Showcasing Artists

  • To book an author or artist, please go to Celebrities in the Schools Request Procedure 

    Requesting authors:

    You may contact them on your own, or contact Wendy Petry at Monroe #1 BOCES to reach out on your behalf. Monroe #1 BOCES must know 8 weeks prior to the event so that payment is ready and the participating district can receive state aid.

    Additional authors may be requested. You are not limited to those listed in the Showcase.

  • Mary Amato

    Mary Amato $1,750/day each for 2 schools
    $1,600/day each for 3 schools
    $1,500/day each for 4 schools plus expenses.

    Award-winning author, poet and songwriter. Presentations include Songwriting Assembly (all grades); Author Visit (Gr. 3–8); Writers Notebook (Gr. 3-8); Creating Characters (Gr. 3–8); Story-Inventing Workshop (K–3); The Chicken of the Family (Pre-K–K) on being teased.  Will do residencies in fiction and poetry.  Recent books include Sing with Me, Lucy McGee (Gr. 2-5), a new chapter book series; Good Crooks, Book Four in the series (Gr. 2–4); and Open Mic Night at Westminster Cemetery (YA novel-script).  Other books include Get Happy (young adult novel); Guitar Notes (ages 12+); and the Riot Brothers series (Gr. 2+).


    Mary Amato's website

    Grades K-8

    Comments (-1)
  • Ted Baumhauer, Ed.D.—Local

    Ted Baumhauer, Ed.D. $750/day with no expenses. 

    Award-winning juggler and performer, Ted is the author of Little Blue Penguins: Tales for Making the Transition to Leadership.  He explores the myths and adds insight into the essential skills of leading, being on a team and solving problems that will make you more valuable wherever your career takes you.  Ted weaves stories from his book along with interactive games and skills, such as juggling, ball spinning, and slackline walking.  Additional topics can include:  How to Become One of the World’s Best, and Finding Your Own Stories.  Ted performs as Red Tie Variety.  He has 30 years of training and organizational consulting experience, is a former career counselor at The University of Vermont, and was a founding member of Flower City Vaudeville.

    Ted Baumhauer, Ed.D. — website

    Grades 8–12

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  • Julie Berry

    Julie Berry

    $1,200+/day; $700+ for a half-day plus little expense. 

    Scandalous school visits including Conversation:  Book Club Q+A for an up-close conversation with the author;   Several workshops, including The Revision Show (ages 11+); Stretch Your Point of View (ages 11+); Assembly: Adventures with Books (Gr. 3–10) on where ideas come from; What six things every story needs; and What Star Wars teaches about storytelling. Her latest book is Lovely War (Gr. 7-9); and fantasy adventure The Emperor’s Ostrich (Gr. 4–7). Young Adult novels include The Passion of Dolssa (set in medieval France, Gr. 7-9); The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place (Gr. 5–9); All the Truth That’s in Me (Gr. 7–12); and Secondhand Charm.

    Julie Berry's website

    Grades 3-12

    Comments (-1)

  • Kathleen M. Blasi

    $225 per session, for up to 3 sessions per day.  Full day:  $600.  Travel expenses for visits more than 25 miles from Rochester.  Available for in -person and virtual visits. Kathleen M. Blasi

    Author of picture book Hosea Plays On (Pre-K – Gr. 4), based on local resident, Hosea Missouri Taylor, Jr.  This uplifting story follows a day in his life, where passion for music and the children who listened, touched the lives of countless people.   Kathleen mines stories of everyday heroes. Active in the children’s writing community, she is former Co-Director of the Rochester Children’s Book Festival, receiving the 2015 NYS Reading Assn. Literacy Advocate Award.

    Kathleen M. Blasi’s website

    Grades Pre-K - Gr. 4

    Comments (-1)
  • Peter Brown

    Peter Brown artwork

    $4,000+/3 presentations; $3,500+ if book sale included.

    Picture book author and illustrator. Peter’s presentations discuss drawing and writing as a child, reading his early work, steps in becoming a professional, writing and drawing his current books, including Creepy Carrots (K–5), and sharing stories behind their creation, with a quick drawing lesson. His works include The Wild Robot Escapes; and The Wild Robot (Gr. 3–7); ALA Notable Book, My Teacher is a Monster! (No, I am Not.) (Pre-K–3); plus New York Times best-sellers Mr. Tiger Goes Wild (Pre-K–2); and Children Make Terrible Pets (starring Lucille Beatrice Bear) (Pre-K–1).

