What I do:
My presentation focuses on perseverance by sharing my journey to become an author/illustrator. I walk students through the various steps of writing, editing and illustrating, and include them in short exercises along the way. It’s an interactive and entertaining presentation that includes behind the scenes photographs of both writing and illustrating allowing students to connect and feel more confident about their own work. I believe author visits should inspire and energize students to read and explore their own creative potential.
My typical presentations are designed for grades K-12 and run approximately 45 minutes. The presentation can be modified to fit your schedule, the age of the audience, or any specific needs, however, I have worked with large assembly presentations as well as small, intimate workshops. I can give up to three large-group presentations in one day and several small-group workshops on the same day. I’m also happy to have lunch with students and/or faculty.
I also offer virtual Skype visits. My typical Skype visit is approximately 45 minutes is an abbreviated presentation with lots of time for Q & A.
For a downloadable list of presentations and workshops please click HERE.
What to expect:
An educational, dynamic and interactive presentation geared toward the age level and specific educational goals of the audience. All content of every session is tailored to the audience. I showcase the revision process of writing and illustrating, along with the idea that if you are willing to work hard, your dreams can be achieved.
- My typical presentation is between 45-60 minutes.
- Workshops are typically 30-60 minutes long, depending on content.
- Session content will vary depending on audience age, time, and school requests.
- I arrive 20 – 30 minutes early, unless specifically requested to arrive earlier.
- I bring a jump drive, books, examples, and props.
- There is ALWAYS time for questions!
Additional workshop options:
- Who’s Your Hero?
Small group hands-on character illustration workshop – ILLUSTRATION
Every book needs a hero, but who is yours? What do they look like? What are they wearing? We will explore what makes a memorable main character using text, fashion, style, diversity, environment and attitude to evaluate famous main characters. Using what we’ve learned we will create our own main character/hero. At the end of the workshop, students will have a completed sketch that can be used in later class projects. (Recommended for grades K-12, supplies needed: pencils, paper, something to add color, and a hard surface to write on)
- Illustration: Stories Without Words
Small group hands-on illustration workshop – ILLUSTRATION
Do you love to draw? Paint? Create characters? Tell stories with pictures? This workshop explores how to use art to tell a secondary story, the story that only an illustrator can tell. As a group we will work with an actual picture book manuscript to look at what the words say and then use our artistic creativity to discover what could be happening in the art above and beyond the text. This workshop focuses on brainstorming, thinking outside the box and imagination! (Recommended for grades K-12. Supplies needed: pencils, paper and a hard on which to write.)
- Editing-Shmediting: So Much More than Spelling
Small group hands-on editing process workshop – WRITING
This in-depth workshop focuses on the part of writing that most of us would rather skip: editing! We discuss the parts of the editing process and their importance. We review real manuscripts in-process and how they changed during editing. Finally, we review real draft manuscripts and apply our new knowledge of the editing process. (Recommended for grades 3-12. Supplies needed: pencils and a hard surface on which to write.)
- Hook Me, Reel Me In, and Leave Me Wanting More!
Small group hands-on story arc workshop – WRITING
During this workshop we discuss the basic story arc, what it means, and why it’s important. We will review well-known stories to see if they use the arc. We will then apply the story arc concept by creating a basic outline. At the end of the workshop, students will have a completed outline that can be utilized in later class projects. (Recommended for grades 2-12. Supplies needed: pencils, paper and a hard surface on which to write.)
Small group hands-on writing workshop – WRITING
A word-smith works with words to create beautiful sentences. Too often we use plain vanilla words, but being a writer means finding the double-dutch-chocolate-caramel-twist words that will make our story KER-POW! This workshop begins by looking at how famous authors use words. As a class, we brainstorm how to make plain sentences into amazing sentences. Finally, students will be provided a dummy text which they will word-smith and share. (Recommended for grades K-12. Supplies needed: pencils, paper and a hard surface on which to write.)
- Custom presentations available upon request.
What I need from you:
- A room full of students!
- If you have chosen an interactive presentation or a small workshop, each student will need a paper and pencil and a hard surface to write on.
- An LCD projector and screen or blank wall to project on.
- Microphone (for groups larger than classroom size)
- Computer with PowerPoint OPTIONAL (I can bring my own, though sometimes linking to your projector can be tricky!)
- Electrical outlet and extension cord for projector
- An advance look at the schedule for the day
PLEASE NOTE: I strongly recommend that students read at least one of my books before a school visit. This is not mandatory, though I feel students will get more out of the day if they know who I am and are familiar with my work.
Book sales and signings:
I always love to sign books for the kids (and teachers!) during an author visit. For local visits I will email you a book order form to send home to fill out and return to you. Notify me 2 days in advance of book totals, and I will bring them with me the day of my presentation. If it is an out of town visit your local book store will probably be happy to get involved, or I can put you in touch with a bookseller who can provide books at a discount.
If time permits, I love to sign face-to-face with the kids so I get a chance to speak with them. This is flexible, however, and I am happy to take care of it another time if you prefer.
Some schools use book sales as a creative way to help fund an author visit. Many bookstores will give schools a 20% discount. Some schools pass this discount along to the students, others use the funds to help cover the cost of an author visit.
School visit rates:
My rates include complimentary books for your school to share among the teachers and students (one book per session booked). Let me know if you have a preference for a specific book.
One session: $350
Two sessions: $600
Three sessions: $800
Skype visit: $150
A limited number of discount programs are offered annually, please contact me for more information.
Workshops, additional presentations or small class workshop pricing is available on request, please email me.
Budget constraints? Please let me know!
- Advance book sales can help pay for the visit.
- Teaming up with other schools will cut travel costs.
- I do a limited number of low-cost events for needy schools each year.
- If I’m attending other events in your area, I may be able to discount travel or lodging.
- Sometimes PTA, county, or state grants are available for student enrichment presentations.
I live in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, near Annapolis. I am able to do a day trip if your school is within 2-hours’ drive time.
Further than 2 hours I’ll need overnight accommodations and a minimum booking of two days. This can be two different schools in the same area or two days’ worth of visits in the same school.
I do out-of-state author visits with a two-day minimum. In addition to my daily fee the cost includes airfare from Baltimore Washington airport (BWI) and lodgings. I’ll also need local transportation. I’ll feed myself but I love having dinner with teachers and librarians!
Please contact me directly to work out travel details.
Please contact me if you need photos, book covers or flyers to advertise your event, or if you are in need of an invoice or W-9.
Q. Do you require a deposit?
A. No, I trust you. I will provide an invoice or paid invoice at your request.
Q. Can I record your presentation?
A. No. Photos are fine and I’m happy to record a video or audio interview or interaction with the students. My presentation itself, however, is copyrighted.
Q. Do you require any paperwork to confirm a visit?
A. No, an email confirmation is enough for me. If we make an agreement, I’ll be there. However I’m happy to comply with any paper work you need for your school rules and records.
Q. Will you spend time with our special-ed class?
A. I’d love to.
Q. Can a student interview you for our school paper or class project?
A. I’m happy to spend my time there however you want. Please make use of my time outside of presentations however you see fit.
More Questions? Please contact me at email@example.com
“Love the way you connected with students by sharing your development through the years. Your pictures were great!”
“Love that you gave the students time to draw. LOVE this presentation—wouldn’t change a thing!”
“Great progression from your early drawings to your expertise now. Nice overview of the processes with corresponding pictures. Your expressions really hit home, the frustration of working so hard and still never giving up!”