I've given presentations and workshops at many schools and libraries, and at conferences and festivals including:
TD Canadian Children's Book Week 2018
Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading Awards Week (Silver Birch), Toronto
Ottawa Public Library "One School, One Book" program, featuring my novel Lost in the Backyard
Hackmatack Atlantic Canada Award week, Halifax
Story Avenue 2017, Young Alberta Book Society, Edmonton
Calgary Young Writers Conference, Calgary
Young Alberta Book Society's Taleblazers Festival, Alberta
Monsignor Fee Otterson Young Authors Conference, Edmonton
Word on the Street Festival, Toronto
Writers in the Schools program, Canadian Authors Association, Edmonton and area
Sherwood Park Young Author's Conference 2017
I have been a writing mentor and manuscript editor for adults with the Writers' Guild of Alberta, and work as a casual Writing Advisor/Editor at the University of Alberta's Academic Success Centre.
All my presentations and workshops are relaxed and interactive. Please contact me for booking, or for developing a presentation tailored to your group.
Presentations, Workshops and Festivals:
A Few Reviews:
"Thanks so much for your fantastic presentation! Your dynamic enthusiasm for writing is infectious and I'm sure you've inspired many budding authors today (including me!). Thank you for sharing your books, your insights and your passion!"
- Sian Vadnais, librarian, Mundare School
"The teachers commented that she was great with all of the kids, and that her presentations were lively and engaging... We appreciated that Alison gave us examples of her ideas for her books and how they led to the production of the stories. Alison is very easy going, approachable and has a great sense of humor; making it a great environment for the kids to relax and ask their questions...A lot of the kids, when asked, thought she was amazing. Everyone was extremely impressed with the presentations and we are so very thankful to Alison for coming out to share her life and stories with us." (Young Alberta Book Society Taleblazers Festival 2016 evaluation by a host librarian)
"Alison was upbeat, vibrant, fun, very approachable and brought a great personal level of interaction and relatability to her presentation. She really got the kids engaged with her "pick a card" strategy, where she had students pick a playing card that had either a funny phrase or a "prize winner" on it. The phrase related to a funny writing story or strategy that she had used in her writing, and demonstrated to the kiddos that they might use it too... inspiration can come from anywhere! She kept all the kids, even the Jr. Highs and teachers, engaged, smiling, laughing and learning without even knowing it in her wonderful easygoing manner." (Young Alberta Book Society Taleblazers Festival 2016 evaluation by a host librarian)
“Alison Hughes is excited about her writing and eager to share that enthusiasm with others. A warm and friendly speaker, she engages her audience with fun interactive activities and a relaxed reading style. She also welcomes all questions, which she answers openly, honestly, and with great advice for aspiring writers.”
- Jeff Mercer, M.L.I.S (Librarian, South Shore Public Libraries, Nova Scotia)
"We were fortunate to have Alison Hughes visit our school. She presented to different grade groupings and was able to engage each group. She was able to connect with the students even though the groups were large. Teachers were impressed with Alison's presentations. She has ignited a desire to read and students are asking to borrow her books. Always a happy moment for the librarian and teachers. Alison was a pleasure to work with and very flexible. Alison is professional, yet able to connect with the students of all ages. We will definitely considering inviting her back for another author visit."
- Jane Burri Py (Learning Commons Librarian, St. Basil Elementary/Junior High School)
Teachers and Principals:
"Our grade 3 classes enjoyed visiting author, Alison Hughes very much! She enthusiastically engaged her audience with a fun and interactive activity. She exuded her love for writng and shared how she gets her inspiration. Some comments from students..."I enjoyed hearing about her reviews from publishers"..."I liked the question game"..."I liked learning that gerbils were illegal in Austrailia"... I believe the students will look forward to reading her books and be inspired in their own writing! Thank you Alison for visiting our school!"
- Grade 3 teacher (Mount Pleasant School, Edmonton)
"Thank you for coming to York Street P.S. today! You had such an easy manner with the kids, they so enjoyed you and were buzzing about it for the rest of the day. All of the teachers commented on what an opportunity it was for so many of our classes to benefit. I am really enjoying reading Lost in the Backyard with my class, especially all the fruitful discussions we are having, when until this novel, they were so shy to share."
- Anita Hiradhar (Grade 7 teacher, York Street Public School, Ottawa)
“Alison Hughes’ presentation to Grade Four students at Halifax Grammar last month was a pleasure. Alison talked about the characters and events in Poser in such an engaging way that the children were keen to get their hands on a copy right away. Moreover, Alison also responded to the children’s many questions about the writing process, how ideas have come to her over the years and how to get published. A number of our students are very serious about their interest in writing and exposure to a ‘real author’ helps bring the possibilities to life. Thank you, Alison – we’d love to have you back at Grammar whenever you return to the Maritimes.”
- Linden Gray (Head of Prep, Halifax Grammar, Halifax, Nova Scotia)
“I had the privilege to have Alison Hughes, author of the book Poser, come as a guest author to present to my grade 4 class. Alison presented her knowledge of writing in a meaningful way that 9 and 10 year olds would understand. They were very interested to hear her writing strategies as well as how books go through the editing process. A very important concept in grade 4! I found Alison to be caring and loving with the students. She answered all the questions the kids asked with honest answers. She showed enthusiasm towards writing and how she got her ideas to write stories. When reading to the students, she had them captivated in the story. They wanted to hear more. She had the students engaged in her writing process and in her story she was currently working on. They were motivated to get writing their own adventure stories.”
- Donna Hayden (Grade 4 teacher, École Père Kenneth Kearns School, Sherwood Park)
“Alison was very engaging and comfortable working with the students. They responded well to her… Alison was not only informative, but warm, funny and attentive to the students. My students loved Alison and greatly enjoyed their time with her. She was very engaging and really showed that she knows how to interact with students; she talked to them at their level and kept their interest for the entire time that she was in the classroom. Alison was energetic, enthusiastic and warm; when she read to the class, they were fascinated, not only with her story but also with her presentation.”
- Donna Ainslie-O’Connor (Grade 3 teacher, Brookwood School, Spruce Grove, Alberta)
“The presentation was fun and interactive. She read us some of her books and they were funny and really interesting and well-written. She talked to us about dialogue and made it fun. At the end, she let us have complete freedom in our questions. It was a totally awesome presentation.”
- Sarah Rabby (Grade 4 student, École Père Kenneth Kearns School, Sherwood Park)
"I really liked your presentation. I don't like reading, but I think I am going to love your next book. I think your other books are fantastic and everyone would like them. I think you're a great writer and person." (Kaden T., grade 5)
"I liked how nice you were and you inspired me to write a book one day! Thank you so much for telling us all about writing." (Addison, grade 5)
"I got to listen to your wonderful presentation, and I would like for you to come and present again. Your books sound like they come from deep down in your head." (Brenden, grade 5)
"My most favorite part of the presentation was when I got to pick a card and how you said gerbils are illegal in Australia. Who would think of that! Thank you so much for coming to our school. So far, you're the best author I have heard at this school!" (Anna, grade 4)