Funded by the Ontario Arts Council and the Government of Ontario, the Union’s Writers-in-the-Schools (WITS) program provides funding for in-person or live virtual author presentations in Ontario’s schools. This program allows authors and students to connect while providing an honorarium to the author for their time. Applicants must be members of The Writers' Union of Canada.

Funding is now available for 2024-2025 Fall/Winter Ontario school presentations. Get paid for your in-person or virtual school visits taking place September 1, 2024 – March 28, 2025. Deadline: July 15, 2024. Please read the information below carefully before applying.

 

Information for Authors

This program supports authors to deliver in-person or virtual presentations in Ontario's schools. Applicants must be members of The Writers' Union of Canada. Authors apply directly for funding.
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Information for Schools

Schools are not eligible to apply. Teachers who wish to host an author presentation must contact the author and request they apply for funding through this program. Information about connecting with participating authors can be found below.
LIST OF PARTICIPATING AUTHORS

Writers-in-the-Schools Across Canada

Click here for information about similar programs that cater to schools outside of Ontario.

WHO CAN PARTICIPATE

Authors participating in this program must be members of the Union. This program provides funding for author appearances in Ontario’s schools. If you are visiting an Ontario school, you are eligible to apply. Each member is eligible for up to four visits per fiscal year (April 1 – March 31), however members can only apply for up to two readings per funding period.

Each school is eligible for three presentations per fiscal year (April 1 – March 31) and up to two readings per funding period. Funding from this program supports presentations for elementary and secondary schools in Ontario. Post-secondary institutions are not eligible.

Funding periods: Applications for Fall/Winter readings (September 1 – March 31) typically open in June and applications for Spring/Summer readings (April 1 – August 31) typically open in January. 

Please note: Applications received usually exceed available funding and it may not be possible to fund all applications. Do not submit more applications than you are eligible for. 

PROGRAM DETAILS

Participating authors will deliver an in-person or live virtual presentation as agreed upon with the teacher.

When applying for funding, authors must have an arrangement with the school to participate in the program. You do not need an exact date but the reading must take place within 30 days of the proposed date on your application.

A school visit is considered 1-2 hours of professional time for an author, presentation time included.

Please note: WITS program funding is provided to encourage classroom engagement with literary work, and is in no way an endorsement of opinions or activities of anyone accessing the funding.

INFORMATION FOR CONTACTING AUTHORS

There are two ways for schools to contact authors:

  • Use the list of participating authors to check the author’s profile for an email address.
  • Send an email to the author care of The Writers’ Union of Canada to info@writersunion.ca.

Author contact information is intended for booking purposes only. Please respect authors’ privacy.

AUTHOR FUNDING

TWUC members apply directly for funding for school presentations. The Union pays the author’s fee of $300 per school presentation. 

Participating authors will be required to complete a Final Report (TWUC Member Portal login required). Fees are paid directly to the author following the successful completion of the presentation and receipt of the author’s report.

Please note: Funding for this program is non-transferable, due to large demand on the Union's funding programs.

ACCESSIBILITY

In-person visits must follow all local public health restrictions. The Union does not in any way encourage public gatherings outside of personal comfort and public guidelines. Virtual presentations must be live. Authors should consult with the teacher about what format will work for their classroom, including any privacy, accessibility, or online security considerations. Advance discussions will ensure the best virtual presentation for each classroom.

TRAVEL

Travel reimbursement is available for readings taking place more than 100km from the author's home to a maximum of $100. TWUC's travel contribution is capped in order to maximize the number of readings available for members. Copies of travel expense receipts (with the exception of mileage for which no receipt is required) will need to be uploaded when completing the Final Report (TWUC Member Portal login required).

If you are planning a visit to a northern or remote school in person and you are seeking additional travel reimbursement, please contact Program Manager, Kristina Cuenca, kcuenca@writersunion.ca to discuss.

EQUITY INITIATIVE

As part of the Union's Equity Implementation Plan, a portion of funding will be allocated to applications for readings by members who self-identify as Black, Indigenous, racialized, LGBTQI2S, or living with a disability.

HOW TO APPLY

Before applying be sure to:

Your application will include basic details about your presentation, including:

  • In-person or virtual presentation;
  • School name, address, and contact person;
  • Classroom grade level and anticipated number of students;
  • Proposed date of presentation (you do not need an exact date but the reading must take place within 30 days of the proposed date on your application).

Applications for Fall/Winter readings are currently open. Deadline: July 15, 2024. Application results will be provided within 4 weeks of the application deadline. If funds remain after the deadline, we will continue to accept applications on a first-come, first-served basis. The Union will notify applicants by email.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

WITS program presentations do not require promotional materials. In instances where authors would like to acknowledge funding support (e.g., social media, website), the following sentence may be used: With funding support from the Ontario Arts Council and the Government of Ontario through The Writers' Union of Canada. If you are publicly acknowledging funding from the program, materials should include TWUC's logo, the OAC logo, and Government of Ontario logo. Click here to access logo and acknowledgement guidelines.

FINAL REPORT

Participating authors will be required to complete a Final Report that includes the date of the presentation to the school and the number of students who attended the presentation. Fees are paid directly to the author following the successful completion of the presentation and receipt of the author’s report. The report will be your invoice to TWUC for your author's fee. Please submit this form after your reading.

Please note: If your member dues are in arrears when your report is submitted, dues will be deducted from the author's fee.

To complete the Final Report, log into the TWUC Member Portal. All members have an existing account. If you don’t know your login information, use the Forgot Password tool. Please do not create a new account.

MORE INFORMATION

For more information contact Program Manager, Kristina Cuenca, kcuenca@writersunion.ca.

This program is funded by the Ontario Arts Council and the Government of Ontario.
 

Logo of the Ontario Arts Council

Logo of the Ontario Arts Council