Author Visits

Who?
Informed by research and a childhood overseas, Tara Sullivan writes Young Adult novels based around current human rights crises. She lives and writes in Massachusetts.

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What?

“She was a wealth of information as she taught our kids about the geography and culture of Tanzania where the story took place. Her visit provided a spark of activism and our students left the assembly inspired.”
-Tish Ivie, Media Specialist, Edmond,OK

45-60 minute presentations, with time for Q&A.
Optional time for book signing and conversations with individual students can be added. During the signing, students can see and touch carvings, cocoa pods, and other materials from my research trips.

Presentation 1: Book Talk

“Our students were captivated and moved by Tara’s passionate and inspiring talk about writing and researching this very powerful and beautifully written story.”
-Caradith Craven, Library Media Specialist, Edmond, OK

  • In-depth discussion of either Golden Boy or The Bitter Side of Sweet
  • Each presentation covers in-depth the underlying human rights issue and shows pictures from my research trips.
  • I discuss editing and overview the process of taking a story to publication.
  • Highlights: a short YouTube video to give kids context for the novels and a brief reading of a scene from the book.
  • This presentation can be easily tailored for any size group of students.

Golden Boy deals with the killing of people with albinism in Tanzania due to a belief that their body parts are good luck. Golden Boy was nominated for awards in six different states. It was selected as a best book of the year by Kirkus and The Wall Street Journal and was the winner of the 2014 Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People Award.

The Bitter Side of Sweet, deals with the prevalence of child slavery in modern-day chocolate production. The Bitter Side of Sweet was nominated for awards in five states and is a CABA Africana Award honor book of 2017.

For book trailers and classroom guides, please click here.

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Presentation 2: Writing Seminar

“Ms. Sullivan talked with my students, writer to writer, and helped them think through questions all novelists must face about structure, tense, voice, character and plot.  I watched them sit up straighter and share more because of the regard she showed them.”
-Katy Hammel, Teacher, Albuquerque, NM

  • This highly interactive presentation briefly introduces students to my background and my books before diving into a fun and concrete presentation on writing.
  • Working in small groups, students play with setting to ratchet up stakes. A blind sculpting demonstration showcases the character-voice-reader realationship. A final hands-on activity makes creative research real.
  • Due to this presentation’s more interactive nature, it is best suited for smaller gatherings of students (30 or fewer).

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How much?
In-person school visit: $1250/day, plus trip expenses.

  • I can do up to four presentations a day. 
  • Travel expenses, if applicable, include airfare, hotel, and ground transportation or mileage.
  • I am fine with splitting a day between two schools. All costs are divided among the number of schools visited.

If this is beyond your budget, I also love virtual visits:

“Having Tara Skype with my high school anthropology students about Golden Boy was a highlight of the semester.”
-Jen Parker-HAaas, Librarian and Social Studies Teacher, Burien, WA

  • I offer 40-minute discussion and Q&A virtual visit (Skype, Google Hangouts, etc.) for $100.
    Please note that these are informal chats, and do not include the content of my full presentation in-person visits described above.
  • For any group that has purchased a class set of my book, I offer a 20-minute Q&A only Skype visit free of charge.

If interested in scheduling a visit, please email me at:
SullivanStories (at) gmail (dot) com

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For a downloadable PDF of this page’s content, please click here: