Speaking

I am available to speak to groups of teens or adults on a wide variety of topics related to adolescent literature, 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 be a better writer. Includes how I have approached each book or published short story — such as the genesis of the idea, the process to finding the story, 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 SPECIFIC PRESENTATIONS:  A presentation that looks more specifically at the inspiration, process, and research for one or more of my published works, often including the struggles I faced with getting the story “right.” These presentations can also be modified to focus 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.

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 reserarch subjects and searches, reliability of sources, and thinking outside the search box.

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.

RESEARCH 101: The basics of using the internet for research – tips and tricks, advocacy, balance, ethics, and judging the reliability of a source.

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.

These topics can be tailored to adults or teens, educators or librarians, and for writers of varying levels of experience. I’m also happy to develop a specific tailored workshop or talk.

Fees vary depending on topic, depth, location, number of attendees, and duration. For more information or to request references, please contact me at emkokie (at) gmail (dot) com.