Inspire students to connect to reading and writing
in new and lasting ways with an Author Visit.
I’ve visited over a hundred elementary, middle, and high schools across the country, performing inspirational sessions on literacy and creativity with students and faculty.
A typical full day visit includes a large group presentation, three or four single class workshop sessions, and book sales and signing (half day visits are also available depending on the location). Below are some presentation possibilities.
Large Group Presentations:
—The Story of Our Future (for Elementary and Middle Schools) *New presentation to accompany The Last Panther. This inspirational session encourages students to create connections between writing and their lives, and to find ways they can positively influence their world.
—The Magic of Writing (for Elementary School)
Single Class Writing Workshops:
— Poetry Writing Games (grades 3-6)
— Story Writing Workshop (grades 4-8)
For advanced writers (grades 6-12):
—Seeking Stories: Discovering Character Through Plot
—Fantasy and Sci-Fi Writing: Making the Strange Believable
—Dialogue and Setting: Letting Your Characters Live and Speak
—Graphic Novel Writing and Journaling: The Art of Observation
—Advanced Poetry Writing Games
Teacher Development Sessions:
— Poetry Games for Young Writers (for K-6 grade teachers)
Session includes a ten page handout full of exercises, techniques, and samples that they can use to inspire students to discover the joy of writing poetry.
— Poetry Games to Free Your Wild Mind (for 6-12 grade teachers)
Session includes a twelve page handout complete with teaching tips, techniques, samples and exercises designed to inspire students to free their inner poets.
—Events and Conferences:
Speaking fee -$100 per hour, plus travel fee*
*The travel fee is $50 for every thirty minutes of travel beyond the first thirty minutes from my home (i.e.: the travel fee to a location that’s two hours from Fort Collins would be $150 dollars).
Discounts on travel given if multiple visits scheduled in one area.
If out of state, please schedule a minimum of two full days.
Note: A sixth teacher session, or parent session, can be added to any full day visit for an additional $50.
Schools having me out for an Author Visit will be able to order my books at a discount. Some (or all) of the cost of an Author Visit can usually be covered through book sales! There are also grants available to help fund events like Author Visits.
**Bonus: I’ll donate $50 to schools that sell 50 books or more. To schools that sell 100 books or more, I’ll donate $100.**
Email me to schedule an Author Visit or event today!
(please include a clear subject heading): firstname.lastname@example.org
If bringing me out for an Author Visit isn’t a possibility, consider doing a Skype Visit.
“The presentations for students were excellent. The powerpoint during the assembly was inspirational… The writer’s workshop sessions were hands-on and filled with invaluable tips for good fiction writing. Overall, the whole thing tied in perfectly with our school goals to improve writing scores for students.” — Sarah Oswick, Media Specialist
“The presentations were awesome -teachers and students were talking about them the following week and students are still writing in their journals. . . Todd taught the lessons in small chunks with examples, gave students time to practice writing, and then gave valuable feedback to students who shared their writing. Students were very enthusiastic about sharing their writing with him. Several students have come into the library showing us the writing they are doing because they were inspired by Todd!” — Sharlene McVey, Teacher-Librarian
“This was an extremely valuable artist-in-residence experience… I would definitely recommend Todd’s visit to other teachers. It is one thing for a teacher to deliver the writing curriculum, but it’s wonderful to have an author – in their eyes, a cool, famous person – come in and provide the same message. Todd is dynamic, engaging, and worked at a level perfectly appropriate for our 4th-6th grade population. After his visit, students got a 20 minute recess. About half of them took their notebooks and pencils out to keep writing their setting, characters, and disasters in progress. That speaks for itself.” — Diane Odbert, Teacher
“Todd ably handled both the large group and individual classes. He captured the students’ attention leading them through highly productive writing sessions. Todd broke down the steps involved in writing poetry and fiction, making that blank white page less intimidating. With his lead, students easily created group and individual works. Todd tailored his sessions, relating well with participants from 3rd grade to Faculty. He kept a close eye on the time and masterfully paced the presentations. The 10 page teacher handout, “Teaching Poetry (Games) to Grades K-6″, gave many valuable general approaches, tips, sample poems, and over twenty poetry games to help generate group and individual writing. Todd made the students see writing as worthwhile and FUN! …School is still buzzing with excitement about writing.” — Anne Britt, Director of Libraries
“We could not have asked for a stronger beginning to our narrative writing unit… In addition to their writing, students have been AR testing on The Traitor King and spreading ‘thumbs-up’ comments on the book around our school.” — Joy Frasure, Language Arts Teacher
“[The students] learned a lot, and now look at writing differently and in a more positive light. I think that many of them did not realize how much reading and writing affect their lives. Many of them also expressed interest in creative writing and continuing the stories [Todd] had them start… The lessons helped students to make real world connections and I was very impressed by the positive effect [Todd] had on our 8th graders.” — Valarie Shrum, Language Arts Teacher
“Many of the children have been coming in to the Library to take their AR tests after reading [The Traitor King]. The majority of them are scoring 100% and they’re telling me that it was the best book they ever read. And coming from them, that is a real compliment! …I enjoyed the visit as did all of the children. I sold 85 Traitor Kings, so you know it was a success.”
