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Robert Stelmach (a.k.a. Max Tell)

Author, Storyteller

Contact Information


robert [at] maxtell [dot] ca

#214 - 14990 North Bluff Road
White Rock BC
V4B 3E4

b. (604) 538-9466

Selected Bibliography

Audio recordings:
Little Johnny Small and Other Stories (Max Tell Productions, 2007)
Dragon with a Flagon (Max Tell Productions, 2004)
A Fist of Bees (Max Tell Productions, 2003)
The Land of Graws (Max Tell Productions, 2003)

Location: White Rock, BCAvailability: nationalAvailable: any time

Reading Location:

libraries, schools


Preschool to 12

Audience Size:

30 to 300


$250.00 per one hour reading, plus GST, travel and accomodations where applicable.




Robert Stelmach, a.k.a. Max Tell, as a wide range of performance material (both stories and songs) for ages 5 to 17, their teachers and librarians.

His performances for ages 5 to 12 are based on excerpts from his first four audio CDs and other stories and songs not yet published.

Special Equipment:


Book Sales:

Copies of books can be brought to be sold and autographed, if requested.

Workshop Location:

libraries, schools


3 to 12

Audience Size:

15 to 25


$250.00 per one hour workshop, plus GST, travel and accomodations where applicable.




Act of Story: Performance Techniques for Teachers, Students and Storytellers
Teachers are on stage four to five hours a day, five days a week, 10 months of the year. Learn how to orchestrate learning and play in a casual but focused and highly-charged atmosphere.

Performance techniques give you the physical and vocal presence that puts you in control.

Variations of this workshop are also available for students of different ages.

Story of a Page: A Classroom Writing Exercise
Writing made groovy. In this power-packed workshop, young writers are given both freedom and suitable boundaries to help them to write their story. Working as a group, they first choose the genre of their story, a catchy opening, three stepping stones (strong action verbs or vivid noun phrases) to help carry their plot to a compelling conclusion.

Once the writing process is complete, Max reads shorts excerpts from each story, making them all come to life.

History Through the Art of Storytelling
Report on Caesar's assassination or interview the Queen's dog.

Using Power Point, Max illustrates how, through research, he collected both historical data and related facts for the creation of his song "Old Curly". Then he leads particpants the process of taking their own research, turning it into a story, and telling that story to the rest of the class.

This enlightening workshop should follow and highlight a specific segment of historical study and research.

Creative Writer's Toolkit
Grades 5-7, could be adjusted for high school students

Writing is like making a movie. The camera sees. The microphone hears. The special effects guy adds a touch of magic. All a writer has is words; but those words can create a magic of their own. This imaginative and informative workshop examines specific tools of language related to the five senses. It also covers the use of a dictionary and a thesaurus to enhance the creative process, along with other useful language and writing tools. Young writers will begin to explore, understand, and utilize language skills in ways they have never thought possible.

Artist in Residence:

Level One: The Senses - five one-hour sessions
Level Two: Literary Devices - ten one-hour sessions
Level Three: Brainstorming & Outlining - five one-hour sessions
Level Four: Writing & Editing - five one-hour sessions

Other workshops include: 'Making Stories Come Alive', 'Poetry through the Hoop of Fire', 'Fractured Fairytales' (an Artist in Residence program) and 'A Crash Course in Song Writing'.

The workshops outlined above are playful tools to help young people think about reading, writing, language, and public speaking outside of the more structured format of the classroom.

Each workshop runs one to one and a half hours for students and up to three hours for teachers and libarians.

All workshops can be adjusted for ages 7 to 17, except 'Poetry: Through the Hoop of Fire' which is only for Grades 11 to 12.

Special Equipment:


Book Sales:

Copies of books can be brought to be sold and autographed, if requested.


Robert (Max Tell) Stelmach, writer of stories, singer of songs, and educator, was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada in 1945.

Max has toured South East Asia five times telling his own stories and singing his own songs. Max has performed at many festivals including The Vancouver International Children's Festival (1992, 2005-07), The Surrey Children's Festival (2005-06), The Vancouver Storytelling Festival (1991-93, 2000, 2003-04), Bumbershoot (the Seattle Arts Festival) (1992, 1994), as well as storytelling festivals in Singapore, Australia, and Malaysia (1991-95).

In 2006 alone, Max gave over 50 performances including a 29 library tour of the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia.He also has five years of experience touring as an actor in children's theatre throughout Northern Ontario.

Max has give audio CDs available: the most recent is Little Johnny Small and Other stories, now available in two versions (English and English with Spanish translations). His other CDs are Dragon with a Flagon produced and accompanied by David Sinclair (Sarah McLachlan and k.d. lang), A Fist of Bees and The Land of Graws. Four of Max's plays have been produced and many of his poems, short stories, and articles have been published in small magazines.

In 1992 his play, Wild Rose and Half Step was nominated for a Jessie Richardson Theatre Award for best Children's Play of the Year. Max's story, 'Fiezo, the Book Burro' was shortlisted by the Writers' Union of Canada for their 2007 Writing for Children competition.

Max has over 650 hours of experience as a workshop leader. His workshops include: Story on a Page, Act the Story, History through the Art of Storytelling, Poetry through the Hoop of Fire, The Creative Writers' Tool Kit, Making Stories Come Alive, A Crash Course in Song Writing, and Fractured Fairytales.

Robert Stelmach holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in theatre from Virginia Commonwealth Univeristy, Richmond, Virginia (1972) and carried on graduate studies in theatre arts at the University of Nebraska (1974). he studied creative writing at the Banff School of Fine Arts in Banff, Alberta, studying under W.O. Mitchell, one of Canada's most renowned novelists (1978).