Bonny Becker likes a bit of chaos and lots of time to think and dream in her life. One of her earliest dreams, to be a writer, came true. But it took a long time! She has a degree in Psychology and a degree in English/Creative Writing. Bonny has worked picking fruit, making ski goggles, waitressing, as a store clerk, substitute teacher, hotel maid, typist, photographer, journalist, editor and corporate communications manager. She was in her 40's before her first book was published. Today, she has a dozen published books including picture books and middle grade novels. Her books include the New York Times bestseller, A VISITOR FOR BEAR, winner of the E.B. White Read Aloud Award and Amazon's Picture Book of the Year. Three more Mouse and Bear books have followed including A BIRTHDAY FOR BEAR, A BEDTIME FOR BEAR and her latest release, THE SNIFFLES FOR BEAR. Bonny's middle grade novel THE MAGICAL MS. PLUM was a Junior Library Guild selection and winner of the 2009 Washington State Children's Book Award.
Katherine Grace Bond loves writing for and listening to young people, and encouraging them to take their own writing seriously. Her books include YA novel THE SUMMER OF NO REGRETS, its companion book LUKE'S JOURNAL, and the bestselling THE LEGEND OF THE VALENTINE, a story of the Civil Rights Movement.
A lifelong educator and certified K-12 teacher, Katherine has focused on teen writers since the early 90's, believing that creative communities save lives. She is the founder of EpicWrite, a nonprofit outdoor live action role-playing and writing community where participants come as their characters. Modeled on the Hero's Journey, EpicWrite holds quarterly overnights and a multi-day summer camp. Her TEENWrite program offers afternoon novel writing classes for teens, along with evening classes for adult writers. She also created the Teenage Novelist series at Bellevue College.
For her work-in-progress, an urban fantasy verse-novel involving mental illness, dysfunctional families, time travel, and the French Impressionists, Katherine received a 2012-14 Culture Grant, an upcoming writer's residency at Camac Centre d'Art in Marnay-sur-Seine, France, and a 2010 Jack Straw Writer's residency.
Dori Hillestad Butler is a chapter book series and mystery author who is eager to share her love of books and writing with kids of all ages. She is the author of 40 books for children, including the Buddy Files series (Albert Whitman & Co.), which is about a school therapy dog who solves mysteries. The Buddy Files: Case of the Lost Boy won the Edgar award for best children's mystery published in 2010. She is also the author of My Mom's Having a Baby (Albert Whitman & Co.,), which was #4 on ALA's list of most challenged books in 2011. She speaks openly about the experience of facing her challenger on national television and is happy to talk with other authors about how to handle a potential challenge to their books, or even how to deal with the fact that not everybody is going to like every single book you publish. Dori also has a special interest in the topics of bullying and cyberbullying. Her Truth About Truman School (Albert Whitman & Co.,) is a mystery novel for middle school students that looks at cyberbullying through the eyes of the bully, the bullied and the bystanders. She has developed a unique author visit program for schools that are interested in an all-school reads of this book. Forthcoming books in 2014 and 2015 include a new chapter book series entitled The Haunted Library (Grosset & Dunlap). Dori grew up in southern Minnesota and currently lives in Kirkland, WA. She is also on a quest to do an author visit in all 50 states. If she has not visited your state yet, you could be eligible for a discount. Contact Provato Marketing for more information or to schedule an event.
Janet Lee Carey was born in New York and grew up under the towering redwoods in the Bay Area. She now lives in the Seattle area. As a child she discovered the door into a vast, magical country each time she opened the cover of a book. She quickly fell in love with reading and dreamed of becoming a writer. Janet learned courage through the power of story, and believes story transforms lives. Her novels for children and young adults have earned her the Mark Twain Award, Finalist Washington State Book Award, ALA Best Books for Young Adults, and NYPL Best Books for the Teen Age. Her newest medieval fantasy, Dragonswood (Dial Books 2012) received starred reviews from School Library Journal and Kirkus.
