SPEAKING AND CONFERENCES
I offer several integrative keynote and conference workshop presentations for adults, focusing on curiosity, the creative life, and science. Please email me for further details on any of these options, or to discuss what I can bring to your conference or event.
For Creatives: Keynotes and/or Conference Presentations
Navigating the Creative Jungle
How can we best harness our creativity in a productive and authentic way? This lively yet grounding presentation for creatives will help you find the path between where you are and where you want to be creatively, regardless of your chosen medium. Discussing the science of creativity in a no nonsense way, this talk is perfect for any artist or writer looking to up their game and get back in the driver’s seat with mindful, empowering steps.
Calibrating Your Creative Compass
A creative’s greatest asset isn’t talent, it’s mindset. In this inspiring discussion, Jess shines a light on ten common myths and misconceptions about the creative life that can hinder, or even harm, your own process, as well as empowering solutions that can get you back on track.
Presentations/Workshops For Writers:
Your Social Media Ecosystem
In today’s publishing industry, it’s not enough to be a wonderful writer, and publishers often expect authors to take the reins on their promotional efforts and marketing. With the number of self-appointed ‘media gurus’ out there, it’s easy to get lost in someone else’s shuffle, but rather to create a tribe and community of real connections with readers. How can we build beneficial relationships online and keep true to ourselves? What can we do before selling a book? And after? This talk focuses on creative, authentic ways to use social media to grow as a writer and gain readers in a genuine way, without the headache or pushy marketing.
Steer Clear of Vipers: Anxiety and the Modern Writer
Writers are no stranger to anxiety. Drafting, querying, submitting, publishing…every step on a writer’s path is fraught with the potential for frazzled nerves and mental anguish. If publishing feels like a roller coaster, this workshop is your dose of Dramamine! In this candid talk, we examine common sources of stress for writers, and offer concrete solutions and tips to help participants stay grounded and productive through each stage of publishing. We will discuss how to navigate “the waiting game”, as well as methods to adopt a healthy mindset regarding competition, positivity, goals, and flexibility that serve you through your growing career.
Book Dissection: How and Why You Need to Steal from Others
Mentor texts aren’t just for kids! In fact, they can be a valuable source of information and inspiration for any writer, regardless of genre. It has been said that good artists copy, while great artists steal, but where do you begin? Understanding what makes your favorite books tick is key to harnessing this magic in your own writing. In this workshop, Jess will demonstrate her systematic approach for learning about plot, pacing, and character that will appeal to anyone with an analytical mind looking to improve their writing. Participants will leave with concrete exercises to take home and apply to their favorite books, providing a treasure trove of inspiration for their own writing.
PRESENTATIONS FOR KIDS & READERS
There are few things I like more than connecting with readers! If your school is reading any (or all!) of my books, there are a lot of options for in-person and virtual visits. If you’d like to inquire about any of these visits, please email ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’.
If you are hosting a visit, I highly recommend you work with your local bookstores. These booksellers are extremely knowledgeable and helpful, and they also often offer discounts on books purchased in mass quantities. Win-win! Schools will also need to cover reasonable travel costs.
ABOUT MY SCHOOL VISITS
My most popular in-person visit is: THE CREATIVE SAFARI —this is an interactive, fun-filled presentation that blends together my love of science and animals with books, reading, and creativity. This visit is appropriate for readers that have read any of my books, and can be adapted for grades 3-8. The cost per presentation is $500, and I am able to do 2 visits per day, and I am also happy to take part in any lunch events with students, as well as sign any books on hand and answer questions. In my visit, readers and I will discuss:
- an assortment of incredible animals and their mind-blowing adaptations (and what they teach us about writing!)
- the creative process (and its ups and downs)
- how to beat writers block
- revisions (and why they are crucial!)
- perseverance, finding your own voice, and humor
- some of my real-life animal encounters, and how they have impacted my writing life
- writing and creativity tools I use every day
- the importance of good research, facts, and scientific thinking
- behind-the-scenes look at how my books came to be, as well as my background as a zoologist
What can a dung beetle teach us about writing, reading, and creativity? Or a skunk? Or even a blobfish? With wild examples from zoologist-turned-author Jess Keating, young readers learn about the fun, often messy work of creating stories, writing books, and being a story explorer. Hear some wild and funny stories, learn the tools to tell your own, and check out some of Jess’s animal skull and bone collection, too!
My goal with The Creative Safari is to complement your work in the classroom, and inspire readers to read, write, and stay curious, exploring the natural world around them!
THE “BE A SHARK SCIENTIST” SCHOOL VISIT
If you’ve read and enjoyed my book, Shark Lady, this is the visit for you! In my time with your readers, we’ll read Shark Lady together, and afterwards we’ll discover what it takes to be a real life shark scientist. In this visit, students will learn that anyone can be a scientist, and we’ll work together to be shark scientists — on the spot! — and see what we can discover about some amazing sharks. (No sharks needed!) This presentation is jam-packed with inspiring messages, science, and an extremely fun, interactive approach to the science of sharks. Students will also receive a PDF printable package with simple, step-by-step actions to take to become any type of scientist exploring the things they love. This visit is roughly 45 minutes to an hour and is $500 per presentation. I’m able to do three of these visits per day, and will bring everything we need to become shark scientists!
In this program, students and I will discuss:
- the book Shark Lady (in a full reading!), as well as my personal journey with the story and Eugenie Clark
- the three things that all scientists must do (including some practice together!)
- incredible sharks and their adaptations
- how to use these tools to become a scientist on the spot (no matter what they’re interested in!)
If an in-person visit isn’t feasible, I also offer Skype opportunities to any class or group that has read any of my books. These are offered on a limited basis (often due to deadlines or other commitments!), so a flexible schedule is always helpful! Here are some options:
- “The Creative Safari” ($200): This Skype visit is directly adapted from my most popular in-person visit (see above), and typically runs 45 minutes to one hour, including time for questions. Pre and post-visit discussion guides are also provided.
If you would like to inquire about any of these options, please email me at ‘email@example.com’.
Are you hosting an in-person or virtual visit? I highly recommend you check out this amazing post: Ten Tips for a Perfect Author Visit