Touring In: Ontario
Genre: Middle Grade, YA
Ideal Audience Size:
Maximum Audience Size: The size of the audience depends on the presentation.
Growing a Story – From the Seed of an Idea to a Published Book – audience can be from one class to entire school assemblies *This is my most popular presentation
Reading, Writing and Editing – How to Become a Better Writer – 75 students (3 Classes)
Developing Spy Like Writing Skills – 50 students (2 Classes) This presentation is quite interactive
Fostering Creativity – Finding and Nurturing our Inner Creative Self – Adults Audience – 50 attendees with room to write
Grades: Grades 3 – 12
Special Equipment: Flip-chart or whiteboard, overhead projector that will connect to my laptop
Winner of the 2016 Manitoba Book Award
With every school visit, Jodi’s goal is to foster students’ imaginations and to inspire children to read and write. She’s presented to groups as small as ten and to entire school-wide assemblies numbering over 500. No matter the size of the group, she encourages participants to embrace their individual passions, knowing that hard work and persistence can turn dreams into reality.
Growing a Story – From the Seed of an Idea to a Published Book
Audience: Grades 3 – 12
Growing a Story encourages students to embrace their individual passions, by showing that with hard work and persistence, dreams can be achieved. Students see how Jodi took a seed of an idea for a story and grew it into a published book. Using her middle grade novel, Family of Spies: Paris, Jodi explains how she turned a framed newspaper article about her grandfather winning the Newfoundland Rhodes Scholarship Award in 1914 and transformed it into a middle grade spy mystery. Jodi guides students along the writing journey step by step, sharing the research, edits, submission to publishing houses, rejection, perseverance, book contracts, cover design, illustrations, printing, and finally the book launch—only to begin all over again with the next novel. This is Jodi’s most popular presentation and students leave excited to write their own book.
Reading, Writing and Editing – How to Become a Better Writer
Audience: Grades 3 – 6
In this presentation, Jodi shows students that a writer’s job is to write so clearly that a reader or teacher can “see” what the writer sees in their mind. To become a better writer Jodi discusses the importance of reading, writing, thinking like a writer, using one’s senses, reading work out loud, studying other books, accepting feedback, editing and adding detail. Included in this presentation is a telling vs showing activity that explores how to make a simple sentence more dynamic. This presentation demystifies the belief that novelists, poets and song writers create something perfect with little effort and encourages students to embrace all aspects of creative writing.
Developing Spy-Like Writing Skills
Audience: Grades 3 – 6
This presentation develops students’ writing skills, by helping them think like a writer. Jodi encourages students to ask questions, keep an open mind, become observant of the world around them and engage all their senses when writing. She brings in items such as; containers of garlic, lemon, cotton balls, and mini-marshmallows to provide concrete examples to help students become keenly aware of sensory details necessary for creative writing. Using a flip chart, she records what students hear, see, touch, smell and finally taste. The workshop is concluded by exploring how students can include their own memories and feelings or a character’s memories and feelings to what has been observed/touched/smelt/heard/tasted to really make their writing pop. Students learn that it is the little details that make writing come alive and become believable.
Fostering Creativity – Finding and Nurturing our Inner Creative Self
Audience: Educators/Clinical Teams/Parents
This PowerPoint presentation assists adults to get in touch with their creative selves, through hands-on writing activities. Current research on happiness, mindfulness, and mental health show creative thinking and engaging in creative pursuits are like yoga for our mind. Creative activities decrease stress, improves and renews brain function and improves mood. However, being creative isn’t as easy as it sounds. As we grow older we often lose touch with our creative selves and may view creativity in a negative way for a variety of reasons. Jodi works through these creative road blocks and helps participants begin to see that engaging in creative thinking is as important to their mental health as exercise is to their physical health.
Faily of Spies: Paris by Jodi Carmichael, illustrated by Jamie Gatta (Yellow Dog (an imprint of Great Plains Publications) 2018)
Forever Julia by Jodi Carmichael (Yellow Dog, 2018)
Spaghetti is NOT a Finger Food and Other Life Lessons by Jodi Carmichael, illustrated by Sarah Ackerley
Award-winning author, Jodi Carmichael is a champion for the underdog and kids who think differently. Through her writing, she hopes to not only foster a love of reading in children and teens, but also to build their empathy for others.
