Member Profile

Kira Vermond

Photo: Trina Koster 2016

Kira received her first (friendly) rejection letter from a kids' magazine when she was 11, but that didn’t stop her from wanting to be a writer.

Today, she’s a busy author and journalist for adults, teens and kids with over 1,500 articles and four books published, including Silver Birch nominee Half-Truths and Brazen Lies: An Honest Look at Lying, the 2015 Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction winning Why We Live Where We Live, and Red Maple nominated The Secret Life of Money: A kid’s guide to cash and Growing Up, Inside and Out, plus a money book for grownups that some readers say changed their lives. So, that’s cool.

When she’s not writing, she’s whistling while she works, singing with the windows wide open and cooking tasty stuff. Oh. And drinking coffee. She likes to do that too.

Kira lives in Guelph, Ontario with her husband, a couple of fabulous kids and a dog named Marbles.

Contact Kira to book school and library readings/talks/sessions for children and adults.

E-mail: kira@vermond.ca
Phone number:
519-826-9883

Publications

Half-Truths and Brazen Lies: An Honest Look at Lying. Owlkids, 2016
Why We Live Where We Live. Owlkids, 2014
Growing Up, Inside and Out. Owlkids, 2013
The Secret Life of Money: A Kid's Guide to Cash. Owlkids, 2012
Earn, Spend, Save: A Savvy Guide to a Richer, Smarter, Debt-Free Life. Wiley , 2010

Awards

Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-fiction for Why We Live Where We Live, 2015
Red Maple nominee (Forest of Reading) for Growing Up, Inside and Out, 2014
Red Cedar Book Awards nominee for Why We Live Where We Live, 2016
Red Maple nominee for The Secret Life of Money: A Kid's Guide to Cash, 2012
Silver Birch nominee for Half-Truths and Brazen Lies: An Honest Look at Lying, 2017
Eligible for National Public Readings Program :
Yes

WITS

Presentation Description

Book me for a visit.

What do I love most about the writing life? Talking to kids about the writing life.

Here’s what you need to know to book me for your school or library. While this is a current list of presentations, I’m also happy to cater a talk for your class based on any of my books, or do a more traditional author-reader Q&A visit.

We’re all liars! (And that’s normal)

You were probably taught that honesty is the best policy. So why do your parents ask you to pretend you like all your birthday gifts, even Aunt Dora’s knitted dinosaur sweater? Does “being polite” mean lying? And aren’t card players encouraged to bluff when they play poker? Talk about mixed messages! This fun and thoughtful presentation will guide students (grades 4-7) through the ethically complex maze we call deception – and will explore how lies actually touch every aspect of our lives.

From the moment we jump out of bed in the morning until we climb back in at night, we’re living with so many different sneaky lies, cheats, frauds, and deceptions, we don’t even realize they’re there! We’ll cover food fraud, bogus advertising, the placebo effect – and whether it’s ethical for doctors to prescribe sugar pills or even give fake shots – online trickery and cheating at school (plus how to stop). Finally, we’ll prove there’s a *100% accurate lie detection method that can spot liars big and small.

From spaghetti farmers in Switzerland, to rattlesnakes in ball pits (eek!) and compulsive liars who just can’t stop, this interactive and fascinating session based on Kira’s new book, Half-truths and Brazen Lies: An Honest Look at Lying, will give students something to think about long after it’s over. (Honest!)

*About 50% of the time.

Let’s talk money!

Credit cards, bartering and yap stones. What do they have in common? They’re all part of my dynamic presentation for schools and libraries. With money and personal finance getting more airplay at schools across Canada and the U.S., I make the curriculum come to life with fun stories, weird anecdotes and audience participation. Kids check out a counterfeit bill, discuss the downside to winning the lottery, and examine their own values and beliefs about what makes a person rich. After this presentation, students will never look at a can of beans or a bag of jellybeans in the same way again! (Schedule a visit to find out why….)

I want to be a writer, but what should I write?

