Lee Edward Födi is an author, illustrator, and specialized arts educator—or, as he likes to think of himself, a daydreaming expert.
Födi is an engaging public speaker, specializing in presentations and workshops for elementary-aged children. He has taught programs for kids in Canada, the United States, South Korea, China, Thailand, and England. In addition, he is a co-founder of The Creative Writing for Children Society (CWC), a Vancouver-based not-for-profit program in which children's authors, illustrators, and performers help kids publish their own books. As the lead mentor for CWC, Födi finds continual inspiration in the enthusiasm, ingenuity, and talent of his students.
Födi studied at the University of British Columbia and has a degree in English Literature and a diploma in Fine Arts. He is a member of several organizations dedicated to children's literature. He lives in Vancouver with his wife, Marcie and son, Hiro, but loves to visit exotic places where he can lose himself (sometimes literally) in tombs, mazes, castles, and crypts.
He is represented by Rachel Letofsky at the CookeMcDermid Agency.
For a typical school visit, Lee delivers a hybrid "presentation-workshop", which inspires and invigorates students of all reading and writing levels. Using engaging visuals, he demonstrates how he finds inspiration for his books through drawing, map-making, prop-building, travel, and research. This is then followed by an interactive brainstorming session, so that each participant leaves with a visual output—and a broader understanding of such concepts as character, plot, setting, point of view, imagery, and style.
He customizes his style, content, and approach to fit the size and age range of the audience.
Typical brainstorming sessions are described below.
The Doorway to Adventure:
The key to entering a new world
Good for students in grades K-8
In this workshop, Lee showcases his collection of doorways from around the world and explains how this collection has inspired much of his own writing. He then leads students in an interactive brainstorming session in which they design their own doors and consider important storytelling questions. Students will then use this brainstorming as a pathway to writing a story or a scene.
The Wizard's Suitcase:
Peering inside a character's personality
Good for students in grades 1-5
In this workshop, Lee showcases his collection of items in hisy own suitcase props and explains how these items inspire my own writing. He then leads students in an interactive brainstorming session in which they design their own suitcases for imagined characters (such as a wizard, dragon, unicorn researcher, etc.) and consider important storytelling questions. Students can then use this brainstorming as a story starter.
Mapping an Adventure:
Discovering the path to story success
Good for students in grades 3-8
In this workshop, Lee delivers a presentation about his visual approach to writing fantasy-adventure stories. He then works with students in an interactive brainstorming session in which they create individual maps of a hero’s journey through an imagined world. These rough maps will serve as visual plot outlines for stories that students can write afterwards in class.
Making the imagination blossom
Good for students in grades K-3
In this workshop, Lee showcases his collection of "enchanted" trees that he has found in his travels and explains how they have inspired him. He then leads students in an interactive brainstorming exercise in which they design their own trees, imagining the seed that it might come from and what type of “fruit” the tree might grow. A natural story grows out of this activity and teachers can follow up on this afterwards, in the classroom.
For a typical school visit, Lee delivers a hybrid "presentation-workshop", which inspires and invigorates students of all reading and writing levels (see above).
For a more in-depth hands-on workshop, please contact Lee to discuss details.
Please see above.