To schedule a visit or get more information about programs, fees, etc., please contact me.
In particular, I want to express my appreciation for your sincerity with our students. Your presentations allow them to ask questions, discuss ideas, and share their own experiences in a supportive and thoughtful conversation with you. I know it takes time to prepare for student audiences, but their enthusiasm during the visit and in subsequent library visits is worth it. With our fourth graders, modeling the research and writing process gave them an authentic experience of being a writer for young people. And with first grade, it was all about cool ideas, great words, and the importance of illustrations to help us understand stories. Your visits become part of their whole library discovery and our library dialogue.
Maya McElroy, Elementary Librarian, Austin ISD
We were so fortunate to have Chris speak at the 44th Fay B. Kaigler Children's Book Festival! Chris was an entertaining and engaging speaker who kept the crowd of librarians, teachers, educators, and writers interested during both the informational parts of his presentation and the fun parts, too. He was flexible and dynamic and both festival organizers and attendees would highly recommend him for your next speaking engagement!
Karen Rowell, The University of Southern Mississippi
The participants were uniformly enthusiastic about their workshop experience with Chris. ... From an administrative point of view, Chris was also a total pleasure to work with. He was responsive, flexible, gracious and thoroughly professional.
Emma Walton Hamilton, Director, Southampton Children's Literature Conference
You have a fantastic and natural repertoire with kids and had them engaged throughout the presentation. ... I would definitely recommend you to other librarians and/or schools looking for an author visit!
Rachel Salvaggio, Teen Services Librarian, Austin Public Library
One of the most inspiring moments was when Chris explained that writing children's books was not his original goal as an author -- he stumbled across an obituary of Bob Switzer and was inspired to write about him. What a wonderful way to answer the question, "Why is writing important?" So we can remember those who inspire us and their life stories.
Cindy Modrall, Language Arts Teacher, Leander ISD
Chris gave an outstanding presentation to Austin SCBWI. He motivated everyone in the crowd to go home and write picture book biographies, and the bibliography he provided was outstanding. I highly recommend him as a speaker for any type of children's literature event.
Tim Crow, Former Regional Advisor, Austin Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators
"Write what you know," the saying goes. But based on my experiences with both playful picture books and rigorously researched nonfiction, I encourage audiences to improve their own writing -- or their students' writing -- by giving the not-yet-known a try. I've shared this presentation with first graders in just 30 minutes, I've delivered a full-day version to educators and librarians, and I've adapted it for many ages and lengths in between. It can include an emphasis on (and many examples of) the importance of research or revision. I wrote more about "Writing What You'd to Learn" for Nerdy Book Club.
In this inspiring keynote address, I use examples from my experiences as an author to demonstrate the power that one single thing -- one single occurrence, one single incident, one single moment of connection -- can have. And what do we do when that spark ignites? We keep listening and seeking out and exploring and sharing because the laws of probability say we've got to do a lot of that if we want things to click and connect in a similar way again. The same goes for books and our efforts to connect the right ones with the right kids at the right time. Our patience and persistence and presence will pay off.
Available as single-day and two-day offerings, these fun workshops give students an opportunity to work with an author to improve their own writing -- and to inspire lots more down the road. Which book we emphasize on depends on the type of writing you want to focus on -- off-the-wall superhero sagas or real-life anecdotes about someone your students know. Based on our reading of either Mighty Truck and Whoosh!, we'll work together to create new stories on the spot using techniques that students can continue to use long after I've left the school.
Prepare the kids — and their teachers. When faculty members are present — in every respect — during my sessions, it underscores for students the value of having me there. And the more that students know ahead of time about me and about my books, the more they'll anticipate my visit, the more attentive they'll be during my presentation, and the more substantial their questions for me will be.
Allow plenty of time. Trust me — I won't expect pre-K students to sit still for a full hour. But the more time we have together — after the kids are seated and before they stand up to leave — the more I can truly engage with your students without having to rush through my presentation.
Have books available for me to sign. This is not a requirement. But I do find that adults who have lots of books in their lives sometimes overlook how special — inspiring, even — it can be to a child to own one particular book signed by a real-life author (or "arthur") who they actually met at their actual school.