There’s nothing better than talking books. I’m available for school visits, book signings, writing conferences, book clubs, and all things book-related. Below are some topics that might be of interest:
"Everyone's a Writer." Everyone is a writer, when you consider that every person is hard-wired for story. This session discusses a wide variety of storytelling techniques, and shows how students are already using techniques and tactics that professional writers use (texting is writing dialogue, making to-do lists is writing a first draft, etc.) In "Everyone’s a Writer," we discuss the myth that writing is a talent, and the discussion emphasizes craft over construction, encouraging EVERY person to share his/her unique voice. A 45-minute inspirational presentation.
“Writing Magic: The Secrets Behind Great Writing Tricks.” This hour-long presentation touches on six writing strategies that any student can use. This presentation is often adapted to a workshop format.
“Choosing the Best Possible Words (And Why Does It Even Matter?)” A discussion of how word choice sets the tone of the story and defines the voice of the narrator.
“What if your home were a national park?” A creative writing workshop that includes such concepts as writing using your five senses, setting as character, and mood.
“So what is it like to be an author?” An overview of the life of an author, including where story ideas come from, how to do research, how to plot and outline a story, and the business of being a writer.
“Deciding YOUR Life Path.” An inspirational presentation ideal for award ceremonies, leadership celebrations, and other events where organizers might seek a “you can do it and here’s HOW” message.
“Questionable Characters (And Why We Want to Create Them)” Developing excellent characters should be the #1 goal of writers. Here are some tips on how to do just that.
“The Keys to Voice: Unlocking the Mystery Behind the Concept.” This presentation explains the slippery concept of “voice” using six key concepts.
“Revision as Reconstructive Surgery: Five Essential Tips to Rebuilding after the First Draft.” Heavy-duty revision tips from someone who has survived heavy-duty revision.
“The SECOND Draft.” You've completed the obligatory "crummy first draft" - now what? This workshop provides an overview of what mistakes are common in a first draft and how to discover what might be missing so that your second draft can truly shine.
“Not Your Kindergartner's Show-and-Tell.” We've all heard that writers should "show, not tell," but what does that mean? And more importantly, why show? Examples of how to spot "telling" phrases in your own work, and how to turn them into "showing" phrases, are included.
“The Author/Editor Relationship.” Originally presented at a Midsouth SCBWI conference, this presentation covers what to expect from your editor, how to make things as easy as possible for your editor (so that s/he’s *dying* to work with you again!), and how to read between the lines of all that editor-speak.
“Back to School: How to Excel at School Visits.” A workshop regarding booking visits and developing content that will razzle-dazzle kids!
“Effective Author Presentations: How to Knock the Socks Off Attendees.” Writers ARE entertainers. This presentation covers what readers want in watching an author speak.
“Breaking into Non-Traditional Markets.” As the author of more than 20 coloring and activity books for children, I introduce writers to the wonderful, well-paying industry children’s activity books. Tips on how to break in and what to expect are included.
"Everyone's a Writer." Originally presented at the Kentucky Library Association, this speech is a 45-minute inspirational talk on the imporantance of media specialists in a world where Everyone Is A Writer.
“Before the World Had Color: Using Visual Literacy to Teach the Reading, Writing, and Researching of History.” Originally presented at an NCTE conference in 2014, this presentation shows how visual literacy ties in to writing accurate historical accounts.
“The Birth of A Book (And Why I have Succumbed to This Metaphor).” How an idea becomes a story becomes a book.
Also: I’m available for presentations via Skype! This is an ideal option for schools who would love to have an author “visit” their school but find their budget tight. Visit the Educators page for more details, and then email me to schedule a Skype!
Have a different idea? Hey, I’m flexible - lemme hear it! If you or your school is interested in a visit, shoot me an email!