Andrea Torrey Balsara

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Andrea Torrey Balsara

Author, Illustrator, Storyteller
Bowmanville, ON
Awards

The Gittle List (Winner, 2017)

Eric Hoffer Award (Runner-up, 2017)

Story Monsters Approved (Commended, 2018)

CCBC's Best Books for Kids & Teens, Spring Edition (Commended, 2016)

CCBC's Best Books for Kids & Teens, Spring Edition (Commended, 2017)

CCBC's Best Books for Kids & Teens, Spring Edition (Commended, 2018)

National Indie Excellence Awards (Runner-up, 2018)

Genres

Junior fiction (Ages 8-12), Intermediate Fiction (Ages 10-14), Picture books, Young adult (YA) Fiction (Ages 12 and up)

Biography

Andrea Torrey Balsara has published books for young children up to young adults, sometimes working as a writer, sometimes as an illustrator, and sometimes as both. She is a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature, and has taken at least a million art workshops, but is primarily a self-taught artist. She has an eclectic background, having worked as an American Sign Language Interpreter, as a school bus driver, and a zombie office worker. Back when dinosaurs still roamed the earth she even attended theatre school in London, England. In her presentations to school children, Andrea adds music and theater (finally, the training paid off!) to express the joy of creativity. Andrea is a firm believer in empowering young people to think for themselves, which is reflected in each of her books and presentations. She lives in an old Victorian manor house with her husband and family, where she can often be found in her cold attic of a work room, pretending to be the heroine from Jane Eyre as she write and draws with frozen fingers. Andrea's picture book, Greenbeard the Pirate Pig, was a Gittle List winner, an Eric Hoffer Book Award finalist, and is Story Monsters Approved! Andrea writes for young adults under the name A.T. Balsara, and her illustrated YA book, The Great & the Small, was listed in the CCBC's Best Books magazine for Spring 2018. It was also a finalist in the 12th annual National Indie Excellence Awards. 

Visit Andrea at www.torreybalsara.com to book presentations.

 

Presentations
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The Hero's Journey

Through storytelling, and readings from Andrea’s books, including her most recent, the young adult illustrated novel, The Great & the Small, students will learn to unlock the power of their own potential. They will be able to draw connections between the stories and heroes they love in literature, film, and pop culture, and their relevance to their own lives. Especially powerful for young people dealing with loss, trauma, and anxiety.*

 

"The presentation included a strong message of child and youth empowerment and positive character attributes...the feedback from our students and from our staff were positive and enthusiastic...She seemed really able to reach students with her message of 'never giving up,' and to always use their imaginations...I would highly recommend not only her presentations, but also her books themselves, which are beautifully illustrated and written in a nature that is very appealing to students."     Jennifer Alls, Vice Principal and Teacher-Librarian  

 

*Other empowerment workshops/presentations can be crafted for your school/class. 

 

 

 

Presentation type: Reading

Recommended levels: Intermediate (7-8), High school (9-12)

Fees: $275 for 1 hour. $250/hr for 2+. (15% disc. if books being sold) $.35/km. Writers Union subsidies may be available.

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YO, HO, HO, and a Visit from Greenbeard the Pirate Pig!

Young piggywinkles, ages 4-10, will enjoy a romp with Greenbeard! Andrea will read the story, GREENBEARD THE PIRATE PIG, ending with a rousing pirate shanty. Participants will learn how to do their very best, “AAaaarrrr,” and “AHOY!” and “AVAST!” and will learn how to sing like a pirate! A rolicking good time, followed by Q & A. (One 25 minute session is perfect for little ones who have trouble sitting still; schools can have two 25-minute sessions back to back. One 55 minute session includes a demonstration of illustrating techniques, and the basics of the book illustrating process. Movement activities are interspersed so that wee piggywinkles don't get too wiggly!

 

"[Our school] had the pleasure of hosting an author visit from Andrea Torrey Balsara. Her reading of Greenbeard the Pirate Pig was very animated and thoroughly enjoyed by all the children. She even taught the children the Greenbeard Pirate Song! Her price was affordable, and she was very accommodating to our needs. She allowed us to split her presentation into two different sittings to accommodate our little ones. I would highly recommend booking her as a feature author/illustrator. The presentation was both insightful and entertaining..."     Kelly St. James, Librarian

 

"...Andrea's arrival was highly anticipated by students and staff...and she did not disappoint! Her presentations were engaging and interactive with many interesting visual aids...many students purchased one or more of Andrea's books and she signed and personalized every one of them. Students were anxious to take them home to share with their families..."     Laura Hurtubise, Integrated Literacy Program Teacher

 

Presentation type: Reading

Recommended levels: Junior kindergarten, Senior kindergarten, Primary (1-3)

Fees: $275 for 1 hour. $250/hr for 2+. (15% disc. if books being sold) $.35/km. Writers Union subsidies may be available.

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UNITY ROCKS! Getting Excited About Diversity!

u´ni·ty (ū´nə-tė) n. 1, the state of being united or uniform. 2, the quantity and integer one. 3, harmony among elements.

di·ver´si·ty (di-vẽr´sə-tė) n. 1, essential difference. 2, variety.

Through drama, storytelling, and music, young people work together in an atmosphere of acceptance, hope and action to help them discover the power of “unity in diversity.” Interactive, and great fun! Andrea's picture book, The Nightingale's Song, will be read, songs about unity will be sung (with guitar accompaniment!) and children of all backgrounds and ethnicities will feel like they belong. 

 

 

Presentation type: Reading

Recommended levels: Senior kindergarten, Primary (1-3), Junior (4-6)

Fees: $275 for 1 hour. $250/hr for 2+. (15% disc. if books being sold) $.35/km. Writers Union subsidies may be available.

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DRAWING FROM THE INSIDE OUT!

A drawing workshop where participants will…

  1. Learn basic drawing elements and techniques
  2. Explore movement and feeling in their own art
  3. Create pieces of art that reflect their unique approach to art

 

*Workshops are limited to 30 students at a time, and will be adapted to the ages of the participants. Ages 8 and up. A minimum 90-minute session is recommended.

 

 

Presentation type: Workshop

Recommended levels: Primary (1-3), Junior (4-6), Intermediate (7-8), High school (9-12)

Fees: $375 for 90 minutes. $500 for 2 hrs. (15% discount if books being sold) $.35/km. Writers Union subsidies may be available.

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Writing from the Heart: How to Write What You Love

In this writing workshop, participants learn how to write about what matters to them

  1. using writing exercises
  2. music
  3. writing prompts

 

*Workshops are limited to 30 students at a time, and will be adapted to the ages of the participants. Ages 8 and up. A minimum 90-minute session is recommended.

 

Presentation type: Workshop

Recommended levels: Primary (1-3), Junior (4-6), Intermediate (7-8), High school (9-12)

Fees: $375 for 90 minutes. $500 for 2 hrs. (15% discount if books being sold) $.35/km. Writers Union subsidies may be available.

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Wearing TWO HATS: being author AND illustrator!

A workshop where participants will learn…

  1. The elements of story writing
  2. Create their own cartoon characters
  3. Use a storyboard to lay out illustrations
  4. Create their own comic page (for longer sessions, participants can create their own small, illustrated book)

 

*Workshops are limited to 30 students at a time, and will be adapted to the ages of the participants. Ages 8 and up. A minimum 90-minute session is recommended.

 

Presentation type: Workshop

Recommended levels: Primary (1-3), Junior (4-6), Intermediate (7-8), High school (9-12)

Fees: $375 for 90 min. $500 for 2 hrs. (15% discount if books beings sold) $.35/km. Writers Union subsidies may be available.