Author Visits/Keynotes

Handout IRC Presentation: Using Diverse Books in the Classroom and Library: Getting Students to Check Them Out and Read Them (Word file)

Skype Author Visits are free when school buys (at discount) multiple copies of Patricia’s books.

Live Author Visits – email for prices.

Following a Skype Author Visit (Loving vs. Virginia):

Hello Patricia,

As I was walking down the hall back to the library, I overheard excited voices discussing the topics raised in your presentation. I was stopped by a teacher asking for more information about your book, and two students came in the library asking to check out a copy. As I was checking the book out, they stood next to my desk telling each other how good the book looked. Within minutes, I was getting emails from staff about how good the presentation was.

I absolutely love your book, and I am so pleased that the book and the message was shared with our students by such a dynamic speaker and talented writer.

– Jennifer Stasinopoulos
Librarian, Rosary High School
Aurora, IL


  • Loving vs. Virginia: the Supreme Court case, Civil Rights Movement, Systemic Racism in our Society and the Love Story – (for 7th – 12th grades)
  • Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker compared to Struttin’ With Some Barbecue: Lil Hardin Armstrong Becomes the First Lady of Jazz – (for 3rd – 6th grades)
  • Struttin’ With Some Barbecue: The author reads and Traditional Jazz Orchestra plays live (for all ages, great for March Women’s History Month)
  • Research: tips on primary research, interviewing, organization, etc. – (for writers (conferences), high school students, etc.)
  • Using Diverse Books in the Classroom and Library –  (for conference professionals)
  • Writing Terrific Characters – (for writers)

Or consult with me and together we can customize a program to meet your needs.

Teacher’s Hand-Outs


“Your energy and creativity lifted us that day, and we were energetically immersed in a swooping session of words, ideas, thoughts, movement, color, and passion.  The students really responded to you and to each other as they thought, acted, stretched, self-corrected, and kept on trying!  I definitely love what you do in the classroom, and I want to do what you do!  It’s so creative!

“As well, thank you for showing us how you write stories, how you work with illustrators, how you take and release ownership of your work for the benefit of the published piece – all of this helps us see the possibilities for our own selves as future authors, illustrators, publishers, readers, and teachers.

“Your lesson plan format and modeled lesson will help me in my future writing classes.  Thanks again for sharing, and we are all the better for it.”

– Peace!
Mary Anne Jusko
Robeson School

“Thank you so much for a wonderful performance last night at Family Reading Night! You made a definite impact on Kaleigh. She loves to read anyway and you only strengthened that love!”

– Keri Alagna-Adams,
parent of 2nd grader
St. Joseph Elementary, St. Joseph, IL

Patricia is on the Illinois Arts Council’s (IAC) Arts-in-Education Roster and the Artstour Roster and her programs can be partially funded (from 35-60%) by the Illinois Arts Council.


Schools or School Districts belonging to State Reading Councils, such as the Illinois Reading Council (IRC), might consider submitting a grant proposal to their State Reading Council to help fund an author visit. The deadline for proposals for the IRC is in early June.

The Urbana School District received funding from the IRC, the IAC and the Urbana School District to bring Patricia in to conduct mini-residencies in each of the six Urbana elementary schools for Fall/Winter 2004.

Visit Patricia’s page on The SCBWI Speaker Directory.

Her work has been described as follows:

“Patricia Hruby Powell presented her delightful mix of storytelling, dance, and love of writing to our large diverse student body. She was warm engaging, comfortable and sincere in her dealings with both large group assemblies and with individuals — students and teachers. A year later, the students are still talking about her visit and asking when she’ll return.”

– Barb Luther
Librarian, Central Primary School
Bloomfield, NM

“You are my favorite author. You are my favorite storyteller.
I like the moon walk. How did you do the magic? Were you
really pulling on a rope? Please come back.”

– Angela, Chelsea, Ryan, David
4th graders from Pasco County
Tampa, FL

“…funny…clever…provocative…and intensely warm and bold.”

– Laura Barbour, Philadelphia

“Patricia touched the hearts of many and enabled us to reach our goal for encouraging families to share the joy of reading.”

– Mary Kay Hostetler, Springfield, IL
Feitshans School Principal

“Anyone who can keep several hundred intermediate students enthralled for 45 minutes is truly exceptional. Not only are you a talented story teller, you are skilled at keeping children focused and attentive. Your performance was dynamic and unique. I strongly recommend anyone considering scheduling you for an appearance at their facility, to contact you without hesitation.”

– Mrs. Georgia Butler, New Port Richey, FL
Intermediate teacher at Anclote Elementary

“I invited Patricia to perform dramatic readings of several short stories by young authors for a recent book release party. She was magnificent! Patricia made the stories come alive – and what an inspiring experience that was for the young authors who were in the audience. I’m sure the kids and their friends and families will never forget it.”

– Debbie Mitchell, Events Director
Magic Tree Bookstore
Oak Park, Illinois

Festivals and Venues, selected list

  • UIUC – Youth Literature Festival, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2019
  • Philadelphia Public Library 2017
  • Princeton Public Library 2017
  • Virginia Festival of the Book 2017
  • MD/DE/WV SCBWI 2017
  • Western Washington SCBWI 2017
  • Library of Congress 2017
  • ALA Chicago 2017
  • NCTE Conference, Atlanta 2016
  • American Library Association Annual Conference – San Francisco 2015
  • Simmons College Colloquium  – Boston Globe Horn Book Award Conference 2014
  • Northern Illinois University Children’s Literature Conference 2015
  • Nevada Reading Association Conference 2010
  • Illinois Reading Council Conferences: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2014
  • Read Across America Celebration – 2012, 2013, 2014
  • Illinois Storytelling Festival
  • Northlands Storytelling Conference
  • WILL-TV Storytelling Festival
  • National Storytelling Conference
  • Big Grove Storytelling Festival
  • Mt. Carroll Storytelling Festival
  • Millersport Sweet Corn Festival (named 1996 Storyteller of the Year runner up)
  • Kennedy Center, Washington D.C.
  • Detroit Art Institute
  • Arts Centers throughout the U.S., Central America, South America, Caribbean, Europe
  • Schools, Libraries, Universities throughout Illinois and the U.S.

“In working with you, my daughter has not only enjoyed herself, but has blossomed. You have changed the way she expresses herself and sees her world. You’ve helped her to realize the power of words, especially verbs! Her stories and descriptions of life’s situations are more potent and concise. To inspire and create a spark in the imaginations of the youth today is truly a gift. I feel very blessed, not only to experience your vivacious techniques in my classroom, but to see your effect on my own child. For that, I thank you. AMAZING!”

– Sincerely,

Stephanie Alves
1st grade teacher and mother

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