— Ginny Hoffmann, Head Librarian
Student Feedback on My Visits:
“Thank you for showing us how to write stories. You inspired me to write a lot. When you weren’t here I hated to write, but now I love to write a lot.” — Nate, 4th grade
“I really enjoyed the session you had with our class. I learned so much about making a great story. I am trying to finish the story I started. With all of your great tips it will be a good story by me. It was fun to think of all the different stories you can make up if you just have imagination.” — Fallyn, 4th grade
“Thank you so much for coming to our school. I was waiting for this opportunity for a long time. I love to read and write, and I loved your tips…” — Austin, 4th grade
“Thank you for teaching me how to write an interesting story. I hope to either be a teacher or an author when I’m older. Writing is awesome! I like how you make comparisons.” — Brandon, 5th grade
“I really enjoyed it when you came to our school. You are a great speaker… My favorite part was when we got to write stories of our own. I feel like I’m almost a real writer! Also, I liked the story you gave us as an example. That’s how I want to write. You really inspired me…” — Amelia, 5th grade
“You gave me a whole new perspective on writing. Your talk about the magic of writing was awesome… And The Traitor King is my favorite book of all time. I finished it in 3 days. It’s a real page turner. I want to be an author when I grow up and your book is probably the best writing I have ever read.” — Tommy, 5th grade
“You have inspired me to write my own book. I have already started it at my computer. I think if we all stopped reading, the world would just be nonsense and boring…”
— Ashley, 5th grade
“It was fun to have you come to our school. Your book is the best book I’ve ever read… I learned a lot about writing and I sort of want to become an author when I grow up.”
— Christian, 5th grade
“When I saw you at the assembly I thought that you had very good tips and I think that they will help me a lot… I had a great time meeting you and I learned a lot. Also your website is awesomely cool and when I read some of the tips you put on there I jumped for joy.”
— Alea, 5th grade
“Thank you for coming to our school to teach us how to write like a professional does… I used to only be able to write stuff that’s already happened to me, but now I can write stuff just the way I wanted. Your suggestions for making things worse for the character have made me become even more excited over my own story. I’ve been revising my story a lot. I’m adding more details, I’m introducing more characters, and I’m giving more dialogue to my story and I’m loving it!.”
— Miranda, 6th grade
“You really inspired all of us. When I got home I actually got on the computer and started typing my story. Those tips you gave us really helped. Normally when I write a story I don’t plan at all. Now I know it helps you… I can’t stop writing! I hope I become an author when I grow up since I love reading and writing.”
— Ashley, 6th grade
“Thank you for coming to our school to show us how to write a story… The way you explained it answered many questions that I have had in my head for a long while. After you came I found writing stories much easier and also fun. I always wondered what made a good story and when you visited I learned what I was missing. It was a good character, a conflict that would last through the story, and the character’s strengths and weaknesses. I enjoyed your visit!”
— Joshua, 6th grade
“I learned a lot from characters, to setting, to conflict. …I never thought much about characters feelings and thoughts. Also desires. That is a great way for me and my reader to see the character for who he or she is. Thank you again for coming and giving us ideas for what good stories need.”
— Brittany, 6th grade
“Thank you very much for the spectacular presentation. It really sparked my imagination for some good stories. Although the whole presentation was very convincing, I thought the best part was the segment about the diary/journal keeping piece. You inspired me to write a journal because it would be pretty cool to have someone in the far future read about what one of their relatives lives were like. I can’t wait to start keeping my own journal!”
— Joseph, 6th grade
“Your presentation yesterday was phenomenal. My expectations were fairly low because of past presentations at my elementary school by authors, but you exceeded them with flying colors!”
