McCann Author workshops landscape


Thank you for taking an interest in my workshops. Workshops can be online or in person.

Workshops are $250 for one-hour, include an activity that can be built upon by the classroom teacher, and an introduction on how I became an author.


Writing Interactive Fiction as a Game App

Do you have a computer lab? Why not put it to use teaching creative writing and computer coding at the same time! This creative writing workshop teaches students to program in Ink, a free open source program, to write interactive stories that can be transformed into game apps. 

This workshop combines basic computer programming skills with creative writing for a fun, interactive learning experience. Works best with grades 5+.


Workshop: Map Making Your Imagination

This workshop takes students through the story creation process by starting with a map setting and seeing what ideas emerge. This is how I began writing, back when I first started playing Dungeons and Dragons and running my own campaigns.

Your students will learn what it’s like to become an author through my personal story as a reluctant reader to author. Discuss characters and their relationship to the world in which they live. How best to start a story, and what they can do to keep that story going.

At the end of this workshop your students will have a project started that they can continue throughout the school year. Suitable for all ages.

A student-made map

Writing Your Story Dungeons and Dragons-style

Whether your students write contemporary tales or fantasy epics, the popular game of Dungeons and Dragons can make you a better writer. See how modern writers have been influenced through creating characters, maps, and collaborative storytelling to work through tough plot points!

At the end of this workshop, your students will have the tools to say goodbye to writer’s block forever and get their novel written and polished.


“James has taken the time on several occasions to do author readings and writing workshops with our youth readers at Surrey Public Libraries. His presentations are very energetic, professional, well-prepared, and tremendously engaging for our children and teens. He is able to convey his passion for reading, books, and writing. He clearly motivates you people in all aspects of literacy and, essentially, makes literacy ‘cool’. As a librarian who often sees boys move away from leisure reading as they grow older, I think it is notable that James provides an excellent male role model for reading and writing.”

–Carmen Merrells, MLIS
Librarian, City Centre Branch

“Mr. McCann is friendly and immediately likeable. He has no difficulty collaborating with educators and other authors, he clearly enjoys meeting new people, and he interacts exceptionally well with youth. Above all, his writing workshops are engaging, thoughtfully organised, and hands-on. Sometimes they are even gamified! This is the inviting description for last year’s workshop for grades 8-12 students, World Building to a Successful Novel: Whether you write fantasy or realistic fiction, the success of your writing depends on how believable your world is to your readers. Learn how to use digital tools such as Google Earth and Campaign Cartographer to create a story that resonates with your reader long after they have finished with your story.

“One of the teachers who supervised this workshop commented, ‘So many great writing ideas!’ When we dropped by to listen in for a bit, we could tell that Mr. McCann was prepared, encouraging, and responsive. A number of students volunteered that Mr. McCann’s workshop was one of their favourites.”

Deanna Brady
Principal, A.E. Perry Elementary
Chair, Young Authors’ Conference
Kamloops-Thompson School District

Tricia Persad
Literacy Coordinator, Henry Grube Education Centre
Organiser, Young Authors’ Conference
Kamloops-Thompson School District