Telling Tales Festival

On Demand

Age / Grade 8-12 / Grades 3-6 12-14 / Grades 7-8 14-18 / Grades 9+

Join Kevin Sylvester (Moderator), Kenneth Oppel, Jonathan Auxier, Sylv Chiang, Hamilton Children’s Choir and Krista McNaughton to explore the twists and turns of storytelling! Give the art of improv a try, use your voice to make sound effects to set the mood for a suspenseful story, and participate in a writing contest for the chance to win a prize!

Panel Discussion

What is the secret to a great plot? What makes for a really satisfying twist or turn? Our moderator, Kevin Sylvester, leads us through a discussion with three bestselling experts. Learn from Kenneth Oppel, Jonathan Auxier, and Sylv Chiang as they take us through the creative journeys that led to their latest hot-off-the-press books! Think about how this applies to music and improv. Submit your best plot outline to our writing contest for a chance to win great prizes.

Kevin Sylvester

Kevin Sylvester is an award-winning writer, illustrator, reporter, radio sports host, producer and documentary maker. He is the winner of a Gold Medal Choice for the Junior Library Guild in the United States. He is launching his newest series, Hockey Super Six, which features six regular kids who get blasted by frozen radiation and use their newly stupendous hockey skills to battle robots and save the world.

Join Kevin as he moderates this discussion with fellow writers and shares his tips about how to add the new and the unexpected to make your stories more exciting.

Kenneth Oppel

Join Kenneth Oppel for the launch of his latest book, Hatch.

Fans left desperate for more at the end of Bloom will dive into this second book of the trilogy—where the danger mounts and alien creatures begin to hatch.

First the rain brought seeds. Seeds that grew into alien plants that burrowed and strangled and fed.

Seth, Anaya, and Petra are strangely immune to the plants’ toxins and found a way to combat them. But just as they have their first success, the rain begins again. This rain brings eggs. That hatch into insects. Not small insects. Bird-sized mosquitos that carry disease. Borer worms that can eat through the foundation of a house. Boat-sized water striders that carry away their prey.

But our heroes aren’t able to help this time—they’ve been locked away in a government lab with other kids who are also immune. What is their secret? Could they be…part alien themselves? Whose side are they on?  

Jonathan Auxier

Join Jonathan Auxier as he launches his newest series, The Fabled Stables. 

Willa the Wisp is the first book in this magical chapter-book adventure series by the Governor General Award-winning author of Sweep.

Auggie Pound is eight years old and has the greatest job of all time: he cares for all the animals in the Fabled Stables. The Fabled Stables house the rarest creatures in existence—all of them one-of-a-kind. Auggie’s job is to care for these creatures, as well as track down and safely capture endangered magical beasts in the wild. Some mornings, he arrives to find an empty stall with the name of a new creature to rescue. One day, the Stables rearrange themselves out of the blue, creating a new stall. The sign over the gate says, “Wisp.” But what is a wisp and where is it? All Auggie can see is a moonlit swamp stretching out before him. Then a hungry HOWLLLLLLL rings out in the darkness. It’s up to Auggie to go into the swamp to find the wisp before it’s too late.

Sylv Chiang

Sylv Chiang is a middle grade teacher by day and a writer of middle grade fiction by night. Her Cross Ups series about a young gamer has been nominated coast-to-coast this year for various Children’s Choice Awards. In this episode, Sylv will share some ideas to help you include some surprises in your own writing.


Improv with Krista

Join Krista McNaughton—Hamilton based actor, comedian and writer, as she introduces our host Josh to the basics of improv storytelling.

Hamilton’s Children’s Choir

Join Zimfira Poloz, Artistic Director of the Hamilton Children’s Choir for “Sound Effects”, a sound effects vocal challenge.

Our friends at the Hamilton Public Library have some fun and educational activities for you to try! Download this Secret Identity activity and give it a try.
Secret Identity – Superhero Cuffs – Superhero Masks