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  WORKSHOP Descriptions

Adult programs
Intended for parents, teachers, librarians and caring adults

60 minute presentation

Reaching out to Reluctant Readers

Gives information on why middle and high school kids become reluctant readers and strategies for bringing them back to a love of books. Sample Reluctant Deader Presentation. Previously presented at:

American Library Association winter conference in 2013
Illinois Reading Council in March 2014
Ohio Educational Library Media Association 2013

Enhancing multi-cultural collections

Resources for enhancing a school, library or private collection. Especially relevant in light of the #WENEEDDIVERSEBOOKS initiative.
Sample Multi-Cultural Presentation. Previously presented at:

Virginia Hamilton Conference on Diversity in Children’s Literature in April 2013
Indiana Library Federation 2013
Ohio Educational Library Media Association 2013

Empowering The Voice of the Black Male in Children’s Literature

Discussion on why more children’s and young adult books by and about black males are needed and how to find them. Sample Empowering Presentation.
Previously presented at:

Virginia Hamilton Conference on Diversity in Children’s Literature in April 2013
Connecticut Library Association April 2014
National Conference of African American Librarians August 2013
Ohio Educational Library Media Association – scheduled for October 2014


School programs
Intended ages indicated in program description

Getting In Print
(grades 8 thru 12 & Adult)  40 minute presentation and 15 minute Q&A session  

This workshop covers issues in the current and still-evolving publishing landscape, including:
  • Print, eBook, audio books, and enhanced eBooks
  • The role of the agent, editor, distributor, marketing, reader and ‘street team’
  • The enhanced role of readers
  • Why most authors still need day jobs 


Beginnings, Middles and Ends – Writing tips to improve your fiction
(grades 5 thru 12)

50 minute presentation and 10 minute Q&A session  

An interactive discussion and workshop on novel writing. Includes

  1. Crafting a strong opening
  2. Creating realistic and memorable characters
  3. Using the setting
  4. Action (not just activity) 
  5. The role of ‘disasters’ 
  6. Endings that will have readers coming back for more 
  7. Editing & Revision – yes, you have to 


Adding The Spice of Diversity to Your Writing
(grades 8 thru 12 and adult)

50 minute presentation and 10 minute Q&A session  

An interactive discussion and workshop on diversity in fiction:

  1. Do’s and Don’ts for crafting multi-cultural characters.
  2. The value of diversity for a writer
  3. Respecting your reader
  4. The REAL truth about ‘write what you know’ (a. k. a. Research!!) 
  5. Voice and the use/misuse of dialect 



“Ripped from the headlines” or how make real life meet fiction
(grades 8 thru 12 & adult)

40 minute presentation/workshop

What makes realistic fiction real? I’ll show students how they can use the life around them to develop characters and story ideas. This will use excerpts, themes, and outlines from fiction and memoir to showcase examples of ‘the lie that tells the truth’ Students will brainstorm some story ideas of their own.


SKYPE programs
Intended ages indicated in program description

Topic Discussions involving discussion and Q&A session  

For (grades 6 thru 12)

I will use my books to talk about relevant issues
(This is especially helpful if the class has read one of my books in advance.)
PULL – This discussion will center around the impact of domestic violence and abuse. This story covers the impact of domestic violence on family members and deals with guilt and self-esteem issues that are often the result for young people watching parents caught up in the cycle.

BEING GOD – This discussion highlights teen substance abuse and the all-to-real allure of gangs and other problem influences. I’ll show students resources they can use to help themselves and others or people they may know escape the trap, hopefully with less problems than the protagonist had to endure.

MINORITY OF ONE – This discussion talks about how kids can feel different, or outcast, and ways of dealing with those feelings..



For (grade 4-12 or adult)

Based on teacher and class needs, I will discuss a selection of recent books designed around a specific interest. This includes coming-of-age, multicultural books, books designed to attract reluctant readers, etc. My books may be included in the discussion.

Any program can be tailored in terms of length or content to meet the needs of a specific class or group.

Don’t be shy, just ask. 🙂

Single 1 hour session – $150.00 plus travel expenses.(reduced price available for  for visits to Chicago Public Schools and locations Chicago libraries. Contact the author for details)

Half day (2 sessions back to back) – $250.00 plus travel expenses.

Full day (up to 4 sessions) – $400.00 plus travel expenses.

May require an overnight stay. Ground transportation assistance to and from the school/event is greatly appreciated but not required.

half hour Skype Classroom visit Q/A sessions – free
Longer sessions are available on any subject on a negotiated scale.

Click HERE to schedule an author visit with the author. Or contact me at  to discuss your needs and price range. I’m happy to accommodate and am flexible.

In-person sessions and Skype visits may not be reproduced, taped, or recorded.