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.

  • 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

    $1,500/day; $1,000 for a half-day plus little expense. 

    Virtual visits are $350.

    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 and up); Stretch Your Point of View (ages 11 and up). Assembly:  Adventures with Books (Gr. 3-10) on where ideas come from; What six things every story needs; What Star Wars teaches about storytelling.  Her latest books are mindfulness picture book Happy Right Now (Gr. K-3) and new release Cranky Right Now; middle grade novel Crime and Carpetbags in the Wishes & Wellingtons series (Gr. 3-7); and historical YA novel Lovely War (Gr. 7-9).  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 (Gr. 5-8).

    Julie Berry's website

    Grades 3-12


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  • Peter Brown

    Peter Brown artwork

    $5,000/3 presentations; $4,500 if book sale included,  (includes travel + hotel expenses), with a 3-day minimum to visit.

    Virtual visits are $900 per presentation.

    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); Fred Gets Dressed, and Children Make Terrible Pets (starring Lucille Beatrice Bear (Pre-K-1); plus The Curious Garden; and You Will Be My Friend! (Pre-K-2).

    Peter Brown's website

    Grades Pre-K–7

    Booked for April 12-13, 2023.


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  • Kalli Dakos

    Kalli Dakos

    Mainly Virtual visits are $250 - $300, depending on number of students, classes, etc.

    In-Person $1,600+/day for 3 presentations; $1,300+ for 2 pres.; $1,400+/day for two schools in one area, plus expenses.  

    Best-selling poet.  Encourages reading, writing and performing stories, conducts writing workshops, and is available for evening presentations.  Also, Goodbye Poems, helping children cope with grief and loss; and Poems About Covid-19.  Her books include recent release, They Only See the Outside (Gr. 4-6) of insightful and relatable poems; My Story Friend (Pre-K–Gr. 3); If You're Not Here, Please Raise Your Hand (Gr. 2-5); 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


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  • Marsha Hayles–Local

    Marsha Hayles

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

    Virtual visits are $200 per presentation.  They cannot be recorded or reused.  (They may be shared for a few days, but then deleted.)

    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


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  • A.S. King

    A.S. King

    Amy is not doing school visits during Teen Book Festival this year.  In the past, her rate was $2,500+/day, plus hotel during TBF.

    $3,500+/day, plus expenses outside of Festival week.

    Virtual visits are $200+.

    Acclaimed author of young adult novels and short stories.  A compelling speaker, her presentations center around life skills, bullying, self-esteem, and safe relationships.  Her works include Attack of the Black Rectangles (Gr. 4-7) a novel on censorship and intolerance; Switch, on the effects of isolation; 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 new middle-grade novel The Year We Fell From Space; and Me and Marvin Gardens (Gr. 3-7). 

    A.S. King's website

    Grades 3–7, 9–12


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  • Kate Klise

    Kate Klise

    $2,000/day for 3 presentations, all-inclusive or

    $2,200/day for 4 presentations, all-inclusive. 

    Virtual visits are $350 for a 50-minute session; $1,000 for 3 sessions; and $1,500 for 5 sessions covering K-Gr. 5.

    Storyteller, 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 middle-grade novel Mystery on Magnolia Circle (Gr. 4-6); Don’t Check Out this Book (Gr. 3-7);  Stay: A Girl, a Dog, a Bucket List (K-Gr. 2); Greetings From the Graveyard (43 Old Cemetery Road series) (Gr. 4-7); The  Circus Goes to Sea (Three-Ring Rascals series Gr. 2-5).  Also Letters From Camp (Gr. 4-7); and Regarding the Fountain (Gr. 3-7).  Illustrations by her sister, M. Sarah Klise.

    Kate Klise's website

    Grades K-12


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  • Kevin Kurtz—Local

    Kevin Kurtz

    $550/all day with few expenses.

    Virtual visits $25 per 30-minute session.  

    Non-fiction from a marine biology background.  Works include award-winning picture book/coloring and activity guide Light is Color; Into the Crater of Doom on the extinction of dinosaurs; LA Day in the Deep (Gr. K-3); e-book Where Wild Microbes Grow: The Search for Life Under the Seafloor; and picture e-book Uncovering Earth’s Secrets (Gr. 1-5).  Among his books are 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. Discussion on the process of writing a children’s book.

    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 novel, Because of the Rabbit; and A Handful of Stars (Gr. 3-7); chapter book, Half a Chance (Gr. 3-7); new Book Buddies series, Marco Polo Brave Explorer (Gr. 1-4) explores common fears and quiet bravery; picture books in the Hot Rod Hamster series (ages 3-5); the Shelter Pet Squad series (Gr. 1-3); her second novel Touch Blue (Gr. 3-7); and non-fiction book Borrowing Bunnies (Gr. 1-2) on fostering rabbits.  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 

    Available April and May 2023


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  • Rafe Martin—LocalRafe Martin

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

    Virtual visits are $350 for a 45-minute visit ($250 if recorded for his future use.)

