At the Hot Gates


School Presentations

Dear Teachers and Librarians,
I would love to come to your school to speak with your students!
I give a 50-60 minute Writing Workshop entitled: From First Inspiration to Published Work.
In this presentation, I lead the students through their own experiences with the writing process and show the parallel process of the author. 

Here are some points that I cover:
  • How do we capture those elusive inspired ideas that come at unexpected moments?
  • How do we keep our ideas organized and have them at hand when we need them?
  • Why is it important that we learn how to use a keyboard and word processing program?
  • How do we share our written ideas or creations with others?
  • Who are the editors in our lives?
  • Peeling the onion: The painful, yet essential process of editing a piece of writing over and over again.
  • What is the illustrator's journey?
  • Where does the author’s journey go beyond the writer’s journey?

Click here for video of a sample talk to an elementary school in
Colorado entitled: "From Inspiration to Finished Work."

I bring detailed show-and-tell items from my own writing process.

I have presented to elementary and middle schools in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and southern California.  My presentations are interactive, engaging and humorous.

Teachers often express their gratefulness that their students hear from a published author encouragement and information identical to what they are giving in the classroom.  In particular, they appreciate how I emphasize that rewriting and editing my work is an essential stage in the writer’s process, and not a teacher’s private means of torturing his or her students.

I was a full time elementary and middle school teacher for 19 years and am comfortable with large groups of children.  I have presented to assemblies of 120 children, although ideally, for the sake of questions, the groups are 50-70 students.  I can easily do back-to-back presentations.

Please contact me with your questions or to set up a time for me to visit.
My standard rate is $90 per presentation for a regional visit (Denver/Boulder Valley).  Discounts are offered for multiple presentations.  I know how school budgets are suffering and funds can be difficult to come by.  I had rather bring my rate down to accommodate your school rather than pass up the opportunity to speak with your students.  Get in touch with me and let’s work something out that serves us both.
I am also a listed school speaker on the SCBWI web site (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators).

If you would like to set up an event at your school, please contact me by email at

See what kids have to say about Donald's presentations

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