I am passionate about writing, and I love to help students experience wonderful words and write their own!

Over the past fifteen years, I've worked with thousands of students of all ages--from kindergarten through graduate school--as well as adult writers and teachers. I received the Barbara Juster Esbensen 2000 Poetry Teaching Award for my work with a third grade class.

I've kept my daily fee low to make visits affordable, and I offer both in-person visits and virtual visits via Skype.

Program Fees

My local in-person rate is still $500/​day plus mileage for up to three presentations (within about 100 miles).

Virtual visits are half that rate at $250 for three Skype presentations (or $100 for one presentation) with no travel expenses or accommodations required.

Long-distance visits (more than about 100 miles) require accommodations and mileage or travel expenses. Contact me for a price quote.


To plan a visit, choose one or more topics from the Presentations list below.

Or ask me about focusing on any of the poetry forms in Write a Poem Step by Step or the Poet's Workshop series.

To schedule a visit or to discuss additional topics or scheduling options, e-mail me through the "Write to JoAnn" link (under "Send a Message") on the left side of any page of this site.


From Cats to Moo: Inspiration, Imagination, and Publication

This presentation is suitable for all ages, including students, families, teachers, and community groups. It lasts about 30-45 minutes. I talk about the inspiration for each of my books, my writing process, poetry, and publishing. Participants are invited to ask questions.

Nature in Your Neighborhood

Inspired by my experiences with monarchs, bees, birds, and other wildlife, this presentation is suitable for all ages. It lasts about 30-45 minutes and includes tips for observing, researching, reflecting on, and writing about outdoor experiences. Participants are invited to ask questions.

Writing Lively Nonfiction

This presentation is suitable for large or small groups, grade 3 and up. It lasts about 45 minutes. Participants discuss the following topics:

• Good ideas
• Research and resources
• Storytelling techniques
• Exciting language
• Creative formats

The presentation includes wonderful, age-appropriate nonfiction examples and time for questions and answers.

What Makes a Poem a Poem?

This interactive discussion is suitable for small or large groups, grade 3 and up. It lasts about 45 minutes. Participants discuss the following topics:

• Form: how a poem differs from a story
• Patterns: what rhythm, rhyme, and repetition contribute to a poem
• Language: the kinds of exciting words poets use
• Imagery: how poets use all their senses to create word pictures
• Ideas: how a poet starts writing a poem

The presentation includes examples of wonderful poems (many written by students in my poetry workshops), opportunities for students to contribute their own creative ideas, and time for questions and answers.

Write a Poem Step by Step

This popular writing workshop lasts from 90 minutes to two hours. It is intended for a class-sized group, third grade and up. Each participant writes a draft of a poem in five logical steps:

• Finding a good idea
• Adding imagery
• Using exciting words
• Patterns in poetry
• Breaking the lines

The presentation includes examples of wonderful poems, many written by students in previous workshops, and includes time for writing and questions.

Additional Topics

For the youngest students, I am happy to read one or several of my picture books and answer questions. I can speak to older students about researching, revising, or bringing writing to life by using details from their own experience. For more ideas, write to me!

Ordering Books for School Visits

Most publishers offer significant discounts to schools for ordering books in conjunction with author visits. Schools can then either resell the books at a discount or sell the books at the cover price and use the income to help fund an author visit. For information about ordering my books for school visits, see the following web sites:

Write a Poem, Step by Step: A Simple, Logical, Effective Way to Write Poetry with Your Students (for teachers)

First presented at the International Reading Association 54th Annual Convention, this 2-hour workshop gives teachers the tools to help students write their own poems.

Each participant writes a draft of a poem using the simple, logical method I teach in my workshops. Then teachers learn how to help their students write their own poetry using the step-by-step method and other resources.

Participants receive specific instructions for revising first drafts and suggestions for encouraging students and evaluating their work. They also learn how to customize a presentation for their own students that includes age-appropriate and subject-relevant examples of wonderful poems.

Writing Exciting Poetry for Children (See details above under "Write a Poem Step by Step")

Writing Lively Nonfiction (See details above)

Writing for Beginning Readers

Put Some Life in Your Work! Writing Fiction Inspired by Your Experiences

Writing for Educational Publishers

Activating Passive Language

Bring the Lake Along: Writing No Matter What

Contact me for more ideas!

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Please do not copy without permission.