    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 a coming-of-age novel, Birdwing (Gr.7+).

    Rafe Martin's website

    Grades K–12

    Booked for May 1, 2023


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  • Matthew McElligott

    Matt McElligott artwork

    $1,850/day plus expenses (2-day minimum for the area).  Author will reimburse up to $500 for books purchased; will do evening events with parents and students of all ages.

    Virtual visits $300 per talk with students grouped as below (author will reimburse up to $150 for books purchased).

    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 (Gr. K-3) focus on math concepts.  Author/illustrator of books, including his newest Do Not Eat the Game! (Gr. K-3); picture book series Mad Science Academy: The Ocean Disaster (Gr. K-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 illusion book, Absolutely Not (K-3). 

    Matthew McElligott's website

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

    Available December 12-16, 2022, March 6-10, 2023, and May 15 through the end of the school year.


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  • Linda Sue Park—Local  

    Linda Sue Park

    $6,000/day plus expenses for in-person or virtual visits.

    Author, poet and teacher, Linda Sue’s novel, A Single Shard (Gr. 4-7), is a Newbery Medal winner.  Writer of popular novels and picture books, most recently middle-grade historical fiction Prairie Lotus (Gr. 3-7); Gondra’s Treasure (Pre-K – Gr. 3); Yaks Yak: Animal Word Pairs (Gr. K-4); The One Thing You’d Save (Gr. 3-7) linked poems in an inclusive classroom; 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 (3-7); 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


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  • James Preller

    $1,600/day with expenses. James Preller

    Virtual visits vary, starting at $200 (30 minutes, small groups) to $1,200 (multiple presentations, large groups).

    New York State author of The Big Idea Gang series (Gr. 1-4) on making a positive difference; several new Jigsaw Jones mystery books (Gr. 1-3); Mighty Casey (K-3), his twist on the classic poem, "Casey at the Bat;” and Swamp Monster of the Scary Tales series (Gr. 2-5).  His middle school life books include anti-bullying themed The Bystander (Gr. 5-8), and a new sequel, Upstander; The Courage Test (Gr. 4-7), an ALA Notable Book; The Fall (Gr. 6-9); and Better Off Undead (Gr. 4-8).  Also, Blood Mountain, a middle grade survival story, and a picture 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

    Booked for November 4, during the Rochester Children's Book Festival


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  • Aaron Reynolds

    Aaron Reynolds

    $4,000/day for 3 presentations, all-inclusive rate; requires a 2 school minimum to visit.

    Virtual visits are $1,500 per presentation; $3,000 for 3 presentations in a single day..

    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. 2). Also, The Quest for Amazing Chapter Books! (Gr. 2-6). Fart Quest and The Incredibly Dead Pets of Rex Dexter are explored to transform reluctant readers to voracious bookworms.  

    Other books include Rosa Parks’ story from the viewpoint of a child in Back of the Bus (Gr. 1-3); newly released, Fart Quest series; Narwhal I'm Around (The Incredibly Dead Pets of Rex Dexter, 2) (Gr. 3-7); Pirates vs. Cowboys (K-3); and  Creepy Crayon!

    Aaron Reynolds' website

    Grades K–8


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  • Alex Sanchez - Local

    $500 per 45-minute presentation; $800 for 2 presentations.

    Virtual visits are $250 for 1 presentation.Alex Sanchez

    Award-winning author of LGBTQ+ YA novels such as the Rainbow Boys trilogy; The God Box; Getting It; and middle-grade novel So Hard to Say.  New releases include novel The Greatest Superpower (Gr 4-8) about family relations, a transgender parent, and identity; and graphic novel, You Brought Me the Ocean (Gr. 9-12).  His novel, Bait, won the Florida Book Award Gold Medal for YA fiction. Alex has a master's degree in guidance and counseling, and has worked as a youth and family counselor.  He is also a writing editor and mentor.  His upbeat presentations include growing up gay and a Mexican immigrant, how homophobia hurts everyone, how he came to writing, and the impact of each individual in the world.  He speaks about overcoming challenges, being true to yourself, and helping to make a better world.

    Alex Sanchez's website

    Grades 7–12


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  • Lauren Tarshis (dba Dreyfuss Tarshis Media, Inc.)

    Virtual visits are $1,500/day, all-inclusive (with a complimentary set of 10 signed I Survived books donated to the school's library with one presentation, and a complete set of 30 with two presentations). Lauren Tarshis

    Lauren is only doing virtual visits due to her work schedule.

    Best-selling author of children’s historical fiction.  Lauren’s presentation combines accounts of hope and resilience with insights into the process of researching and writing.  She shares her story of being a struggling reader with little writing ability to become a successful author.

    One of her most recent books is I Survived the Galveston Hurricane, 1900 (I Survived series #21, Gr. 3-7).  She is also the author of the award-winning Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree, and is the editor of Storyworks Magazine, contributing nonfiction articles.

