Author Visits

Book me for a visit.

What do I love most about the writing life? Talking to kids about the writing life. Things might be looking a bit different right now, so please know that all of these talks and workshops are offered online too! (And yep, you get to see my funky office where all the magic happens!)

Here’s what you need to know to book me for your school or library. And while this is a current list of presentations, I’m also happy to cater a talk for your class based on any of my books, or do a more traditional author-reader Q&A visit.

Presentations offered now

What's up with fads and trends? ONLINE 

Would you ever swallow a live goldfish? Pour a bucket of ice water over your head? Wear seriously ugly shoes? Who would do that? And — more importantly — why? Trends may seem trivial on the surface, but they have the power to make regular people do pretty irregular things! Jump into the frenzied world of viral videos and songs, faddish food and clothes, and even dangerous crazes! Coming together online, Trending: How and Why Stuff Gets Popular (Owlkids, 2020) author Kira Vermond and illustrator Clayton Hanmer tell (and draw!) stories about how fads take off and spread, how they can be crafted to lure you in — and how to recognize bandwagon behaviour the minute you see it. (The pandemic toilet paper craze, anyone?)

Length 45 minutes
For ages 8-13

We’re all liars! (And that’s normal)

You were probably taught that honesty is the best policy. So why do your parents ask you to pretend you like all your birthday gifts, even Aunt Dora’s knitted dinosaur sweater? Does “being polite” mean lying? And aren’t card players encouraged to bluff when they play poker? Talk about mixed messages! This fun and thoughtful presentation will guide students (grades 4-7) through the ethically complex maze we call deception – and will explore how lies actually touch every aspect of our lives.

From the moment we jump out of bed in the morning until we climb back in at night, we’re living with so many different sneaky lies, cheats, frauds, and deceptions, we don’t even realize they’re there! We’ll cover food fraud, bogus advertising, the placebo effect – and whether it’s ethical for doctors to prescribe sugar pills or even give fake shots – online trickery and cheating at school (plus how to stop). Finally, we’ll prove there’s a *100% accurate lie detection method that can spot liars big and small.

From spaghetti farmers in Switzerland, to rattlesnakes in ball pits (eek!) and compulsive liars who just can’t stop, this interactive and fascinating session based on Kira’s new book, Half-truths and Brazen Lies: An Honest Look at Lying, will give students something to think about long after it’s over. (Honest!)

*About 50% of the time.

Let’s talk money!

Credit cards, bartering and yap stones. What do they have in common? They’re all part of my dynamic presentation for schools and libraries. With money and personal finance getting more airplay at schools across Canada and the U.S., I make the curriculum come to life with fun stories, weird anecdotes and audience participation. Kids check out a counterfeit bill, discuss the downside to winning the lottery, and examine their own values and beliefs about what makes a person rich. After this presentation, students will never look at a can of beans or a bag of jellybeans in the same way again! (Schedule a visit to find out why….)

I want to be a writer, but what should I write?

This hands-on workshop gives new writers tools, tricks and tips to get them writing their stories in no time. I’m a big believer in “race writing” where students are given a few topics to choose from, 15 minutes and lots of encouragement. By the end of the 2-hour session, each student will have a short story to show for it and feel energized to keep writing in his or her spare time. I’m happy to follow up with classes later through email or Skype and even send new writing assignments to spark their creativity throughout the year.

Non-fiction is anything but booor-ing! 

Quick! Why do humans live on this planet and not on another one? What does your brain have in common with a rat’s brain? Why are some countries rich and others poor? Kira Vermond has answered all of these questions in her books — and many, many more — and will give you the inside scoop on what it’s really like to write non-fiction. (Hint: Curiosity helps!) She’ll take you through the life cycle of a book and magazine article, and will tackle topics such as: Where do ideas come from? How do you interview people and get them to spill the beans? Is it even possible to make boring statistics and facts sound interesting? Leave your yawns at home. This exciting workshop will get you thinking about the world in a whole new way.

Thanks for your interest!