I love helping people tap into their creativity and share their unique stories with the world. I am available to visit your school, library, writing group, book club, Scout troop or convention. My hands-on workshops are high-energy, interactive, and FUN. Presentations generally run 50 minutes and can be tailored to meet your groups’ special needs. Please contact me for rates and availability.
§ Unleashing Your Creativity – Do you suffer from writer’s block? Learn how to get unstuck (or inspire reluctant students) by using music to paint vivid pictures in your brain. From techno to classical to movie theme songs, I have music guaranteed to inspire even the most petulant of muses. Adult writers: You'll also create a soundtrack representing the different stages of your life to help you reconnect to your past and mine it for story gems. ±
§ What’s the Scoop: How to Write Fun, Informative Nonfiction – Whether you want to start a class/grade newspaper or simply learn how to write informative pieces for your blog or newsletter, this workshop is for you. Using the 5 W’s and an H in an inverted pyramid formula, you will produce succinct, entertaining, nonfiction stories people will want to read. ±
§ Creating a Treasure Map to Your Story – Do you have a dozen story ideas that start out strong and then promptly die? Do you have a tantalizing opener and kick-butt ending, but have no idea how to get through the sagging middle? Let me teach you how to create a map for your brilliant story idea and increase your chances of being published. ±
§ The Universal Specific - Using Cynthia Rylant’s picture book When I Was Young in the Mountains, participants learn how to put a unique and specific spin on a universal experience to create a story readers can connect to but haven’t heard before. In this hands-on, interactive workshop participants learn how to make their writing richer by mining their past for authenticating details.
§ What’s My Motivation: Creating Dynamic, Memorable Main Characters – Are your characters archetypes or stereotypes? Learn how to get inside the heads of your main characters to create memorable, three-dimensional characters fans will love.
§ Heartbreakers & Troublemakers – Is your Bad Boy an archetype or a stereotype? Learn how to get inside the heads of your Bad Boy, his nemesis, and his love interest to create well-rounded, memorable, three-dimensional characters with a spark.
§ Contracts, Kill Fees, and Serial Rights, Oh My! – Take a crash course in magazine writing. Learn how to read editorial guidelines, write an attention-grabbing query letter, and organize your article. Also, learn how to protect your intellectual rights, upcycle your work into book-length projects, and understand some basic contract lingo.
§ Filling the Writer’s Toolbox – You’ve written what is bound to be the next big thing. Now what do you do with it? Learn the tools of our trade including kid lit lingo, query letters, elevator pitches, and more during this interactive workshop for children’s writers ready to take their work to the next level.
§ Cooking Up Some Chicken Soup – Learn how to turn family stories and struggles into inspiring and/or entertaining personal essays for magazines and compilation books like Chicken Soup for the Soul.
± Teachers: I like to teach these three workshops as a package deal (and will give you a discount!), to make sure students receive a well-rounded writing base. I have three versions of the Treasure Map you can choose from: Charlotte’s Web, Harry Potter or The Wizard of Oz. I promise to talk about the importance of revision every time I'm in the classroom.
Other Specialty Workshops
§ Obento 101 – Obento, or boxed meal, is an art form in Japan. Whether you are a foodie, a Japanophile, or a person who simply appreciates beauty in your everyday life, let The Obento Lady show you how to make an authentic, artistic obento for your next cosplay picnic or special event. Come play with your food!
§ Obento, American-Style – Obento, or boxed meal, is an art form in Japan, but what if you don’t want to spend an hour a day making your lunch? Let The Obento Lady show you how to take your American favorites from drab to fab in ten minutes or less per night. Learn how to make tasty, healthy, kawaii lunches that will be the envy of everybody at your lunch table.
§ Itadakimasu! Let's Make a Romantic Japanese Dinner – Can you boil water and use your oven? If so, The Obento Lady can teach you how to make an authentic Japanese meal, including dessert and a beverage, for your sweetheart. Along the way, she'll entertain you with true stories, random factoids, rules of etiquette, and all the cultural lessons she had to learn the hard way. **Recipes are included.**
§ Itadakimasu! Let's Throw a Japanese Dinner Party – Can you make pancakes? If so, The Obento Lady can teach you how to throw an interactive dinner party with people from your Japanese class, your cosplay group, or any group of hungry friends. You'll learn how to make okonomiyaki (savory pancakes guests can customize), two side dishes, dessert, and a beverage. Along the way, she'll entertain you with true stories, random factoids, rules of etiquette, and all the cultural lessons she had to learn the hard way. **Recipes are included.**
Want to learn more about my alter-ego The Obento Lady? Click here!
Young adult author
creative writing Teacher