Author Talks

Presenting to a wonderful crowd at Spruce Mountain Elementary. Photo: Amy Ryder

I’m booking virtual visits for the 2021/2022 school year (and possibly some in-person, but right now it’s too soon to tell if that could happen). If you’re eager to have a visit from me, please contact me and let me know what you’re looking for. Thank you!

Author Talk: Interactive Virtual Writing Workshop (NEW!)

Students came up with incredible ideas during my Interactive Virtual Writing Workshop with St. Clare’s Primary School, Hong Kong. I love seeing student creativity in action. Photo: Ms. Sandy

In this highly interactive virtual presentation, I’ll guide students through the process of creating a story premise—and then work with them to build it even more, using elements of fiction: perspective, character arcs, setting and sense of place, and action scenes. I’ll start with examples from my books to illustrate the concepts, and then this presentation will explore students’ ideas and celebrate their creativity—by introducing topics from the ELA classroom as experiential learning. This presentation includes a brief Q&A.

Timing: 60 minutes

Audience: third to eighth grade; classroom, grade, assembly, or full school

Author Talk: Building the Writing Journey

On this Skype visit with Middlebury Elementary School in Middlebury, CT, I’m talking about research (and what moats were really like). Photo: Stephanie Robinson

Becoming an author involves a journey much like ones that a fictional character would take. Like their characters, a writer needs courage, perseverance, and inspiration to make it to the goal. In this talk, I’ll describe my own writing journey to The Mad Wolf’s Daughter: where my ideas came from, how and where I did my research, and the all-important and frequently inspiring process of revision. This presentation includes Make a Premise, an activity in which I lead students to build a story premise of their own—and then revise it to see in real time how a story can evolve.

Timing: 60 minutes

Audience: third to eighth grade; classroom, grade, or assembly

Free Virtual Visits

In this presentation, I read a chapter of one of my books aloud and answer student questions.

As always, if you’re reading one of my books to your class, I’ll read the next chapter or let your class pick its favorite.

Timing: 20 minutes

Audience: third to eighth grade, classroom, small group, or small assembly

Library Talks

My library talk is all about castles! Mighty fortresses of stone, that is, with murder holes, portcullises, plenty of arrow loops…and more. In this talk, I share where my love of all thing tough and stone began (my childhood roaming the cliffs of Mount Desert Island), and then launch into castle defense. I share pictures and encourage the audience to imagine themselves both as castle defenders, but also invaders. This talk is full of fun facts about moats, stuff that gets caught in armor, and what to think about as you design your own castle. This presentation includes a read-aloud.



If you’d like to book me for a virtual appearance, please contact me with the kind of talk you’d prefer, and what specific date/s or general month you’d like to request.


For Schools or Libraries (virtual visits):

A 60-minute presentation: $300

A 20-minute read-aloud and Q&A: Free


A note:

I support equity and inclusivity in the world of books and beyond. I am not available for any book events that discriminate against marginalized or underrepresented people, either on the page or off.


“Your virtual visit was a big success! Thanks very much for allowing enough room for students to engage and interact with you, and taking them on a literary journey. The virtual author visit is the first of its kind that we tried out at our school. We usually schedule in-person visits but what we witnessed on that day was way beyond our expectations as well. This clearly was a valuable learning opportunity for our senior graders.” Ms. Sandy, St. Clare’s Primary School, Hong Kong (Interactive Virtual Writing Workshop)

“As they went off to continue their stories, one student said, ‘Best. Day. Ever.’” Sandi Brann, Phippsburg Elementary (after a 45-minute Skype visit that included my “Make a Premise” exercise)

“Diane tailored her presentation to the interests and age levels of our students. She easily held the students’ attention by the content she had to share and the way she delivered it. Highly recommended! …Upon returning to the library after the presentation, a group of 8th grade boys gathered around the whiteboard and wrote their own story following the format Diane presented. Teachers have reported other students doing the same in their classrooms and outside of school. Every comment I have had from students, teachers, and admin about the presentation was positive, and the books are flying off the shelves.” Amy Ryder, Spruce Mountain Elementary and Middle School (Author’s Journey)

“We really enjoyed the presentation and writing sessions. Diane was very inspiring and really encouraged the kids to be creative but gave them a framework that can keep a writer from meandering off track or the plot stagnating.” Robin Strauss, Mount Desert Elementary/Northeast Harbor Library (Author’s Journey)

Book Signings

Book signings have always been part of each in-person visit. With virtual visits, I’m happy to send personalized bookplates to a bookseller local to you or work out a plan with Print: A Bookstore to have personalized signed books shipped to you. Let’s chat if you’d like to explore this option!


Do you need help planning an author visit? Penguin Young Readers has an excellent checklist, “How to Plan an Author Appearance,”that might be of use.

To arrange an author talk, please contact me with the talk or small group session you’re interested in and the date/s you’d like to request. Thanks!