Interested in having me visit your school or library for an author talk or writing workshop? I have more than ten years experience presenting to children in all grade levels, from preschool to high school.
Please email me for more information, including my availability and rates. I am happy to work closely with each venue to tailor my presentation to your specific needs!
Interactive Writing Workshop
Based on Be a Writing Superstar
This presentation takes children through each of the steps of creating their very own work of fiction. From brainstorming to writing to editing, every step of creating a literary masterpiece is covered … children even get to create their own physical book and learn how to plan their own book launch party! The focus of this workshop is on fun, using many of the group games and activities (including Spot the Sillies and Silly Shout-Out Storytelling) that appear in Be a Writing Superstar.
Spooky Storytelling & Ghosthunters Academy
Based on Haunted Canada 4 and 5
This presentation begins with a reading from either Haunted Canada 4 or 5, the latest books in Scholastic Canada’s bestselling and well-loved series of true Canadian ghost stories. Each province and territory is covered in the book, so there are always local tales to spook and delight audiences of all ages. Children will have so much fun soaking up every creepy detail that they won’t even realize they’re learning – each story is full of Canadian history, notable people and famous locations and landmarks. Each child is then enrolled in Ghosthunters Academy and will learn the tricks of the ghost-hunting trade. Everyone will watch a short video of my night spent alone in the haunted Olde Angel Inn in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, and then dive into a discussion on how the professionals research, track and record paranormal activity. Again, the focus of this presentation will be on having fun and at the end every child will be awarded a signed certificate of achievement.
A Mix of the Above
I'm also happy to blend the two workshops discussed above, offering a creative writing course that focuses on genre fiction such as mystery, horror, science-fiction and fantasy.
Haunted Canada 5
Shortlisted, Silver Birch Non-Fiction Award, 2016
Haunted Canada 4
Shortlisted, Hackmatack Children's Choice Award (Atlantic Canada), 2015
Commended, Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre, 2015
Shortlisted, Bram Stoker Award, 2008
Shortlisted, Black Quill Award, 2008
PRAISE FOR JOEL A. SUTHERLAND
“[Joel] interacted with the students on a personal level and was very comfortable and natural as a presenter. The students were thoroughly engaged and they ALL left the workshop feeling inspired and excited about writing! He is a talented writer and author who is entertaining, funny, engaging and most importantly, able to inspire young readers, authors, and adults!”
-Kelsey Collins, Elementary Teacher, Cottingham P.S., Toronto District School Board
“Joel is an enthusiastic and engaging author. He has excellent communication skills with all ages and is wonderful at explaining things in a way kids can understand. His patience and good humour made his workshops fun and accessible to even the shyest of children. In addition, he is extremely organized, reliable and flexible.”
-Sarah West, Children's Services Librarian, Pickering Public Library
“The students that attended Joel’s writing workshop at the Sunderland Branch of Brock Township Public Library enjoyed his visit immensely. Joel used his excellent sense of humour, writing knowledge and approachable personality to assist his student audience in the craft of writing. He was able to entertain and assist children of all ages. The visit to Sunderland was so successful that we invited Joel to our Beaverton branch during Ontario Public Library week in 2013. His author talk was very well received by children and adults alike.”
-Vicki Bruce, Outreach and Programming Coordinator, Brock Township Public Library