School Visits and Events

School Visits

I’m now booking school visits for the 2020-2021 school year! Because of the ongoing pandemic/COVID-19, I am only doing virtual school visits for the time being.

TEACHERS: If you’re using Feliz New Year, Ava Gabriela! in your classroom, I’m offering FREE 30 minute Storytime/Q&A sessions, which can be conducted in English, Spanish, or Spanglish! The book is geared for ages 4-8, grades PK-3rd. If you’d like me to visit your classroom virtually, please contact me!

Also, check out the teacher’s guide for Feliz New Year, Ava Gabriela!, which can offer useful resources for using the book in the classroom.

Starting this fall, I’ll also be offering FREE 30-minute Storytime/Q&A sessions for teachers who are using Isabel and Her Colores Go to School in the classroom!

Virtual Visits

I love talking to students! As a writing professor and author who is a child of immigrants, I love speaking about my writing process, my publishing journey, and the influence my parents and culture have had on my work. I also love talking craft and inspiration!

I’m available to do talks and workshops on various topics, including: my publishing journey, the writing process, the “Where I’m From” poem, how to find inspiration, mining your culture and experiences for story ideas, creating evocative settings, imagery, revision, plot and character, and many more. See descriptions below.

While my books are geared for grades PK-3rd, I teach English composition and creative writing at the college level and can tailor many of the above to older students, including middle schoolers, high schoolers, and adults!

Fees: $150 for each virtual visit, up to 75 minutes.

My Book Journey

This presentation focuses on one book and its journey from idea to publication. I will read from the book and share how I came up with the idea, some early drafts of the story (doodles and all!), and early cover and illustration sketches. Presentation will end with a short brainstorming exercise and a Q&A.

The Write Process

“Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere.” 
― Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. This interactive presentation focuses on writing as a process, not a one-step-and-done act. I’ll go over the brainstorming, writing, and revising steps, using visual aids to represent some of the challenges all writers face, like writers blocks and doubt, giving students tools to tackle each part of the writing process. I’ll share some of my process and my own “terrible first efforts,” along with the doodling that helps me focus when I’m thinking. We’ll finish with a short Q&A.

Demystifying Publishing

The publishing business can sometimes feel nebulous, but it doesn’t have to be. This presentation is for student writers who wish to know more about how children’s publishing works and what steps are needed to get your story published. I’ll talk about manuscript presentation for both picture books and novels, the querying process, manuscript wishlists, how to research agents and editors, acquisitions, and more! I’ll also share what happens after you get that book deal (HINT: More revision!), and I’ll answer any questions students might have about the process.

This presentation is geared more toward older students (middle school through college) though it can be tailored for a younger audience.

Finding Inspiration Workshop

This workshop is perfect for smaller groups. Where do writers find their inspiration? Where do ideas come from? In this interactive workshop, students will engage in some focused free writing and creative exercises to help them brainstorm story and character ideas. Then, we’ll make up a collective story using the ideas generated in the workshop!

This workshop can be tailored for younger audiences (PK-3rd) and older ones (4th grade on up).

The Where I’m From Poetry Workshop

Calling all student poets! The “Where I’m From” poem is one of my favorites–you can see my own poem here in the Young Adult Review Network. In this workshop, perfect for smaller groups, I will guide students through the active brainstorming and writing of a Where I’m From, including crafting strong concrete, sensory imagery, and using sound elements to create rhythm. Students will have the opportunity to share their poems at the end of the workshop.

This workshop can be tailored for younger audiences (PK-3rd) and older ones (4th grade on up).

Creating Vivid Imagery

Imagery is at the heart of writing, whether it’s poetry or fiction. In this workshop, I’ll guide students through the creation of concrete and sensory imagery. I’ll show examples of concrete and sensory imagery, and then, through a series of fun and interactive exercises, students will get to practice transforming general images into more specific ones.

This workshop can be tailored for younger audiences (PK-3rd) and older ones (4th grade on up).

More

Have an idea for a workshop that’s not listed here or want a mashup of several of the above? I’d love to work with you to create a session that’s perfect for you. Contact me for more information or to book me for one of the above presentations/workshops!

In-Person Visits*

*In-person visits are currently on hold due to COVID19.

Events

In addition to school visits, I’m also available for speaking engagements, conferences, and workshops. If you’d like me to speak at your conference or lead a workshop, contact me!

Upcoming Appearances

Las Musas Debut Diaries Podcast
PB Edition: Marketing and Publicity
TBA

nErD Camp CT
Saturday, June 12, 2021

nErD Camp PA
Thursday, July 15, 2021

Past Appearances

Conversations with an Author: Women in Writing
Broward College South Campus
Wednesday, March 24, 2021 | 2:30 p.m. EST

Writing the Character Driven Picture Book
Broward College South Campus Seahawk Writing Conference
Friday, March 12, 2021 | 9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. EST

World Read Aloud Day
Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Book Journey:Our Path to Picture Books
Zara González Hoang & Alexandra Alessandri in conversation
Wednesday, January 13, 2021 | 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. EST
Part of the Las Musas Webinar Series

MDPLS Virtual Author Series with Alexandra Alessandri
North Shore Branch | Virtual Storytime with Q&A
Thursday, December 31, 2020 | 2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. EST

MDPLS Virtual Author Series with Alexandra Alessandri
Country Walk Branch | Virtual Storytime with Q&A
Tuesday, December 29, 2020 | 4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. EST

MDPLS Virtual Author Series with Alexandra Alessandri
West Kendal Regional Library | Virtual Storytime with Q&A
Wednesday, December 16, 2020 | 4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. EST

Picture Books with All the Feels | Latinx Kidlit Book Festival
Friday, December 4, 2020 | 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. EST

2020 NCTE Annual Convention
November 19-22, 2020

Affirming Identities and Building Empathy through MG and PB Latinx Literature
Live Roundtable |Sunday, November 22, 2020 | 10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. EST
With Chantel Acevedo, Adrianna Cuevas, Kim Baker, Rebecca Balcarcel, Anika Fajardo, Yolanda Gonzales, Anna Meriano, Emma Otheguy, Loriel Ryon, Mary Louise Sanchez, Julia Torres, and Shreya Vora.

The Writer in the Composition Classroom
On Demand | With Alex Giardino, Rebecca Balcarcel, and Christopher Baron

68th Annual Breakfast with the Authors
November 14, 2020
8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. PST

Books & Books Virtual Author Series: Alexandra Alessandri
Saturday, October 3, 2020 | 11:00 a.m. EST
Tune in at Books & Books Instagram Live!

Picture Books That Celebrate the Diversity in Our Nation
CANCELLED DUE TO COVID19

First-Generation Writers on the Search for Home
CANCELLED DUE TO COVID19

Nerd Camp PA
July 16, 2020
Language and Culture in Kidlit – 9:30 a.m. (EST)
Empowering Students of All Ages and Backgrounds with Diverse Books – 10:30 a.m. (EST)

OwnVoices Brainstorming: Mining Cultural Heritage & Memories for Story
Thursday, May 14, 2020 | 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Part of Las Musas Webinar Series

Where I’m From: A Generative Writing Workshop CANCELLED DUE TO COVID19
Wednesday, March 18, 2020 | 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
2020 MFLA (Music, Film, Literature, & Arts) Festival
Location: Broward College South Campus

Reimagining Home: Latinx Children’s Authors on Writing
Tuesday, March 10, 2020 | 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
2020 MFLA (Music, Film, Literature, & Arts) Festival
Location: Broward College South Campus