Wai Chim is the author of the popular junior fiction series, Chook Chook and Freedom Swimmer, a young adult novel inspired by the true story of her father swimming from China to Hong Kong to escape Communist rule. Wai’s most recent book is Shaozhen: Through My Eyes – Natural Disaster Zones, an evocative and compelling story about one boy living through the 2014 drought in Henan, China (release date – August, 2017).
Wai is originally from New York and has spent the past ten years living in Sydney. Born to immigrant parents who didn’t speak much English, Wai draws from her cultural background to tell engaging stories and give presentations that promote diversity, empathy and acceptance. She is a regular presenter with WestWords and has appeared in notable literature festivals including Somerset.
Wai has delivered successful workshops and writing talks to school audiences of all ages. Known for her exuberance and high-energy levels, Wai’s presentations will have young audiences on the edge of their seats.
Known as a highly engaging and exuberant presenter, Wai will happily tailor a writing program to suit your class requirements.
Presentations and Workshops
Writing from cultural experience
(Appropriate for Year 3 -4)
An inspiring introduction to culture and stories – with a great focus on culture (and food!) and how it has inspired Wai’s writing career. Students will help write a collective story.
Exploring China today: Focus text Shaozhen
(Appropriate for Years 4-6)
Introduction to my personal background and Chinese culture. Discussion around China today, natural disasters and the importance of research for writing.
Introduction to Chinese Culture and the Chook Chook series
(Appropriate for Years 3-4)
Dynamic and engaging presentation that introduces Chinese culture and its influence on my writing especially in the Chook Chook series. Includes interactive reading and discussion.
Interactive Chinese Storytelling Session
(Appropriate for Year K – 2. Suitable for large audiences)
A fantastic interactive role play that allows kids to engage with a popular Chinese Fairy tale. A general introduction to culture and Wai’s writing background leads to students participating in a retelling of the classic myth, ‘The Four Dragons’.
Fractured Fairytales – introduction to diversity
(Appropriate for Years 5 – 6)
A great way to engage students with diversity and culture by setting their favourite fairy tales in another place. A general introduction on cultural themes and story requirements leads to students writing and presenting their own fractured fairy tale.
Interactive Writing Workshop: How to begin a story
(Appropriate for Years 3-4 in groups of about 20)
Interactive writing workshop explores Character, Setting and Problem. Includes listening and writing activities and encourages students to read their work aloud.
Writing Workshop: Discovering Voice
(Appropriate for Years 6-9)
Writing workshop that explores voice in writing. Looking at different types of voice and how it can shape our perception of the text. Students will work on some examples to discover the different voices they can write in.
Freedom Swimmer: an introduction to historical fiction writing
(Appropriate for Years 6 and up)
Introduction to my personal background and Chinese culture and setting the scene for ‘Freedom Swimmer’. Explores the Cultural Revolution in China with personal stories and original materials from the time. Discussion around the importance of historical fiction and how to craft a story around real moments in history.
Other Presentation thought-starters
Cultural Craft Activities
Wai is creatively crafty and loves to create her own resources and teaching aids to make sessions more exciting and engaging.
Writing and creative workshops
Wai can tailor a writing program to suit your class requirements with the use of quirky props and elaborate ideas including:
- Bogs the Penguin – a teeny little penguin with a big personality, a definite classroom favourite!
- Storytelling for apps (ideas for teens) – digital storytelling via apps is all the rage and gives young writers a brand-new platform to bring ideas to life. In addition to writing stories, Wai works on apps and websites and is always looking for new ways to intersect her passion for code with story.
- Writing historical fiction (Suitable for teens)– We’re living in history right now! With modern events unfolding rapidly all around us, what stories can we uncover for future readers? How do we create a sense of place and time and root our stories to history?