Speaking

I enjoy engaging with readers and writers of all ages and levels.  I am available for school and library visits, author Q & A visits, and book discussions (both in person and via Skype), as well as conferences and workshops of various lengths.

For school and library visits with teens I prefer to work with smaller groups, but my daily rate can include multiple workshops, book discussions, and a combination of medium and small groups, as well as single event presentations, workshops, and discussions.  A Skype visit can often be an economical choice for a single class or group discussion.  Download a  School-Library-Visit-Sheet.  

While I am happy to develop a presentation or workshop on a specific topic or theme, I have presented to and worked with groups of adolescents and adults on a wide variety of topics related to literature for adolescent readers, creative writing, the business of publishing, and research, including:

HOW AND WHAT I WRITE: A presentation that looks at my journey from lazy student to practicing lawyer to published author, with tips and insights I learned along the way that have helped me become a better writer. the process and inspiration for each novel or published short story — such as the genesis of the idea, the process to finding the story, research tips, and struggles with getting the story “right” — and offers inspiration for teens and adults who want to write, but are afraid, intimidated, or lack the confidence to pursue their dreams.

BOOK DISCUSSION: A small group discussion with participants who have read one or more of my books. The discussion can begin with a brief presentation about the inspiration, process, and research for the book(s), the process toward publication more generally, or a specific aspect or theme of the book(s) to be discussed. Or it can include a longer presentation that looks more specifically at the inspiration, process, and research for one or more of my published works, that focuses on specific aspects or themes included in the works to be discussed, or the book can be used as a way to illustrate the process of revising something from first draft to polished final product. Download a discussion guide for Radical.

THE MECHANICS OF VOICE:
 Breaking down the mechanics that combine to form a compelling narrative voice. An interactive workshop with examples from published books that encourages attendees to ask important questions about the voices of their characters and the narrative choices they are making. Can be offered in a variety of formats including a one-hour talk, or a workshop of various lengths.

RESEARCH TIPS & TRICKS — OR LESSONS I LEARNED THE HARD WAY: Beyond the basics of research, some of the lessons I learned the hard way, both as a practicing attorney and an author, such as the human elements at play in tailoring research subjects and searches, reliability of sources, and thinking outside the search box. Can also be tailored as more of a “Research 101” presentation on the basics of using the internet for research – tips and tricks, advocacy, balance, ethics, and judging the reliability of a source.

FINDING YOURSELF IN THE LIBRARYA presentation about my journey from reader to library fugitive to attorney to author, including discussion about the mirrors, windows, chutes, ladders, and secret rooms adolescent readers can find in books, and diversity, under-representation, and recommended readings that can cause adolescent readers to question and think more critically about their world, to gain emotional experience and empathy, and maybe even find themselves in books. Can be tailored to adults who work with adolescents or the adolescent readers themselves.

KEEPING IT REAL: TIPS FOR WRITING EFFECTIVE REALISTIC FICTION: Tips for writing realistic fiction that feels real, and highlighting pitfalls to avoid, including suggestions for realistic world building, emotional reality, drawing on “real life” inspirations, writing realistic dialogue, reminders about the “real world” of our young readers, and the need to write the “real” world of your story as opposed to the world it was or the world as you wish it were.

CRITIQUE: From beginner to pro, tips for getting the most out of a critique relationship and for fostering a positive learning experience for giver and receiver of critique.

IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS: Plans, tips, and insights for getting the details “right” to strengthen character, plot, and setting in fiction.

KEEPING THE FAITH: An inspirational talk about keeping faith in yourself and your work when doubts, the inner critic, and the business of publishing gets you down.

FINDING THE AGENT WHO IS RIGHT FOR YOU: A step by step analysis of using online resources to research literary agents in order to improve a writer’s chances of connecting with the best agent for that writer’s career.

Most topics can be tailored to adults or teens, educators or librarians, and for writers of varying levels of experience.

Fees vary depending on the number and nature of the proposed presentations, workshops, or discussions, whether in person or via Skype, and the level of preparation the visit, presentation, or workshop will require. For more information about fees or to inquire about availability, please contact me at emkokie (at) gmail (dot) com.