radio writer

Cooper Lee Bombardier


Works with Grades: Grades 10-12, Grades 7-9

Maximum group/class size:

Home Region:

Will travel:

Availability:

Areas of Expertise:

Presentation style/workshop ideas:

About the Author:

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


Cooper Lee Bombardier

Writer & visual artist originally from Boston

Jen Powley


Works with Grades: Grades 10-12

Maximum group/class size:

Home Region:

Will travel:

Availability:

Areas of Expertise:

Presentation style/workshop ideas:

About the Author:

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


Jen Powley

Journalist, creative non-fiction writer, and memoirist

Beth Ann Knowles


Works with Grades: Grades P-6

Maximum group/class size: 30 - 40

Home Region: South Shore

Will travel:

Anywhere within an hour of Bridgewater (South Shore, HRM, Valley…)

Availability:

Sept – June

Areas of Expertise:

Fiction (ages 4-8), Picture Books

Presentation style/workshop ideas:

Beth Ann’s fun-filled creative presentations include the reading of her debut children’s book, Row Bot, and involve student-centered discussions about the role of an author, illustrator, and publisher, as well as how a book is made. She challenges students to think about what the most important part of a picture book is; the pictures or the words. Workshop content can depend on the age of the group but often includes illustrating, creative writing, making predictions, coloring, rhymes and humour.

About the Author:

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


Beth Ann Knowles

South Shore writer-illustrator and ESL teacher

Nancy Rose


Works with Grades: Grades P-6

Maximum group/class size: I have worked with classes of 40 up to assemblies. Smaller is better so everyone can see the pictures in the books as I read, and can see the miniature props I bring along.

Home Region: HRM (Hubley)

Will travel:

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

Availability:

I am retired so all days are generally available.

 

Areas of Expertise:

fiction, grades p-6 and photography and crafts

Presentation style/workshop ideas:

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

About the Author:

Nancy is the author/photographer of 4 childrens book in the Secret Life of Squirrels series, with a fifth on the way. She is a retired high school Family Studies teacher and Guidance Counsellor with a love for photography and the curious antics of her backyard squirrels. In about 2010 she started taking making squirrel size props (a barbecue, mailbox, washer and dryer, etc) and dioramas, and she lured squirrels into her sets by hiding nuts. Her humorous photos of the squirrels appeared online and in newspapers and magazines world-wide. In 2014 her first children’s book, The Secret Life of Squirrels, was published in Canada and the U.S., followed by three subsequent books in 2015 and 2016, and July 2018. For classroom visits, Nancy brings along a tote box filled with some of her homemade props to show the students and she talks about the art and craft of recycling and being creative.

Nancy’s first two books have also been published in South Korea, and Japan and all are available in paperback to schools through Scholastic Books. The first is also available as a board book for the youngest readers.

Nancy spends her free time with her grandsons when not photographing the expanding number of animal visitors in her backyard in Hubley.

 


Nancy Rose

Retired high school Family Studies teacher and live squirrel dioramist

Hui Zhou


Works with Grades: Grades 10-12, Grades 7-9, Grades P-6

Maximum group/class size: ~25 students, 45-50 minutes/session, ~10-minute break between two consecutive sessions

Home Region: Hammonds Plains NS

Will travel:

Nova Scotia

Availability:

September – June

Areas of Expertise:

Writing: non-fiction books towards school-age children, essays/real stories for all ages; Natural science (M. Sc.): especially in entomology, integrated pest management (IPM) and infectious disease.

Presentation style/workshop ideas:

Hui’s presentation covers three topics: her childhood, stories about insects/chickens and key steps for non-fiction writing. During her presentation, Hui develops a good rapport with students and fully engages their participation.

The presentation can be adapted to more story-telling and games for early elementary, or extended to such topics as cultural difference, IPM, infectious disease and self-publishing experience for higher grades or any interested schools.

About the Author:

Immigrated to Canada in early 2000’s, Hui is a graduate from Saint Mary’s University and considers herself a well-adapted Nova Scotian.

