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School presentations

Working with schools to foster a love of literacy is some of the most important work that I do. Giving students a nudge to pick up a pen, open a book, and turn on their imaginations, has resulted in some of my most rewarding experiences as a writer.


During engaging presentations peppered with anecdotes that kids can relate to, I share with students the many interesting aspects of life as a writer: the creative process, the challenges, the value of revision, the pain of rejection, the pursuit of publishing, and the power of persevering. Everyone has a story to tell and I encourage children to think of themselves as writers. I want them to know that reading and writing isn’t just for authors; it is a skill they will use their entire lives.


All programs can be customized to meet your needs. While a typical school visit includes 3 one-hour presentations, half day visits are also available. Groups are generally separated by grade levels.


Here are various topics I may cover or convey to your students:


  • My background/growing up

  • My journals and love of writing

  • A “behind-the-scenes” look at the life of an author

  • The inspiration for my stories: How, where, and when I get ideas

  • Ideas are everywhere

  • The process of creating a story/book from idea to rough drafts, final manuscripts, and galley proofs

  • Props: Including rough drafts and original artwork from my books

  • Importance of rough drafts and revision

  • Good writing (good anything!) takes practice, patience, and perseverance

  • The illustration process from the author’s perspective

  • How to fix a “broken” imagination

  • The ten things good writers do

  • Writing is for everyone! Why YOU have to write

Here are some benefits of hosting an author visit and here is what you can do to make the most of it. 

For additional information about school visits, including honorarium and available dates, please contact me here.



“Brennan-Nelson’s skills are evident in her gifted presentations. When she discusses her “My Momma Likes to Say” book about idioms, she discusses writing in a way that makes everyone in the audience believe that they can write. If she talks about her book “Someday is Not a Day of the Week,” she reminds you that you should never take the present for granted. And if you catch her talking about “Willow” you begin to believe that in each of us lays an artist even if you can’t color within the lines. And this is her gift – you believe in her uplifting message that is contained in all of her work.” -Jennifer Habrych, Social Media/Marketing Committee, Claire’s Day, Inc.


“Your presentation was extremely engaging and relevant. Everything you presented caused your books to come alive and created a buzz about writing. The teachers and students felt inspired to write, because as you said, “Everyone is a writer.” Thank you again for your time and making the journey to astonish our students.” – Mike Tietz, Hardware Technician/Tech Integration Coach, East Grand Rapids Public Schools


“Having Denise Brennan-Nelson at our school was more than we could have hoped for. The staff and the children cannot say enough about how fabulous she was . . . It was a pleasure to spend the day with her and see her passion for writing. I am sure she inspired many of the children to “reach for the stars.” She will always have a special place in our hearts in Poland, OH.” – Lynne Stoll


“Wow! What a great time we had with Denise Brennan-Nelson! She gave two wonderful presentations, each tailored to the audience. I’m so glad to have discovered a new author we love! She was very affirming on topics like inspiration, imagination, and individuality that don’t really get a lot of play in a reading context…and she has really cool props! Her grandmother’s journal looks beautiful. It really brings home what she means when she tells the kids to keep a journal.” – Stair Public Library librarian

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