Available for virtual visits in : British Columbia, Alberta, New Brunswick & Nunavut

Craft: Author

Genre: Middle-grade Fiction/Teen Fiction

Target Audience: Grades 4 – 12

Cost for School and Public Virtual Workshop Program with CCBC subsidy: $200.00



Virtual Workshop Information

This a two-part workshop where we go through some examples of great dystopic fiction and then break it down into three working sections: plot/setting, characters and story arcs. Each working sections starts with a 15 minute discussion about the phase of writing, and then we do some guided writing (with a handout). I will then circulate through the group while they are doing the guided writing parts to draw out elements of the phase of writing. The afternoon section includes the 15 minute discussion and demo of how a story arc is built, using sticky notes (or Jamboard if we’re doing it virtually) to move the characters through the story. There are slides on the screen and questions can (and should!) be asked throughout. There may be an optional Q&A and/or book giveaway to end the session.

This is a 45-minute presentation. I talk about the path from imagination to creation (this is visualized for the class on the screen) and how too often artists can get stuck between the two. I take them through the steps from an idea to a produced piece – whether it’s writing, or art or music. The point is to encourage that next step – actual creation – so I share some of my process in creating videos, books and art with an emphasis on the maxim that creativity takes courage and they all have it in them.
3. HISTORY TALKS: Research and Writing Fiction (Grades 10-12)
This is a half-hour presentation with half an hour of discussion. Tapping into the curriculum for high school in Canada, we focus our talk on Portia Adams’ time – the 1930s in Canada and in London. This is a Prezi visualized presentation, giving the students a view into the culture, social mores and political ideals of the day with a particular focus on what it was like to be a woman in the time between the two world wars. After the presentation, I open up the floor to Q&A about the time period. We wrap up the presentation with a discussion about research, sourcing and writing and how it pertains to both fiction and non-fiction writing. The class is encouraged to talk about their own experiences with researching history and I lead the discussion towards them trying some historical fiction of their own based on their interest in history.
This is an hour-long workshop with a half-hour presentation and then half an hour of classwork/ discussion. We talk about what makes a great mystery story – from the simple to the complex, breaking down the elements; this presentation uses a custom infographic as a visual aid. I do a brief reading of Portia ‘deducing’ something in a scene, as an example. VARIATION A: We break into groups of 4 and start constructing a mystery story plot. Students receive a handout with questions that take them through the steps. VARIATION B: We take a look at three detectives from fiction (Nancy Drew, Temperance Brennan, and Portia Adams) and talk about their characters and what makes them tick. This is a highly visual presentation with lots of interaction from the audience.

Book List

ValHamster (DCB, 2022)
Trip of the Dead (DCB, 2021)
The Detective and the Spy (Cormorant, 2020)
Pickles vs the Zombies (DCB, 2019)
No Matter How Improbable (Fierce Ink Press, 2016)
Thrice Burned (Fierce Ink Press, 2015)
Jewel of the Thames (Fierce Ink Press, 2014)


ANGELA MISRI is an award-winning digital journalist, novelist, and instructor with more than twenty years of experience, fourteen of them with the CBC and now as the digital director for The Walrus. She is also the author of seven books, including the 2021 Hackmatack fiction winner, Pickles vs the Zombies and the Portia Adams Adventure series.


Pickles vs the Zombies
  • Winner of the 2021 Hackmatack fiction award
  • Shortlisted for the 2021 MYCRA Sun Dogs award
Jewel of the Thames
  • Shortlisted for the 2014 Crime Writers of Canada Best Juvenile or YA Crime Book


“Misri spoke from the heart, and pulled no punches. She urged all my students to see their own value, and to never sell themselves short. She also offered to answer any follow-up queries, and ended by reminding them of the value of connections and mutual support. Unsurprisingly, the students loved her; she is genuine, and they recognized this. After class, several of them thanked me for having her as a guest.”
—Dr. Romayne Smith Fullerton, University of Western Ontario

“It has been an honour for our class to host Angela Misri, author of the Portia Adams series in our classroom. Angela is comfortably able to draw in all students within the classroom in a dynamic way as she varies her sharing throughout the presentation. The combination of passages read from her books, to showing video clips, having a question and answer period along with her enthusiastic, passionate presentation style captives all students. She eloquently discusses her journey as a writer and the various obstacles or opportunities that she has encountered over the years; both as a student and now as an author.”
—Zelia Capitao-Tavares, OCT, MEd, Elementary Teacher
“Angela’s visit proved to be a resounding success. She won over my students with her cheerful disposition and personal anecdotes from her life as a writer. She spoke candidly and confidently about her experiences in writing her book and offered students valuable advice about the craft of writing in general. Based on the questions posed throughout her visit as well as on the feedback given to me afterwards, Angela inspired several of the young minds in my class. Furthermore, I believe they appreciated how approachable she was, and how intently she listened to questions and offered honest responses.”
—Leo Scire, Department Head of English, Tommy Douglas Secondary School