With a solid science background, diverse interests and an open mind, Hui’s writing covers various topics and crosses different fields. Her essays/stories have been published in newspapers, magazines or radio broadcast in China since 1990’s and since 2006 in Canada.

Her creative non-fiction children’s book “Running Wild with Bossy Boy” (2018) tells interesting stories about a flock of chickens raised locally and reflects chicken’s different personalities (chicken-alities) with over seventy photos she took along the chicken’s growth.

Hui keeps writing.


Hui Zhou

English-Mandarin nonfiction children's author, interpreter, and translator

Geraldine Tuck


Works with Grades: Grades 7-9, Grades P-6

Maximum group/class size: 25 - 30

Home Region:

Will travel:

all of Nova Scotia

Availability:

Sept – June

Areas of Expertise:

taught grades 2, 4, 5, 6

Presentation style/workshop ideas:

Grades 3-6: This interactive presentation dresses volunteers as book characters, detective, rum runner, and gold miner. The large, hands-on display illustrates the historical research needed to write this series set in the 1930’s in a town on the south shore of Nova Scotia. The author reads exciting passage from each book. An oral exercise demonstrates editing techniques. Drawing for a free t-shirt end the visit.

Grades 5-7: The fourth book in the Marauders Series is suitable for older grades due to the content dealing with the Halifax Explosion. A power point presentation discusses the explosion and how the author used artifacts and newspaper clippings to plot a story. An interactive lesson where students piece together their own historical fiction is offered.

About the Author:

Author of Midnight Marauders, Moonlight Marauders and Mystery Marauders, Mystery Marauders and Halifax Explosion–all available on the Teachers’ Book Order List! Books also available in all Chapters Book Stores and by contacting the author directly.


Geraldine Tuck

Author of the "Marauders" series

Sarah Sawler


Works with Grades: Grades 10-12, Grades 7-9, Grades P-6

Maximum group/class size: 30

Home Region: HRM

Will travel:

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

Availability:

September 2019-April 2020

Areas of Expertise:

Presentation style/workshop ideas:

Elementary (Grades 3-6): Presentations wll include a discussion on research methods, fun readings and interactive trivia (with a prize!) and a hands-on activity. With two books on the Hackmatack reading list, 2018/2019 will be a particularly fun year.

Junior High/Middle School: Presentations wll include a discussion on research methods, including the importance of critical thinking, readings, interactive trivia, and a hands-on activity. 

High school: Visits will look at the various ways writing can be incorporated into a career, focusing on my experience as a journalist, a business writer, a graphic novel publicist, and an author. Presentations will also include a hands-on activity and readings.

About the Author:

Sarah Sawler is the award-winning author of three books: 100 Things You Don’t Know About Nova Scotia; 100 Things You Don’t Know About Atlantic Canada – For Kids; and the Moonbeam Spirit Award-winning Be Prepared: The Frankie MacDonald Guide to Life, the Weather, and Everything (with Frankie MacDonald). Both books have been nominated for the 2019/2020 Hackmatack Awards.

When she’s not writing books, she’s working as a publicist for graphic novel publisher Conundrum Press, reviewing children’s literature, writing web content for tech companies, or marketing comic books. She lives in Nova Scotia with her partner, two kids, one cat, one dog, one bearded dragon, and one crested gecko.


Sarah Sawler

Publicist and award-winning author of three non-fiction books

Julian Smith


Works with Grades: Grades 10-12, Grades 7-9

Maximum group/class size: Any

Home Region: Yarmouth County

Will travel:

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

Availability:

Year-round

Areas of Expertise:

Science Fiction & Fantasy (Speculative Fiction)

Presentation style/workshop ideas:

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/


Julian Smith

Author of over a dozen science fiction and fantasy stories

Sarah Mian


Works with Grades: Grades 10-12, Grades 7-9, Grades P-6

Maximum group/class size: Any

Home Region: Queensland

Will travel:

Maritimes

Availability:

Areas of Expertise:

Presentation style/workshop ideas:

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.

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.


Sarah Mian

Winner of the Dartmouth Book & Savage First Book awards

Scroll to Top