— Katlyn, 7th grade
“I really learned a lot of important things about being a writer. The best advice you gave (in my opinion) was the show, not tell. It will really help me to grow as a writer. Also, I always expected authors to be super smart and hard to listen to, but you proved me wrong! I now know that anyone can be an author, it just takes time and commitment.”
— Jill, 7th grade
“I learned a lot from our class session. I am totally one of those people who can stare at a blank piece of paper for hours, not knowing what to write. I loved the steps you took us through on getting your character started. I also learned that without writing, our world wouldn’t be as complex as it is today.”
— Taylor, 7th grade
“I loved your book… I also really appreciate you coming here and giving us all of your tips. Just from our short session together I have all these great ideas for stories I could write. The whole seventh grade session was wonderful too. I loved the way you made your points and how you interacted with the audience. Plus, I learned so many things from you. Like how you have to “Hurt the hero” to make your story interesting. Or how showing is better than telling. My writing will be so much more intriguing and descriptive now.”
— Elsa, 7th grade
“I learned a lot from your tips. I really enjoyed you coming to visit our school. I never really thought I would write a novel. I thought that there would be too much to do. But you showed us how to break it down. I’m seriously thinking about following through with the story we started and turning it into a book. It is not so hard when explained in smaller steps…”
— Corey, 7th grade
“Your tips have really helped me in writing and even reading… Me, I’m more of a couch potato. But your book really interested me and also inspired me… Not only do I want to thank you for coming to our school, I want to thank you for teaching us so much!”
— Kylie, 7th grade
“The whole presentation was so spectacular! I just completely loved it. I’ve always wanted to meet an author!”
— Anna, 7th grade
“Thank you for coming to our school and talking to us. I learned a lot of new way to become a better writer. My opinion on writing is that it’s my worst subject, but since you told us how to become a better writer I’m going to try harder in language arts.”
— Joseph, 7th grade
“I think you are one of the best authors I have ever met and I place you right up there with J.K. Rowling and Tolkien.”
— James, 8th grade
“You opened my eyes to reading and writing. I can’t put down your book. It’s fabulous! You taught me that reading and writing are everywhere. Also, you taught me that everyone is an author, even if you don’t have your books published. Thank you for coming and helping us with reading and writing.”
— Maggie, 8th grade
“I felt like I learned quite a bit about writing and what makes characters interesting. I never really thought about planning out what a character likes and dislikes before writing the story. Using that technique, I felt like I knew my character more. When you said that a writer doesn’t have to be a genius, I realized you were right! Trying to carry around a whole story in your head is nearly impossible. It’s a whole lot easier to write it down and then revise a lot later. Thank you for coming!”
— Natalie, 8th grade
“Since you came, I noticed that my view on writing has changed. The tips that you gave us really helped me. Now when I make stories using the things that you taught me, the stories are much more entertaining. What you said helped me a lot. I like writing much more now, and it’s all thanks to you.”
— Meghan, 8th grade
“You changed the way I think of reading and writing, and you put it in a new and great way. During my session with you, you showed me that writing is fun and it’s like discovering your own story. It made me feel like my hand was telling the story and I was reading it. I plan to continue my story and start new ones.”
— Sarah, 8th grade
“The facts you explained to me not only helped me as a writer but they also helped me understand how writing and dreams can come together and work perfectly. You described topics about writing that I never even knew existed… Now that I have a much better feel for writing, I can’t wait until I get started on my next song or poem. Thank you for helping me and being such a big part of my future aspirations.”
— Ryan, 8th grade
“Before when I would try to write a story I’d get confused and wouldn’t know what to do next. After you presented and showed me the main steps to a successful story, my writing is going to improve. You inspired me to want to write more!”
— Isabel, 8th grade
“I believe that you have made my writing better after only one day.”
— Chris, 8th grade
“You totally changed my perspective on writing. I have learned to not think of my writing at school as just an assignment, but to have fun with it.”
— Jeremy, 8th grade
“You taught me to stop jumping band-wagons and to start standing up for my beliefs. Because of you, my real life began.”
— Paul, 11th grade
“Thank you for helping me to ask questions about who I really am. Thank you for showing me that I can still be a real person and not just a ghost that floats among others. Thank you for the powerful emotional growth that you encourage with simply one novel… The Secret to Lying. This novel has left its mark on my life.”
— Ivette, 10th grade