Touring In: Ontario

Craft: Author

Genre: Middle Grade, YA, Non-Fiction

Ideal Audience Size: 30-60

Maximum Audience Size: No maximum with a microphone

Grades: Grades 3 – 8

Special Equipment:

For presentations to children: a small desk or table for props.

For presentations to adults: a projector.



Winner of the 2018 Montaigne Medal


Presentation Information

Writing to Change the World (ideal for middle-grade students)
I love to write about people who take risks and achieve great things. In this fast-paced presentation, I use excerpts from several of my books to explore the reasons people decide to pursue unusual goals, what characteristics help them succeed, and how their actions change the world. Along the way, there are plenty of questions and answers, a chance to act out one of the stories, a crime tableau in which the audience serves as jury, and a few crowd-sourced sound effects. In the last portion of the presentation, we decide what wisdom we can take from the over-achievers of the past.


Science Superheroes (for middle-grade and high-school students)
This is a tour through decades of scientific discovery. With skits, silly sound effects, and some highly scientific (?) pipe-cleaner props, we examine the lives of history’s geniuses. Students explore the science of stress, basics of DNA and heredity, and even the science behind survival situations. Then, by examining our collection of stories, we look at whether scientific breakthroughs are made with actual genius, or whether they’re the result of extreme dedication. It’s possible that the heroes of science made their world-changing discoveries by using pure old-fashioned determination.


The Idea Factory (a writing workshop for groups of up to 60 students)

How do you come up with an idea? How can you tell if it’s good? And then how do you explain your concept to others? In The Idea Factory, we take brainstorming to a whole new level with some crazy props and craft supplies. Then, once we’ve created our own inventions, we hone them through mock elevator pitches. Finally, we add characters and conflict to turn our inventions into stories. By the end of this fast-paced, slightly silly workshop, students will be able to transform their ideas into fun, dramatic stories.


Book List

Mya’s Strategy to Save the World  (Penguin Random House, 2019)


Under Pressure by Tanya Lloyd Kyi, illustrated by Marie-Ève Tremblay (Kids Can Press, 2019)


Prince of Pot (Groundwood, 2017)


Shadow Warrior, illustrated by Celia Krampien (Annick Press, 2017)


Eyes and Spies, illustrated by Belle Wuthrich (Annick, 2017)


Extreme Battlefields, illustrated by Drew Shannon (Annick, 2016)


DNA Detective, illustrated by Lil Crump (Annick, 2015)


When the Worst Happens, illustrated by David Parkins (Annick, 2014)


50 Body Questions, illustrated by Ross Kinnaird (Annick, 2014)


Anywhere But Here (Simon and Schuster, 2013)


50 Underwear Questions, illustrated by Ross Kinnaird (Annick, 2011)


50 Poisonous Questions, illustrated by Ross Kinnaird (Annick, 2011)


50 Burning Questions, illustrated by Ross Kinnaird (Annick, 2010)


Canadian Girls Who Rocked the World: Revised Edition (Whitecap, 2009)


Canadian Boys Who Rocked the World (Whitecap, 2007)




Tanya writes both fiction and non-fiction, often choosing topics related to science, pop culture, and social history. She enjoys combining factual research with intriguing narratives, or the life stories of interesting folks.

Tanya began her writing career as a high-school poet, producing pages and pages of terrible poems that only her best friend read. Her love of writing took her to the University of Victoria, where she studied creative writing and English. Tanya’s early jobs were as a small-town newspaper reporter and as a staff writer for the Commonwealth Games. She also worked as an editor and graphic designer before turning to children’s books full-time.

Tanya likes to bake, read, and play tennis. Her favourite meal is breakfast, her favourite color is blue, and her favourite children’s book is A Wrinkle in Time.

Her most recent works are Under Pressure (Kids Can), a non-fiction look at the science of stress, and Mya’s Strategy to Save the World (Penguin Random House), the fictional story of one girl’s quest to (a) get her own phone and (b) win the Nobel Prize.

Tanya grew up in Creston, B.C., but now lives in Vancouver with her husband and two children.



Prince of Pot

  • Shortlisted for the 2019 White Pine Award


Eyes and Spies

  • Winner of the 2018 Montaigne Medal
  • Shortlisted for the 2019 Canadian Children’s Literature Roundtables Information Book Award
  • Shortlisted for the 2018 Science in Society Book Award


DNA Detective

  • Shortlisted for the 2016 Canadian Children’s Literature Roundtables Information Book Award
  • Shortlisted for the 2015 Science in Society Book Award
  • Shortlisted for the 2016 Red Cedar Award
  • Shortlisted for the 2017 Red Maple Award



“It was an absolute pleasure to work with Tanya. Together, we organized a speaker tour across ten of our regional libraries. We received comments of overwhelming delight and praise for her presentations. I had the pleasure of listening to her talk twice – and enjoyed it enormously both times! Tanya is an engaging storyteller who captivates her audiences (whether they are children or adults).  The children were engrossed in her stories, delighted by her jokes, and eager to participate in her highly interactive presentations. After the presentation, many of the children wanted the opportunity to speak with her. Tanya is an excellent speaker. I cannot use enough superlatives to describe how much we enjoyed working with her.”

— Rachel Burke, Fraser Valley Regional Library


“Tanya would be an asset to any conference, tour, or organization wishing to engage students in reading and writing. I have witnessed her presentations first-hand and, as the conference organizer, I’ve read the student reviews of her workshops. Tanya is a top presenter at our conference and the students all come away energized and enthusiastic after attending her workshops. I highly recommend Tanya Kyi.”

—Cheryl Angst, Young Writers’ Conference, BC School District 43