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James McCann

Photo: Max Tell 2012

Most of my time is spent writing, 3D printing, and running a Dungeons and Dragons you can watch on YouTube or Twitch.

I have written book reviews for CM magazine and have taught countless workshops for schools, school divisions, libraries, University of British Columbia, BCLA, BCTELA, Writer’s Union, BC Writer’s Federation, Canadian Authors Association, Surrey International Writers Conference, BC Raise a Reader, and many after school programs. From 2006 – 2009 I was the president of CWILL BC.

Phone number:
c/o Writers' Union of Canada

Publications

Rancour first edition. Simply Read Books, 2005
Pyre (Rancour Chronicles Book II). Simply Read Books, 2007
Rancour (Rancour Chronicles Book I second edition). Be Read Books, 2011
Flying Feet (Orca Sports - mixed martial arts). Orca Book Publishers, 2010
Children of Ruin. Iron Mask Press, 2016
The Three Spartans. CRWTH Press, 2019
Spartans at Sea. CRWTH Press, 2022

Awards

CCBC Best Books Starred Review for CCBC Best Books, 2010
Eligible for National Public Readings Program :
Yes

WITS

Presentation Description

 

Author Talk
All ages, all audience sizes
The goal of my presentations are to get students excited, not only about writing, but also about the research process. 

Each workshop begins with a power point presentation of how I became an author. I show photos of me with my creative writing students, and then of myself as a teen. I talk about how being a preteen afraid of muppets shaped my fascination with mythology, and then as a teen how I became a storyteller through Dungeons and Dragons.

The next step is a discussion of my books, and how I use strong characters as a basis to write and discover plot. Through maps and photos of real places, I create realistic make-believe towns that I am often asked where they really exist. Mythology plays an important part, whether I am writing about werewolves or martial arts. This is followed by writing time, and can be continued by the teachers as a class project.

I answer questions such as, how I become an author, and, more importantly, how can you become an author? I focus on inspiring students to read and write by connecting books and comics to video games and movies. Using Powerpoint, I demonstrate how mythology and history, both past and present, inspired my series, The Rancour Chronicles and my best-selling mixed-martial arts book, Flying Feet. 

Drawing on my experience as a bookseller and avid reader I introduce classes to authors they may have never heard of before, from fantasy to sci-fi, from humour to​ graphic novels. A book list is offered to your school in advance so that you may make sure your library has stock of the books of which I will speak.

Presentation Length:
60 minutes
Genre:
Young Adult Fiction
Grades:
5-adult
Audience size:
Any
Workshop Description:

 

The goal of my presentations are to get students excited, not only about writing, but also about the research process. 

Each workshop begins with a power point presentation of how I became an author. I show photos of me with my creative writing students, and then of myself as a teen. I talk about how being a preteen afraid of muppets shaped my fascination with mythology, and then as a teen how I became a storyteller through Dungeons and Dragons.

The next step is a discussion of my books, and how I use strong characters as a basis to write and discover plot. Through maps and photos of real places, I create realistic make-believe towns that I am often asked where they really exist. Mythology plays an important part, whether I am writing about werewolves or martial arts. This is followed by writing time, and can be continued by the teachers as a class project.

Each presentation typically lasts 60 minutes.

Dystopia Workshop

Grades 6+     Audience Size: Max 30 students​

              With the Myan calendar counting down, many students are finding an interest in dystopia literature such as the Hunger Games, Maze Runner and Blood Red Road.
              This workshop consists of a role-playing game, where students become "colonists" and have to pit their wits against each other and natural (and unnatural) disasters to be the colony that survives.

Map Making Workshop
Grades 5+, teachers and post-secondary studen
ts Audience Size: Max 30 students

In my map-making workshop, students work as teams to draw world maps - both fantasy and realistic. Starting with nothing but a setting, each team comes up with a story of their world and the characters that live in them.

See Yourself in a Comic
Grades 4+​     Audience Size: 10 students

Storyboard and create comics by acting out and photographing yourself in each scene. A skill in writing and drawing is not required, though a love of comics is. You’ll write a script while exploring different styles such as fantasy and realism.

Ongoing at Place des Arts:
Sign up by Clicking here

Creative Writing I Classes​
9-12 year olds​
Ongoing at Place des Arts
Creative writing is more than just words. Discover how to create characters through costumes, explore settings through maps and develop plots through games. In short, learn to write by having fun in a friendly, upbeat atmosphere. Write stories to share with each other and with parents.

Mondays • Sep 24 - Dec 17 • 4:00 - 5:30 PM • $130.50
Mondays • Jan 14 - Mar 11 • 4:00 - 5:30 PM • $99
Mondays • Apr 8 - Jun 17 • 4:00 - 5:30 PM • $120

Creative Writing II Classes​
10-13 year olds​
Ongoing at Place des Arts
This class is for the keen writer who wants to explore characters, settings and plots through different writing styles. You’ll start a story in week one and have it finished by the end of the session. Then, add it to a class anthology in e-book format.

Mondays • Sep 24 - Dec 17 • 5:45 - 7:15 PM • $130.50
Mondays • Jan 14 - Mar 11 • 5:45 - 7:15 PM • $99
Mondays • Apr 8 - Jun 17 • 5:45 - 7:15 PM • $120

Northern OAC WITS:
Yes
One session:
$250
Two sessions:
$450
Three sessions:
$600
Four sessions:
$800
One session:
$150
Two sessions:
$350
Three sessions:
$450
Four sessions:
$650
GST:
GST applicable