As a past educator, parent to two little ones, and passionate conservationist, I love visiting schools, bookstores, and libraries and inspiring kids to write, travel, and give back to their community. You can read my article about this very topic, "Conservation Conversations" in my article for Bare Essentials Magazine. If you are interested in scheduling a school visit, please fill out this contact form to learn about my current rates and availability for the 2018-2019 school year.
Writing from Experience Workshop
(Grades 3-7, 45-60 minutes, Worldwide)
Want to be a writer? Not sure how to start, what to write about, or if you have what it takes to succeed?
In this lesson, I share about my personal journey from a wannabe writer to a professional journalist for a diverse group of clients, including the National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo Wild, Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine, Bare Essentials Magazine, and more. Over the years my work has taken me across the globe – Some of my international adventures included tracking wild elephants through the rainforest, photographing orangutans in Malaysia, snorkeling with manatees in Florida, and swimming with whale sharks in the Gulf of Mexico. Once I followed an eight-hour overnight secret transport of a manta ray across state lines. On another trip, I was harnessed into an open-door airplane so I could snap photographs of the largest whale shark aggregation on the planet. I faced my fear of sharks by swimming with seven species in an aquarium tank, got up close and personal with venomous snakes along the Kinabatangan River, and motored through a known saltwater crocodile breeding ground – and I was on assignment as a paid writer on all of these adventures.
In addition to sharing about my personal experiences in this lesson, I offer tips to wannabe writers on how to find success as a journalist – how to think of ideas, find experts to interview, grow your writing skills, and build your portfolio. I’ll share behind-the-scenes footage of my wildlife adventures (such as tracking a herd of wild elephants in the downpouring rain through the rainforest of Malaysia), and we’ll discuss sensory details, the importance of observation and communication, and key conservation issues.
I’ll also talk about how to use childhood memories as a springboard for writing fiction. I share the story of when I was thirteen years old and my college-aged brother saved a runt piglet from a nearby farm, and how this experience inspired the story for my debut middle grade novel with HarperCollins Children’s Books, The Unlikely Story of a Pig in the City, which is on shelves wherever books are sold in the USA and Canada. The sequel, Dog Days in the City, publishes on 10/2/18.
Of course, we’ll also schedule some time for a writer Q&A. Whether it’s the scariest thing I’ve ever done, coolest place I’ve ever visited, the easiest and hardest parts of being an author, my favorite wildlife encounter, or daily life in the Big Apple, all questions are game!
I am currently booking school and library visits for the 2018-2019 school year. My schedule fills up fast, so please contact me here for availability and rates. I look forward to meeting you and your students.
Virtual School Visits
I'm an Official Guest Speaker for Skype Classroom!
I currently offer two kinds of virtual author visits, using Skype videoconferencing software for schools, libraries, and book clubs.
Book Chat Q&A (USA & Canada Only)
When your students have finished reading my debut middle grade novel with HarperCollins Children's Books, The Unlikely Story of a Pig in the City, I would be happy to join your class via Skype for a short & free virtual Q&A session as my schedule allows.
Availability: 9:00am-11:00am M or F for Fall 2018. Limited availability left, so contact with a proposed date.
Time: 10-15 minutes
Cost: FREE provided the class has purchased & read my book.
Writing from Experience Workshop (Worldwide)
This full-length presentation can be adapted for a virtual visit for businesses, education, and kids. It is an interactive presentation through Skype that includes visuals, behind-the-scenes wildlife expedition footage, a sensory writing workshop, book chat, and author Q&A.
Flexible: Contact me to request date/time. Limited availability.
Time: 45-60 minutes