School Visits


School Presentations that

Generate Excitement in Reading and Writing

I love visiting schools to talk to kids about reading and writing! This year, unfortunately, those visits will have to be virtual.

I am offering both full-day virtual visits and individual classroom presentations for the 2020-2021 school year. To request a virtual visit, please read the options below and e-mail me at Dates are flexible.


Single presentation (45-60 minutes) for Grades K-8: $250.

Full Day of up to four presentations (one can be a writing workshop) plus a 20-minute Q and A lunchtime session with a smaller group: $750.


You Should Meet . . . How to Make Your Dreams Come True

This interactive presentation is based on my biographies for emerging readers. I share the true-life stories behind Jesse Owens’ gold medals, Mae Jemison’s leap into space, Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s fight for women’s rights, and Lin-Manual Miranda’s Broadway sensation (among others). We’ll talk about how they were able to make their dreams come true and how today’s children can do the same. (20-30 minutes)

Along the way I discuss research, getting your facts right, and creating entertaining nonfiction stories.

Note this is slightly longer (30-45 minutes) for grades 2 and 3.


Ordinary Kids--and Dogs!-- Extraordinary Adventures

I bring history to life with the weird, wacky facts that don’t make it into the history textbooks in this presentation. Did a broken egg really save the Colonial rebellion? Did a dog single-handedly capture a German spy in the trenches of World War I? Includes a discussion of where ideas come from and how to draw on history and the world around us to create both fiction and nonfiction. 

Topics include research techniques, establishing setting, and creating compelling scenes and characters. Along the way I stress the tools of good writing (and revision), such as using descriptive detail, strong nouns and verbs, and “show, don’t tell.”  


These workshops are best for groups of fewer than 30 students. (45-60 minutes)

Character, Setting, Plot: The Building Blocks Of Story

We’ll look at the three must haves of any piece of fiction—character, setting, and plot. Students will brainstorm ideas in each of those areas and leave the workshop with story ideas.

Research, Research, Research: Writing The Truth

An in-depth look at the kind of research that is necessary to write nonfiction as well as historical fiction. Readers will leave the workshop with a plan to research their own nonfiction projects.


It’s more than spell check and making sure you’ve got quotation marks in the right places. Real revision looks at every aspect of your writing and how to make it stronger. Students should come with a piece of writing that is ready for revision and we’ll dig in and polish.

For more information or to ask me to tailor my presentation to your students: laurie.calkhoven@gmail


Free Virtual Visits!

I offer free 20-30 minute Q and A’s for classes, book clubs, and scout troops that have read at least one of my books. E-mail me to set up a date and time.