School Visits


                          Virtual School Visits/Worksops 

 Larger groups,multiple classrooms! More economical and flexible than a face-to-face visit!


Click to see Diane reading How to Drive Your Sister Crazy! 


 Virtual School Visit fee:  $125/presentation.  Choose from the following presentations:

     All presentations/workshops are on PowerPoint.  Just choose your platform to screen share    (Google Meets, Zoom, Skype, etc.)   I will do  up to 5 presentations/day.  

K-1st  -     A-Rockin’ and A-Read-Aloud!   (see details below)

2nd- 4th  -   A-Rockin’ and A-Readin’! + Q&A  (see details below)

4th- 5th  -    Poetry Party! + Q&A   (see details below)

4th - 6th   -  Write On!  Writing Workshop  (see details below)

3rd - 6th   -  Potpourri of Poetry!  Workshop


  Schools may order autographed books.  I will provide the order form, order the books, and deliver/ship them to the school. 


                             Contact:                 Phone:  404-642-8949


For All Face-to Face Presentations  

     Diane makes her visits easy on the Media Specialist by providing several copies of her books for preview, a handout announcing to the teachers about the upcoming visit, a Book Order Form (she uses an independent bookseller to handle book sales or your local bookstore ), and the contract.  She also provides an Author Visit Checklist, with activities and suggestions so both the teachers and students are well prepared for a smooth running visit. 


Cost: $495 for two sessions, $195 for each additional session  + some travel and lodging outside Metro Atlanta.  Minimum cost  $495/day.  If 3 schools book consecutively, mileage/flight  fees waived.  If 4-5 schoolsbook consecutively, ALL travel and lodging fees waived. 

Maximum Sessions:  Up to 5/day

Audience Size: Up to 150-175.  (200-250  if you have a very, very large drop down screen, not a tripod or smartboard)

Location: Prefers the media center, but gym, cafeteria, theater for larger groups

Class CurriculumLanguage Arts, History, Character Education


(Evening/Parent  Presentations Available for $250)



A-Rockin’ and A-Read Aloud!   (PowerPoint Presentation fast paced like Sesame Street)

Pre-K – 1st Grade (30-35 minutes)   + Printable Handouts

    Starting off with a rip-roarin' rhyming, riddle contest, Diane then shares  her Highlights for Children article about George Washington’s false teeth.  They're not made of wood! 

    Next are songs, jokes, poems, hidden pictures, Look Both Ways with Filbert the squirrel in French and German, reader's theater, and more!  

      It’s an iultra energetic, inspirational, interactive (shh! it’s also educational) celebration of literacy that motivates kids to read!




A-Rockin’ and A-Readin’!     (PowerPoint Presentation fast paced like Sesame Street)  

2nd-4th grade (45 min)  + Printable Handouts

     Poems, puzzles, Highlights for Children article on the First Ferris Wheel, vivid verb, activity songs, "small moments" rejections/sloppy copies, revisions, hidden pictures, Create-A-Saurus and my hilarious "Never Give Up" (story on getting published.)


     It's an ultra-energetic, interactive, and inspirationsl (shh! it's also educational, but don't tell the kids that!) celebration of literacy! 


     In addition, there is a 5-10 minute question and answer period. These kids ask a LOT of questions.



Poetry Party!    (Fast paced PowerPoint Presentation)

4th-6th grade (45 min)  + Printable Handouts

     Tired of hearing that collective groooooan when you announce to your students you’re starting a poetry unit?  Don’t despair!         Creating poetry can be fun, challenging, AND enjoyable for both students and teachers.

"And they thought they were just having fun!" is Diane's theme as she shares stories, poems, and more.   

  Students learn:

  • alliteration           
  • hyperbole
  • internal rhyme
  • personification
  • metaphors/similes 
  • onomatopoeia
  • rhythm/meter
  • hooks/beginnings
  • revisions

       Using  her trademark humor, Diane recounts her road to publication, and how she started out writing poetry by changing the words to nursery rhymes.  

     She shares sloppy copies and rejections and compares the first draft to the final.  If time permits, she shares her own books as well as stories and poems published in HIGHLIGHTS FOR CHILDREN, CRICKET, SPIDER, TURTLE, HUMPTY DUMPTY and other children's magazines. 



