Workshops

I’ve given presentations and writing workshops at schools and libraries across Canada, and at conferences and events including The Word on the Street, the SCBWI Canada East Regional Conference, MASC Young Authors’ and Illustrators’ Festival, the Blue Met Children’s Festival, TD Children’s Book Week, the Hackmatack Author Tour, Gaspesie Bookfest, and the Vancouver Island Children’s Book Festival.

I love meeting young readers and writers.

Contact me about virtual presentations in 2021-22.

Or listen to my evergreen creative writing podcast, Cabin Tales: Spooky Stories for Young Writers. It’s like having an author visit every week — only it’s free, and I bring talented friends with me.

Learn about Financial Assistance for Author Visits in Canada.


Presentations

This is how happy your class will be after my presentation.

Want a presentation for your English class studying one of my books? Or a week’s worth of presentations to introduce all the students in your school to creative writing as a profession?

Virtually or in person, I use a PowerPoint slide show to animate my talks. Presentations can be tailored to your time slot, from 45 minutes to 75 minutes, or extended with a follow-up writing workshop.

Check out a list of my most popular Author Presentations.


Writing Workshops

three cats
I could give a slide show of my pets — but no one ever wants to pay me for that

I offer writing workshops for grades 4 and up. Workshops run from 1-2 hours, depending on your schedule. Workshops work best with single classes, but I’ve had good results with virtual workshops of up to 50 students when they are each on their own computer.

Every workshop includes at least one mini-lesson on the theme. Virtually or in person, I illustrate my points wth a PowerPoint slide show.

Check out a list of my most popular Writing Workshops.

And check out my virtual “Words into Plots” short story workshop outline for the 2021 Awesome Authors Youth Writing Contest.


Short-Story Workshop Series

Me reading Pot-pourri
I use student writing to illustrate workshop themes.

If you have a keen group of students, I offer a series of workshops to lead young writers through the entire process of writing a short story.

With 3 visits per class, we’ll do workshops on character and setting development; plotting and scene construction; and revising and finishing your story. (Individual feedback and peer review may fit into the third day if students have time to write between workshops.)

A workshop series works best if students are writing the story as part of their class work. Writing a story to completion is hard work, and some students may tire unless the work is credited by the teacher.

That said, for teachers with a creative writing or short story unit to build on, a series of writing workshops can be extremely rewarding.


Good Company

masc presenters I’ve twice been a presenting author at MASC’s Young Authors and Illustrators Festival, an annual three-day Ottawa event that provides writing workshops to hundreds of keen students in the region.

At left, the presenting authors and illustrators from the 2015 MASC Conference: Kate Inglis, Matt James, Genevieve Despres, Catherine Austen (me), Tim Wynne-Jones, Rina Singh, Sydney Smith, and Monique Polak. (I forgot to take a group photo at the 2019 MYAI Festival, where I presented with Cary Fagan, Karen Krossing, David A. Robertson, Britt Wilson, and Soyeon Kim.)


Contact me to request a visit.

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