offer the following author presentations and workshops. Please read
through the available selections, and contact me with questions or to
make arrangements for an author appearance.
School Visit Presentations and Workshops:
I offer one-day or multiple-day long school author visits with a wide variety of workshops for students in grades K-12, as outlined on the inside of my school visit brochure.
See my School Visit Brochure-inside
See my School Visit Brochure-outside
I also offer 1-3 week school artist-in-residencies, as outlined at the bottom of this page.
Family Literacy Night Program:
Race the Clock:
An Author-Led Track Meet — A one-to-two hour program, geared for 3-8th grade students & family members, combining a collection of goofy activities and writing-related events. Possible track meet events include the following: paper plate discuss, magic marathon, clay/spoon pole vault, hook high jump, story starter sprint, standing broad jump, hot title hurdles, problem-building rock throw, plastic straw javelin, round robin relay, setting steeplechase, show/don't tell dash, and the cotton-ball shot put.
Interactive Presentation for Groups of Youth/Teens:
Write for your Life Presentation:
A 40-60 minute interactive presentation in which youth act out and observe a role-play, learn
about the 10 Deadly Sins of Writing, and
interview fellow students to
find out the suspect, motive, and scene of a writing crime. This presentation requires an hour’s advanced preparation with a smaller group of volunteers or selected students.
Writing and/or Literature Workshops for Adults/Teens:
Dramatic Dialogue: Choreographing Dialogue for Prose
60-90 minute interactive workshop in which participants use theatrical techniques to create strong prose dialogue. Participants write short scripts, participate in a group role-play of a scene, and revise their scripts into
dialogue for prose by adding setting, action, and emotion.
Create Your Own Character:
Free yourself! And go back to the basics: character motive, obstacles, strengths, and flaws. Come prepared to cut, paste, color, and create your own character in one 45-90 minute hands-on workshop!
Settings that Pop!
Open your scene. Put your character in place. And bring the setting alive! Come learn why every setting is different based on the character’s mood. Tackle the challenges of using fantastical or exotic places that you’ve never been. And practice writing your own settings that pop!
Sweat the Small Stuff: Transitions, Description, and Flow
Want to separate your story from the slush pile? Sweat the small stuff. A
45-90 minute hands-on workshop focusing on the small things that make the difference between a good manuscript and a polished one:
transitions, word choice & pacing, details, descriptions, and
making minor characters pop! Participants will write.
What’s to Love About YA:
A 30-90 minute discussion about the joys — and challenges — of writing young adult literature. Versatility, complexity, pacing, and the ever-challenging adventure of working with teenage characters.
Dueling Voices: the Power of POV
Point-of-view defines the story. And if you flip it, or change it, the potential for discovery is limitless. A 60-90 minute hands-on workshop in which the participants view a scene written from two opposing viewpoints, then plunge into the discovery of writing their own scene from dueling perspectives.
The Beast Within:
A 45-60 minute fantasy-oriented workshop. From swan maidens to werewolves, traditional tales have a long history of bestowing animal traits upon fairy tale characters. Learn how to use that tradition to your own writing advantage. Create minor characters with the power to leap off the page, linger in the reader's mind, or make your audience laugh out loud.
La Cultura: Developing Vibrant, Multicultural Characters
What is culture? And how do writers find the guts to create rich, vibrant, and diverse characters? Participants are invited to an open-ended discussion on the challenges and pitfalls of writing within and across cultural boundaries. The instructor will present a practical look at different elements that impact the culture of literary characters, share materials and lead hands-on activities to help participants develop their own insights, and present a realistic pathway to developing culturally rich characters. Participants are encouraged to share their own queries, concerns, and insights throughout the course of the workshop.
Delve Deep: Character, Plot, Action, Setting, and POV
A 45-60 hour writing plunge exploring the art of advanced narrative writing. Participants will create characters, generate conflict for plot, write action-oriented beginnings, develop settings that pop!, and explore the power of pov. All using techniques practiced by professional authors and under the instruction of an award-winning author of teen novels.
Use Your Voice:
A 30-60 minute inspirational presentation about the road to becoming a published author, listening to the characters in your head, and using your writing voice. Includes music and brief author readings.
What’s to Love About YA:
A 30-60 minute speech and/or discussion about the joys — and challenges — of writing young adult literature. Versatility, complexity, pacing, and the ever-challenging adventure of working with teenage characters! (Another version of this talk is adaptable as a writing
A 1-2 hour hands-on workshop about the art of teaching writing. Wish you could help your students learn to write like real authors? Come learn techniques for doing just that. Give students real purpose, help them tackle advanced skills, and free their imaginations. Come practice and learn how to create your own author’s toolbox!
Small Group (Library, Book Club, Writing Group, etc.)
Presentations for Participants of All Ages:
Unveil the Mystery:
30-60 minute author-led presentation which includes at least one author
reading, an interactive activity to introduce characters in the
reading, details about the author’s life, tips for participants
interested in becoming published writers, and an open-ended question
and answer session in which participants ask their own questions of the
author. Participants’ reading of the author’s book prior to this
session will result in a higher-level of interaction and discussion.
Author Adventure — A Fiction-Writing Safari:
A week long safari for students in grades 3-6 to explore the art of narrative writing. Students will create their own characters, develop plot by "throwing rocks at their character," write intriguing beginnings in a matter of minutes, plunge into point of view, and put their characters in place. All using techniques practiced by professional authors. (Residencies can be expanded to multiple weeks for schools with larger populations).
On the Edge — A Young Adult Writing Residency:
A week long YA writing plunge for students in grades 6-12 to explore the art of advanced narrative writing. Participants will create characters, generate conflict for plot, write action-oriented beginnings; and turn dialogue into drama. All using techniques practiced by professional authors and under the instruction of an award-winning author of teen novels.
An expanded two-week version of On the Edge, including the lessons above, as well as an exploration of Hero's Journey, narrative structure, and the power of point-of-view.
An expanded three-week version of On the Edge, including the lessons above, as well as an exploration of settings that pop, genre, research-oriented exposition, advanced-level sentences and punctuation, and villains.
Community Workshop Series:
A set of adult/community workshops incorporating the lessons offered in my Edge writing residencies, along with a variety of warm-up activities and the opportunity for adult writers to receive group and author feedback on independent writing. The length of this series, like that of all my residencies, is adaptable based on the needs of the community.