About My School Visits

I love to share my story and process with students of all ages and backgrounds! My presentations and workshops are always interactive and focus on empowering students to understand the steps involved in writing a story. I present to grades K-12 and have spoken to over a hundred school groups across the United States and Canada. My hope is that every student walks away inspired.

 

Testimonials

I’ve had many parents thank me because their kids came home so excited about writing and following their dreams. You were a true inspiration to them. . .You have truly made a positive impact at Harbordale that I know will be long lasting.
— Cari Rodriguez, Curriculum Coach at Harbordale Elementary

Frequently Asked Questions

 
 

+ Do you charge a fee for school visits?

I do, and I’m happy to discuss ways to make things work within your budget.

+ Is this program appropriate for all ages?

Yes! Here’s what you can expect for different age groups:

Pre-K and K: I am happy to talk to younger students, but prefer to present to them separately from grades 1 to 5. I show the kids books I made when I was their age, and the books I write now. Then we brainstorm our own fractured fairy tales and magic powers. My presentation runs about 45 minutes and includes show and tale.

Grades 1-5: This presentation focuses on my Whatever Series and my Upside-Down Magic series. I begin with a discussion of how the books I read in elementary school inspired me to become a novelist. Then, we'll brainstorm our own story idea and learn about the steps of book writing: Idea, Research, Characters, Outline, First Draft, and Revising. I also discuss best ways to collaborate. My presentation runs about 45 minutes and includes a Powerpoint and a question and answer period.

Grades 6-12: Similar in form to my Elementary presentation, I teach students how to write a novel. We'll brainstorm our own story idea and learn about the steps of book writing: Idea, Research, Characters, Outline, First Draft, Revising, and Collaborating. We’ll go deeper into each step, depending on the grade level of the students. Books referenced for middle schools are the Magic in Manhattan series, Gimme a Call, and Don’t Even Think About It, and for Ten Things We Did, How to be Bad, and I See London, I See France for high school. My presentation runs about 45 minutes and includes a Powerpoint and a question and answer period.

+ How many times will you speak during your visit?

A typical school visit includes two interactive presentations and one meet-and-greet—for example, with English teachers, the school paper, a creative writing class, whatever you like. I can also do three presentations. All school visits include time for signing and personalizing books.

+ How long are the presentations?

Usually 45 minutes to an hour for each presentation, depending on the length of the question-and-answer period.

+ How large can the groups be?

As long as you have the space for the students and the tools for me to present, I’m fine with any number of students. The more the merrier!

+ How can we prepare for your visit?

I find that my presentations are more exciting when students have read my books, so the best way to prepare is to share my books with your students and encourage them to think of challenging questions they’d like to ask me: about specific books, about writing, about what it means to be a professional author—the deeper, the better!

Practically, I’ll need: a PowerPoint projector and screen, a mic (if more than 30 kids are in attendance), a bottle of water, and access to a cup of coffee. As long as we’ve communicated about your needs and scheduling beforehand, everything should be smooth sailing!

+ Do you sell books at your school visits?

I don’t bring books to sell at events, but I find that students love having a book for me to sign after presentations. It’s always great to support a local bookstore or distributor, and books can also be ordered from the publisher. Bookstores will often provide an advance order form that can be sent home with students so that the books will arrive at the school for the day of the event. Some bookstores offer school discounts, or even give a percentage of the sales to the school. All that said, book sales are not an expectation or requirement for a paid school visit—I am there to meet and encourage young readers and writers!

+ Do you do virtual visits?

Yes! If an in-person visit isn’t feasible, I'm happy to do a 30-minute Skype visit, which includes an introduction to my books and a Q&A.

 

Request a Visit

 
 

Contact me for rates and additional information. Please be sure to include as much detail as possible—number of students, grade levels, and possible dates. 

If you are a student, please do not fill out this form. (You will not get a reply!) Instead, ask your librarian if I can come to your school, and they can contact me here. 

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