Touring In: Ontario

Craft: author

Genre: junior fiction, YA, teen, hi-lo

Ideal Audience Size: 10-80

Maximum Audience Size: 100

Grades: Kindergarten-Grade 12

Special Equipment: Overhead projector, materials listed with workshop descriptions.


2015 Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize Finalist
2015 OLA White Pine Award Finalist

Presentation Information

Grades 1 to 12: Collage Poems
(Suitable for small groups (10-12) or groups with extra adults to supervise)

The hour long workshop blends art and poetry with social awareness. Using discarded fashion, home or sports magazines, students cut apart advertising copy phrases to re-use them in positive affirming ways, disconnected from their consumerist messages. The workshop includes discussion of advertising messages and how misleading they can be. Materials required are one discarded magazine per student (minimum), scissors, glue sticks and construction paper. Embellishments such as glitter or stickers are optional (younger kids tend to like them). See some collage poems here.

The workshop is adaptable to all ages and especially suitable for inclusion in poetry core studies. For younger kids the session will be combined with a read aloud from Pandas on the Eastside.

Grades 4 to 8: Live Like A Hero
(45-60 minutes; minimum 20 students, no maximum)

One of the goals of this presentation is to diffuse the idea that some kids are readers and some are not. So we begin simply by asking the question – who here likes reading? Usually about half the hands go up. I get them to name some of their favorite books. Often even the “non-readers” have read some of these: Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, etc.

We discuss the heroes of these stories and how they live? What are their goals? Do they have “normal” lives? Sometimes, sometimes not. But certainly no one would want to read a book about a kid who did nothing but get up, eat breakfast, go to school, come home do their homework, eat dinner, watch TV and go to bed.

The discussion engages both enthusiastic readers and reluctant readers because we talk a lot about what activities they enjoy and how they approach those activities. The discussion includes several readings from the author’s books as well as time for questions. It is suggested teachers ask the kids to prepare questions beforehand

Grades 9 to 12: Introduction to Narrative Verse
(1 hour; 10-60 students)

In this workshop students will learn about narrative verse, or “verse novels” such as the author’s books Audacious and Capricious. They will be exposed to some surprising poetic forms including haiku film reviews, collage and found poetry, book spine poetry and Google poetry. The presentation includes readings from the author’s books, short exercises and a question and answer period.

Students will attempt film/book review haiku and either parallel or found poetry. Some print-outs required.

This workshop can be combined with the collage poetry workshop for a two hour session. It is suitable for inclusion in core poetry studies.

Book List

Zero Repeat Forever (Simon & Schuster, 2017)

Pinch Me (Orca Book Publishers, 2017)

Pandas on the Eastside (Orca Book Publishers, 2016)

The Frail Days (Orca Book Publishers, 2015)

Capricious (Orca Book Publishers, 2014)

Audacious (Orca Book Publishers, 2013)

Wicket Season (Lorimer, 2012)

Hildegarde (HarperCollins Australia, 2002)


Gabrielle is an author, teacher and designer living in Vancouver, BC. She has wanted to be a writer since before she knew how to write. Gabrielle’s first (incomplete) attempt at novel writing was titled To the Castle, started (and abandoned) at age 11. It was truly dreadful. When Gabrielle took creative writing in high school she attained a final grade of 68%. She has never quite gotten over it. Against all odds, Gabrielle became a successful author anyway.

Gabrielle’s middle grade novel, Wicket Season was published in the spring of 2012 with Lorimer Publishers. Audacious and its sequel Capricious were published by Orca Books in 2013 and 2014 respectively. In 2015, Orca published her YA novel, The Frail Days. Pandas of the East Side will be published in the fall of 2016, followed by Pinch Me, in the spring of 2017, and a science fiction YA series beginning with Zero Repeat Forever (Simon & Schuster) in the fall of 2017.

Gabrielle is the writer of the feature film Hildegarde (2002), starring Richard E Grant. Hildegarde was also published as a novel by HarperCollins Australia. While in Australia, Gabrielle wrote for the cartoon series Gloria’s House and Fairy Tale Police Department and worked on the drama series White Collar Blue.

She has written for a wide variety of magazines, zines and blogs for both adults and children. A regular commentator on and the 20,000 member NanoWrimo Facebook Group, Gabrielle also designs book covers for independent authors and small publishers. She is a creative writing teacher and mentor specializing in helping gifted young writers (ages 11 to 21), reluctant writers of all ages and pre-literate writers up to age 7. Gabrielle blogs and rants at and

Gabrielle lives in Vancouver with her husband, daughter and two chickens.

Facebook Fan Page | Blog


The Frail Days

  • Best Books for Kids & Teens 2015 selection


  • Shortlisted for the Sheila Egoff Prize (BC Book Prizes)
  • Selected for Poetry in Transit Vancouver 2015


  • Finalist for the White Pine Award
  • Winner of the Westchester Book Awards
  • Finalist for the Canadian Library Association’s Young Adult Book Award
  • Resource Links “The Year’s Best”  2013
  • Best Books for Kids & Teens 2014 selection
  • CBC “100 YA Books That Make You Proud to be Canadian 2015” List

Praise for Gabrielle Prendergast

“I would highly recommend you to anyone who is looking for a teen author to come and speak to students and teach them how to create poetry that is both engaging and thought provoking.”
—Carol Ann Welch, Branch Head 1, Pleasant View Branch, Toronto Public Library (Toronto, ON)

“Her thoughtful and energetic approach, which involves both activities and discussion, captures student interest.”
—Alan Clark, Spectrum Community School (Victoria, BC)