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Paul Toffanello

Photo: Paul Toffanello 2015

Paul J. Toffanello (the “J” is for Joseph) grew up in Timmins, Ontario, a small northern mining town that once held the distinction of being the greatest gold mining town in the world. He grew up in a family of five boys, nearly driving his mother crazy. Both parents worked, mother in life insurance and dad as an auto mechanics teacher.

Paul majored in English and minored in Psychology at Ottawa’s Carleton University and became an elementary school teacher in 1979 after a year of Teacher’s College at Nipissing University. He later became a high school English teacher, a Vice Principal, a Principal at two different high schools, a Superintendent of Education and finally a Director of Education. Currently, besides writing, he operates a private counselling practice and does consulting work in both Ontario and British Columbia.

Paul had been writing most of his life, and the first draft of Popchuck’s Ghost (currently in publication) was written in 1984, but it wasn’t until Paul met Frank B. Edwards (Bungalo Books) that he gave serious thought to publication. Since then, Paul has written and published Popchuck's Ghost, Popchuck's Revenge, and Popchuck's End and he most recently completed the 4th book in the Popchuck Chronicles series.  

Calgrove Media out of Los Angeles has purchased the option to The Popchuck Chronicles and movie development is underway. Go to for more information on the novels and for more information regarding the movies

Paul has travelled extensively across Canada and the U.S. and visited more than 350 schools presenting to kids and teachers. He offers writing workshops for both students and teachers, and he has developed a support document for teachers when working on novel studies with students. As well, Paul has presented to parents on the topic of creating rich, literature environments and helping their children get smart through reading.

Paul also writes children’s rhyming stories, and his first children's book will be published in 2020. He has written movie screenplays, treatments for television, has pitched to broadcasters and production companies, and he has written and published professional articles in the educational and leadership realms.

Paul currently resides in Vancouver and he and his wife enjoy their 3 daughters and 4 grandchildren. When he is not in Vancouver, he and his wife spend their summers at his quiet lake in Northeastern Ontario where Paul writes, chops wood, swims, hikes, bikes, canoes, and sits by the bonfires long into the nights pondering, imagining, dreaming, and simply being. 

Phone number:


Popchuck's Ghost. Bungalo Books, 2013
Popchuck's Revenge. Bungalo Books, 2015
Popchuck's End. Bungalo Books, 2018
Eligible for National Public Readings Program :


Presentation Description

The presentation themes includes: READ! READ! READ!  and Write What You Know! The presentation may be large group or classroom. It provides the audience the following:

  • background of author
  • journey becoming an author
  • explanation and examples of the concept of writing what you know
  • reading from novel(s)
  • Q&A
  • Follow up (if arranged) for a small group discussion with students who are interested in writing
Presentation Length:
1 hour - 1.5 hours
Mystery & Supernatural
Middle Grades 4-7
Audience size:
Workshop Description:
I offer:
  • writing workshop for students that includes understanding the writing process, generating writing ideas, planning storywriting, etc.
  • focused novel studyand/or writing workshop (teachers) that includes discussion of the writing process and offering insights from current research on engaging students in writing and reading.
Northern OAC WITS:
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One session:
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GST applicable