Springboard to Stories

by  Author Marty Chan

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In this fast-paced and dynamic virtual presentation, author Marty Chan shares the real-life events that shapes his kids books. Sharing funny anecdotes about his childhood growing up as the only Chinese kid in a small Canadian town, he reveals how some of his encounters with bullies helped him develop a thicker skin and some creative ideas for his stories. He'll share how he overcame the bullies and used the experiences to feed into his work. 

Marty reveals a glimpse into his creative process by sharing how descriptive details can paint a picture in the readers' minds. To prove this, he turns an ordinary pen into a lightsaber. Through the power of laughter, Marty inspires kids to see reading as fun and valuable, and inspires kids to mine their own lives for stories. 

Program Rating

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About This Program


By Request: $200.00
By Request Premium: $150.00


45 minutes

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, Homeschool/Family Public Library: Library Patrons

Minimum participants:


Maximum participants:

There is no maximum, but to allow for interactivity, we suggest no more than 75 participants.

Primary Disciplines

Language Arts/English, Literacy, Writing

Program Delivery Mode

Videoconference – Webcam/desktop (Zoom, Google Meet, Cisco WebEx, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, etc...)
Google Hang Out
Microsoft Teams

Booking Information

Book it!

Receive this program and 9 more for one low price when you purchase the CILC Virtual Expeditions package. Learn more

For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

There is no fee to rebook, but a cancellation within 24 hours of the booking incurs a fee of $50.

About This Provider

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Author Marty Chan

Edmonton, Alberta

Marty is an author and playwright. He’s written over 20 books for kids and nearly 100 plays for adults. He specializes in writing hi-lo fiction to encourage striving readers to pick up books. The Junior Library Guild awarded the gold medal standard to two of his novels: Haunted Hospital and Willpower. One of his early books, The Mystery of the Graffiti Ghoul, won the 2007 Diamond Willow Young Readers’ Choice Award. 


Looking for a dynamic workshop on how to write scary stories? An engaging storytelling session to introduce young students to folktales and story structure? An inspiring book talk to get your reluctant readers excited to visit the library? Marty has a variety of sessions that cover Kindergarten to high school. He also provides professional development sessions for teachers who need extra help getting their students excited about creative writing.


From his virtual studio in Alberta, Canada, Marty delivers interactive writing workshops and author visits with a cutting-edge blend of special effects, humor, audience participation, writing games, and storytelling. Kids won’t be able to look away when Marty turns his pen into a lightsaber to illustrate how specifics matter. Younger students will be amazed at the behind-the-scenes look at how Marty’s picture book about his cats came together. Kids will scream their guesses at the screen as they play his version of ‘I Spy’ and learn the value of sensory details. He offers programs to schools, homeschool students, and the general public. 


Since 2020, Marty has performed over 1,000 virtual sessions across North America. He can connect with classes and students via Zoom, Google Meet, MS Teams or YouTube Live. 

Marty Chan
(780) 975-9292

Program Details


The program begins with a tour of a writer's workspace and studio.
Marty introduces one of his novels with a brief reading or trailer.
Marty reveals the real-life event that inspire the book.
Marty shares a writing tip about the importance of descriptive details.
Marty invites the participants to share their personal stories.
Marty fields questions about the creative process.


Participants will:

- explore how an author develops ideas from personal experiences.
- develop an appreciation for how specific details can engage a reader.
- engage in brainstorming, using real life events to spark fictional stories.

Standards Alignment

National Standards

Please contact Marty for details about standards.