Mona Speaks to Students and Educators

Whether your school is a public school, a private school, or a home-school event, Mona can provide interactive programs for pre-school through eighth grade, and for teachers and librarians as well. High school and community college visits, too. Because Mona is a children’s book author, a novelist, a journalist with hundreds of article credits, and a poet, she is able to offer a variety of session possibilities for students and teachers.


  • 32 Children’s Books: Fiction and Nonfiction, Picture Books, Early Readers, and Middle Grade, nonfiction.
  • Five Historical Novels and Five Novellas.
  • Contributions to 14 books for adults.
  • Hundreds of articles and poems for adults and children in 50-plus periodicals.

Here’s why Mona fits several school visits into her schedule each year:

  • Author visits offer a face-to-face venue for inspiring students to write as a means of expression and communication.
  • To assist educators in instilling a love and respect for the power and playfulness of words.
  • Contributions to 14 books for adults.
  • To support literacy—one school and one student at a time.

Mona is happy to work with the school representative to shape each session to meet the needs of the various age groups and skill levels, and to accommodate the school’s specific goals for her visit.

A full-day visit consists of three to six sessions. A half-day visit consists of one or two sessions in a morning or one or two sessions in an afternoon. Classroom visits include exercises or activities designed for the age group. Mona is also available for multiple day visits to schools, districts, and cities.

Speaking Topics and Planning Information

Pre-School / Kindergarten (20-30 minutes)

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Yippy Yay Celebration of Books!

This interactive session is full of story time fun. Mona talks about the concepts of a book author and illustrator and what an author does. She reads her book Bedtime in the Southwest. The story time introduces various desert critters and their habitat, and is full of interaction and animal sound-making. Purpose: To excite children about books, reading, and writing.

Primary and Intermediate (30 to 40 minutes)

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Growing a Topic Tree or Branching Out with Ideas – Adaptable for Grades 1-8.

This popular and interactive session examines one of the traits of writing: ideas. Students will learn how to branch out to develop their story ideas. An effective method for writing fiction or nonfiction.

Story Building Blocks – Adaptable for Grades 1-8.

Every good story requires a solid beginning, middle, and end. In this interactive workshop, students learn what various components go into writing a compelling story.

A Day in the Life of a Freelance Writer – Adaptable for grades 1-8.

This session is well-suited for assemblies as well, offering a peek at the job of a freelance writer. Students see the value of writing and the process of writing, and discover the path from idea to publication.

Getting to Know Your Characters – Adaptable for grades 5-8.

How well do you know the people in your story? In this workshop, students discover the role of characters in plotting a story and learn strategies for getting to know their main characters.

Tips for Planning your School’s Author Visit

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I appreciate your investment of time and money into my visit to your school. I want to make it fun and effective, and have it go as smoothly as possible for everyone involved. To that end, here are a few tips:

How far in advance do we need to schedule your visit?

The sooner the better, but feel free to contact me anytime during the school year. If my calendar is full, we can make plans for the following year.

Here is how we can make my books available to your students for purchase:

When you schedule an author visit with me, I will send you a pre-order form and parent letter that can be sent home with students in advance of my visit. When possible, I prefer to have a heads-up on pre-ordered titles for planning my inventory, but I will also bring additional books for on-site sales.

Stationary Location

I prefer a stationary location where I can set up my props and students come to me. It makes for a smoother transition between groups. A library, media center, or extra classroom usually works well.

Build Awareness and Anticipation

The more the students know about my visit and my books, the more prepared they’ll be for our time together. They can discuss the author visit with their parents and invite them to come. It’s a big help when the teachers and I are aware of the day’s schedule in advance.

Lunch Break

I like to know in advance if my lunch is provided. Will I dine with teachers and faculty? Will I eat with a select group of students? Is a group of parents providing a potluck?

In most cases, I will need the following equipment:

  • A table for props.
  • A microphone if the group is larger than 30 students.
  • Two long or big round tables in a central (high traffic) area for book sales.
  • A PowerPoint projector and screen for some topics.

Mona Speaks to Women | Mona Speaks to Writers