    Peter Brown's website

    Grades Pre-K–7 

    Fully booked for 2019-20, but will take requests for 2020-21 visits.

    Comments (-1)
  • Kalli Dakos

    Kalli Dakos

    $1,600/day for 3 presentations, $1,300 for 2 presentations; $1,400/day for 2 or more schools in one area, plus expenses.

    Best-selling poet about elementary school life. Encourages reading, writing and performing stories, conducts writing workshops, and is available for evening presentations for parents and students. Also, Goodbye Poems, helping children cope with grief and loss. Her books include Why am I Blue? A Story about Being Yourself (Pre-K–Gr. 3); If You're Not Here, Please Raise Your Hand; Poems About School (Gr. 4–6); A Funeral in the Bathroom: and Other School Bathroom Poems (Gr. 1–4); and Our Principal Promised to Kiss a Pig (Gr. 2–5).

    Kalli Dakos' website

    Grades 1–6

    Comments (-1)
  • Cynthia DeFelice—Local

    Cynthia DeFelice

    $2,100+/day for 3 presentations; $1,500+ a day for 2 presentations, with no expenses. 

    Expresses how ideas are turned into stories, and how a story gets turned into a published book. The depth of this discussion varies according to age. She will motivate children to write and read themselves. Recent works include boy-centered adventure Fort (Gr. 4–9); picture book Nelly May Has Her Say (K–3); Wild Life (Gr. 4–7); a story of migrant laborers in upstate New York, Under the Same Sky (Gr. 5–9); the adventure The Ghost of Fossil Glen (Ghost Mysteries); the exciting mystery The Missing Manatee (Gr. 3–7); and Signal (Gr. 5–8).

    Cynthia DeFelice's website

    Grades K–8

    Comments (-1)
  • Scott Gibala-Broxholm Scott Gibala-Broxholm—Local

    $250 per presentation ($200 for Gr. K), up to 3 presentations a day, with few expenses. 

    Author and illustrator of picture books from Walworth, NY. Presentations are Picture How a Book is Made, and Imagine What You Can Draw, Shapes and Lines. Books include Maddie’s Monster Dad (Gr. 1–3); City Witch, Country Switch (K–Gr.3); and Scary Fright, Are You Alright? (K+)

    Scott Gibala-Broxholm — website

    Grades K–3

    Comments (-1)
  • Marsha Hayles–Local

    Marsha Hayles

    $300 per presentation, up to 4 presentations a day, with little or no expenses. 

    Offers a variety of lively presentations with PowerPoint:  how a picture book goes from idea to book for the primary grades; the research and writing process of a historical novel (Gr. 4–8); a book club discussion for students who have read the award-winning novel Breathing Room (Gr. 4–8), which meets NYS Common Core Standards; a poetry writing workshop (Gr. 3–6); and surprising facts about being an author for family events. Her picture books include Bunion Burt (K–3), He Saves the Day (K–3), and Pajamas Anytime (ages 2–6).


    Marsha Hayles' website

    Grades K–8

    Booked for May 10, 2019

    Comments (-1)
  • A.S. King

    A.S. King $2,000/day, plus a few expenses when booked  the week before the Teen Book Festival.

    $3,000/day, plus expenses outside of the Festival.

    Highly-acclaimed author of young adult novels and short-stories. Faculty member of the Writing for Children and Young Adults MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Arts and a compelling  speaker. Her presentations center around life skills, bullying, self-esteem, and navigating safe relationships. Her latest works include Dig; The Dust of 100 Dogs; Still Life with Tornado (Gr. 9+); surrealist I Crawl Through It; Everybody Sees the Ants; Reality Boy; Walden Award winner Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future (Gr 9+); Los Angeles Times Book Prize winner Ask the Passengers (Gr. 10+); and Michael L. Printz Honor Book Please Ignore Vera Dietz; plus middle-grade novel Me and Marvin Gardens (Gr. 3–7). 

    A.S. King's website

    Grades 3–7, 9–12

    Comments (-1)
  • Kate Klise

    Kate Klise

    $1,500/day for 3 presentations, or

    $1,800/day for 4 presentation, plus expenses.