Statistics have shown that children who read are more compassionate. The "giving back" page on her website links each new book to a charitable organization, challenging teens to read and reach out. Concerned over the changes happening in our libraries, Janet created a blog two years ago. Library Lions gives school and public librarians a place to roar for libraries and showcase their outstanding youth programs.
Teaching Experience: Janet taught special education before leaving to raise her family and invest in her writing career. For ten years she taught novel writing at Lake Washington Vocational College and Bellevue College. She now focuses on presenting workshops for writing conferences, and enjoys meeting readers, teachers and librarians on her school visits. Janet's assemblies are designed for upper middle grades, middle schools, and high schools. In "Words on the Wing," lively discussion invites students to see how stories expand cultural awareness, increase respect for others and for the earth. "Dream Catcher" gives students seven tools to set goals and begin the step-by-step journey to reach their dreams.
Susan Casey is the author of Kids Inventing! A Handbook for Young Inventors and Women Invent! and Two Centuries of Discoveries That Have Shaped Our World. Susan is also a journalist. Her articles and photographs have appeared in Fast Company, Women’s Sports, Soap Opera Digest, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Inventors Digest, American Profile, Electrical Contractor and many other publications.
When she was a girl, she loved reading and writing and through the efforts of a teacher, her first magazine article was published when she was in the seventh grade. After graduating with a degree in history from Santa Clara University, she became a teacher. Her career as a writer and photographer was prompted by writing letters to her family about her travel experiences in Mexico, Europe, and Africa. She went on to write the same sorts of tales for magazines. She has since written about a wide range of topics including inventors, oddball events, moviemaking, and construction. She splits her time between writing and teaching and lives in Los Angeles.
SCHOOL VISITS: Susan presents at schools (K-8, 9-12) and libraries about Non-Fiction writing and about her books: Kids Inventing! A Handbook for Young Inventors (Wiley) and Women Invent! Two Centuries of Discoveries That Have Shaped Our World (Chicago Review Press). She varies her presentations depending on the age of the students. In interactive programs she includes power point presentations, videos and student participation as she relays stories and demonstrates inventions created by kids and tells of the impact women inventors have had on history—especially during Women’s History Month. She discusses the techniques she uses in writing non-fiction including how to interview, do book and on-the-spot research, fact check and rewrite. She interacts with students to show ways of using non-fiction to create a fictional story.
TEACHER WORKSHOPS: She involves teachers in activities they can use to teach invention in their classrooms. They leave with classroom ready activity sheets.
LIBRARY PRESENTATIONS: Inventor’s Workshops for Kids, Tweens, Teens or Families. Fun, interactive hour presentations involve everyone in the process of inventing--from brainstorming to boasting about invention ideas!
Melanie Conklin grew up in North Carolina and worked as a product designer for ten years before moving to New York, which means her presentations aren’t just about talking books—they’re about seeing the process. From assemblies to writing workshops to keynotes on the brain science of stories, Melanie loves nothing more than talking books. She has presented at schools, libraries, and library conferences across the country and is happy to travel. Her debut novel for kids, Counting Thyme (Penguin, 2016), features the story of a young girl who moves to New York for her brother’s cancer treatment, described as Newbery-winning Rules meets Counting by 7s. Melanie lives in New Jersey with her husband and sons, who are thankfully booklovers, too. When she’s not writing, Melanie spends her time doodling and dreaming up new ways to be creative.
Carmela D’Amico is the author of the 4-book Ella the Elephant series, adapted into a cartoon for Canada’s TVO and Disney Junior. When she is not busy writing, you might find her singing and dancing, or hanging out with her teenage daughter, who thinks the children’s books she inspired her mom to write are “kinda cool”. Carmela's author presentations are wonderful for grades K-5.
Melissa Hart is the author of a middle-grade novel, Avenging the Owl (Sky Pony, 2016) two memoirs--Wild Within: How Rescuing Owls Inspired a Family (Lyons, 2014) and Gringa: A Contradictory Girlhood (Seal, 2009), and numerous K-8 books for Teacher Created Resources including the best-selling 101 Ways to Love a Book. Her essays have appeared in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Women's Day, Hemispheres, Orion, High Country News, The Advocate, Brain Child, Mothering, Writer's Digest, and The Writer Magazine. She teaches nonfiction writing for Northwest Institute of Literary Arts MFA program and creative writing for Laurel Springs, a distance-learning high school based in Ojai, California. She lives in Eugene, Oregon, with her husband and daughter, four cats and an adventurous terrier.
