Author Visits

Tara Sullivan spent her childhood living overseas with her parents, who were aid workers. She now lives in Massachusetts with her family and writes Young Adult novels based around current human rights crises.



“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-minute presentations, with time for Q&A.
An optional 15 minutes 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. The Bitter Side of Sweet, deals with the prevalence of child slavery in modern-day chocolate production.

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, released 2/23/16, has garnered starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, School Library Journal, SLC, and Publishers Weekly, and was ranked 5Q3PJS by VOYA.

For book trailers and classroom guides, please click here.


Presentation 2: Writing Talk

“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 presentation briefly introduces students to my background and my books before diving into a concrete and interactive presentation on writing.
  • I discuss the editing process and how important it is to work hard on a piece and be able to receive feedback. I then share one tip to improve your writing in each of the “key three”: character, plot, and setting.
  • Highlight: students being called up to do a “blind sculpting” activity which showcases the relationship between a fictional character, his/her voice on the page, and the reader.
  • Due to this presentation’s more interactive nature, it is best suited for smaller gatherings of students (30 or fewer).



How much?
In-person school visit: $1200/day, plus trip expenses.

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

If this is beyond your budget, I also love Skype 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 Skype visit 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


For a downloadable PDF of this page’s content, please click here: author-visit-flyer-16-17