APRIL 2021 UPDATE: Anita is embracing her inner hermit (and moving toward semi-retirement) and will only rarely be available for classroom presentations (beyond current bookings). Virtual chats/Q&A and book club visits may still be available. Inquire via Anita’s Contact page. 

Balancing writing time with presenting/promoting is a challenge for every writer. At this stage of her life, Anita feels it is time to let go of exterior distraction, and live quietly.


    Discussion, slides and a short film

Part One: Introduction.
I discuss what the book is about, where the inspiration for it came from, and touch on primary themes.

Part Two: Writing and rewriting
I share photos taken and collected during the process, discuss brainstorming, research, writing (setting, characters, dialogue) and rewriting.

Part three: Film adaptation
Because I am also an actor, screenwriter and producer, I speak with experience on differences in writing novels versus writing for film. I share a professionally produced short film of an adapted scene from You Don’t Have to Die in the End.

Additional: Student participation through polls or chat and Q& A at the end.

    Discussion, reading and a short film

Part One: Introduction.
I discuss the premise of my most recent novel, You Don’t Have to Die in the End, the inspiration behind it, and a message I hoped to communicate: I believe we need to address buried pain and emotion in order to move forward in our lives.

Part Two: Eugenia’s Journey
Interactive discussion on how Eugenia’s pain and anger over her father’s death by suicide has impacted her life and choices. Examples from the novel. A short reading.

Part Three: Scene
We finish with a short film of an adapted scene from You Don’t Have to Die in the End professionally produced and filmed. A version of this film with a single swear is offered on the front page of my website for reference: http://anitadaher.com . I will offer a version with the swear word edited out for the purpose of this presentation. This scene is visceral depiction of Eugenia’s pain. We discuss ideas presented by the film and share ideas for healthy outlets for our emotions.

Additional: Student participation through polls or chat and Q& A at the end.

    Anita shares her author journey, struggles and successes, and most important lesson learned

Part One: Self-Installed Roadblocks
I share the beginnings of my love of writing as a shy 12-year-old living in a small, isolated Inuit community in what is now Nunavut; how I loved reading and wanted to write but told myself I could never be good enough.

Part Two: Self-Fulfilling Stories We Tell Ourselves
I share photos, journey summaries from several of my novels, and discuss how characters needed to change their inner mantra in order to move forward, finishing with You Don’t Have to Die in the End.

Part three: Changing Our Story
My continued writer journey, the point I began changing my inner story to achieve my dream. Writing has given this writer an opportunity to explore ideas that matter to me. It has given this this shy girl a voice.

Additional: Student participation through polls or chat and Q& A at the end.

    Tips and Tools to Edit Creative Work in Stages

Part One: Introduction.
I discuss the premise of my most recent novel, You Don’t Have to Die in the End, the ten years it took to get it right, and how I’ve learned to self-edit in stages for best success. Macro vs Micro.

Part Two: Macro
Through chat function, students work on and share their “elevator pitch.” We discuss other elements to go through in this stage.

Part Three: Micro.
I will share in stages elements to look for as students examine the stories they’ve brought to work on.

Additional: Students must bring several printed pages of creative writing they wish to strengthen through editing. They must also have ready a pen/pencil, and two different colours of highlighters. A self-editing handout will be provided following the workshop.

Presentations are 45-60 minutes each, with Q & A as time permits. Length can be adjusted to meet host requirements.

Tell Me a Story

Anita is available for regular weekly virtual drop-in chapter readings.


Anita will talk about elements to consider when adapting a novel to film.

Complimentary visit with classroom or homeschool novel study and use of complimentary guide.

Just over 60 pages.

Additional Presentations:

Forgetting How to Breathe

Grade 4 to 9, 45-60 minutes (adjustable)

In an Icelandic community in the heart of Canada, 13-year-old Tia is angry. Her mother has disappeared and she and her eight-year-old brother, Tag, have been sent to yet another foster home, this one at the edge of Lake Winnipeg with a family and “fake mom” that feels smothering. Tia feels more isolated and farther away from her mother than ever. She desperately tries to convince her brother to return to the city where they will find Mama, and reunite their family. But when a freak spring snowstorm and a herd of runaway horses lead her to the Ice Pony Ranch and Animal Rescue Centre, Tia is offered a job that might just change everything.

Reading, plus discussion on author process, genealogy, Icelandic settler history, migration, immigration. Multi-media. Q & A

“Anita Held the audience spellbound.” – Lögberg-Heimskringla 

Itty Bitty Bits

K to Grade 3, 30-40 Minutes

Molly can’t have her friend come for a sleepover until she cleans her messy room. She thinks it’s impossible to do it herself, so she asks her sister, her brother, her father, even


the family dog, Indiana Bones for help. But each is feeling overwhelmed by their own big projects. She goes to her “think-spot” under the “weepy” willow tree, where she spies a tiny ant and observes how he tackles a big task. Molly zooms home to clean and on the way she shares this confident message with her family. “You can do it! Yes, you can! Just make like an ant and get the job done, itty bitty bit by itty bitty bit.”

Reading, puppetry, music and problem solving. Q & A.

“Anita delighted K-3 students and teachers with her book and song as she played the ukulele. She is a thoroughly delightful and engaging presenter.” – The Nanton News


Negotiable per size of school and creative circumstance

TELL ME A STORY weekly virtual readings: $500 for the complete novel.

VIRTUAL PRESENTATION $300 (subsidy may be available)

Please make sure the books she is presenting are available to your students in your classroom and/or school library. Workshops also available.

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