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During an AUTHOR VISIT, I am always

happy to discuss my own work, but I am much more interested in working with students (of all ages) to develop their own writing skills. For me, a successful author visit is one that leaves students excited about their own reading and writing lives.

I've taught creative writing at the middle school, high school and college levels, and I’m comfortable with a wide range of groups, both large and small.  In general, my sessions last 45 to 90 minutes and work best for grades six and up. A typical full-day visit can include 3 or 4 sessions (large or small) plus lunch with your students or other guests. I enjoy meeting with interested students in an informal setting, and book signings are always a lot of fun.

Here’s some stuff I say during school visits...

  • 90% of writing is paying attention to the world. The rest is mostly just nouns and action verbs.

  • Writers are people who write every day. Authors are people who finish things.

  • If you don’t learn to write well, then all your thoughts and opinions and stories and ideas remain trapped in a box that looks like your head.

  • You’ve got to keep a notebook. For me, cheap notebooks are best. The cheaper the better. They don’t demand good writing. If I had an expensive notebook, I’d feel compelled to try and write well and that would be a disaster.

  • Ideas come from everywhere. The trick is to pick one and stick with it.

  • Grammar matters. :)


Skype visits?



Feel free to contact me to discuss a program that will work best for you and your students.

Photo by Adam B. Atkinson @AdamBAtkinson

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