Steven Henry (né Steven D'Amico) has illustrated several popular picture books for children, including The Hanukkah Hop! and the award-winning
Ella The Elegant Elephant, now an animated TV series on Disney Junior. As a veteran art director he has worked closely with educational consultants and producers at Nick Jr., PBS Kids and The Disney Channel. His interactive presentation curriculum is designed to help kids become better communicators by showing them how to use pictures to tell their stories.
Workshop sessions are available for three different developmental levels: K-2nd grade, 3rd-5th grade and 6th-12th grade.
Engagements can easily be tailored to fit your school's curriculum needs and may include up to four separate 1-hour sessions.
Teresa Funke is the author of the Home-Front Heroes series for middle-grade readers. This multi-cultural series includes Doing My Part, The No-No Boys, V for Victory, and Wave Me Good-bye. Each novel is based on a real person who actually lived the experiences depicted in her novels. In the back matter, young readers learn about the real person on whom the story is based and also fun facts about children's contributions to our country during World War II. The books are popular with both readers and educators because they are fast-paced, action-filled stories with strong characters and dramatic settings. Each book also touches on the key areas of World War II that lead to a broader understanding of our world and create great topics for classroom discussion: areas like the Holocaust, the Japanese interment, how children can "do their part," etc.
Teresa has been visiting schools since 2005 for elementary and middle school children and high school writing and history courses. She's fascinated by the challenges facing educators today and dedicated to assuring history education remains a focus for our children. It was the students themselves who asked Teresa to write about World War II for their age group. It's a time period that captures their imaginations and enfolds so many valuable lessons. Teresa combines elements of history, reading, writing, theater, art, and character development into her school visits and assembly. Her workshops are current with many standards, but also introduce new learning styles. She encourage students to realize that every child has a voice, a story, and the power to change the world.
Teresa has also published two books for adults, Remember Wake and Dancing in Combat Boots. Her short stories, articles, and essays have appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers and anthologies. Two of her essays were listed as Notable Essays by the prestigious Best American Essays series. Teresa is also a sought-after speaker, presenter, and writer's coach. She performs a one-woman show based on Dancing in Combat Boots and works with several non-profits to promote the arts, literacy, and history education.
Diane Hipp C.P.S., is a Certified Prevention Professional and a certified School Counselor with over thirty years of experience in the field of prevention. Her arenas of work have included elementary and secondary prevention education, parenting education, prevention curriculum development and community substance abuse prevention program management.
Diane is the co-author and program developer of “Kelso’s Choice” a conflict management curriculum for elementary children. The curriculum is being implemented throughout the United States and in 13 foreign countries. The “Kelso’s Choice” DVD has recently received a 2012 Communicator Award a 2012 Telly and a 2012 Omni Award. In September 2012 her latest curriculum will be released “Building Character With Kelso”. This elementary curriculum will focus on interactive creative ways to build good character traits such as; responsibility, honesty, respect, fairness and caring. Diane is the lead trainer for “Kelso’s Choice” and travels throughout the United States working with school staff, students and parents on the keys of successful implementation.
Diane has worked in urban, rural, Alaska Native, frontier and reservation communities in 48 states. Translating research into practice, she has guided diverse communities in capacity building, community mobilizing, strategic planning and evaluation of prevention initiatives. From 2002-2007 she served as Prevention Coordinator for the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention’s Western Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies in the College of Health and Human Sciences at the University of Nevada, Reno. She provided TA and Training services to the state of Montana and school districts in the western region implementing a Grant to Reduce Alcohol Abuse (GRAA) through the U.S. Department of Education. Most recently she was the lead Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator for the MOST of Us Positive Community Norms initiative out of the Montana State University in Bozeman Montana.
