Virtual Author Visits

For Schools, Libraries, and Book Clubs

Keely is a former English teacher with a Master of Education in Curriculum Development and Instructional Technology. She loves stepping back into the classroom, both in-person and virtually, to interact with students and spark their interest in reading, writing, and history.

Keely is currently not scheduling in-person events but is available for virtual visits, presentations, and writing workshops. She will be offering both full-day virtual visits and individual presentations for the 2020-2021 school year and is looking forward to scheduling in-person visits again in the future.

Keely recently completed Kate Messner’s “Reinventing Author Visits” workshop intensive and has revised her in-person presentations to create fun, interactive virtual author visits.

Virtual Author Visits: Full Presentation Plus Q&A 
Available Dates: Flexible Please send an email via the contact form below for more information

Keely’s virtual author visits consist of a 45-50-minute session that begins with a 25-30-minute presentation, including an informative, entertaining PowerPoint and a video message from Ricky Richard Anywar, if SOLDIER BOY is discussed. Presentations wrap up with 15-20 minutes of Q and A with students.

Presentation lengths may be customized to fit class schedules, and Keely prefers to discuss topics with teachers a few weeks prior to the presentation or workshop, so she may tailor the experience to supplement the teacher’s curriculum and best meet the students’ needs.
Presentations and workshops are available to all schools and home-school groups. Students and staff have the option to order personalized, signed books through Keely’s local independent bookstore; she will provide order forms.

Keely has experience presenting to students and readers of all ages, ranging from young readers in elementary school to young-at-heart readers in book clubs. Please CLICK HERE to read testimonials from a sampling of the schools, colleges, and organizations where Keely has presented.

A screen/Smartboard, projector, Wi-fi, and speakers will be needed for all virtual visits.

Keely offers the following sessions as virtual presentations:

ELA Topics

・May I Tell You a Story? - SOLDIER BOY: How one boy’s story changed thousands of lives.
・“Whose-story?” - SECRET SOLDIERS: Discovering History’s Untold Stories
・Multiple POVs - SECRET SOLDIERS: 4 characters, 4 POVs, 1 mission
・Conflict - SECRET SOLDIERS & SOLDIER BOY: Exploring external and internal conflicts
・Discovering the Heart of your Story
・The Importance of Diversity in Storytelling
・Research – Even in fiction, facts matter
・Digging for details! Where to find them and how to use them
・Editing vs. Revising

Social Studies Topics


・Historical Fiction – Fact and Fiction
・Civil War – Comparing and Contrasting the American and Ugandan civil conflicts
・Children and War – The use of underage soldiers in WWI and the Ugandan Civil War
・WWI – Tunnellers and the Battle of Messines
・WWI – Life in the Trenches and Tunnels

Motivational Topics

・Fixed Mindset vs. Growth Mindset in Writing and Life
・Just Keep Swimming – Overcoming Obstacles and Rejection

Virtual Writing Workshops
Cost: 125.00
Available Dates: Flexible – Please send an email via the contact form below for more information

Keely’s 45-50-minute virtual writing workshops consist of a brief presentation on Keely’s writing process and progress to hands-on student writing. The following sessions are available as virtual writing workshops:

・The 5Ws and 1H of Storytelling
・Brainstorming! Where to Begin and Where to Go
・We All Have a Story – The Art of Interviewing
・Plotting – How to Craft a Story
・Writing Process: A Focus on First Drafts – Making Your Pile of Words
・Show, Don’t Tell - Active vs. Passive Writing
・Developing Characters – Make Each Character A STAR!
・Understanding your Main Character: External and Internal Conflicts
・Spotlight on Setting – Beyond the Background
・Figurative Language - Immerse Readers in Your Story
・Dig deep! Find your voice! Share your story!

Virtual Book Q&A
Cost: Free

Available Dates: Flexible, but limited – Please send an email via the contact form below for more information

Each school year, Keely offers a limited number of free 15-minute virtual visits for classes or book clubs that have finished reading SOLDIER BOY or SECRET SOLDIERS. During these short sessions, Keely answers readers’ questions about her books, writing process, and the joy of storytelling.

Conference Presentations

Keely is also available to present at conferences. She has presented at:

・NYLA-SSL (New York Library Association – Section of School Librarians)

2019: Shifting Perspectives Conference

・Rochester Children’s Book Festival (2017, 2018, 2019)

・Member of author panels at the 2019 Children’s Africana Book Awards

・2020 MASL (Missouri Association of School Libraries) Virtual Book Festival

Conference organizers, please send an email via the contact form below for more information.


Keely is also available as an Author-in-Residence and will work with your school to customize a program to best meet your students’ needs.

Please send an email via the contact form below for more information.