Arrange a School Visit with Jill
Would your school like Jill to visit? If the timing is right – if she’s not writing or editing a book! – she would be happy to consider it. Are you outside of the Halifax area? Jill can arrange to Skype and it is almost like having here there!
In winter, she would rather not travel further than the boundaries of HRM. There are no time or season restrictions for Skype calls as Jill can do these from the comfort of her office.
She prefers a classroom setting, not more than 30 students, and a teacher in attendance. The sessions are more useful, and more fun, if the teacher has read part or all of the book to the students beforehand.
“The Nine Lives of Travis Keating” – grades 4-6
“The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy” – grades 5-6
“Home Truths” – grade 7
Nix Minus One” – grade 7-8
You can get in touch with Jill to arrange a visit by emailing her Contact page.
2013 School Visits
In February 2013, I spent one morning at Bedford South School, Bedford, Nova Scotia. with two wonderful grade four classes. This is my fourth year in a row visiting grade fours in this school – and I always have a fine time.
The students in the first class had made a folding display for The Nine Lives of Travis Keating, colouring it a dull gray to look like the old fish shacks in Gulley Cove. They’d added their own comments and pictures, and cutouts of some of the characters – it was a work of art! I was very touched.
And what great questions they asked – challenging questions that made me think.
I always show as many versions of the book as I can, so this time I took along the Korean translation of Nine Lives, which I’d received earlier this year.
When I held it up, the teacher told me a new student from Korea, who spoke very little English, had just joined them and was sitting there right in front of me. So I was able to give him his own copy of the book, in a language he could read. The smile on his face brought tears to my eyes – and by the time recess came, he’d read the first two chapters.
So heartening – these cold, snowy winter days – to realize that the very first book I wrote for children is still such a big hit.
Thank you, grade fours!
2010 School Visits
In November and early December, I’ve visited (or revisited) five schools: Ian Forsyth (grade six), Bedford South (grade four), Alderney and Admiral Westphal (grades four to six) and Caledonia Junior High (grade seven). This last school was my first time for junior high, and my first presentation of Home Truths. It went well, in large part because the teacher had read about 50 pages of the book to the students already. All these visits were with the Writers in the Schools program, organized by the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia.
In the spring of 2010, I went to six other schools – Grosvenor Wentworth Park Elementary, grades 5 and 6, and Bedford South School, grade 4. Both these visits were with WITS.
The Rotary Club sponsors a Read-Along Day; I went to John MacNeil Elementary, grade 6, and had a wonderful time. …Read some more, Miss. What happens next, Miss?… Music to a writer’s ears!
Tantallon Elementary, in connection with Ann Connor Brimer Award
Gold River-Western Shore Elementary, for the Hackmatack Award. What a beautiful location for a school, right beside the ocean.
St. Catherine’s Elementary, Halifax, grades 4, 5 and 6, for WITS
I read from The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy at Word on the Street in September 2010. This year, WOTS really was on the street – on the corner of South Park Street and Spring Garden Road, to be specific. Chilly, but a fine venue. I also introduced Home Truths, my third book, and read the first five pages. Manuscript pages. The books were stuck on a courier’s truck somewhere between Ontario and Nova Scotia. This happens to writers more often than you want to know.
For the Hackmatack Award, I had a whirlwind trip to Newfoundland in the spring, reading at the public libraries in St. John’s, Corner Brook and Cormack; and visiting schools in Torbay, and in more remote Bay de Verde and Winterton. I’d specifically asked if I could go to some areas off the beaten track – one school had never had a visiting author before.
It was a lot of fun, and my hosts, all with the Library Boards of Newfoundland and Labrador, couldn’t have been kinder or more helpful.
With WITS, I’ll be visiting (or revisiting) Ian Forsyth Elementary, Bedford South Elementary, Admiral Westphal Elementary, Alderney Elementary, and Caledonia Junior High, all in November and December of 2010. I’m trying to keep the months after Christmas clear for writing!
And, finally, I’ve been chosen as one of 25 writers, illustrators and storytellers who will be touring for eight days in Canada – Ontario in my case – during TD Children’s Book Week in May 2011.
2008 and 2009 School Visits
Ian Forsyth Elementary, Dartmouth NS, grade 4 – my first school visit, and what a fine one it was. Enthusiastic students, a wonderful teacher and so many questions. A great beginning.
St. Mary’s Elementary, Halifax NS, grade 5
Holland Road Elementary, Fletcher’s Lake NS, for the Writers in the Schools program (WITS)
The following three school visits were all sponsored by the Ann Connor Brimer Award. A wonderful opportunity to meet kids in urban Newfoundland. Newton Elementary, Mount Pearl NL, grades 5 and 6; Mary Queen of Peace Elementary, St. John’s NL, grade 5 and Hazelwood Elementary, St. John’s NL, grades 5 and 6
Also for the Ann Connor Brimer Award, I visited South Woodlawn Elementary, Dartmouth NS
I read at the launch of The Nine Lives of Travis Keating at the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia in Halifax – and yes, my grandson was there. He and my granddaughter gave me flowers. Pass the Kleenex.
At Word on the Street in Halifax in September, I read from Nine Lives and Present Tense (although the actual location was indoors, near the waterfront).
I was asked to read at the Atlantic Book Fair in July in Halifax; and I was the writer chosen to attend the delivery of books to launch the Hackmatack Awards at Hawthorn School in Dartmouth (I completed grade 6 there many years ago).
Brevity of Red (poetry)
Bookstores in Winnipeg, Edmonton and Calgary, September 2003
I’ll never forget the reading in Calgary. About seven people in the audience, four of them friends, and one of the other three fell asleep. Trains kept going past, blowing their horns at the crossing. I guess this sort of thing helps keep us poets humble.
Reading at the WFNS launch, October 2003
Readings at University of New Brunswick and University of Prince Edward Island, May 2004, in connection with the Atlantic Poetry Prize
Jean Pierre Roma of the Company of the East of Isle St. Jean (historical non-fiction)
The book was launched at Government House, Charlottetown PEI, summer 2005