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.
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.
From classrooms to book signings to auditorium-style presentations, Michelle A. Hansen is a confident and entertaining speaker. Her favorite audiences are high school students and fellow authors. She'll tackle any topic, given enough time and research. Travel to exotic locations is always a bonus.
Michelle loves Pepsi and Doritos more than chocolate. She loves summertime and hates to be cold. She's had three near-death experiences, one involving a kid, a rifle and a classroom full of students. She's addicted to office supplies and has an irrationally large stash of pens and notebooks. So, pass the Pepsi, hide the pens, and we're good to go.
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.
Helen Landalf has always loved creating characters, both on the stage and on the page. In her college years, she attended the Professional Actor Training Program at S.U.N.Y. Purchase and dreamed of becoming a famous actress. But after realizing that she needed to set her sights on something a bit more practical, she moved to Seattle and earned her K-8 teaching certification from the University of Washington. She currently teaches Creative Dance to preschoolers and Pilates to adults. Although she had written for enjoyment since childhood, Helen didn't begin to pursue publication until she was in her 40s. Her debut Young Adult novel, FLYAWAY, appropriate for ages 14 and up, explores the impact of a parent's drug addiction on its teenaged protagonist. The novel released from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2011 and was named a Top Teen Pick by Kirkus the week of its release. Thanks to her background in performing and her 25-plus years of teaching experience, Helen is comfortable presenting to groups of any size. Her signature school presentation, "Keeping it Real: Bringing Truth to Fiction" focuses on how fiction writers use research to make their stories seem authentic. "From Inspiration to Publication" follows the journey of a book from the first seed of inspiration to the finished product on bookstore shelves. The classroom writing workshop "Show, Don't Tell," gives students an opportunity to try their hands at crafting a short fictional scene. Helen's presentations are geared toward upper-middle-school and high school students.
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.
Writers are like crows. They collect shiny objects that capture their attention and hide them away. Maureen has been collecting interesting bits since she was six and decided she wanted to be a writer. Like all interesting journeys, the road to her goal took many twists and turns along the way: teaching middle grade through college, coordinating a program for gifted students, marrying and raising her own two children, traveling the world, and all the while writing in the spaces in between.
Maureen's published works include The Peculiars,(Abrams/Amulet) a YASLA, Bank Street, Horn Book and Westchester YA best book; Nuclear Legacy, (Battelle Press) an Independent Publisher's Award winner and numerous poems in literary journals. Her next books, Beyond the Door and The Telling Stone (Abrams/Amulet), are due out in spring and fall 2014. She's currently finishing a YA SciFi manuscript that asks what people are willing to risk for a deep connection with another human being.
Whenever she has the opportunity, Maureen loves to present to students in the schools, share her love of language and books, and encourage them to follow their passions. Maureen works with teachers to tailor workshops to specific writing goals. She is also a frequent presenter at writing conferences.
Maureen grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area before it became Silicon Valley and now lives in WA State near the banks of the Columbia River with her husband. Eagles, wood ducks, a friendly owl and raccoons visit her yard. When she's not writing or teaching, Maureen's always hoping for a real life mystery to solve.
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.
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.
A graduate of the University of Virginia, author, Stacy A. Nyikos, Ph.D., is an award-winning writer and musician. Her books includeRope 'Em, the Read Across Oklahoma Book for 2011, and Squirt, Shelby and Dizzy. Stacy's first novel, Dragon Wishes, released in Spring 2008. Her new book, Waggers, comes out with Sky Pony Press in fall 2014. Stacy also offers presentations and workshops to students in grades K-8. She has presented at more than 50 schools. In addition, she has presented events at the World Aquarium in St. Louis, the Shedd, the Houston Zoo, the Tulsa Zoo, and the Oklahoma Aquarium.
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.