School Visits

Visiting with 2nd grade students at Whitefield Academy

I’m now booking school visits for the 2022-2023 school year! I’m available for school and library presentations, festivals, conferences, and other speaking engagements.

Note: In-person visits will be limited to Miami-Dade County, Florida with some select Broward County availability; however, I will continue to offer virtual school visits throughout the year.

FREE VISITS: Select school visits may be free, pending schedule availability:

  • Title I schools are eligible for free visits.
  • Classes who order 30 or more copies of my book(s) are eligible for free visits (one presentation for one class), with proof of purchase; copies must be ordered prior to the scheduled event.
  • Teachers who are using my book(s) in the classroom are eligible for free 20-minute Storytime/Q&A sessions, which can be conducted in English, Spanish, or Spanglish.

Books for kids ages 4-8: Check out the teacher’s guides for Feliz New Year, Ava Gabriela! and Isabel and Her Colores Go to School, which can offer useful resources for using the book in the classroom.

Books for kids ages 8-12: My middle grade fantasy adventure The Enchanted Life of Valentina Mejía releases on Feb. 21, 2023. Teacher’s guide is forthcoming!

In-Person and Virtual Author Visit Options

I love talking to budding writers! 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, showing how we can draw from our own experiences, traditions, and cultures to create stories, characters, and poetry.

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 sample descriptions and rates below.

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

To schedule in-person or virtual visits please contact me!

Storytime/Q&A with small craft or mini-workshop

This presentation includes a reading of one book, a small craft or brief writing workshop, and time for a Q&A.

20-30 minutes

My Book Journey

This presentation focuses on one book (see above) 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.

45-60 minutes

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-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.

45-60 minutes

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 and 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!), including a breakdown of the different roles authors might find in publishing, and I’ll answer any questions students might have about the process.

This presentation is best for older students (middle school through college). 60-75 minutes

Finding Inspiration Creative 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 is best for grades 4 and up, though a version of it can be tailored for grades K-3rd. Workshops are ideal for smaller groups, like individual classrooms or bookclubs.

45-60 minutes

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 is best for grades 3 and up. Workshops are ideal for smaller groups, like individual classrooms or bookclubs.

45-60 minutes

Creating Vivid Imagery Workshop

Imagery is an important component of writing, regardless of genre. 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 is best for grades 3 and up. Workshops are ideal for smaller groups, like individual classrooms or bookclubs.

45-60 minutes

Colombia is Magic: Virtual Road Trip throughout Colombia

In this interactive presentation, students will take a road trip throughout Colombia, learning about its landmarks, flora, fauna, people, music, history, and celebrations!

45-60 minutes

More

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

Rates for the 2022-2023 school year

  • Full day: $1,000, includes 3 presentations and/or workshops up to 75 minutes each. Full day visits include “lunch with the author” for a smaller group, like a book club, and a book signing if desired.
  • Half day: $750, includes 2 presentations and/or workshops up to 75 minutes each.
  • Single presentation or workshop: $400, up to 75 minutes.
  • Lunch with the author: $150, great for small groups or clubs. Free with full day visit.
  • Storytime/Q&A with small craft or mini-workshop: $100, up to 30 minutes, or free with purchase of 10 or more books.

For travel outside of Miami-Dade County, travel expenses (transportation, lodging, etc.) will be added to the above fees.