Growing up, Kirby Larson's best friends were books but she never imagined an ordinary person like her could become a writer. What she loves best about the creative life is that she is always learning something new. That may be why Kirby has tackled a variety of genres from picture books to chapter books to novels. Kirby's historical fiction portfolio includes the 2007 Newbery Honor Award book, Hattie Big Sky and its recent sequel, Hattie Ever After (nominated for the ALSC Notables List), as well as The Friendship Doll, The Fences Between Us and, in fall of 2013, Duke. She and her friend Mary Nethery have collaborated on two award-winning nonfiction picture books: Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship and Survival, and Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine and a Miracle. Between them, these two books have garnered over 20 State Young Readers Choice Awards. Kirby is delighted to be involved in a brand-new picture book series for American Girl, with titles including Bitty Baby and Me, and Princess Bitty Baby, among others. A lifelong resident of Washington state, Kirby lives in Kenmore with her husband, Neil, and Winston the Wonder Dog. When she is not reading, writing or speaking about writing, she is traveling, beach combing or spoiling her new granddaughter rotten.
Deb Lund was first published when her fifth grade teacher in northern Minnesota submitted a poem of Deb's for an anthology. Since then, several fifth grade students of Deb's have also become writers. As a past classroom and music teacher and librarian, Deb loves being with kids and teachers. Her master's degree focused on teaching writing, and she has taught writing to students of all ages ever since. Her interactive presentations stay with students long after her visits. Deb's real gift, and the reason she became a creativity coach, is her passion for inspiring students to write. Deb's books include Harcourt's celebrated dinoseries and Monsters on Machines, which Publisher's Weekly's starred review says "has just about everything a child could hope for." Though known for her warm and quirky, or rollicking, rhyming picture books, Deb also writes middle grade and YA fiction, as well as materials to support teachers who teach writing. She teaches continuing education courses, works with writing and creativity coaching clients, and frequently presents at conferences and workshops. Hiking, walking her dog on beaches near her home on Whidbey Island, singing with her husband Karl Olsen of The Brothers Four, riding unicycle, and playing or reading with her three kids are some of Deb's activities when she puts down her pen. Deb hopes you'll join her email list when you visit her at her website, DebLund.com, or at her "Deb Lund, Author" page on Facebook. And don't be afraid to drop her an email. She answers them all.
Sharon Mentyka is a children’s writer, designer and educator, with an MFA in Writing from the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts (NILA) Whidbey Writers Workshop. Her stories grow from small kernels of truth that explore common themes: fairness (or unfairness), transitions and helping the less powerful find their voice.
Her stories and essays, for both children and adults, have appeared in numerous literary magazines including ColumbiaKids, Cricket and Soundings Review. QUI, QUA, AND QUO, a picture book about three cats living in the ancient Italian hilltown of Civita di Bagnoregio was the product of Sharon 2012 two-month fellowship from the Civita Institute, where she also created a series of storytelling maps. B IN THE WORLD, an illustrated children’s chapter book about a gender non-conforming child was published in 2014 and CHASING AT THE SURFACE, a middle grade novel inspired by a 30-day visit of orca whales to an enclosed inlet in the Pacific Northwest, is forthcoming from WestWinds Press in October 2016.
An active member of SCBWI-Western Washington and a contributor to the “We Need Diverse Books” campaign, Sharon also tutors and teaches writing workshops to middle and high school students.
Ever since the 1993 publication of his multi-award-winning, best-selling picture book, Baseball Saved Us (over half a million sold to date), Ken Mochizuki has made over 100 presentations around the country at schools, libraries, community centers and educators' conferences to ages K-Adult. Using Baseball Saved Us and his second picture book, Heroes, he makes stereotypes, prejudice and racism understandable in an age-appropriate presentation for students K-3. Including those same topics for older grades, he also addresses fighting, bullying, the moral dilemma and the conscientious choice through his picture book about the Holocaust, Passage to Freedom: the Sugihara Story, and his recent picture book, Be Water, My Friend: the Early Years of Bruce Lee. For middle grades and above, Ken also conducts presentations on the history of Asian Pacific Americans in the U.S. military, and around his young adult novel, Beacon Hill Boys. Among the awards his books have earned include the Washington State Governor's Writers Award and the national Parents' Choice Award, American Bookseller 'Pick of the Lists,' American Library Association Notable Book, International Reading Association Teachers' Choices, Smithsonian Notable Books for Children and the Jane Addams Children?s Book Awards Honor Book.
