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, the Boston Book Festival, and more. I’ve spoken at schools and colleges including Wellesley College, Brown University, the Harvey Milk High School in New York, Rhode Island College, the University of Connecticut, Sonoma State University, and Salisbury 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.
available Programs and Talks
Daring to Dream — Although I have always wanted to be a writer, it took me many years to turn my dream into reality. This talk explores my personal experiences with writing, as well as the limitations placed on storytellers who dare to tell stories outside the mainstream. This hourlong talk includes time for a Q&A with the audience. (Appropriate for a general interest audience)
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. (Appropriate for writers of all levels)
Representing LGBTQ Characters in YA Literature — When did young adult fiction begin including LGBTQ characters? What kinds of stories about LGBTQ people are being told in YA? How many YA books are about LGBTQ characters? In this lecture, I provide an overview on the history of LGBTQ representation in young adult literature, including my statistical research into the subject. This hourlong talk includes time for a Q&A with the audience. (Appropriate for a general interest audience)
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. (Appropriate for writers of all levels)
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. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for my rates.
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 email@example.com.