Author Visits

Creating curious kids and nurturing budding writers…


The Common Core places ever-increasing demands on children to write informational/expository texts, opinion pieces, and narratives. Let me share my enthusiasm for writing “true stories.” Students learn how to hunt down ideas, conduct research, and craft captivating nonfiction.

Why should you host a school visit? A recent survey of 600 teachers, librarians and others who hosted author school visits showed the following benefits.:

  1. Motivates students to read more (91%)
  2. Inspires creativity and expression (75%)
  3. Motivates students to write more (70%)

Read the full summary (and get the link to the full article) here.

Truth is stranger than fiction (and more fun too!)

Space potties. Animal vampires. Mammoth bones. I’ve written about things “ewwww” and “cool” all in the name of science. My work includes more than 25 nonfiction books for students in kindergarten through 6th grade, as well as more than a dozen magazine articles for children’s publications like ASK, ODYSSEY, APPLESEEDS, and BOYS’ LIFE.

Available March 2020

Option 1: For libraries, homeschool groups, clubs, after-school programs: “Engineering an Airplane,” a hands-on, STEM-based program where students become airplane engineers. (approx. 1 hour, 30 students max)

Using the nonfiction picture book, WOOD, WIRE, WINGS: Emma Lilian Todd Invents an Airplane, students discuss and model the NGSS Engineering Design Process to design, build, and test paper airplanes, recording their work in their engineer’s notebook.

Option 2: Large-group assembly: “Inventing …a Story” a crash course in engineering/invention and narrative nonfiction writing based upon the nonfiction picture book, WOOD, WIRE, WINGS: Emma Lilian Todd Invents an Airplane. (approx. 45 minutes, large group assembly up to 500 students)

This highly interactive STEM/STEAM presentation helps students understand the close links between the creative processes of invention/engineering and narrative nonfiction writing. Using the NGSS Engineering Design standards, students trace two journeys: Lilian Todd’s efforts to design her own airplane, and my work to bring Lilian’s story to young readers. Using props, student volunteers help tell both stories, from initial inspiration to defining the problem (research), developing solutions (brainstorming and first draft), and optimizing the design (revision).

No matter which option you choose, your students will come away realizing that inventors and authors never get things right the first time. And that’s ok. If they believe in themselves and stay true to their dreams, their creations will eventually soar.

2020 rates:

  • Single, one-hour virtual session (via Skype, Zoom, Meet or other platform) – $200
  • Single, one-hour in-person session — $250 plus mileage (avail. Los Angeles, Kern, and Ventura Counties only)
  • In-person half-day program (approx. 3 hours, no more than two assemblies) – $600 plus mileage outside the Antelope Valley
  • In-person full school day visit (approx. 6 hours) – $950 per day (single school), plus travel expenses outside of the Antelope Valley; discounts available for multiple schools within one district booked on consecutive days.

If scheduling a full-day school visit, select from the options below to customize your visit:

  • Interactive 45-minute assemblies geared toward lower elementary or upper elementary students (through 6th grade). Assemblies are designed to excite imaginations about engineering, inventing, “real stories,” and writing. (3 assemblies max per day)
  • 45-minute hands-on writers’ workshops aligned with Common Core State Standards, as well as science and social studies content standards. I work with small groups of students on real projects incorporating all aspects of the writing process: finding ideas, researching, writing, and revising.
  • One-hour Engineering an Airplane program for individual classes.
  • Half-hour classroom visits to answer questions about the writing life and tell the stories behind the stories.

I am also available to sign books, eat lunch with teachers or students, and much more!

Need ideas for funding an author visit? A list of resources can be found here.

For more details and options, please download my brochure here. Or email me at creatingcuriouskids [at] gmail [dot] com.

NEW: Free 15-minute Skype Visits February – May 2020

When WOOD, WIRE, WINGS releases February 25, 2020, read and discuss the book with your kids. Then reach out to me at creatingcurioukids [at] gmail [dot] com to schedule a virtual, 15-minute visit with your classroom or library. I can FaceTime and Google Hangout too. Virtual visits must take place between February and May 2020.

Find more amazing authors providing school visits at Kim Norman’s Cool School Visits.

Read Across America


2 thoughts on “Author Visits”

  1. And Tina, right now I do have March 16 available. My full rate is $400 plus travel for 2014-2015, but let’s talk and see if discounts apply. I also can do Skype visits for small groups at $50 per hour.

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