||Liza Ketchum welcomes the chance to share the stories
behind the creation of her books. An experienced teacher, Liza enjoys
teaching writing to students of all ages, and frequently speaks to
students and professionals about the writing process. Liza is a faculty
member in the new MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults
program at Hamline University, in St. Paul, Minnesota. She has also
taught writing at the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Simmons College and at Emerson College,
both in Boston. Whether working with a budding second grade author
or an accomplished graduate student, she believes that “everyone
has a story to tell.” Her goal “is to help students realize
that all writers go through the same process as we struggle
to find words for the stories we carry inside.”
Young People and Their Teachers Say About her Programs:
“Thank you for making our minds
explode with great details!”
“Great, exciting, and makes
me want to write!”
“Personal stories connected to
the development of her novels was inspiring.”
“She made a terrific presentation
about the process of research and writing.”
“Her workshops reflected her
love of students and her love of writing.”
“Her assembly and “ [We
liked how] she got on the floor with students at the
“You really lit up our room!”
- The Author as Research Detective: A
multi-cultural approach to American history. A slide
show and discussion introduces the audience to the
historical sites Liza visits for her research, and
shows how she tracks down diaries, letters, maps,
old photographs, newspapers, and period drawings
to help her bring the past alive. This program can
focus on her historical novels, such as Where
the Great Hawk Flies, Orphan Journey Home,
and West Against the Wind, as well
as her non-fiction titles, The Gold Rush and Into
a New Country: Eight Remarkable Women of the West.
- The Story from Start to Finish takes
the audience through the stages of creating novels
and non-fiction works. Slides show the settings that
inspired Liza’s books, as well as the manuscripts
- Adventures in Writing: Workshops
in fiction or poetry. Aspiring writers are introduced
to the tools of good writing and receive feedback
from a published author. Writing workshops can take
place in a single visit or over a few days. For
small groups only.
- Combination programs: Liza can
combine any of the programs listed above. Schools
may also choose to have two large-group sessions
focused on her books, followed by a smaller writing
workshop for interested students. Questions
from the audience—about any aspect of writing
or being an author—are encouraged!
- Conferences and retreats: Liza
is also available as a conference speaker and presenter.
She has been a frequent speaker at SCBWI regional
conferences, has given keynote addresses at state
library conferences, social studies conferences,
and at meetings focused on historical issues, and
has led writing retreats and conducted adult classes
for writers at all levels.
- Students must be familiar with Liza’s
books prior to the visit! Check your library, local
bookstore, online bookstore, or order through the
publishers, as listed below.
- Audience Age Range:
All ages, from pre-school to high school. Adult workshops
are also available on the teaching of writing, on
the historical background of her books, or on ways
to link her books to classroom activities.
- Audience Size: Multiple classes
for slide shows and author visits (50-100 is ideal).
For writing workshops, no more than 25 students,
plus at least one teacher.
- Autographing: Liza is happy to
autograph books during her visit. Book sales should
be arranged through the publishers.
- Schedule: Liza can do 3 programs
in a day, with a maximum of an hour for each program.
Allow fifteen minute breaks between programs.
- Space and equipment requirements:
A room that can be darkened (for slides); a screen
and carousel projector; a long table for display
of books, and a microphone. Libraries, classrooms,
or small auditoriums are ideal.
- Fee: Call or e-mail for
fees, which vary by type and duration of program.
Schedule a Visit:
If you'd like more information about an author's
visit, leave a message in the Guest
To arrange an author appearance through the
215 Park Ave. South
New York, NY 10003
HarperCollins Children’s Books
1350 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10019
Little, Brown, and Co.
Time Warner Book Group
1271 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020