Touring In: Ontario

Craft: author

Genre: picture books, junior fiction, YA

Ideal Audience Size: 30-60

Maximum Audience Size: 200-300

Grades: Grades 3-8

Special Equipment: Overhead projector; for the “Different Formats” workshop, the kids would need scissors and glue sticks.


Shortlisted for the 2017 Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice Award
Winner of the 2015 Chocolate Lily Award

Presentation Information

Grades 4 to 8: Different Formats, Different Worlds
The Arthur Bean series is told through class assignments, emails, texts, newspaper articles, and more. Telling a story in a different format can make the story come alive. So let’s get into characters’ heads. What texts does a girl send to her secret crush? What kind of journal entries would an aspiring evil wizard write? How can email connect two characters on opposite sides of the world? Let the readers fill in the story!

In this workshop, the students will learn about using alternative narratives to find characters’ voices, as well as discuss the pros and cons of setting limitations to tell a story. Following a short presentation, students will create their own stories using emojis, and be able to develop them from there. This workshop is hands-on, and works better with small groups or in classrooms of 30 students or less.

Grades 3 to 9: A Bad Case of Writer’s Block
In this interactive school presentation, Stacey talks about how she loved to write as a kid, but often came up against a serious case of writer’s block in school, and how she tried to solve the problem with disastrous results. Sharing her original journals from grade five to nine, Stacey touches on she uses quirky characters and funny stories from real life as inspiration to craft her stories and novels. Since the “Total Genius” trilogy is all written using emails, texts and class assignments, this presentation will cover how alternative formats can help develop unique character voices. Discussion and lots of time for questions will follow.This presentation can be tailored for small or large groups.

Book List / Discography

Notes from the —– Life of a Total Genius (Scholastic Canada, 2016)

Scenes from the Epic Life of a Total Genius (Scholastic Canada, 2015)

A Year in the Life of a Total and Complete Genius (Scholastic Canada, 2014)


Stacey Matson graduated in 2012 from the University of British Columbia with a Master of Arts in Children’s Literature with a focus on creative writing. Her thesis became the first novel in her “Total Genius” trilogy, and was published by Scholastic Canada in September 2014.

But before becoming a writer, Stacey tried many different jobs. Many, many different jobs. Stacey has been, at one time or another, a forklift operator, a belly dancer, a Joan of Arc impersonator, a fairy princess, and a Christmas tree vendor. She also has created museum theatre, interpretation and school programs for the Glenbow Museum, Fort Calgary and the Military Museum in Calgary, Alberta. She moved to Ottawa in 2004, where she worked as the Parliamentary Tour Manager, and the Manager of Education Outreach for the Library of Parliament for several years.

Now living in Vancouver, Stacey currently teaches for the Creative Writing for Children Society. Stacey also volunteers as a programmer for The Writers’ Exchange, where she develops and delivers literacy programs for at-risk kids. She works part-time as an interpreter at the Vancouver Aquarium, delivering educational programs on marine life. Stacey will be spending the first three months of 2017 as the writer-in-residence at the Berton House in Dawson City, Yukon.

A Year in the Life of a Total and Complete Genius and its two sequels follow Arthur Bean and his friends and enemies through three years of middle school, exploring issues of identity, bullying and plagiarism humorously in an alternative narrative mode — through English class assignments, school newspaper articles, reading journal responses and more. A Year in the Life of a Total and Complete Genius was the winner of the 2015 Chocolate Lily Award, was a Junior Library Guild selection in 2016, and was shortlisted for the Snow Willow award, the Rocky Mountain Book Award, and the Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice award in 2015.

Twitter: @staxie


A Year in the Life of a Total and Complete Genius

  • Winner of the 2015 Chocolate Lily Award

A Year in the Life of a Total and Complete Genius

  • Shortlisted for the 2015 Snow Willow Award
  • Shortlisted for the 2016 Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice Award
  • Shortlisted for the 2016 Rocky Mountain Book Award
  • 2015 Junior Library Guild Selection

Scenes from the Epic Life of a Total Genius

  • Shortlisted for the 2017 Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice Award

Praise for Stacey Matson

“Stacey did a wonderful job of engaging our students and was able to make them laugh while teaching them a great deal about her writing process, where she gets her inspiration, the book industry and more.”
—Craig Larson, teacher, Strathcona elementary school

In addition to being a talented writer of hilarious middle grade novels, Stacey has a gift for presenting and teaching. She is patient, incredibly good-humoured and excels at “reading” an audience in order adapt her presentation style in the moment. She is also professional, well-prepared, organized and a pleasure to work with from a management perspective.
—Shannon Ozirny, Head of Youth Services, West Vancouver Library