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SCBWIFWASFWA

School Visits

Here are my different presentations and workshops, all interactive and fun, and designed to get minds buzzing with their own ideas. Just pick the one that's right for you!

General information about my author visits can be found on my Scholastic Author Visit Page., but you don’t have to go through Scholastic. Just contact me directly.

Select the presentation that's right for you!

Why and How to be an Author

(30 to 45 minutes long, appropriate for grades 3 and up)

This answers the questions of why I became a writer and how I create stories. It's both interactive and funny and uses specific examples from my writing to explain an easy way to write a story. The intent is to both energize and inform, and to leave students with an immediate path to writing.

This presentation can be given to a single class, but it works better with larger audiences. It easily scales up or down to match the grade-level of the participants, and has been given to grades 3 through 12.

Previous school visits

Pace Brantley,
Keeth Elementary,
Sterling Park Elementary,
Lawton Elementary,
Highlands Elementary,
North Star Elementary,
Choices in Learning Elementary,
Geneva Elementary,
Holy Trinity
Episcopal Academy,
Bentley Elementary,
Lake Mary Preparatory School,
Annunciation Catholic Academy,
Edgewater Public School, Layer Elementary,
Midway Elementary,
Discovery Elementary,
Osteen Elementary,
Glen Acres

Writing the Details

(30 to 45 minutes long, grades 3 through 8)

In this talk, I focus on the use of details in writing. Are details important to a story? Why? How can they improve it? More importantly, how can writers find the right details? Using specific examples from both from my writing and from other popular works of fiction, I engage the students in an interactive discovery of how each of us can come up with the most effective details for our stories.

This presentation was designed to help fourth graders who were preparing for FCAT writes, but can be adjusted up or down in grade level. I've given it to both large and small groups, but I recommend keeping the audience below about 30 kids. After that, kids get frustrated as they miss out on some of the interaction.

Getting Creative

(30 to 45 minutes long, customizeable for any audience)

What does it mean to create? How does it feel? Is there a process that works better than others? Using specific examples from both my writings and my games, this brand new interactive presentation dives into how to be creative. It helps kids and adults think in new ways, and tap into their own creative selves.It also shows them how to avoid some of the pitfalls that can discourage creativity.

Picture Book Workshop

(30 to 45 minutes long, appropriate for second and third grades)

I designed this workshop in response to a teacher's request. After a brief introduction to picture books and their structure, the kids separate into teams. During the workshop, I lead the teams through the process of designing a story appropriate for either a picture book or short story. At the end of the workshop, each team has their own title, framework, plot summary, and character details.

Game Design Workshop

(45 to 60 minutes long, appropriate for grades three through five)

I designed this workshop in response to a teacher's request. Her gifted class was interested in board games. During the workshop, the kids break into teams and each teams designs and builds the prototype for their own game. While I do start the workshop off with a little bit of speaking, the bulk of this workshop is spent making games, with me going from team to team, helping and answering questions.