I love visiting schools, talking to young readers, exploring the writing process with students, and helping kids and adults get excited about books! I’ve spoken at schools, book festivals, and community events across the country and connected with kids and teachers around the world through virtual author presentations. If you’re interested in hosting me for an in-person or online event with your school group, please review the information on this page first. Then contact me to set up a visit.
Virtual Author Visits
I offer free 20-minute virtual visits (usually via Zoom) to student groups and book clubs that have read at least one of my books. Visits follow a question-and-answer format. In order for everyone to get the most out of our short time together, I ask that students come to the visit prepared with questions to ask. When you schedule a virtual author visit, we can arrange a time for a brief test chat in advance of the visit to troubleshoot any technological problems we might encounter.
In-Person Author Visits
I offer a number of different in-person presentations for school groups. Like my novels, these presentations are most suitable for children in grades 3-6. If you are hosting me for multiple sessions, I can deliver the same presentation more than once, or you can mix and match two or more presentations.
Large-group presentation: How the Heck Do I Write a Book?
In this interactive talk, I show students how I turn the glimmer of a story idea into a full-fledged book—and how they can use brainstorming, drafting, and revision techniques to turn their ideas into reality, too! I read from my work and share photos from the writing process, volunteers play a story-building game, and there’s plenty of time at the end for student questions.
Recommended reading before the presentation: at least one of my books
Writing workshop: Intrepid Heroes and Vile Villains
In this workshop suitable for classroom-sized student groups, we explore how conflict between protagonists and antagonists drives the action of a story. We work as a whole group, in smaller teams, and independently to discuss heroes and villains in the stories we love, create our own heroes and villains, and write or draw scenes in which our new characters are put into conflict. There’s time at the end for student sharing and a quick Q&A about the writing life. Worksheets are provided; students should have access to pens or pencils, extra paper, and a good writing surface.
Recommended reading before the presentation: Magic Marks the Spot
Writing workshop: Brave New Worlds
In this workshop suitable for classroom-sized student groups, students explore concepts of setting and let their imaginations run wild as they create fantastic worlds for their stories. We talk about our favorite fictional universes, answer brainstorming questions about a world we’ll create from scratch, draw maps, and write descriptive paragraphs about our new worlds and the characters who live there. There’s time at the end for student sharing and a quick Q&A about the writing life. Worksheets are provided; students should have access to pens or pencils, extra paper, and a good writing surface.
Recommended reading before the presentation: The Door at the End of the World
Writing workshop: The Plot Thickens!
In this workshop suitable for classroom-sized student groups, we’ll learn about key elements of story plotting through the lens of mystery fiction. Using my novel The World’s Greatest Detective as a model, we’ll talk about rising action, climax, and resolution; draw our own mystery scenario on a plot chart; brainstorm clues and red herrings; and write “turning point” scenes about the sleuths and criminals we’ve created. There’s time at the end for student sharing and a quick Q&A about the writing life. Worksheets are provided; students should have access to pens or pencils, extra paper, and a good writing surface.
Required reading before the presentation: The World’s Greatest Detective
Custom presentation or workshop
I’m happy to tailor an existing presentation or create a new one to meet the needs and interests of your students and your curriculum. If you would like me to talk about a writing or literacy topic not included above, please contact me to discuss this option further. Please note that since I will be creating new material specifically for your group, additional fees may apply.
I look forward to visiting your school and celebrating books, writing, and imagination with you and your students!