I am available for school and library visits, conference keynotes, and writing workshops. I live near Boston, and I usually book visits that require travel outside of New England about a year in advance. If your event is in New England, I prefer as much advance notice as possible.
I have spoken at professional conferences including the American Library Association, the National Council of Teachers of English, the ALAN Workshop, School Library Journal’s Day of Dialog, the Colorado Language Arts Society, the Association of Children’s Librarians of Northern California, and the YALSA Young Adult Literature Symposium. I’ve also spoken at conventions and festivals including Comic Con, GeekyCon, the World Fantasy Convention, the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention, the Austin Teen Book Festival, the Brooklyn Book Festival, Wordstock, Litquake, and more. I’ve spoken at schools and colleges including Wellesley College, the Harvey Milk High School in New York, Rhode Island College, the University of Connecticut, and Sonoma State University.
Finally, I’ve taught writing at writing conferences and workshops including the Lambda Literary Foundation’s Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices; the Alpha Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Workshop for Young Writers; Desert Nights Rising Stars Writers Conference at ASU; the James River Writers Annual Conference; and the Nimrod Conference for Readers and Writers.
Possible Programs and Talks
- Writing With Diversity: How To and Why Not — Who’s allowed to write “diverse” stories? How do you do it without making mistakes? This one-hour program includes a straightforward talk about the challenges of writing cross-culturally (that is, writing fiction from perspectives outside your own personal experience), and plenty of time for open, honest discussion.
- Five Foundations of World Building — Worldbuilding is the basis of any fantasy or science fiction tale, and in this workshop I cover techniques and tips for creating a realistic, yet fantastical imaginary world, using examples drawn from classic and contemporary fantasy novels. It’s not all about who’s the king; it’s also about what the people eat for breakfast. This workshop can be structured for any time period between one and two hours. A two-hour workshop has the added benefit of including time for students to write.
- Representing LGBTQ Characters in YA Literature — An overview of the history of LGBTQ representation in young adult literature, referencing my research into the subject. This hourlong talk includes about 20 minutes for a Q&A with the audience.
- Origin Story — Although I’ve always wanted to be a writer, when I went to college I majored in economics with a plan to become an investment banker. In this talk I explain how my plans didn’t work out quite the way I expected, and I tell the story of how I got published with my first novel, Ash. This hourlong talk includes about 20 minutes for a Q&A with the audience.
Please be aware that I typically charge a speaker’s fee and require that my transportation and accommodation be covered. The fee varies depending on the nature of the event, the location, and the organization hosting the event. For visits that require long distance travel, I charge $2000 for a full day of events, plus the cost of travel and accommodations. My fee for local school/library visits varies depending on the distance I’d need to travel and the time you’re requesting. I am available for Skype visits at $175 per 45 minutes.
Complimentary and Reduced Cost Visits
- I do one or two reduced-fee visits each year, and I give priority to conferences/schools/organizations that benefit marginalized people and/or young writers. If you’d like to book me for a reduced-fee visit, please contact me as soon as possible, as these visits are typically arranged at least a year in advance.
- As an add-on to a school visit, I’m happy to visit a high school Gay-Straight Alliance or LGBTQ+ student group at no additional charge, if my transportation needs have already been met.
If you’d like to book me for a speaking engagement, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.