Speaking to Kids

For School Visits, you’re on the right page!  For information about Michelle’s availability to participate in conferences, workshops, keynotes, library appearances, etc. please CLICK HERE!

 Now Booking Engaging, Interactive School Visits for 2020-2021 and beyond.

*For a detailed list of scheduled public appearances, please check out the CALENDAR. 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…

Does Michelle Houts visit schools?

You bet! Talking to kids about writing is one of Michelle’s favorite things to do! Michelle Houts brings energy and excitement to your school with customized presentations for Pre-K to Grade 8. The author of award-winning fiction and inspiring biographies, Michelle connects each listener to their own reading and writing habits with stories of research, revision, mistakes, and successes.

Read through the information below. Then, email Michelle for exact costs and availability.

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For the little ones
(25 – 45 minutes) Thanks to her mom, Michelle still has the first story she ever wrote – when she was just 6 years old! Michelle connects to the youngest readers and writers on their level, sharing picture books and photos and stories.
For grades 1- 3
(40 – 60 minutes) Michelle shares where ideas come from, how even authors have to revise, rewrite, and create many drafts before a piece of writing is complete. She’s often told by her editor to add details and show don’t tell! Sound familiar? Michelle inspires love of science and writing with her Lucy’s Lab Series, STEM-cenered chapter books based upon some of the common themes of early elementary science learning: Habitats, States of Matter, and Fossils. See below for details about an extended three-day Science Writing Workshop for this age group.
For grades 4 – 8
(45 – 60 minutes) An audience participation activity demonstrates how an idea evolves into a bound book on the bookstore or library shelf. (There’s some career education smuggled into this activity!) Students discuss how both fiction and nonfiction reflect life situations and where to find ideas. The Mark Boney Promise and the 52 Letter Challenge are also topics that can addressed. (See links at the top of the page)

Michelle Houts is committed to designing a day that meets the needs of your young readers and writers. While she talks about her books and life as a writer, her presentations are ultimately about your students and their lives as readers and writers. No two school visits ever look exactly the same!  The Mark Boney Promise and the 52 Letters Challenge are two unique incentives Michelle can bring to your school’s visit. Be sure to talk with her about what YOU want for YOUR school visit.

STEM and Literacy in one amazing package!

science-labMichelle brings Lucy’s Lab into your classroom! Combining STEM education and literacy, Michelle Houts meets with each group of students three days in a row. Students will learn that scientists and creative thinkers use the same tools – observation, research, and hypotheses. Using her STEM-based Chapter book series, Lucy’ Lab, Michelle engages students in audience-participation activities designed to foster both scientific learning and a love of reading and writing. 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. Email Michelle for details and pricing.

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. Ask about after-school or evening presentations for the whole family.

All the Details
Dear teachers, librarians, principals: Not too long ago, I was also a part of an elementary team. As a school-based speech-language pathologist, I found the intricacies of language-learning fascinating. I loved that my two professional worlds – SLP and Author – were so beautifully intertwined. Now I write full time, but I haven’t forgotten how very full your school days are. An invitation to spend a day with your young readers and writers is not taken lightly. I promise to bring something of value to your students with an exciting, engaging presentation they won’t soon forget.  ~ Michelle

Full-Day Visit: $1250 plus Travel.  Up to four presentations, large group or small group or a combination

Multi-Day, Same school Artist-in-residence or multiple schools, same district: Email Michelle for a discount when adding a second, third, fourth school or booking for a week in the same district. Special rate for multiple days always applies to the Lucy’s Lab Science Writing STEM/Literacy Workshop.

        Evening presentations – Literacy Nights, Library Talks, etc.  Fees range from $2500 – $400, depending upon whether the evening event is stand-alone or in addition to a daytime event in the area. Email Michelle to discuss details.

Travel equals airfare or mileage plus one night’s lodging per school day.

Download Author Visit Contract

 * NEW*  Michelle Houts is now booking Virtual Visits

COVID-19 has caused many authors to rethink how we connect with our readers. While in-person visits are still the best way share stories, pictures, and enthusiasm, we realize that various methods of delivery can also be effective.


Full-Day Visit: $1000 Up to six presentations, large group or small group or a combination

Meet the Author – Classroom Chat: $200

        20-40 minutes, Grades Pre-K to 3.

This program is designed to give readers the opportunity to connect with the author of a book they’ve read. Ideal for a single classroom which has read at least one of the following books: SEA GLASS SUMMER, SILENT SWOOP, WHEN GRANDMA GATEWOOD TOOK A HIKE, LUCY’S LAB: NUTS ABOUT SCIENCE; SOLIDS, LIQUIDS, GUESS WHO’S GOT GAS, THE COLOSSAL FOSSIL FIASCO. Michelle will spend the first few minutes discussing the inspiration for the process of writing the book. Students can then ask questions of the author regarding the book or her life as an author in general.


Classroom Book Talk – Middle Grade Novels and Biographies: $250

        30-50 minutes, Grades 3 – 8.

This program is designed to give readers the opportunity to connect with the author of a book they’ve read. Ideal for a single classroom which has read at least one of the following books: SEA GLASS SUMMER, SILENT SWOOP, WHEN GRANDMA GATEWOOD TOOK A HIKE, LUCY’S LAB: NUTS ABOUT SCIENCE; SOLIDS, LIQUIDS, GUESS WHO’S GOT GAS, THE COLOSSAL FOSSIL FIASCO. Michelle will spend 10-15 minutes discussing the inspiration for the process of writing the book. Students can then ask questions of the author regarding the book or her life as an author in general.


 VIRTUAL Full Day School Visit – $1000

Up to six 30-50 minute sessions on the same day, Grades K – 8.

Michelle Houts will work with you to design a full day of virtual author visits with your    school. From small groups to larger audiences, Michelle will match titles, from picture books to chapter books to middle-grade fiction and biographies, to readers and talk about inspiration and the writing process.
* The best virtual all-day author visits occur when the school has treated the day the same as they would if the author were appearing in person. Reading the author’s books, talking about the author, and generating excitement before the day of the visit will make the experience inspirational and memorable for everyone.


Ideas for Funding an Author Visit

School budgets are tight. But meeting an author and getting excited about stories and reading and writing can pay off many times over. Here are a few ways to make that author visit happen in your school!

  • PTO/PTA – Work a year ahead to plan with your parent group
  • LOCAL SERVICE GROUPS – Kawanis, Optimists, Toastmasters, Rotary
  • GRANTS Amber Brown, State Literary Grants
  • BOOK FAIRS – Some school use their book fair money to host an author every year
  • SHARED COST– Two schools in the same area qualify for a discount & shared travel

What about other public appearances besides school visits?

Sure! Michelle is available for library presentations, book store events, and book signings. She can 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, midcentury modern artist Charley Harper, or about her 1894 schoolhouse restoration project. Fees vary depending upon location and type of group. Contact Michelle directly to schedule.

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