I have shared my expertise through conference keynotes and presentations; breakout sessions; and stand-alone workshops across the country. These have included the Highlights Foundation Writers Workshops (at both Chautauqua, NY, and Boyds Mills, PA); NAEYC Annual Conference; numerous SCBWI gatherings from Seattle to Orlando; and other conferences from Londonderry to Los Angeles.
Since 2013, Jan Fields and I have co-presented the workshop Writing for the Educational Market at Highlights Foundation. Our alums have had a gratifyingly high level of success. A few examples:
• "Since the workshop (7 months ago) I have written 6 educational books. ... I haven’t queried any more [publishers] because (this will be unbelievable, but a true part of educational publishing), I don’t need more work!"
• "I had a paying contract when I left the workshop! I revised my submission packet in the weeks following the workshop and sent it out on a regular basis. By October, I had my first nonfiction educational publishing book contract. ... In March, I signed a contract for a textbook chapter for double the cost of the workshop."
• "There is no doubt the best investment I made was attending this Writing for the Educational Market Workshop. It truly was the beginning of my dream career. Six years later, I have published over 50 books for libraries and classrooms. My fourth trade book hits stores in August 2019, and I have five books currently under contract."
I am happy to give stand-alone workshops or conference breakout sessions on a wide variety of topics related to children's literature and writing for children.
A few past workshops:
• The Heat of Inspiration, the Cool Control of Revision: Poetry for Children
• Sharing Our Hope: Writing for the Inspirational Market
• Put Yourself Out There: Effective Queries, Cover Letters, and Synopses
• Going Beyond the Guidelines: Market Research
I also do a session I call "From the Slush Pile." Conference attendees may bring the first page of any manuscript and toss it into a box. During the session I pull pages out of the box, read them aloud, and give a cold response as to whether I would, as an acquiring editor, continue reading—and why or why not.
• “Of all my memories of the Festival of the Written Word, one of my favorites is how you came up with a relevant and unique comment for each presenter. I know I could not have done that, and I admire you for it.”
My eclectic background lets me tailor presentations to the needs and interests of each audience. Tell me the topic you want, and I'll slant my talk to fit your overall theme.
A few past topics:
• Refining Fiction: Advanced Techniques for Children's Writers
• Don't Shoot Yourself in the Fuzzy Bunny Slipper
• Gourmet Writing
• Magic and Myth: The Magazine Market