I love doing school and library visits! Since 2006, I've visited well over a hundred libraries and schools, including upper elementary, middle, high school, and college level. I'm grateful for the rave reviews I've received and for return invitations to many of the same schools and libraries year after year.
My presentations and workshops are available in Spanish or English, and fit beautifully with Reading, Language Arts, Spanish, and Social Studies curricula.
I also love giving presentations and workshops at conferences for educators, librarians, and writers! I've consistently received great feedback, and attendees who enjoyed my session often invite me to speak at other engagements. I can focus on a variety of topics, including aspects of the craft of creative writing; my writing journey; my books and inspiration; my experiences living and traveling abroad; using my books in the classroom; and other topics upon request. My presentations and workshops can be geared toward an audience of any age, in Spanish or English. Each session usually lasts about one hour unless otherwise noted. You can read recaps of my school and library visits around the country in my blog posts with the label "school visits" here.
My Author Visit Packet (updated 2017) includes a timeline, checklist, fees, author visit request form, ideas for preparing your community for the visit, and other useful information. Please be sure to read through this packet if you are planning an author visit with me! If you'd like to invite me to visit your school, library, or other organization, please email me and use the subject heading "Author Visit."
In my basic presentation, "Behind the Books with Laura Resau," I talk about my experiences abroad, showing slides of the people and places who inspired my books. I discuss my journey as a writer— from a kid who loved story-telling all the way to a published author. Along the way, I explain the process of writing and publishing a book and offer writing tips. Throughout the presentation, I ask the audience questions to keep them actively engaged. I can highlight whichever book(s) my audience has focused on. I can gear this presentation toward the age group and background of the audience.
basic writing workshops
Here are sample workshops that I can adapt for upper elementary through high school levels. I use examples from my books and writing journals as a starting point for fun writing activities for all ages. Workshops emphasize basic creative writing skills including the use of sensory descriptions, specific details, imagery, and showing-not-telling.
Build Your Own Story! Ever wonder how authors take raw materials and craft them into an exciting story? Laura Resau will show you the building blocks of a story— character, setting, theme, and plot (problem and solution). You’ll do fun, hands-on activities using intriguing prompts and a basic blueprint. By the end of the workshop, your creativity will be flowing and you’ll have the satisfaction of having completed your own story. Then you can take the blueprint and build some more...
Make Your World Come Alive! Isn't it a delicious feeling to delve into a book and enter another world? Laura Resau will show you how to enrich setting and character through imagery and description. You'll do short, fun writing exercises to help make your story a vivid, multi-sensory experience that readers can't resist. This workshop will let your writing shine!
Make People Leap Off the Page! Making your readers fall in love with your characters is essential to a successful story. Laura Resau will share ways to create vivid, three-dimensional characters who stay with your readers long after the last page. She will lead you through short writing exercises designed to let your characters deepen and shine.
sessions for educators
I lead sessions for educators of upper elementary through high school students, including ESL and bilingual (Spanish) students. Here are sample workshops:
Using Diversity-Themed Novels in the Classroom—Author and former ESL teacher Laura Resau will share ideas for using multicultural novels with upper elementary through high school students. She will discuss fun, creative ways to improve students' literacy skills while exploring themes such as immigration, cultural heritage, and family relationships. These dynamic activities will generate meaningful connections, enthusiastic discussions, and inspired writing projects in your classroom. These activities will also support skills such as reading comprehension, critical thinking, visualizing and verbalizing, writing for different purposes, vocabulary development, and others. Laura will use examples from her own award-winning novels for children and teens, and provide a list of other recommended and accessible diversity-themed books. During this energetic session, you’ll have the chance to try out these engaging activities in small groups and be ready to put them into action with your own students.
Flying with Words: Creative Writing with Your Students—Author and former ESL teacher Laura Resau will share ideas for engaging upper elementary through high school students in fun and inspired creative writing activities. In this dynamic session, she’ll discuss the stages of story-writing, beginning with brain-storming ideas with enticing visual prompts. She’ll show you how to weave together basic story elements like character, setting, plot, and theme. Finally, you’ll look at the process of giving and receiving feedback and doing revisions—all from an author’s perspective. Throughout the session, you’ll participate in short, fun creative writing activities so that you’re all set to use them with your students. Participants of all ages—and especially second language learners-- will find that creative writing is a liberating way to develop writing fluency, vocabulary, speaking and listening skills, and reading comprehension.
advanced writing workshops
These workshops are geared toward teen and adult writers who already have experience with creative writing.
Sculpting a Memoir You have the raw materials - memories of people, places, and experiences. Now how do you put them together and chisel them into a riveting piece of literature? Laura Resau will discuss ways to structure your story, create intriguing scenes, flesh out characters, build suspense, and weave in essential themes. Be ready to do fun writing exercises to bring your memoir to life. Whether your memoir is five pages or five hundred pages long, this workshop will give you a basic tool set for writing a fascinating life story.