Growing up, Jodi spent many a winter’s Saturday at Winnipeg’s downtown library, curled up in the children’s section with a stack of books by her side. The seed for becoming a writer was sewn early and nourished by her mother who was an avid reader. Although Jodi has lived most of her life in Winnipeg, she recently spent two years in Hertford, England with her family where she left a piece of her heart.
Jodi’s dreams of becoming an author began to come true when she attended her first SCBWI conference in Los Angeles in 2007 and was nominated for the Sue Alexander Most Promising New Work Award. Her chapter book, SPAGHETTI IS NOT A FINGER FOOD AND OTHER LIFE LESSONS (2013) won numerous awards including a Gold Mom’s Choice and a Silver Moonbeam in 2013. In 2016 her novel about relationship abuse, FOREVER JULIA (2015) won the Manitoba Book Award; The McNally Robinson Books for Young People Awards – Older Category and received a Bronze Moonbeam Award for Young Adult Fiction – Mature Issues. FAMILY OF SPIES – PARIS (2018) is a fast-paced middle grade historical fiction full of mystery, espionage, and humor and is garnering rave reviews including a Highly Recommended through CM Review.
In 2018, Jodi was honored to be nominated for a Winnipeg Arts Council RBC On The Rise Award for her writing and promotion of literacy to Winnipeg youth. She also visits classrooms, libraries, or entire school assemblies to talk about reading, writing, and editing, hoping to inspire Canadian students to explore their own creativity. When not channeling characters from her books, Jodi can be found strolling Manitoba beaches with her family.
- Winner of the 2016 Manitoba Book Award – McNally Robinson Books for Young People Award – Older Category
- Winner of the 2016 Bronze Moonbeam Award – Young Adult Fiction – Mature Themes
Spaghetti is NOT a Finger Food and Other Life Lessons
- Winner of the 2013 Gold Mom’s Choice Award
- Winner of the 2013 Silver Moonbeam Award – Best First Book – Best Chapter Book
- Winner of the 2013 Silver Benjamin Franklin Award
- Winner of the 2013 Publishing Professionals Network Recognition of Merit
Short-Listed for the Following Writing Awards:
- 2018 – The Winnipeg Arts Council – The RBC on the Rise Award
- 2016 – The Manitoba Book Awards – The John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer
- 2007 – The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators – The Sue Alexander Most Promising New Work Award
“Students were engaged as Jodi shared her experiences as a young reader and writer in elementary school, even bringing samples of her earliest work to share! The PowerPoint presentation that accompanied the workshop included photographs and images that helped the students to make connections with what Jodi was sharing. Likely, the favourite part was when Jodi guided them through a writing activity, drawing on their five senses, and using props to deepen their experience. Jodi modelled the writing process through a shared writing activity, honouring the ideas and abilities of all the students. This workshop built upon and expanded the work we have been doing as a school to improve writing skills. Our students came away inspired and excited about reading and writing because of this personal connection with a local published author.
I would highly recommend Jodi Carmichael as a presenter!”
— Trish Steadman, Teacher Librarian, Ecole Crane
“This past school year, my school ‘adopted’ Jodi and her middle grade novel, ‘Family of Spies’ in order to be part of the birth of her book baby. Seventy-two grade 4/5 students followed the book’s journey from manuscript to published novel. As a teacher, it was heart-warming to see how excited the students were when they knew Jodi was visiting. Jodi’s rapport with students was confident and relaxed. Her presentations were organized and included visuals and artifacts to make it personal for our students.
At the book launch, which was outside of school hours, almost half of the students attended with their families. One student created a book trailer for Jodi and others built an Eiffel Tower which she displayed at the launch. The impact Jodi had on our students last year was lasting.”
— Colleen Nelson, Teacher Librarian, Beaumont School
“Ms. Carmichael brought energy and enthusiasm to her workshop, which included reading excerpts from the book and providing signed posters and bookmarks to students. Not only was her reading engaging, she also allowed the children to share moments of laughter and reflection with her. Ms. Carmichael finished the seminar with a dynamic question and answer time for the students, and she shared her personal life as an author and her passion for literature of all genres. Her talk was also motivational, as she imparted the message of encouraging all students to chase their dreams and goals, regardless of physical, emotional or financial limitations. This was particularly pertinent to the inner-city students.”
— Kristin Stewart, Resource Support Teacher, Ecole Sacre-Coeur
“Jodi was well prepared, very at ease with the students and full of excitement. Our staff would eagerly recommend Jodi’s high powered and insightful workshop for any other school.”
— Claire Sutton, Teacher, Stanley Knowles School