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Middle and High School Audiences


From Concept to Completion: A Writer’s Process (45 minutes w/15-minute Q&A)

Audience: Grades 7-12

Readers tend to have a fascination with a writer’s process. What inspired the writer’s idea? How does the writer develop an idea? How long does it take? Does the writer use a computer, a notebook, both? In this presentation, Tamara will share her process as one example of how to bring a book from concept to completion.


Iron Valley Vikings: The Story of the Four-Book Sports Series (45 minutes w/15-minute Q&A)

Audience: Grades 7-12

Tamara’s debut young adult series features four Iron Valley High School sports stories. In this presentation, Tamara will share the background for each of the books’ concepts, themes and powerful moments in the series. She will also share the process of developing and publishing four books for publication in one year and the subsequent writing and marketing challenges. 

How Does a Book Get Published: Behind the Scenes in Publishing (45 minutes w/15-minute Q&A)

Audience: Grades 7-12

Publishing is an interesting business. Authors can choose to publish through agents with major publishers, by submitting on their own through small presses, or even publishing themselves. Each path to publication results in its own obstacles. This presentation will highlight these paths and 


The Role of Research in Fiction (45 minutes w/15-minute Q&A)

Audience: Grades 9-12

Research is crucial in all forms of writing, but research is broader than reading articles and books. In this presentation, Tamara will share her experiences studying football, wrestling, and archery, all sports featured in her Iron Valley series and show how research can be fun if we take unique approaches and embrace our powers of observation. 

Writing the Strong Female Character (45 minutes w/15-minute Q&A)

Audience: English Classes Grades 9-12

The strong heroine of young adult fiction is not a passing trope. As discussions of gender equality and the #MeToo movement advanced in recent years, readers have become increasingly critical of the representation of female protagonists, especially in young adult fiction. This session will highlight the expectations placed on the YA heroine while noting the contradiction of such expectations. 

Choose Yourself: A Motivational Talk for Teens (45 minutes w/15-minute Q&A)

Audience: Grades 9-12

In Tamara’s debut young adult contemporary novel, protagonist Julia Medina chooses herself, an action that has led to some criticism by reviewers. However, in this brief talk, Tamara advocates for teens to view personal decisions as opportunities for them to choose themselves, their dreams, and their passions. 


Interactive Workshops

Organization in Writing (60 minutes)

Audience: Grades 7-12

Effective organization is crucial in all forms of writing. With the audience and purpose of a piece in mind, an author must decide what information should be delivered in what order. This session will discuss novel organization while referencing organization in writing more generally as it might apply to other genres and styles, including academic writing. *Addresses a Common Core Writing Standard. 


The Writing Process (60 minutes)

Audience: Grades 7-12

The writing process is recursive and varied. Writers embrace different processes and strategies to bring a piece of writing to fruition. This session will outline the steps of the writing process and include strategies for students to apply to their own writing projects, whether they be creative or academic. *Addresses a Common Core Writing Standard.


It’s all in the Details (60 minutes)

Audience: Grades 7-12

Details are crucial to effective storytelling. Precise words and phrases, supporting examples to establish setting and character traits differentiate one book from another. In this session, Tamara will discuss strategies for ensuring an appropriate amount of detail in a piece of writing - not too much, but also not too little. The session will also address the relevance of details to enhance plot and narrative. *Addresses a Common Core Writing Standard. 



For schools and organizations outside of the Pittsburgh area, travel expenses will need to be covered as well. Neighboring schools may choose to split travel costs by scheduling visits one day after the other. Please contact me further to discuss. I'd love to find a way to work something out with you!

*Rates and travel expenses for presentations vary. Email Tamara to discuss!

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