    Shares the secret recipe for storytelling, discusses the creative process, her early failures, and sending a character on an interesting journey. Writing workshops for older students, on writing the style of stories for People magazine, and stronger college entrance essays. Books include Stay:  A Girl, a Dog, a Bucket List (K-Gr. 2); Greetings From the Graveyard (43 Old Cemetery Road series) (Gr. 4–7); The Show Must Go On! and Pop Goes the Circus (Three-Ring Rascals series Gr. 2–5). Also Letters From Camp (Gr. 4–7); and Regarding the Fountain (Gr. 3–7). All with illustrations by her sister M. Sarah Klise.

    Kate Klise's website

    Grades K-12

    Comments (-1)
  • Kevin Kurtz—Local

    Kevin Kurtz

    $550/all day with few expenses.

    Non-fiction presentation from a marine biology background. Works include A Day in the Deep (Gr. K–3); a free e-book Where Wild Microbes Grow:  The Search for Life Under the Seafloor; and free picture e-book Uncovering Earth’s Secrets (Gr. 1–5). Other books include Climate Change and Rising Temperatures; and Climate Change and Rising Sea Levels (Gr. 3-6); A Day in a Forested Wetland; and A Day in the Salt Marsh (K–4), plus Sharks and Dolphins:  A Compare and Contrast Book (Pre-K–Gr. 3); and Living Things and Nonliving Things:  A Compare and Contrast Book (Gr 1-3). Fun rhyming verse and beautiful illustrations introducing plants, animals and ecosystems. Teaches about adaptations and relationships of living and non-living things.  Discussion on the process of writing a children’s book reinforces literacy skills and meets Common Core standards.

    Kevin Kurtz's website

    Grades K–8



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  • Cynthia Lord

    Cynthia Lord $1,800/day plus expenses. 

    Newbery Honor award-winning novel, Rules (Gr. 4–7), sheds light on a young girl’s life with her autistic brother. "No toys in the fish tank" and other rules open up communication, their identities and looking at life differently. Works include middle-grade novels, Because of the Rabbit; and A Handful of Stars (Gr. 3–7); chapter book, Half a Chance (Gr. 3–7); picture books in the Hot Rod Hamster series (ages 3–5); new entries in the Shelter Pet Squad series (Gr. 1–3); plus her second novel Touch Blue (Gr. 3–7). Non-fiction book Borrowing Bunnies (Gr. 1-2) on fostering rabbits is now available. Presentation shows her rules for a first draft, how to “write what you know,” the importance of revision, how to add detail, and step outside your imagination.

    Cynthia Lord's website

    Grades Pre K–7 

    Fully booked for 2019-20, but will take requests for 2020-21 visits in October, November, April and May.

    Booked for May 15, 2020.

    Comments (-1)
  • Rafe Martin—LocalRafe Martin

    $700/1 performance a day; $1,200/2 performances a day; $1,500/3 performances a day with no expenses.

    Author designs each presentation for specific grade levels, telling age-appropriate stories and sharing a vision of language, writing, creativity and imagination. He leaves students with an awareness of their power to create. Offers workshops on writing and developing writing skills; and the art of storytelling—how to make told stories live. Among his many books are The Banyan Deer:  A Parable of Courage and Compassion; The Rough-Face Girl (ages 8+); The World Before This One (Gr. 3–7) of 14 Seneca Tales woven together; and coming of age novel, Birdwing (Gr.7+).

    Rafe Martin's website

    Grades K–12


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  • Matt McElligott

    Matt McElligott artwork

    $1,700/day plus expenses (2-day minimum for the area); will do evening events with parents and students of all ages.

    Available December 16-20, 2019; January 6-10, 2020; March 9-13; and May 11-14.  Dates are going quickly.

    Programs highlight the process of writing and illustrating picture books, with a special emphasis on digital technology. Presentations for The Lion's Share (Gr. K–8) and Bean Thirteen (K–3) focus on math concepts. Author/illustrator of books including his picture book series Mad Science Academy: The Ocean Disaster (Gr. 1–3); the Benjamin Franklinstein LIVES series (Gr. 3+); Even Aliens Need Snacks; Even Monsters Need Haircuts (K–8); Backbeard and the Birthday Suit (K–4); and Absolutely Not (K–3). 