This hands-on workshop gives new writers tools, tricks and tips to get them writing their stories in no time. I’m a big believer in “race writing” where students are given a few topics to choose from, 15 minutes and lots of encouragement. By the end of the 2-hour session, each student will have a short story to show for it and feel energized to keep writing in his or her spare time. I’m happy to follow up with classes later through email or Skype and even send new writing assignments to spark their creativity throughout the year.

Non-fiction is anything but booor-ing! 

Quick! Why do humans live on this planet and not on another one? What does your brain have in common with a rat’s brain? Why are some countries rich and others poor? Kira Vermond has answered all of these questions in her books — and many, many more — and will give you the inside scoop on what it’s really like to write non-fiction. (Hint: Curiosity helps!) She’ll take you through the life cycle of a book and magazine article, and will tackle topics such as: Where do ideas come from? How do you interview people and get them to spill the beans? Is it even possible to make boring statistics and facts sound interesting? Leave your yawns at home. This exciting workshop will get you thinking about the world in a whole new way.

Thanks for your interest!

Presentation Length:
45 minutes - 1 hour
Genre:
Creative, fun, thoughtful non-fiction
Grades:
3-8
Audience size:
Any size (although groups that are 12-50 students work best)
Workshop Description:

Adult writing sessions

You want to learn how to write nonfiction for kids, but let’s face it, there aren’t many places to learn the ropes. Help is here. Libraries, colleges, associations and community groups are welcome to book me to teach this class.

Write non-fiction for kids and get published!

Nonfiction is all about facts, figures and nit-picky details, right? Wrong. The Canadian children’s nonfiction publishing industry is thriving because authors are finding new ways to teach, entertain and inspire. Spend this lively session with Kira Vermond, popular speaker and author of Half-Truths and Brazen Lies: An Honest Look at Lying, The Secret Life of Money, Growing Up, Inside and Out (both Red Maple nominees), and Why We Live Where We Live (2015 winner of the prestigious Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-fiction).

Kira will teach participants how to come up with kid-friendly ideas, build an outline, decide on length, find their writing voice, and even pitch a publisher. Learn the surprising truth about working with illustrators, as well as ways to juggle writing and life demands. Many topics will apply to children’s fiction too. Come prepared to learn and write.

Or kick-start a freelance writing career.

You can write for newspapers and magazines (and get paid)

You read them every day: magazine and newspaper articles that entertain, teach, and even change lives. But how does an article go from idea to finished product? This workshop is for anyone who has ever wanted to write non-fiction stories for a general audience and needs an A to Z overview of how to do the deed.

Kira will take participants through the process of pitching ideas, writing queries, and grabbing a busy editor’s attention. You’ll also learn the 1-2-3-4-5 technique for writing clear, focused articles for a consumer audience. In other words, you’ll learn how not to sound like an academic or a newbie writer, and how to give editors what they want. You’ll discover what to expect during the editing process and why “deadline + word count” is the holy grail of successful freelancing. Invoicing, payment, and taxes even get a mention. (And yes, you can make good money as a writer.)

Have a great story idea, but don’t know how to go about writing it and getting it published? This is the workshop for you.

Overheard after my sessions for adults. 

“Amazing, as usual!”

“Very real and practical.”

“If we could hook Kira up to the energy grid, we would have no problems!!”

“Captivating.”

“Informative and open and knowledgeable.”

“Very entertaining, knowledgeable presenter. Loved it!”

“Really liked the range of topics on which she spoke. (Liked her humor too.)”

“She is an expert in this area and it showed. I’m glad I went!”

“Cool, fun, witty, informative, educational and fun. Did I mention it was fun?”

Umm, thanks?

“Felt like I was listening to Shoshanna’s older sister. (From HBO’s Girls.)”

Thanks for your interest!

Northern OAC WITS:
No
One session:
$250 (local area only)
Two sessions:
$450
Three sessions:
$650
Four sessions:
$800
One session:
$Please ask.
GST:
GST applicable