    Lauren Tarshis' website

    Grades 2-7


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  • Peggy Thomas—Local

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

    Virtual visits are $450+ for 3 one-hour presentations; $150+ for a single presentation.

    Award-winning non-fiction author of books and folktales for children and teens.  Presentations (all age levels) include: Become a Nonfiction Ninja!;  Tall Tales from the Erie Canal, a writing exercise blending 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).  She Co-sponsors NF Fest and writes true stories for  

     Books include her latest, Lincoln Clears a Path: Abraham Lincoln's Agricultural Legacy (Gr. 2-5); George Washington Carver for Kids: His Life and Discoveries, with 21 Activities (For Kids series) (Gr. 4–6); Thomas Jefferson Grows a Nation (Gr. 4-6); Full of Beans: Henry Ford Grows a Car (Gr. 2-5); and For the Birds: The Story of Roger Tory Peterson (Gr. 3+).   

    Peggy Thomas' website

    Grades K–12


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  • Amy Ludwig VanDerwater—Local

    Amy Ludwig VanDerwater$1,500/day all-inclusive for 3 presentations, (will do up to 5 presentations in one day at $500 each).  Also available for writing residencies of one day or more.

    Virtual visits are $500 per 45-60 minute presentation from Betsy the Writing Camper or the Writing Shed.

    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!; If This Bird Had Pockets  (Gr. 1-2), as well as picture books Every Day Birds;  Dreaming of You (Pre-K-Gr. 2); and That Missing Feeling (Gr. 1-2).  Amy has taught writing for 20 years, is author of Poems Are Teachers: How Studying Poetry Strengthens Writing in All Genres, and blogs at The Poem Farm, and Sharing Our Notebooks.  Her interactive presentations are 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


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  • Charles Waters

    $750 per 45-minutes for 1-2 presentations; $500 per to add presentations 3-4, plus expenses.  Costs may vary if Irene Latham is included.

    Virtual visits are $300 for 30-minutes, or $450 for a 45-minute presentation and Q&A. Charles Waters

    Poet and educator, Charles' workshops help students build confidence.   Core Class 1 – Writing Exercises (Scribble Away!) using metaphors and similes, plus haikus and senryus.  Students create  poems learning about structure, point of view and tone analysis.  Core Class 3 – Performance Points (From the Page to the Stage!) identifies traits of an effective performance, voice projection and connecting to your audience, using the poem "When I See Your Face."

    He has co-written with Irene Latham, new release African Town (Gr 7+), historical fiction-in-verse of the last ship of enslaved Africans; Dictionary for a Better World: Poems, Quotes, and Anecdotes from A to Z for middle grade readers; Can I Touch Your Hair: Poems of Race, Mistakes and Friendship (Gr. 3-7), and anthologies, including One Minute Till Bedtime.

    Charles Waters' website

    Elementary through High School


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  • Carole Boston Weatherford and
    Jeffery Weatherford

    Carole Boston Weatherford

    $5,000 for up to 3 presentations, plus expenses.  This includes with Jeffery.

    Virtual visits for $2,000 for one 45-60 minute presentation, or up to 3 at one school for $2,500.

    Author Carole Weatherford and her son, illustrator/poet Jeffery Weatherford present solo or joint presentations to spark student creativity. Using poetry and nonfiction books, they connect ELA and social studies curricula. Programs are interactive and employ multimedia, storytelling and music.   

    Carole’s many books cover the history of Jesse Owens, Juneteenth, and Michelle Obama, and events such as the Tulsa Race Massacre, and the Greensboro Sit-ins.  Her book, Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom received a Caldecott Honor.

    Jeffery Weatherford

    Jeffery explores the history of hip-hop, the process of creating rhymes, and the technology behind the hits.  He has illustrated You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen (Gr. 4-7); and contributed art to anthology We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices (Gr. 3-7).

    Carole Boston Weatherford and Jeffery Weatherford’s website

    Grades 5 and up


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  • Leslie C. Youngblood—Local 

    Featured author of 2022 Greater Rochester Teen Read

    Leslie C. Youngblood

    $1,200 each for 1-2 presentations, or $3,300 for 3 presentations in one day, usually all-inclusive.  This includes a 45-minute program, plus 15-minutes of Q&A, and a book signing.

    Virtual visits are $800 per presentation.  Leslie is flexible on some of her rates.

    Leslie is the author of Love Like Sky, portraying the lives of children and adults in blended families, and Forever This Summer (Gr. 3-7), expanding on family, identity and learning to stand up for what’s right.  

    Her programs include How I became a writer; How novels are created; What is a writing process?; You can tell a story; Writing about your emotions; Diversity in Storytelling, plus Motivational Topics, such as Overcoming Obstacles and Rejection, and Writing about your day.

    Leslie C. Youngblood’s website

    Grades 3-7

    Booked for November 2-3, during the Rochester Children's Book Festival


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