    Matt McElligott's website

    Grades K-6 (grouped K-1, 2-3, 4-5, 6)

    Available December 16-20, 2019; January 6-10; March 9-13 (2 days are available); and May 11-14, 2020


    Comments (-1)
  • Jeff Minerd Jeff Minerd—Local 

    $1,000/day; $600 for a half-day, with no expenses.

    Jeff has a day-long program with a presentation on the writing process, discussion questions to help students relate themes in his books to their own lives, and creative writing exercises. He has tutored second graders in reading at School #22.

    His newest fantasy novel for Young Adult readers is The Wizard’s Daughter (Sky Riders of Etherium). He has also written The Sailweaver’s Son (Silver Leaf Books), a coming-of-age story touching on social and environmental themes. It’s a fun, steampunk adventure for science fiction buffs “with the idea that acting courageously sometimes means challenging powerful but misguided adults” (City Newspaper).  He has written short stories for literary journals, including The North American Review, and won the F. Scott Fitzgerald Short Story Competition.

    Jeff Minerd's website

    Grades 6-12

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  • Coleen Paratore

    $1,500/day plus expenses. Colleen Paratore

    Winner of Nautilus Book Award Silver Medal for Big (K–2). Picture book is Fireflies (Gr. 2–6), with a similarly titled writer’s notebook.  Also Roar Like A Girl (Always Willa) in a series (Gr. 3–8); and a memoir Writing it Right covering issues around her family, alcoholism, abandonment and depression. Presentations include K–5 on writing and sparking inspiration, the Sunny Holiday series (ages 8+), The Wedding Planner's Daughter and its sequel The Cupid Chronicles (Gr 4+) promoting writing and making a positive difference in the world, and Dreamsleeves (Gr. 5–adult) on how to articulate dreams for the future. Books include How Prudence Proovit Proved the Truth About Fairy Tales (K–2); and Mack McGinn's Big Win (ages 10+).

    Coleen Paratore's website

    Grades Pre K–Young Adult

    Comments (-1)
  • Linda Sue Park—Local  

    Linda Sue Park

    $5,500/day plus expenses.

    Author of A Single Shard (Gr. 4–7), Newbery Medal winner.  Writer of popular novels and picture books, most recently Gondra's Treasure (PreK-Gr. 3); Yaks Yak: Animal Word Pairs (Gr. K–4); and Beast of Stone (Wing & Claw series) (Gr. 3–7).  Other books include A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story (Gr. 5–8); When My Name was Keoko (Gr. 5–7); The Kite Fighters (Gr. 2–7); Seesaw Girl (Gr. 2–5); Keeping Score, a novel grappling with loss (Gr. 3–7); The 39 Clues series (Gr. 3–7); and The Third Gift (Gr. 1–4).

    Linda Sue Park's website

    Grades 1–8

    Comments (-1)
  • James Preller

    $1,500/day with expenses. James Preller

    New York State author of The Big Idea Gang series (Gr. 1-4) on making a positive difference; the Jigsaw Jones  mystery books (Gr. 1-3); and Mighty Casey  (K-3), his twist on the classic poem, "Casey at the Bat."  He has also written books on middle school life, including anti-bullying themed The Bystander  (Gr. 5-8); The Courage Test  (Gr. 4-7), an ALA Notable Book; The Fall  (Gr. 6-9); and Better off Undead  (Gr. 4-8).  Fall of 2019, he is releasing Blood Mountain, a middle grade survival story, and a book of haiku, All Welcome Here  illustrated by Mary GrandPre (of Harry Potter fame), celebrating community on the first day of school.

    James Preller's website

    Grades K-10


    Comments (-1)
  • Aaron Reynolds

    Aaron Reynolds

    $2,900/day for 3 presentations, all-inclusive rate; usually requires 2 schools to visit. 

    Interactive and storytelling workshops of his picture books, with the sequel to his Caldecott Honors book, Creepy Carrots!, Aaron brings Creepy Pair of Underwear! to life with behind-the-scenes insights (K–Gr. 5). Also, Geeking out with Nerdy Birdy workshop (K-5) to realize our differences are what makes us truly awesome; Cowboy Dave! workshop explores how graphic novels are created (Gr. 2–5), and Author Inspiration! is a fast-paced presentation on what it is like to be an author (Gr. 4–8).

