Touring In: Alberta

Craft: Author

Genre: Junior Fiction, YA Fiction, Non-Fiction

Ideal Audience Size: 25-250

Maximum Audience Size: 250 (25 for writing workshops_

Grades: Grades 4-8 (presentations should be divided into Grades 4-6 and Grades 7-8)

Special Equipment: Projector



Shortlisted for the 2018 Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award
Shortlisted for the 2018 Rocky Mountain Book Awards
Shortlisted for the 2018 Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice Award (MYRCA)
Shortlisted for the 2018 Sunburst Award


Presentation Information

My Path To Publication (Grades 4+)
Exciting, engaging, and interactive, Marina takes students along on her bumpy road toward publication. Though students will laugh out loud, the ultimate message they will take away is one of perseverance. Using audience participation and drama, she includes a mini-workshop demonstrating four techniques young writers can use to build suspenseful scenes.

The Facts in my Fiction (Grades 7+)
Using her novel, Mind Gap, Marina demonstrates the writing process from conception to publication—a process which began as a real-life creepy incident in Europe twenty years earlier and developed through various forms and genres including a short story, a French play, and ultimately a YA novel. With audience participation, she includes a mini-workshop on voice.

Plot: What is it and where can I get one? (Grades 4+)
Plots are like skeletons holding stories upright and keeping them strong. Some say there are 7 types of plot—others claim only 2. If this is true, how do writers continue to create fresh works of fiction? Using her novels as well as other popular works of fiction, plus a touch of drama and a dash of humour, Marina reveals the various types of plot and how writers might use these basic structures to craft their own new and exciting stories.

7 Keys and 7 Secrets of THE INN BETWEEN (Grades 4+)
This presentation is exclusively for groups who are familiar with The Inn Between. The 7 secrets include some fun and shocking facts about the novel as well as major plot changes (and SPOILERS!) that occurred during various rounds of editing. The ultimate message? Edit, edit, edit. And when you’re done, edit some more.

Other available Workshops:

  • The Plot, Pace, and Pourquoi? of Paranormal Writing
  • Getting Published 101: 10 DOs and DON’Ts for emerging writers
  • Parent workshop: Encouraging Literacy at Home
  • Bullying: Who has the power to stop it? (Marina uses her novel Chasing the White Witch as well as her personal experience published in the anthology DEAR BULLY: Seventy Authors tell their stories)


Book List

A Box of Bones
Roaring Brook Press, 2019

The Doll’s Eye
(Roaring Brook Press, 2017)

The Inn Between
(Roaring Brook Press, 2016)

Deserts, Inside and Out
(Crabtree Publishing, 2014)

Chasing the White Witch
(Dundurn Press, 2011)

Mind Gap
(Dundurn Press, 2011)

Shaping Modern Science: What is Cell Theory
(Crabtree Publishing, 2011)

The Science of Nutrition: Why We Need Vitamins
(Crabtree Publishing, 2011)

Changing Cultural Landscapes: Investigating Human Migration
(Crabtree Publishing, 2010)

Ghost Ride
(Dundurn Press, 2009)



Marina was born and raised in Scarborough, Ontario where she spent far too much time asking herself What if?

Ever since she can remember, she has loved a good fright whether it arrive in the form of a story, a movie, a thrill ride, or a disembodied whisper in a cold dark room. Horror, mystery, Sci-fi, and fantasy draw her like a moth to a flame.

She loves old castles, dusty books, hot cocoa, thunderstorms, mysterious doors of all shapes and sizes, and for some reason she has developed a rather unhealthy obsession with gingerbread.

She has forever been fascinated with notions of time and space, good and evil, order and chaos, the capriciousness of life, the mysteries of death (though she writes for younger audiences, do not make the mistake of believing all her characters make it out of her stories unscathed!) and all that lies in the vast unknown universe.

In elementary school, her favourite author was Edgar Allen Poe. She absolutely loved The Tell-Tale Heart and The Pit and the Pendulum and aspired to write similar stories.



The Inn Between

  • Shortlisted for the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award, 2018
  • Shortlisted for the Rocky Mountain Book Awards, 2018
  • Shortlisted for the Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice Award, 2018
  • Shortlisted for the Sunburst Award, 2018
  • Shortlisted for the Troybery Awards, 2017
  • Junior Library Guild Selection, 2017
  • Ontario Library Association’s Best Bet, 2017
  • Amazon Book of the Month, March 2016

Ghost Ride

  • Shortlisted for the Ontario Library Association’s Red Maple Award



“Marina Cohen is a captivating speaker who is able to capture the attention of children and youth during her presentations, while simultaneously giving them the confidence which undoubtedly helps inspire them to pursue their own dreams of writing.”

—James Murchison, Senior Branch Head, York Woods Branch (Toronto Public Library)

“We would love to have Marina return again next year. I recommend her highly.”

—Gary Kohl, Literacy Week coordinator, Unionville Montessori School

“Marina is a fabulous presenter! She uses humour and drama to captivate the students and deliver important messages while thoroughly keeping them entertained.”

—Joan Miyata, Librarian, Stonebridge Public School

“Marina is a very inspirational writer and an engaging presenter. Students continue talking about her presentation and the discoveries they made for themselves as a result.”

—Nataliya Brylynska, Librarian, Elia Middle School