* News Flash *  Now Booking Engaging, Interactive School Visits for the 2017 – 2018, the 2018-2019 school year, and beyond.

Special opportunities  for schools to share costs with others already booked:

Northeast Ohio, November 2-3, 2017

near Cincinnati November 9th and 10th, 2017

Cincinnati December 21st, 2017

Kansas City on February 15-16, 2018  

SE Indiana/SW Ohio on March 19, 2018

and Central Ohio on April 12 and 13, 2018.  Email Michelle for details.

*For a detailed list of scheduled public appearances, please click the CALENDAR OF EVENTS tab. School visits and other events not open to the pubic will NOT appear on the calendar. For information on how to book an appearance, read on… *

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Does Michelle Houts visit schools?
You bet! Talking to kids about writing is one of Michelle’s favorite things to do! She is now booking visits through 2019.  First, read below, and then Email Michelle for availability.


School Presentations

K – 1 Presentation (25 – 45 minutes) Do you remember the very first books you learned to read?  How about the first story you ever wrote? Michelle does! (And thanks to her mom, she still has that story!) Michelle connects to the youngest readers and writers on their level, presenting her brand-new picture book and sharing pictures of her family farm.

Grades 2-6 Presentation (35– 60 minutes)
Here’s a riddle for you:  How is an elementary teacher like Michelle’s editor? Let’s count the ways!  Michelle shares where ideas come from, how even she has to revise, rewrite and create many drafts before a piece of writing is complete, and how she’s often told to add details and show don’t tell!  Sound familiar?  Students may also hear about  The Mark Boney Promise and the 52 Letters Challenge. Scroll to the bottom the page and click the links there to find out more.

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Grades 5-8 Presentation (35–65 minutes)
Middle school students will enjoy hearing how Michelle develops ideas for her middle grade novels and how the editing process shapes a story. Options at this grade level may include activities such as character grids and six-word biographies. An audience participation activity will demonstrate how a book evolves from an idea in a writer’s mind to a bound book on the bookstore or library shelf. (There’s some career education smuggled right into that activity!) Students are also presented with The Mark Boney Promise and the 52 Letters Challenge. Scroll to the bottom the page and click the links there to find out more.

** NEW **Grades 1 -3  Science and Writing Multi-Day Workshop  Michelle will bring Lucy’s Lab into the classroom! Students will learn to connect observation skills with great writing. This program works best with multiple small groups of 1 – 2 classrooms over three days. Contact Michelle for details. 

Family Presentation (90 minutes)
This parent-child event has been receiving rave reviews from parents, teacher, principals, and most especially children! An evening program provides a brief presentation by the author, and then allows time for families to create their own story.

Beef Princess Classroom Companion Guide
FREE for teachers and librarians… The good folks at Illinois Farm Bureau have created a classroom study guide for THE BEEF PRINCESS OF PRACTICAL COUNTY. Complete with discussion questions, voCOWbulary, and extension activities, this classroom guide is a gold mine for any teacher or book club!


What is the fee?
Fees are based upon distance, length of visit, and number of presentations. Generally, a full day visit (up to 4 daytime presentations) is $1200 plus travel expenses (mileage/airfare and lodging).  After-school or evening presentations for teachers or families may be added on. Discounts are always available for schools closer to home or for more than one school in the same district.  Email to find out about costs for your school. There might be a school nearby willing to share costs with you.

Other Presentations

What about other public appearances besides school visits?
Sure! Michelle is available for library presentations, book store events, and book signings. She speak to adult groups about the writer’s life, Dottie Kamenshek and the AAGPBL, Emma “Grandma” Gatewood who was the first woman to solo hike the Appalachian Trail, raising rural readers, and about her 1894 schoolhouse restoration project. Fees vary depending upon location and type of group. Contact Michelle directly to schedule.

Does Michelle do Virtual Visits?
Yes, Michelle does a limited number of Virtual Visits, but please read the following information before requesting a Virtual Visit.

    • A Virtual Visit via Skype or Facetime or Google Hangout can’t replace an in-person connection with the author for several reasons.
    • Virtual Visits are best for one classroom, not for a whole gym or a library packed with students. The students need to be able to see and hear the author, and vice versa.
    • Virtual Visits are best with classes who have read one of Michelle’s books. These students are excited to meet the author and have questions to ask.
    • Virtual Visits are best for schools in remote locations, where travel time and expense make in-person author visits nearly impossible.
    • Lack of funding isn’t always the best reason for a Virtual Visit instead of an in-person visit. Creative funding sources exist, and often it’s worth planning a few years ahead to bring a real, breathing person to the students.
    • Nothing can replace the eye-to-eye connection made when a child waits after an in-person presentation to tell the author that he or she feels just like a character in one of the author’s books.
    • If you feel a Virtual Visit is right for your classroom, feel free to contact Michelle via email.