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Rich Meyrick

Photo: Sue Meyrick 2008

Rich is the fingertips behind everything associated with Jaspa’s Journey. Born in Wales, he developed a fascination in geography, history and the environment at an early age, interests which culminated in a PhD from the University of Cambridge (UK) and a post-doc at the University of Waterloo (Canada).

After subsequently working four years as an environmental scientist in Weimar, Germany, Rich married Sue and returned to Waterloo, this time permanently. Since then, when he and Sue aren’t actually travelling with Jaspa, Rich spends his days writing books and blogs about Jaspa’s adventures. It’s a Journey he hopes will continue for many years to come.

Phone number:
519.696.1101

Publications

Jaspa's Journey: The Great Migration. DreamCatcher Publishing, 2009
Jaspa's Journey: The Great Migration. Speaking Volumes, 2016
Jaspa's Journey 2: The Pride of London. Speaking Volumes, 2016
Jaspa's Journey 3: Jaspa's Waterloo. Speaking Volumes, 2017
Jaspa's Journey 4: The Hermit of Kennecott. Speaking Volumes, 2020

Awards

Winner - Independent Press Award (Juvenile Fiction Category) for Jaspa's Journey: The Great Migration, 2018
Finalist - Book Excellence Awards (Pre-Teen Fiction Category) for Jaspa's Journey 3: Jaspa's Waterloo, 2018
Finalist - Book Excellence Awards (Children's Educational Category) for Jaspa's Journey: The Great Migration, 2017
Finalist - 11th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards (Pre-Teen Fiction Category) for Jaspa's Journey 2: The Pride of London, 2017
Finalist - USA Book News’ Best Books Awards (Children's Educational Category) for Jaspa's Journey: The Great Migration, 2009
Eligible for National Public Readings Program :
Yes

WITS

Presentation Description

Jaspa’s Journey is an ongoing, award-winning travel adventure series, primarily (but by no means exclusively) for 9-12 year-olds. The main characters are straight out of Rich’s imagination, but everything else truly exists in the real world.

Each of Jaspa’s adventures takes him and his friends to a different part of the planet. From Africa’s endless Serengeti Plains in Book #1 (The Great Migration) to the historic streets of London, England, in Book #2 (The Pride of London). From the infamous Waterloo Battlefield, Belgium, in Book #3 (Jaspa’s Waterloo) to the wilds and ghost towns of Alaska in the newly-released Book #4 (The Hermit of Kennecott). In each case, everything Jaspa encounters on his travels is actually out there to be discovered and experienced by those lucky enough to follow in his footsteps.

Traditionally, Rich’s presentations have tended to focus on Book #1, introducing audiences to Jaspa and his friends by way of the adventures they have accompanying the massive wildebeest herds of the Serengeti’s real-life Great Migration. Nevertheless, Rich is happy to build his talk around whichever book/location a particular audience would find most interesting.

That being said, with Jaspa’s latest Journey having such strong (yet purely coincidental) ties to the current pandemic situation, future presentations will by default feature The Hermit of Kennecott, unless otherwise requested. In this most recent instalment, one of Jaspa’s friends catches Ses Flu, a variation of Spanish Flu - the last pandemic to have such a devastating effect on the whole world. The group suddenly find themselves heading off into the Alaskan wilderness in search of a ghost town that may be home to an elusive Hermit who might hold the key to a cure.

Presentation Length:
About an hour, including Q&A
Genre:
Middle-grade combining fact with fiction
Grades:
4-8
Audience size:
flexible
Workshop Description:

With the help of elementary school teacher Tyler Schaefer, Rich devised a project to give school classes and other groups a first-hand idea of what it’s like to write and publish a book.

Based on his own experiences, Rich divided the writing and publishing process into six stages: writing, revision, submission, editing, publication and promotion. The project uses these themes to lead children through the process, beginning with them writing their own spin-off stories based on the concepts of Jaspa’s Journey. Although originally designed for the classroom, this project could just as easily be done by, for example, cub scout packs or other groups outside schools.

Generally, the project begins with a class read-aloud of one of the Jaspa’s Journey books. Those children wishing to take part in the project often then go on to read more of the series on their own. The participants then write their own spin-off stories, set in a real-world location of their choosing and starring either their own Ses characters or those from the books.

On occasion, Rich has helped with the editing and judging phases, and has even ‘published’ some of the children’s stories on Jaspa’s website.

For a downloadable PDF file of the Jaspa’s Journey Writing Project, visit www.jaspasjourney.com/Interactive-Project

And if you’d like Rich to get involved in your own Jaspa’s Journey Writing Project, send an e-mail to jaspa@jaspasjourney.com

 

Northern OAC WITS:
Yes
One session:
$200
Two sessions:
$200
Three sessions:
$300
Four sessions:
$300
GST:
GST applicable