Skyler loves visiting schools and libraries! She would love to talk to your students about books and stories, and whatever they have on their minds. Skyler offers a variety of programs that are highly adaptable to suit your needs. (And yes, adult writers, she wants to talk to you too! Please see her offerings below.)
Skyler has over 10 years of classroom experience in arts education teaching in Chicago and New York City. She has taught creative writing, acting, and visual arts in a wide variety of settings, including the Striking Viking Story Pirates, After School Matters, Community Word Project, Adventure Stage, and The Viola Project. Most recently, she was a 2023 teaching fellow at Vermont College of Fine Arts Writing for Children and Young Adults program.
Skyler believes every kid has a right to express themselves creatively, and all kids benefit from exposure to the arts, whether they want to write poetry or code!
To book Skyler for your school, library, or public event, contact her directly through email or submit a request here. She is happy to travel. Her home base is Chicago, IL.
Skyler does not participate in events that discriminate against marginalized groups.
Skyler’s presentations are:
- 60 minutes and include a Q & A and a reading
- Adaptable for in-person or virtual, unless otherwise noted
- Best suited for grades 4-8, unless otherwise noted
“Skyler is an extraordinarily insightful writer and teacher. She has a keen eye for craft observations and a profound gift for sharing those with writers in an accessible, engaging way. Anyone at any level would be lucky to study with her.”
Faculty, Vermont College of Fine Arts, Writing for Children and Young Adults program
“Skyler is a gifted interdisciplinary teaching artist and storyteller. Students enthusiastically follow her on adventures in learning!”
Lead Instructor, AAP Curriculum Coordinator, Golden Apple Fellow
“Skyler is a natural in the classroom. She has a genuine respect for young people and can bring any subject to life.”
Former Program Director, The Viola Project
How does a book become a book?
Your classrooms, libraries, and backpacks are filled with books. Adults keep telling you to read books. It might be easy to take books for granted. But each one of those stories has years of work, wonder, and yes, research behind it! In this presentation, we’ll talk about how a book goes from an idea in an author’s brain to a story you can’t put down. Skyler will draw on her own experience writing Three Strike Summer and share her experience bringing American history to life in her debut middle-grade novel.
Ideal for integration into ELA classes, creative writing classes, business and career classes, or events.
Can be adapted for all group sizes, from school assemblies to individual classes.
The Poetry of Home
Home means something different to everyone. For some of us, home is a place we return to every day after school. For others, home is far away, even if it’s always in our hearts. In this interactive poetry workshop, students will conjure home through similes, metaphors, and rich sensory details. Skyler will share examples of how other novelists and poets write about home, including examples from her novel Three Strike Summer.
Ideal for integration into ELA classes and creative writing classes.
Best suited for individual classes.
What makes a story a story?
What exactly makes a story a story? Well, there are three super-secret ingredients: a beginning, a middle, and an end! In this highly interactive and physical workshop, we’ll talk about story structure and even stage key moments from a story of your students’ choosing!
Ideal for integration into ELA classes, creative writing classes, and performing arts classes.
Best suited for individual classes.
This workshop is in-person only and requires an open space to move around in.
For adult writers
Word by Word: Crafting Distinct Character Voices
What we say and how we say it is as unique to us as our fingerprints. That’s because each word that comes out of our mouths is a singular blend of our myriad life experiences. However, too often multiple character voices are painted with broad strokes or heavily colored by the writer’s own voice. This might be fitting for a Greek chorus that speaks as one by definition, but not for a cast of different characters with opposing viewpoints and experiences. This interactive presentation will explore what makes a voice unique and offer practical guidance for building up character voice, one word at a time.
- Full day, includes 3 presentations plus lunch with students or staff – $1000 + Travel
- Half day, includes 2 presentations – $700 + Travel
- Single presentation (within 50 miles of Chicago ONLY) – $375 + Travel
- Full day, includes 3 presentations – $500
- Half day, includes 2 presentations – $350
- Single presentation – $200
- 15-minute Q & A – Free!
For more information on how and why authors price their visits the way they do, please take a look at Donna Janelle Bowman’s piece, The Truth About Author Incomes.
If you are having difficulty funding a school visit, the good people at The Booking Biz have a page of resources for how to pay for author visits. Skyler is happy to split presentations across multiple schools and/or libraries within reasonable distance of one other.
Additionally, you can contact Skyler with a specific proposal that works for you, and she will get back to you!