Adventures in Novel Writing! Writing a book can be a wild journey— at times thrilling, and at times, torturous. Laura Resau will share practical, emotional, and psychological strategies that have helped her enjoy the adventure, and most importantly, finish each of her seven acclaimed books for middle grade and YA. You'll leave the session feeling energized and equipped with new tools to get through the rough parts of your own book-writing journey.
Creating Dazzling Worlds Isn't it a delicious feeling to delve into a book and enter another world? Laura Resau will explore ways to offer your readers (and editors!) this joy. She'll share strategies for enriching setting and character through imagery and description. You'll do short, fun writing exercises to help make your story a vivid, multi-sensory experience that readers can't resist. This workshop will let your writing shine, whether your focus is fiction or creative non-fiction, for adult or teen readers.
Creating Characters that Leap Off the Page Making your readers (and potential editors!) fall in love with your characters is essential to a successful story. Laura Resau will share ways to create vivid, three-dimensional characters who stay with your readers long after the last page. She will lead you through short writing exercises designed to let your characters deepen and shine.
I can't say enough great things about Laura's visits to my class. I've had her come for three years in a row. Not only is Laura extremely personable, but she also uses a multisensory approach that really engages the kids. In addition to reading, Laura has beautiful pictures of people, places, and events that inspire her writing... Laura also shares samples from her writing journals and shows how bits become incorporated into her novels. One of my favorite pictures is of her many drafts of What the Moon Saw all stacked side-by-side. It is a powerful visual to illustrate revision. The students truly get a sense of the writing process. A bit of background: I always have Laura visit my 6th-grade class after they finish reading her novel What the Moon Saw, which they invariably enjoy. So they eagerly anticipate her visit. However, I've been to two of her book signings, and she simply has a warm, engaging personality that connects with her audience. I highly recommend Laura for an author visit to your middle school.
— Beth Knees, Sixth Grade Teacher
Your presentation on Tuesday was wonderful! It was AWESOME to hear about all your experiences... Many of the things you talked about touched me, and you helped me to realize an important point in my writing: it doesn't have to be perfect the first time!... I feel that I learned much from your presentation.... You are a very down-to-earth person with much to share and I'm glad I got to be a part of it...You are my inspiration!
— Nina, high school student
Your workshop was the best one I attended that weekend [at the Northern Colorado Writers conference]. I will never forget your example with your excerpt from your book about the old woman and the way her hut looked. You are amazing and have inspired me beyond words.
— Pat Walker
Thank you sooooo much for coming in yesterday! The kids absolutely loved your presentation. Not only did they love the presentation, but also, all of them had some great connection to the content you were discussing. It was amazing to see some of the Hispanic kids come out of their shells and speak up about their experiences in Mexico. Thanks again for your time, and I would love for you to come visit again!
— Derek Decker, Teacher, Putnam Elementary, Fort Collins
We loved having you at Harris. It was so great that you were able to speak Spanish to set up the scenes that you were reading in English. The students really loved it, and so did I.
— Martha Petty, Media Specialist, Harris Bilingual Immersion Elementary, Fort Collins
Mrs. Resau provided an engaging, student-centered Power Point program interweaving Q & A breaks to our district intermediate Battle of the Book student teams, their families, administrators, and their academic coaches. Her complete attention on her audience and focus on the writing process, the inspiration of her books, and her worldwide travels made her an instant hit with everyone in audience. She has set the bar high for quality author visits to come. I highly recommend this outstanding author, Laura Resau, to come to your school.
— Kathy L. Deal, Vigo County District Intervention Coach, Indiana
Thank you again for the amazing visit. You were truly captivating. The kids are still talking about it!
— Alexis Gerard, Media Specialist, Clemente Middle School
Thank you so much for the awesome presentation. The children really enjoyed having you here. The students from Ms. George's class that came from Mexico really had a connection to you, your book, and the smells that you passed around. One student in Mr. Decker's room mentioned that you talked a long time with her. She is a published author and is very excited about that and also about talking to you. Thank you again for coming to our school and doing such a wonderful job engaging our students in writing.
— Karen McCoy, Putnam Elementary, Fort Collins
I enjoyed reading [the students'] journal entries [from the workshop]. The imagery was inspired, by you, I suspect!... I really appreciate your tangible approach using sensory stimuli to engage the students. Thank you again for a wonderful visit.
— Diane Odbert, 6th grade Language Arts teacher, Bacon Elementary
Student Praise for Laura's Visits
You really inspired me to read more books ((: Not only that but I've actually discovered that I have writing skills.
♥— High School student
[Your workshop] really gave me some more motivation, and I made my mother take me to Walgreens to buy my idea notebook that you mentioned. I actually wrote down a poem already on the first page because I felt like the first page of this composition book was a new beginning...
— High School student
It was amazing to meet a real author for the first time.
— Tanya, 6th grade
You inspired me!
— Andrea, 6th grade
I also enjoyed the fun creative writing assignment. I wrote a short narrative and poem about the mint leaves. Maybe someday I'll be an author or poet.
It was very interesting how you came up with your ideas; now I want to go to Oaxaca!