I've presented at dozens of professional conferences, Pro-D Days and writing festivals, including the New York State Reading Association's annual conference in Syracuse, NY, Reading for the Love of It (Toronto), Eastern Horizons (St. John's, NL), Kaleidoscope (Calgary, AB), Inspiring Writers (Whitehorse, YT), The Fun of Reading: International Forum on Canadian Children's Literature (Ottawa), WordFest: Banff-Calgary International Writers Festival, Children's BookFest (Nanaimo, BC).

I've conducted writing workshops for kids at Young Authors Conferences in Montreal, Calgary, and BC, and for adults at the University of Victoria, Vancouver Island University, Camosun College and various writing festivals.

For Adults

I speak on a variety of topics, including:

Going Undercover - The Joys and Perils of Tracking Down
    a Story

From Fishing Lure to Sinking Ship: Scenes from an Author's
    Life

What Year is This? Writing Historical Fiction without Losing
    your Mind

All aboard! A Journey through Time

How to Tell a Gripping Tale while Staying True to the Facts


As well as giving presentations, I enjoy conducting writing workshops for adults. Please contact me at for information on fees and availability, or to make a booking.


For Kids

"Dear Julie Lawson, I like the way you read with such heart and action.
It's as good as watching T.V. and much better."
Daniel, Grade 5, Vancouver BC

Another school visit? Great!

As a former elementary teacher, I love visiting schools and talking to kids about books and writing. My presentations are lively, interactive and fun — a blend of anecdotes, information, visual materials and readings, designed to suit the age of the audience.

In my talks, I explore the writing process — from idea to research, writing, and revising, not forgetting the roles of the editor, illustrator, art director and publisher. I show examples from every stage (including hands-on objects and rough drafts) and read short passages or chapters from various works. I share the stories behind the stories, and encourage questions from the audience.

"Dear Julie Lawson, I love your books and your stories.
Your improving your work."
Patrick, Grade 2, Kelowna BC

Presentations can be general (covering several of my books) or specific (discussing a book that a class is reading, or a book that fits in with the curriculum). Let me know if you have a special request! Presentations can also focus on an aspect of writing, like dialogue or character development.

Presentations are one hour, and the size of the group is normally 60, with a maximum of 75 — although I'm open to negotiations. As for age? I've presented to all ages from Kindergartens to Grade 12s. My favourites are Grades 4 to 7.

Writing workshops for kids (Grade 4 and up) are one to two hours in length. They consist of hands-on activities and fun exercises that touch on various aspects of writing, such as setting, characters, dialogue and plot. Workshops include time for students to read their work, make comments and ask questions. Maximum number is 25 students.

Please contact me at for information on fees and availability, or to make a booking.

Feedback

"Julie Lawson is extremely organized, always bringing props, and wonderful enthusiasm. Because she has an excellent understanding of what holds students' attention she is better able to communicate about the literature itself, so that it does not get lost in the presentation."

Margaret Litch,
retired Teacher Librarian (Nanaimo Ladysmith) and
recipient of the 2010 BCTLA Lifetime Achievement Award


"Ms Lawson offered a nice amount of personal detail and experience; her talk felt like a relaxed conversation with a small group instead of a large gathering of 120 in a rather impersonal auditorium. In addition to warmth and humour, Ms Lawson showed her (mostly) young audience a great deal of respect, treating their questions and writing aspirations seriously In both readings and discussion, a nice balance was struck between Ms. Lawson's picture books and novels, so that a wide range of interests and reading levels were covered. Her experience as a teacher, her talent as a writer and her obvious love for what she does all shone through in her presentation."

Julia Cox,
Youth Services Librarian,
Penticton Public Library,
Penticton BC


"Julie's unique ability to pull out ideas and spark the curiosity of even the most reluctant writer is impressive. Our grade five teacher commented on one of her students who although an avid reader, had a strong distaste for and difficulty in writing. His teacher was amazed at the boy's enthusiasm during the writing workshop with Julie, including his request to forfeit recess so that he could complete his story. This was the first time he had displayed any enjoyment in writing that entire year!"

Lynn Taylor,
Librarian, Ecole J.H. Sissons School,
Yellowknife, NT


"Julie Lawson's natural storytelling abilities wove a spell, transporting the audience to the icy black waters of the Titanic's final night. The children were rapt as Julie described the ghostly plot and could hardly wait to read the book themselves. Julie's ability to simultaneously entertain while instructing was commendable. Throughout her presentation she effortlessly taught the children the writing process from start to finish bringing it to life with examples and illustrations. Overall, the presentation was highly informative, visually interesting, and altogether wonderful."

Kathy Hammond,
Librarian,
Innisfil Public Library,
Ontario


". with the use of visuals and props, Julie led the children on a journey that really wasn't just about her; it was about them embarking on their own creative journeys, inviting them to look for stories wherever they go."

Brian Cretney,
Teacher,
Thorold, Ontario


Talking to a fan at the Victoria Children's Literature
Roundtable's 25th Anniversary (and dress-up party)

 

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