tarafall2011picYes, I am available for author visits to your school!

Stories are everywhere, you just have to be open to inspiration.

This is my message to students learning to write as well as those who have been writing for years. After my program, their blank pages will magically disappear. My goal is to get your students excited about writing and reading!

I can tailor a program to meet your specific educational needs, or you can choose from these workshops/presentations:

♦ Day in the Life
A humorous look at this pajama-wearing author’s daily kidlit escapades. I suggest a PJ Day for the school and I will visit in mine!

♦ Storystorm
Based upon my popular annual Storystorm writing challenge, these are brainstorming and idea-generating exercises to expand your students’ imaginations and help them create exciting stories.

♦ From Lightbulb to Nightlight
How a picture book is made, from first idea to finished book.

♦ Language Lollapalooza
Explore uncommon, tongue-twisting words (like those from my popular list of 500+ fun, cool & interesting words) and expand vocabulary through word games like “Crashwords!”

♦ How-to-Write Fractured Fairytales
I show students how fairytales can serve as the base for their stories and how writers can inject existing stories with their own personal style.

♦ Customondo
 I can tailor a program to fit your needs/curriculum–on just about any area related to reading and writing.

Plus…An Author’s Tea!
At every visit, I offer students the opportunity to have lunch or snack with me by winning a contest I create for the school.

Programs run 40-60 minutes including a Q&A period. I offer up to 3 presentations in one day—and they can be a mix of any 3 above.

I visit groups big and small. Three hundred kids or just 30–I can visit with any size school or class.


My pitch, volume and pace is student-approved!

Recommended grade range for school visits is Pre-K thru 8th grade.

Sponsor’s expenses include presentation fee, transportation, lodging (if necessary) and meals.

I offer readings of my picture books. Schools can pre-order copies for their students and I’ll sign and personalize each one the day of the visit.

Please inquire at tarakidlit (at) gmail (dot) com for fees, availability, and to discuss your specific needs.

Educator resources:


Yes, I can do Skype Visits! Free visits are 15-20 minutes long and I do them in my JAMMIES! Your class can guess the pajamas I will wear: hot cocoa, ice skates, conversation hearts, purple owls, or Scottie dogs. I do a magic trick, read a book and answer a few questions. It’s loads of fun! Book me now by emailing tarakidlit (at) gmail (dot) com.

Longer, in-depth presentations—like my Storystorm program of brainstorming exercises—are also available for a nominal fee.

I do Skype visits in my jammies--whichever kind the kids pick. This time it was ice skate jammies!

Teacher/Librarian testimonials:

“Wow. We sure enjoyed your Skype. One of our all-time favorites. You were so much fun. Thank you!”

“Thanks from the bottom of our feetie pajamas! Everyone in our school loves Monstore, and it was really cool to have you bring it to life!”

“Wow, I have a tough act to follow the next time I read a story. It was terrific listening to you read. Our fifth graders learned so much about writing and publishing.”

“Our grade 8 class had the joy of having Tara present a session on brainstorming. Tara’s session was engaging, funny and interactive. Our students readily began creating and building their own children’s story with the activities that Tara had provided. As a teacher, I was so impressed with the amount of students sharing their ideas and story writing after our session with Tara. We appreciated Tara’s unique perspective and approach to writing. We are very much looking forward to our 2nd session on story structure.”

“My kids thoroughly enjoyed the visit and have been talking about the day the author came to visit our smartboard ever since.”  Read more here

Author Laura Sassi recaps one of my virtual author visits—take a look!

And remember, I do Skype visits in my jammies! The kids guess which ones!


I occasionally review picture books and middle-grade novels on my blog. If you’d like to send a book for review, please contact me first at tarakidlit (at) gmail (dot com). Please note that I only review books I truly enjoy (and those I have time for). So I cannot guarantee a review, but I never post a negative review. Life’s just too short for negativity.

I’m sorry, but I no longer review self-published titles or Kickstarter books.


Occasionally I’ll offer free critiques on this blog, so be sure to subscribe via email so you don’t miss out!

While I don’t offer fee-based critiques at this time, I will donate critiques to auctions and charitable causes. In the past I’ve donated to the Betsy & John MacLeod auction, Kidlit for the Philippines, Kidlit Cares for Sandy relief, the Bridget Zinn Auctions, Kidlit4Japan and SCBWI events. Please contact me if you’d like me to donate a critique to your event.

Please do not send me your manuscript unsolicited. Due to time constraints and legal concerns, I can neither open it nor critique it.


Email: tarakidlit (at) gmail (dot) com