School Visits


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 ‘’.

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.


My most popular in-person visit is: THE WRITING ZOO —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 Writing Zoo is to complement your work in the classroom, and inspire readers to read, write, and stay curious, exploring the natural world around them!


***Please note: I am currently completely booked for free virtual visits for the year!

If you’d like to be added to a cancellation list, please email me!**

If an in-person visit isn’t feasible, I also offer both free and paid 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:

  • A Q&A Skype visit (free): You’ve got questions? I’ve got answers! These casual visits typically last 20 minutes, readers are encouraged to come prepared with questions they’ve brainstormed in advance!
  • “The Writing Zoo” ($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 ‘’.

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