    Other books include middle grade graphic novel, Caveboy Dave: Not So Faboo; summer adventure book, Dude!; Pirates vs. Cowboys (K–3); Back of the Bus (Gr. 1–3); Here Comes Destructosaurus!; and Sea Monkey & Bob (K–1).

    Aaron Reynolds' website

    Grades K–8

    Fully booked for 2019-20, but will take requests in the Fall for 2020-21 visits.

    Booked for October 24-25, 2019 and March 9-13, 2020.

    Comments (-1)
  • Peggy Thomas—Local

    Peggy Thomas

    $1,000+ a day with no expenses, for up to 4 presentations.

    Fiction and non-fiction books for children and teens, including Full of Beans: Henry Ford Grows a Car (Gr. 2-5), available Fall 2019; Thomas Jefferson Grows a Nation (Gr. 4–6); Farmer George Plants a Nation (Gr. 4–6); For the Birds:  The Story of Roger Tory Peterson (Gr. 3+), National Outdoor Book Award, John Burroughs Award; and Anatomy of Non-Fiction:  Writing True Stories for Children including plot and magazine writing. Also, contributes to Nonfiction Minute online. 

    Presentations (all age levels) include: To Tell the Truth (researching and writing nonfiction); Tall Tales from the Erie Canal, a writing exercise that blends NYS Language Arts and Social Studies curricula; A Writer’s Life, how a story becomes a book; and The Forensic Anthropologist’s Top 10 List, solving crimes for teens (Gr. 6–12).

    Peggy Thomas' website

    Grades K–12

    Comments (-1)
  • Amy Ludwig VanDerwater—Local

    Amy L VanDerwater

    $1,800/day with few expenses, up to 4 sessions and small group lunch.  Also available for writing residencies of one day or more.

    Author of poetry books Forest Has a Song (Gr. 1-4), Read! Read! Read! (K- Gr. 5); With My Hands (K-Gr. 2); Write!, Write! Write! (2020), and picture books Every Day Birds and Dreaming of You (Pre-K-Gr. 2).  Amy has taught writing for 20 years, is author of Poems Are Teachers: How Studying Poetry Strengthens Writing in All Genres, co-author of Poetry: Big Thoughts In Small Packages (Gr. 2), and blogs at The Poem Farm and Sharing Our Notebooks.  Has interactive presentations on making something from nothing, joyfully persisting through the writing process, discovering treasures in nature, and working toward dreams.

    Amy Ludwig VanDerwater's website

    Grades K–8


    Comments (-1)
  • Vivian Vande Velde - Local 

    Vivian Vande Velde

    $1,300/day with few expenses, up to 3 sessions a day.

    Her Presentation: Choose either a lecture (From Idea to Book, anecdotes on how she started writing, stages of a manuscript to publication, making revisions, where ideas come from, Q & A), or a fiction writing workshop (drawing from your personal experience, using all 5 senses, making characters real). Books include elementary level (8 Class Pets + 1 Squirrel / (divided by) 1 Dog = Chaos; Squirrel in the Museum; Smart Dog; Frogged), middle grade (Heir Apparent; Cloaked in Red), and teens (Companions of the Night; 23 Minutes). Winner of 2015 Empire State Award for Excellence in Literature for Young People. 

    Her booking agent is Lucy Giglio,

    Vivian Vande Velde's website

    Grades 1–Teens

    Comments (-1)
  • Charles Waters

    $500 per Assembly or $250 per Classroom, plus expenses.

    Charles Waters

    Children's poet, actor, and educator, Charles includes a public speaking component in each workshop for students to build confidence and have fun while learning the art of poetry.  Workshops support the Common Core Curriculum, and can be customized for your school.  Core Class 1 – Performance Points identifies characteristics of an effective performance, including voice projection and connecting to your audience, using the poem "When I See Your Face."  Core Class 2 – Writing Exercises uses metaphors and similes, while examining haikus and senryus.  Students create their own poems learning about structure, point of view and tone analysis.  His has written, Can I Touch Your Hair: Poems of Race, Mistakes and Friendship (Gr. 3-7), and his poems are in several anthologies, including One Minute Till Bedtime.

    Charles Waters' website

    Elementary and Middle School students

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