Derek Munson works as a writer, speaker and all-around daydreamer. Like the dad in his new book, Bad Dad, which releases in October, Munson’s current hobbies include playing with his kids, avoiding his household responsibilities and crashing on his mountain bike. He lives in Bellingham, Washington, with his wife Suzanne, their daughter Abby and son Zack. Munson’s first book, Enemy Pie, as featured on Reading Rainbow, teaches children how to handle relationships and conflict. Derek has presented at hundreds of schools and offers multi-school discounts. Contact us today to see when he will be in your area!
Mary Nethery is the New York Times, USA Today and Publisher's Weekly bestselling author of many picture books for children, as well as books for readers of all ages. She has collaborated with her dear friend, Newbery Honor recipient Kirby Larson, to write Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship and Survival, and Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine and a Miracle. Two Bobbies received the ASPCA Henry Bergh Children's Book Award, the SIBA Book Award, and was featured on NPR's All Things Considered, and is a Junior Library Guild selection; an IRA Teachers' Choice; IRA/CBC Children's Choice; Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People; and is included in The Best Children's Books of the Year, Bank Street College. Two Bobbies has received thirteen state Children's Choice Awards. Nubs is a New York Times Best Seller and recipient of the Christopher Medal; the National Parenting Publication Gold Award; is a Junior Library Guild Selection, and has received ten state Children's Choice Awards. Mary's newest picture book, illustrated by John Manders, is The Famous Nini: A Mostly True Story of How a Plain White Cat Became a Star. Set in 1890's Venice, it tells the story of the meteoric rise of a plain white cat to the world stage. His scrapbook includes a line of music from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata and is signed by such luminaries as the Czar of Russia, the Emperor of Ethiopia, Pope Leo XIII and the Queen and King of Italy. Mary travels extensively and possesses a passion for animals, adventure, fashion, laughter, kindness and spunky characters -- all of which weave their way into her books. She lives in Eureka, California with her husband Han, and their super brilliant cat, Dashiell, AKA the Baby Muse.
Don Nutt was born and raised in the farmland of Eastern Washington. He currently resides in Washington with his wife, Debbie, and their three children. Don is an amazing artist with a beautiful gallery in Coulee City, Washington. For 6 years the MokiTime creators have been traveling throughout the country telling their homespun tale. Collectively, they have been able to accompish writing, illustrating and publishing 3 children's books plus produce 3 musical CDs. What started as a stay-at-home mom's labor of love soon became a book/CD marketed in Nordstrom stores nationally. The creators have a unique story and when they travel to schools they share their "Scratch Paper To Publishing" journey, so students can go behind the scenes and see how authors and illustrators come to be.
Barbara was born and raised in South Carolina and draws on her Southern roots to create her stories, settings, and characters. Her award-winning novels for children include Wish, How to Steal a Dog, The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis, and The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester and are popular read alouds in elementary classrooms.
In addition to seven Parents Choice Awards, Barbara’s distinctions include School Library Journal Best Books, Kirkus Best Books, Bank Street College Best Books, and ALA Notables. She has had books nominated for children’s choice awards in 38 states. Barbara is a popular visiting author at schools and a frequent speaker at conferences around the country.
She currently lives with her husband and two dogs in Asheville, North Carolina, surrounded by the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. She spends her days drawing on her childhood memories to create her stories.
