Visit Descriptions

WORKSHOP Descriptions

Please Note: 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. 🙂

Adult programs

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 Reader 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

This workshop will provide resources for enhancing a school, library or private book collections to anyone interested in adding more diversity to their current collection.
Sample Multi-Cultural Presentation. This workshop has previously been presented at:

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

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

This is a workshop and inter-active discussion on reasons why more children’s and young adult books by and about black males are needed and ways to encourage the development and discovery of these books. 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

Getting In Print

55 minute presentation and Q&A session  for grades 8-12 and adults

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

55 minute presentation and Q&A session for grades 5-12

An interactive discussion and workshop on novel writing that covers topics such as:

  1. Crafting strong openings
  2. Creating memorable characters
  3. Setting
  4. The role of Action (not Activity) 
  5. Endings that will have readers coming back for more 
  6. Editing & Revision – yes, you do have to 

Adding The Spice of Diversity to Your Writing

60 minute presentation and Q&A session for grades 8-12 and adults

An interactive discussion and hands-on workshop on diversity in fiction:

  1. Do’s and Don’ts for crafting multi-cultural characters.
  2. Religion and cultural issues
  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

40 minute presentation/workshop for grades 8-12 and adult

What makes realistic fiction “real”? Students see how to 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

Topic Discussions involving discussion and Q&A session  

For (grades 6 thru 12)

Domestic violence issues – This discussion will center around the impact of domestic violence and abuse. This story uses the book PULL, and 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.

Substance abuse – This discussion highlights  the all-to-real allure of alcohol, drugs, gangs and other problem influences. Using BEING GOD as an inspiration and example, this will include resources students can use to help themselves and people they may know escape the trap. (Hopefully with less problems than the protagonist had to endure  🙂

LGBT issues -This discussion talks about how kids can feel different, or outcast, and ways of dealing with those feelings, using the story behind MINORITY OF ONE.


Based on teacher and class needs, this will focus on 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.


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 for more information from the SCBWI Speakers site on the author.

Please note: Free visits are available to Chicago Public Schools.

Contact me to schedule a visit or to discuss your needs and price range. Something can always be negotiated.

Author B. A. Binns has appeared at ALA, the Illinois Reading Council, Indiana Library Federation, Connecticut Library Association and the Ohio Educational Library Media Association, as well as numerous schools and libraries spreading the message about transforming reluctant readers into eager readers, diversity in books and spreading the reading message to students.

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