Visits & Events

Presentations for Kids

NONFICTION WRITER’S TOOLBOX (45-50 minutes)
In this presentation, I share the tools I use to write nonfiction stories––from idea to completed manuscript––focusing on how students can use these same tools when writing nonfiction essays or stories in school. The tools include:

  1. Ideas (Where they come from)
  2. Research (How to get started, keep track, and when to stop)
  3. The Vital Idea (Finding the spine of your story)
  4. The Writing Process (Why first drafts are supposed to stink)
  5. Revision (Creating context, meaning, and emotion by using sensory details, vivid verbs, synonyms, and more)
  6. Feedback (How to make a Critique Sandwich––and how to eat one)
  7. More Revision
  8. Celebration!

 

THE TRUE STORY OF A NONFICTION BOOK (45-50 minutes)

In this presentation, I tell the story of how The Great Stink: How Joseph Bazalgette Solved London’s Poop Pollution Problem went from something I wondered about (What the heck is “The Great Stink?!”) to an award-winning book. I discuss my writer’s journey, including how I used the above tools (especially #5!) to create a finished manuscript, as well as the process of working with an editor and illustrator. (Nancy gave me some of her early sketches to share with students!)

Both presentations allow time for Q&A, include handouts, and leave students with ideas they can use immediately to enhance their writing and research in class.

Book Talks

I’d be happy to participate in a virtual 20-minute Q&A with you and your students. I don’t charge a fee for this, but a minimum purchase of 10 copies of The Great Stink: How Joseph Bazalgette Solved London’s Poop Pollution Problem is required. Books can be purchased by the school or by individual parents from the bookstore of your choice.

Conferences & Festivals

I am available to join panel discussions or create custom presentations on a variety of topics that will appeal to educators, writers, or kids. 

Past topics for educators include:

  • Don’t Skip the Back Matter: How Nonfiction Picture Books Promote Disciplinary Literacy
  • Saving Earth: Books to Empower Young Environmentalists
  • Integrating Hands-On STEM and Literacy Through Picture Books
  • Puzzling Together the Truth: Author-Tested Tricks for Puzzling Through Sources in the Digital Age

Past topics for writers include:

  • Breaking into Publishing After Age 50

Past topics for kids include:

  • Super Hero Internet Search Strategies

Please contact me for rates and details! 

EVENTS

Future

  • April 7, 2022, 4:15-5:15 p.m. CT – 2022 Fay B. Kaigler Virtual Children’s Book Festival, panelist: From Primary Sources to Published: How to Get Published in Children’s Nonfiction

Past

  • August 31, 2021 at 6PM Pacific – Virtual Book Launch for THE GREAT STINK: HOW JOSEPH BAZALGETTE SOLVED LONDON’S POOP POLLUTION PROBLEM hosted by Once Upon a Time in Montrose, CA and featuring Illustrator Nancy Carpenter. Watch the replay.
  • July 15, 2021 – nErD Camp PA. Panelist:
    • Don’t Skip the Back Matter: How Nonfiction Picture Books Promote Disciplinary Literacy
    • Saving Earth: Books to Empower Young Environmentalists
  • April 17, 2021 – NSTA Engage Spring Virtual Conference, panelist:
      • Integrating Hands-On STEM and Literacy Through Picture Books
  • April 12-16 – 2021 Fay B. Kaigler Virtual Children’s Book Festival, panelist:
      • Breaking into Publishing After Age 50
      • STEAM-ing Up Kidlit
  • November 19-22, 2020 – NCTE Annual Convention, panelist:
      • Puzzling Together the Truth: Author-Tested Tricks for Puzzling Through Sources in the Digital Age