Ontario Writers-In-the-Schools

Funding for school visits taking place before August 31, 2018 has now been allocated. Applications are still being accepted after the July deadline for visits between September 1, 2018 and March 31, 2019 but there are only a few spots left. 

New in 2018:

  • Payment rates to authors have been increased.
  • Subsidy rates for schools have changed.

Please read the information below carefully before applying.

About the Program

With the assistance of the Ontario Arts Council, The Writers’ Union of Canada funds author visits to Ontario elementary and secondary schools. The Union subsidizes a portion of the author's reading fee and travel and accommodation costs.

Subsidies are organized into two sessions: Spring (April 1 – August 31) and Fall (September 1 – March 31). Once funds are used up for a session, the program closes for that period.

The Union strongly encourages schools to hold readings in barrier-free venues and to consider any additional presenter or audience access needs (e.g., ASL interpretation, large print materials). 


Within the Ontario Writers-in-the-Schools program, Equity Initiative Funding has been designated to:

  • Subsidize the full amount of the base author reading rates for schools recognized as serving a vulnerable population (see Author Reading Rates below)
  • Prioritize readings hosted by schools serving vulnerable populations and readings by authors who are Black, Indigenous, racialized, LGBTQI2S, or living with a disability. (Readings will be prioritized according to these guidelines as of the Fall 2018 session.)

If you are unsure if your school serves a vulnerable population, consider the following guiding questions:

  • Does your school receive large funding supplements, such as the Learning Opportunities Supplement or Student Financial Assistance?
  • Would your school rank highly in an index such as the Toronto District School Board’s Learning Opportunities Index?

If the answer to either of these questions is yes, your school qualifies for Equity Initiative Funding. If you are still unsure, please contact Office Administrator Valerie Laws at 416.703.8982 x 224 or info@writersunion.ca.


  • Elementary and secondary schools in Ontario can host authors through this program. Each school is eligible for one subsidized reading per funding year (April 1 – March 31).
  • Authors hosted through this program must be members of the Union. Each member is eligible for six full-day visits or twelve half-day visits, or any combination equivalent to six full-day visits (terminology explained below).

Please note: Applications must be submitted by the host school.


In this program, we refer to full-day and half-day school visits. Here’s what we mean:

  • A full-day visit is three or four sessions.
  • A half-day visit is one or two sessions.


Browse the Participating Authors list for information about authors’ genres, preferred audience sizes, and appropriate grade levels. If you are interested in booking an author who is not listed, please contact the author first to ensure that they are willing to do the reading. There are two ways to contact authors:

  • Use the Member Directory to check the author’s profile for an email address or phone number.
  • Send an email to the author care of The Writers’ Union of Canada to info@writersunion.ca.

Please note that author contact information is intended for the purposes of booking only. Please respect the authors’ privacy.


The base author reading rates are $400 for a full-day visit and $300 for a half-day visit. Please note: Each author sets their own fees, so reading rates may be higher than these base rates.

The Union subsidizes author reading rates as follows:

  • For a full-day visit, we pay the first $200 of the author’s fee.
  • For a half-day visit, we pay the first $150 of the author’s fee.

New in 2018: Through our Equity Initiative Funding, the Union will subsidize the full amount of the base author reading rates for schools recognized as serving a vulnerable population:

  • For a full-day visit, we pay $400 of the author’s fee.
  • For a half-day visit, we pay $300 of the author’s fee.

All subsidies for reading rates and travel subsidies are paid directly to the author.

Remember, each author sets their own fee, which may be higher than the base rates. As the host school, you are responsible for the following:

  1. Confirm the author’s fee directly with the author in advance of their visit.
  2. On the day of the author’s visit, pay the author the difference between their full fee and the subsidy covered by the Union (as outlined above).


The Union reimburses the author's travel and accommodation expenses within Ontario as follows:

  • For a full-day visit, we reimburse up to $250 for travel and accommodation expenses.
  • For a half-day visit, we reimburse up to $125 for travel and accommodation expenses.

The host school is responsible for paying additional travel and accommodation expenses.

Please note: The Union cannot cover interprovincial travel expenses.


Spring Session

For school visits taking place between April 1, 2018, and August 31, 2018: Spring funding has now been all been allocated.

Fall Session

For school visits taking place between September 1, 2018, and March 31, 2019:

Applications for fall visits must be received by June 1, 2018, to receive prioritized funding. Applications received after the deadline will be processed on a first come, first served basis if funds remain.


For more information contact Office Administrator Valerie Laws at info@writersunion.ca or 416-703-8982 ext. 224.

This program is funded by the Ontario Arts Council.

Ontario Arts Council Logo