Alongside editing and writing, I present to students at schools, libraries, bookstores, and writing workshops. I have taught creative writing programs in Canada and South Korea and at kids' writing camps such as the Youth Write Camp, sponsored by Raise-a-Reader, and the Vancouver Public Library Summer Bookcamp. I have presented publishing workshops to authors and illustrators through SCWBI and work in the school system via Learning Through the Arts. I also teach adults creative writing for children through programs at Emily Carr University and CAPP. Please contact me directly for information concerning rates and scheduling.
Soaring Through Stories
This is my standard school presentation. In this vibrant visit, I will share with students how I was inspired to become an author. I will present my work—books I created in childhood to the published series that I write today. My books include picture and chapter books, such as The Heartwood Hotel series and The Magical Animal Adoption Agency series. Students will get a glimpse at my notebooks, crafts I’ve created for my stories, and inspiration I draw upon. This presentation is designed to empower and inspire students of all grades to read and write their own stories.
The format is suitable for groups as small as 20 and as large as 250—though the smaller the group, the more interactive the presentation.
Magical Animal Adoption Agency
Most of my work focuses on mythical animals. I love them, and students do, too! In this workshop, I present research I’ve done on mythical creatures. This helps students to see how much research is needed to create a fantasy story. Students then create their own mythical animals, by designing an advertisement for an animal in a Magical Animal Adoption Agency. Who will come to adopt the crazy creature they create? The students’ stories grow (and growl) from there! (This workshop is best delivered over two or more sessions.)
In this workshop, I will share the stories of how and why I was inspired to write my books, including how I build stories through brainstorming and plotting, and my editorial work in publishing. Students will be led in an activity to design and create an enchanted key that leads a character on a magical adventure. What does the key unlock? A door to a magical realm? A treasure chest? Or does it wind up a robot? (This session can make a great series of classes!)
Which Guest is Best?
This workshop focuses on the Heartwood Hotel. I will share all the fun behind-the-scenes notes and mapping that created the story, including a giant tree doll-house that replicates the Heartwood. Students will take part in creating their own animal guest to check into the hotel with peg figures. (This workshop can be expanded over a series of classes.)
Dream Workshop: Weaving Creativity into Writing
This workshop is a four-month program based in Vancouver, British Columbia, and is delivered through the Creative Writing for Children Society (CWC). In Dream Workshop, students learn the craft of creative writing through a series of classes and by the end of the program produce their own desktop-published books. Enrollment in this program is limited and involves an application process. For more information, visit the CWC website.