Writing Workshops for Students   (Artist in Residency also available)*  


Write On! (4th-6th grade)  One hour + Printable Handouts

 Fictional/Creative Narrative  OR  Personal Narrative 

 Designed  to help students enjoy learning the craft of writing, this workshop will have your students painting pictures with words and at the same time take the stress out of assess.  With an emphasis on personal and fictional narrative, and creative writing, these fun, interactive, hands-on activities will put your students on the “write track” for the statewide writing assessment.

Topics covered: (Creative Narrative):

My popular “Write On!” workshop, includes a story glove and the five parts of a story which I explain in detail and with examples:


    1) Hook,   (students will write a 2-3 sentence hook)

        a) setting/time

    2) Problem

         a) conflict

         b) challenge

         c) something out of the ordinary

     3) Plot/Action,

     4) Solution/Climax

     5) Wrap Up/Ending


The above  is the frame work or skeleton of your story.  Now it’s time to put some flesh on it.  I share tips and techniques and have several hands-on, interactive exercises:

    Vivid Verbs and Colorful Words

1)      Strong verb activity   (includes a punching bag and gloves and two student contenders 

2)      Metaphors/Similes     (guessing game)

3)      Show DON’T  Tell    (participants have to act out feelings (Ex. Physically hurt, frightened, angry, etc.

    Onomatopoeia                   (listen for the sound in the poem)

    Hyperbole                           (poem)

    Fire Up the Senses! (students close their eyes and hear, taste, smell, feel (tactile) and see  in their mind different phrases. 


    Dialogue/Dialogue Tags


Revisions  (“words to avoid” song)

Students will then revise their hook with what they have learned


Topics Covered: ( Personal Narrative)

     1.Personal Narrative Organizer 

       a. hook sentence(s)

         b. setting/time

         c. lead events/main event/subsequent events

         d.  wrap-up/take away

See creative narrative above for all other topics covered.


* Artist in Residency is 3-5 days of  in-depth writing -  Programs/prices vary. Please call for details.

Potpourri of Poetry!  Workshop  + Printable Handouts

     Tired of hearing that collective groooooan when you announce to your students you’re starting a poetry unit?  Don’t despair!  Creating poetry can be fun, challenging, AND enjoyable for both students and teachers.

"And they thought they were just having fun!" is Diane's theme as she shares stories, poems, and more.   

  Students learn:

  • alliteration                        couplets
  • hyperbole                         triplets
  • internal rhyme                  limericks
  • personification                  haiku
  • metaphors/similes            tanka
  • onomatopoeia                  cinquain
  • rhythm/meter                   diamante
  • hooks/beginnings            color poem



Meet Ellinor Billington 17th Century Pilgrim

Pre-K-4th grade (45 minutes)

maximum of 45 students

     Diane performs and teaches about 17th Century America as Ellinor Billington, a colorful and rather opinionated colonist, who along with her troublesome husband and two mischievous sons traveled to the New World aboard the Mayflower in 1620.

     In Pilgrim costume and Olde English language, Diane, through Ellinor's eyes, answers questions and shares stories of the Mayflower voyage, that first year of hardship in the New World, and everyday life in 1627 Plimoth. Includes a hands-on, interactive demonstration of 17th Century European and Native American children's toys and games.  You'll play Hoop and Stick, Whip Top, Cup and Ball, Stick Pin(and more!) and learn how to write your name with a quill pen! 


An excerpt of Diane's performance:
"I'm a wee embarrassed to tell you about the time my sons got into a bit of trouble with some squibs -- gunpowder -- and nearly blew up the Mayflower! Now my sons, like all boys, are somewhat mischievous. I did overhear Goodwife Hopkins say they were rude and rotten and didn't mind orders, but that was when she was great with child, and we all say things we don't mean when we're a might uncomfortable, and besides, they do mind orders, it's just that my lazy husband doesn't give them any!
Nevertheless, we had set upon this wild wilderness, coming from a city no less, to these intamed shores, where 'twas none but wild beasts and wild men (wearing not but a stitch of clothing) that greeted us..."


     It's an entertaining, engaging, and educational time travel that brings history to life!  



Diane- It was our pleasure and privilege to have you come to our school. I have heard nothing but “raves” about your presentations and how you geared them toward the particular age group. One teacher said she thought that it was the best author visit that Blue Ridge had ever had in over 15 years of having author visits! I also had kids stop me in the hallway and say they really liked the author!  You made me look good!  It was a win-win situation!


I hope to see you at some of the conferences.