School Visits

Jessica loves talking books and writing with readers of any age and is available for school visits, festivals, and conferences. Possible sessions include:

SCHOOL VISITS (Grades 4-8)
Skype or Zoom visit (20 minutes)
Free Q&A for classes or groups who have read The Wolf’s Curse.

The Story Behind the Story (45-60 minutes)
This presentation includes an exploration of the inspiration and research behind The Wolf’s Curse, a behind-the-scenes look at the author’s 14 year journey to publication, the building blocks of story, and a short reading. For small or large groups. Q&A included.

“I really appreciated Jessica’s message of hope.  And also to not give up on your passion when it gets hard.” ~Ms. McKenna, 5th grade Teacher

Lights, Camera, Action! (45-60 minutes)
Novels are composed of a series of interconnected scenes. In this interactive workshop, we’ll study the elements that are required for strong scenes and practice honing our skills with student-designed skits geared toward helping participants develop a stronger understanding of scene and story dynamics. This presentation works best for single classes or small groups. In-person only.

Stand Out from the Crowd: Creating Compelling Characters (45-60 minutes)
In this hands-on writing workshop we’ll look at what makes characters come alive on the page and practice developing memorable characters by using story settings to “show” rather than “tell.” For small or large groups (and can be geared for adults).

“Jessica did a beautiful presentation for my 7th grade reading classes. My students were engrossed! At the end, she answered all of their questions about being an author, the writing process, and everything in between. It was such a fantastic experience for my students!” ~ Ms. O’Connell, 7th Grade Teacher

“Jessica . . . told engaging, relatable stories for our middle school students. She . . . also left the kids with a positive message that they, too, can achieve their dreams however out of reach they may seem.” ~Ms. Bartlett 7th grade ELA teacher

Plantsing Basics (Pre-Writing Strategies for Writers Stuck Between Plotting and Pantsing)
Some writers won’t start drafting until they have a detailed outline (plotters). Other writers start drafting and figure out their story later (pantsers). This class is for everyone in between (plantsers). We’ll work through a flexible pre-writing strategy that provides writers with a framework to draft a novel without bogging them down or making the drafting process feel too prescriptive. This class is best suited for those who already have an understanding of story fundamentals and will also be useful to pantsers with a first draft ready for revision.

“Your presentation totally changed my life! It was so incredibly helpful and exactly what I needed for my writing.” ~Amy P., Workshop Attendee

$250 Virtual Session (45 minutes, includes Q&A)
$300/Session (Single session plus book signing, available in Kitchener/Waterloo only)
$500/Half-Day (Two sessions plus book signing, available within 100 miles of Kitchener/Waterloo only)
$800/full-Day (Three sessions plus book signing and lunch with a small group)

Visits more than 100mi outside of Kitchener/Waterloo require a full day minimum, plus hotel and gas (.55/mi) or airfare. Prices do not include GST/HST for presentations in Canada.

To inquire about bookings, please email

*Microphone (where necessary)
*Laptop (Jessica will provide a presentation on a USB.)

*Offer students opportunity to pre-purchase the author’s book
*Generate enthusiasm by working on book-related projects, costumes, posters, etc.
*Coordinate travel plans, emergency contact, presentation schedule, food, and equipment with the author
*Publicize the event
*Get kids involved in greeting the author, etc.
*Most important: have fun!

More tips available at:

How do I coordinate for my students to buy your book?
You can either work with your local indie or (if you’re in the U.S.) I can arrange the purchases through Author Visit Central (with the latter, you’d only need to distribute the flier I provide). They support indie bookstores and give you the opportunity to earn a free book with each order over 15 books; as soon as you book a session, I’ll provide you with a code giving you access to an order form to email or print for your students. Author Central will deliver your order and I will sign the books (if the visit is in person) or mail you signed bookplates.

Why do you charge for school visits?
My time is valuable! As an author, it’s also best spent writing my next book; I can only justify leaving my desk if I’m compensated accordingly.

What if our school can’t afford your fees?
Consider reaching out to your parent groups for fundraising support. In the U.S., there are also grants available to fund author visits. U.S. Grants

Note: Jessica supports equity and inclusivity in the world of books and beyond. She is not available for any literary events that discriminate against marginalized or underrepresented people, either on the page or off.