I taught middle and high school English for twelve years, and I absolutely love working with students! While my writing is best suited for students in Grades 3-8, l can tailor presentations to any grade level.


  • Big Dreams, Small Steps: Writing a book sounds like an intimidating task, but it’s made up of many more manageable steps. Students will learn about the steps I took to fulfill my dream of becoming an author, and I’ll encourage them to plan steps for achieving their own dreams.

  • The Power of Place: How do settings inspire writers and shape characters? Students will learn about the real-life setting behind The Light in the Lake and consider how other authors have used vivid settings in their stories. I’ll encourage students to look at their own surroundings with fresh eyes and think about what kinds of stories might grow from it.

  • A Clearer Vision Through Revision: The most important part of writing is rewriting! Students will learn about my own revision process, and I’ll encourage them to apply some steps to their own writing. This presentation works best if students come prepared with a piece of writing to revise.

  • The Magic of Science: The Light in the Lake blends the scientific method with hints of magic. How can we balance our scientific understanding of the world with our awe at what we might not be able to understand? I’ll give students nature-based examples of science that also feel magical, and encourage them to find facts and magic that could enrich their own storytelling.

  • Custom: The Light in the Lake offers many opportunities for cross-curricular collaboration between Language Arts and science. I’m happy to work with teachers to craft a presentation connecting the book to what students are learning in their specific classrooms.

Speaking Fees for the 2019-2020 School Year:
Book signings may be included free with any presentation. To purchase books, please work with your nearest independent bookstore, which benefits your local community!

  • One 45-60 minute presentation: $200

  • Half-Day Visit (two 45-60 minute presentations): $400

  • Full-Day Visit (three 45-60 minute presentations): $600

  • Brown-Bag Author Q&A Lunch for a small group of students: $75 (free with Full-Day Visit)

  • Travel Reimbursement will be calculated at the standard mileage rate ($.58/mile) for locations more than 1 hour away from Holland, Michigan. Air travel costs should be calculated from Grand Rapids, Michigan.

  • Lodging arrangements (I’m an easy keeper!) are requested for schools more than three hours from Zeeland, Michigan. Schools in Emmet, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Ingham, or Washtenaw counties in Michigan; and schools in Orleans, Lamoille, or Caledonia counties in Vermont; need not make lodging arrangements.

Virtual Visits:

  • My presentations can be adapted for a virtual audience, via Skype. Cost: $100 per 45-60 minute session.

  • I offer free 30-minute Skype sessions for classes that have read The Light in the Lake. A limited number of free Skype sessions are also available for other groups; please contact me for availability.


“Sarah captivated my students with her enthusiasm, passion, and kindness, and she inspired my students to consider their goals and pursue their dreams, small steps at a time.” -Christi Case, 4th Grade Teacher (Petoskey, Michigan)