David is the prolific author of 9 books for young people (and counting!). He is a seasoned presenter at schools, libraries, and conferences. David is a three-time nominee for the Missouri Mark Twain Award for Deadly Drive, 2007-2008, Thin Wood Walls, 2006-2007, and Framed in Fire, 2001-2002. He is ranked as one of the top Mystery Authors to Investigate by the Irving (Texas) Public Library and was chosen as a Favorite Author of Boy Books by the ALA Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC). David's publishing credits include: A PIECE OF THE SKY (Albert Whitman and Company, 2007, ISBN# 0-8075-6536-0), DEADLY DRIVE (Albert Whitman and Company, 2005, ISBN# 0-8075-0844-6, THIN WOOD WALLS (Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004, ISBN# 0-618-34290-7, COLDER THAN ICE (Albert Whitman and Company, 2003, ISBN# 0-8075-8135-6), HAUNTING AT HOME PLATE (Albert Whitman and Company, 2000, ISBN# 0-8075-3181-2), and SOMEONE WAS WATCHING (Albert Whitman and Company, 1993, ISBN# 0-8075-7531-3) David enjoys spending time at schools and making appearances at libraries and conferences. He tailors his talks to fit the group by offering a variety of workshops and presentations to students in grades K-8.
Second to playing with her kids, writing and illustrating picture books is Leslie's favorite thing to do. Leslie says, "For most of my life, I have drawn cartoons as a way to interpret and make light of the things happening in my life or in the world around me, so it was only natural that when I had my first baby, I would start drawing cartoons of him." Those cartoons led to the publication of her first board books, Yummy Yucky, Big Little and Quiet Loud in 2003. Leslie now has fifteen books in publication, including her latest picture book, 'Be Quiet, Mike!' about a little monkey with a passion for drumming. Leslie's currently busy working on more board books. She is also working on her first middle grade novel. Leslie lives in Idaho with her husband (a drummer), three creative kids, two cats, two rabbits a lizard and a frog.
Leslie is excited to be able to do what she loves for a living and wants to share her experience and passion with students of all ages. She aims to inspire kids to imagine and create Through her fun-filled, multi-media presentation, Leslie will have kids laughing, learning, drawing and thinking big!
Leslie's award-winning books include: Higher! Higher!, Be Quiet, Mike!, The Patterson Puppies and The Rainy Day, The Birthday Box, Yummy Yucky, No No Yes Yes, Potty, Blankie and more.
Books and libraries have always been George's second home. He loved pretending in grade school, but it wasn't till the 7th grade that he knew he wanted to make books. His first submission to a publisher and the resulting rejection letter was at age 16. Eleven more years of school, college, writing, reading, working as a librarian, writing, and more writing brought his first book contract for LIZARD'S SONG. Since then he has written many, many stories and 30 of them have been published as books. Plus other books for adults that explore folktales and writing. George's favorite book is always the one he's currently writing because the process is always more fun than looking back at books already done. When he's not working on his own stories, George helps students with their own writing both here and abroad. George's books include DANCE AWAY, STORIES TO SOLVE, TOMORROW'S ALPHABET, TIPPY-TOE CHICK GO, WHITE IS FOR BLUEBERRY, THE SECRET CHICKEN CLUB, and RABBIT'S GIFT.
New Books:TURKEY TOT by George Shannon. Illustrated by Jennifer K. Mann. Holiday House, Fall 2013. A VERY WITCHY SPELLING BEE by George Shannon. Illustrated by Mark Fearing. Harcourt, Fall 2013. WHO PUT THE COOKIES IN THE COOKIE JAR? by George Shannon. Illustrated by Julie Paschkis. Holt, Spring 2013.
Natasha Wing has published 21 children's books, with more in the works. She is best known for her paperback series based on the popular story, The Night Before Christmas. The stories are about families celebrating holidays and other big events in kids' lives such as the first day of school and losing a tooth. Her titles include The Night Before Easter, the original book in the series which was published in 1999, and The Night Before Kindergarten, which has regularly been on bestseller lists since its publication in 2001 and is also a sticker book, part of a kindergarten gift set, and an ebook. Wing's multicultural book, Jalapeno Bagels, is a favorite among elementary school teachers and students. The story is based on a real bakery in Arcata, California and includes recipes from the bakery. An Eye for Color: The Story of Josef Albers is about a neighbor of hers when she was growing up in Connecticut. The artist of the "Homage to the Square" paintings studied color for 27 years and changed how teachers taught color. Several of her poems appear in anthologies, and she has also written articles for children's magazines such as Highlights and Babybug.