Are you designing a conference, panel, or workshop for writers, school educators, library patrons, or adult education classes? I'd love to join you as a speaker. I'll bring my ten year knowledge of the children's book publishing industry and my teaching training and experience. You supply participants ready to learn information that can be applied the very next day.
Download my brochure and share with decision-makers and scroll down for sample presentation topics. I am happy to design a presentation that fits your conference theme. If you have a topic in mind that isn't covered below, let's talk.
Fees are $250 per session plus IRS mileage reimbursement (currently $.55/mile) and overnight lodging for bookings over 100 miles from Marquette, MI that are held before 9:00 AM or after 7:00 PM.
Please contact me with any questions.
Presentations for Writers:
Children's Book Publishing Industry 101: Tips, Terms, and Twists
A one-hour, fast paced, nuts and bolts session for children's literature writers and writer/illustrators who want to be published -- and sooner rather than later. Like every industry, children's book publishing has conventions. If we follow them, we are one step closer to being part of the in-crowd. Participants will learn necessary standards for traditional publishing (formatting, important terms, word counts for categories, what’s pushy, what’s polite), how the industry works (role of agent vs. editor, types of publishing houses, large house vs. small vs. regional), and how creators get paid (advance, royalties). Lecture format with visuals, a take-away, and Q & A.
Writing and Selling Nonfiction: A Primer
This is a session for fiction writers interested in trying nonfiction or newer writers wanting to break into today’s exciting nonfiction market. Participants will walk away with a clear definition of different types of nonfiction and identify what type they might like to write. They'll also learn how to incorporate engaging fiction techniques into nonfiction projects. We’ll dig into research too -- how much is too little, when to stop researching and start writing, and how to organize all that information to find it when its needed. Finally, we'll cover what everyone wants to know: which traditional publishers and editors are buying excellent nonfiction and the best ways to get a good story on their desk. Lecture format with visuals, a take-away, and Q & A.
Putting It Out There
Two hour intensive. Don’t give an editor a reason to reject a manuscript just because you didn’t play by the rules. Get an insider look at industry expectations so you are viewed as a professional. We’ll cover a traditional children's book publishing industry primer (formatting, word count expectations, conventions, important terms), how to know when your manuscript is ready to submit, how to package it (query versus cover letters), how to research agents, editors and publishing houses, how to track submissions, when (and how) to nudge, how to deal with inevitable rejections, and how mini-successes lead to bigger accomplishments. Lecture format with visuals, take-aways, some group discussion, and Q & A.
Social Media Unboxed
Everyone needs a social media presence. That’s a given. But since we can’t participate in it all, we need to pick the right social media outlet for our goals. We’ll set our goals, determine which outlet will meet these goals, and learn how to set up registrations and profiles. We’ll look at best practices for different outlets and most importantly, how to use social media to our advantage, not become swallowed up by it. One hour lecture format including visuals, individual work time, and Q & A.
Presentations for Educators:
The Intersection of Fiction and Nonfiction in Children's Books
Informational books are having their day in the sun. But this isn't your mother's nonfiction; today, true stories can be labeled "faction," "creative nonfiction," "narrative nonfiction," "fic-informational" -- and more labels are being developed. We'll explore different types of informational books using current mentor texts in several categories and explore how fiction techniques are spilling into nonfiction - and enhancing it. Finally, we'll review current children's literature that bridges the gap between fiction and nonfiction and explore lesson ideas for breathing life into nonfiction through fiction techniques. This one hour lecture format includes visuals, a take-away, and Q&A.
Bring on the Funny
Humor has been proven to positively impact learning environments and learning outcomes. So how do we bring funny into the classroom? Use a Humor Style Test to identify what kind of humor you use, and then learn how can you build on your own style (or possibly modify it if it isn't working) to create a positive, enhanced classroom. Includes a review of children’s literature that uses different elements of humor effectively, age-appropriate humor, and lesson ideas for adding humor to student generated writing. One hour lecture format with visuals, a take-away, and Q & A.
Fiction, Nonfiction, and Shades of Grey in Between
The rise in innovative and engaging nonfiction has opened a world of possibilities but also confusion. How do we label and identify books that blend elements of fiction and nonfiction? In the stories we read, what clues tell us what is a verifiable fact versus a narrative thread? Why is this even important? (Hint: #fakenews). This session will provide ways for teachers and students to analyze content that is fiction, nonfiction, historical fiction, or a relatively new category called informational fiction.
Who’s Your [Authentic] Audience?
For an author, writing an effective manuscript is the culmination of a process. Some of the process is long and difficult but most of it is a positive challenge. With the right attitude, it's more like finding the right piece to a puzzle or winning a game than drudgery. The process is ultimately worth it when our authentic audience reads and responds to the published book. When students are tasked with writing and they don’t respond like it’s a positive challenge, could it be that students feel they don’t have an authentic audience? This session offers ways to give young writers the kind of experiences authors have when they write for and get responses from an authentic audience. Many thanks to Melissa Stewart, author of over 100 nonfiction books, and the inspiration for this talk.