Author Presentations & Writing Workshops:
Want your students (or adult writer’s group) to learn writing tips and tricks (and even real-world science and math!) from a published writer? Contact me about a presentation!
Possible presentation topics:
Math & Science of Chickens & Other Pets (best for ages 11-13):
A 25-pound bag of food will feed five chickens for how many days? Why do chickens eat grit? What are feathers made of? How many chickens will fit on a five-foot-long roost at night? Get ready for some real-world pet math and science!
Writing Workshop: Letter You Can’t Mail (best for ages 11-adult):
Do you ever wish you could share something with someone you miss? What would you tell someone you never met, or who doesn’t even exist? How would you describe yourself in a letter to an imaginary employer, to get your dream job? Write a letter that no one can deliver.
Writing Workshop: Create and Describe a Superpet (best for ages 5-13):
Draw & describe a pet with superpowers! You’ll use your five senses (and a few secret questions) to think about how to describe your pet to someone special (your parent, your friend, the President, a police officer, a zookeeper, a veterinarian…) (Can modify for the youngest participants.)
So You Want To Write a Novel (best for ages 11-adult):
You have an idea — but can you really write a whole novel? What will it take to write that many words? What happens when you don’t feel like writing any more, or you lose your way? How to strategize a huge project like this, ways to keep yourself motivated, tips to keep moving forward even when you feel lost or stuck. (Can modify for other large writing projects.)
You Wrote Something – Now What? (best for ages 11-adult):
You wrote your first draft – now how do you make it better? When should you get feedback? How do you decide what to change? Editing tips to try on your own work, plus what to ask so your critiquers can help you improve your work. Participants will work through editing examples and design a few critique questions, then head home to put them to use in their own writing.
Writing as a Career (best for ages 11-adult):
What’s it like to work as a writer? How do you write a novel? How do you sell a book? How do you get paid? (Happy to talk detailed real-world math & even taxes here!) What kind of education/training is helpful? What do writers do (besides write)? What do agents do? What do editors do? What can I do right now, as a young person? How do writers meet other writers? What’s a critique group? What kinds of writers are there, anyway? (poet, journalist, novelist, etc) What about librarians, booksellers, and others who work with books, but don’t write them?
Other ideas? Particular topic suggestions? Feel free to ask!
Looking for an author for an inspirational keynote, or a panel about writing for young people, connecting with bookstores and libraries, or another topic? I love speaking to groups, and sharing real talk about my experiences!
Along with many other writers who write for young people, I’ve pledged to only participate in conferences and conventions that have a clear harassment policy that’s publicized to attendees: one that makes it clear what behavior is unacceptable, and who to go to for help if an attendee feels harassed.
Not sure if your event’s policy meets this criteria, or looking for help developing one? Please contact me, and I’ll try to put you in touch with someone who can help.
I’ve also pledged to serve only on panels that include voices of color. If you’ve just realized the panel you’re planning only includes white voices, and you’d like to change that, please contact me — I’d be happy to help connect you with wonderful authors of color to ask!