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We’ve been keynote speakers and mainstage presenters at college convocations and international conferences. We’ve visited hundreds of elementary schools—including at least one in every U.S. state.

We love sharing our books and telling our story, whether giving assemblies, running workshops, delivering talks, or doing short-term residencies.

or continue reading for options and pricing

SCHOOL VISITS

Our day-long elementary school visits include two assemblies and a small group session. Supported by illustrated slides and emphasizing creative empowerment, our presentations are lively, funny, inspiring, informative exchanges between an author and illustrator. Each runs roughly an hour and includes an interactive drawing demo and Q&A. 

About a month before our visit, we’ll send a customized video you can use to introduce us to your students, teachers, and families so we already seem like old friends by the time we show up. 

Assembly Options

Pick two for a day-long school visit

Finding the Wonder (and Telling Your Story)

pre-K-2

Using our picture book Everywhere, Wonder as a guide, we talk about the importance of noticing and appreciating the world’s large and small wonders—and using observations and experiences to tell and share stories.

Life and Creativity on the Alaskan Tundra

pre-K-2

We share our picture book Sunrise Summer, talk about our family’s annual summer fishing adventures in Bristol Bay, Alaska—and the process of making a book about the experience.

The Secrets of Collaboration

grades 3-6

Using middle grade mystery series The Real McCoys as a foundation, we explore the principles of collaboration, the process of making and publishing a book, and the fun and possibilities to be had in joining forces with others.

The Perplexity of Language and the Power of Storytelling

grades 3-6

We use our middle grade series Cookie Chronicles to talk about the baffling fun of figurative langauge—and the mysterious possibilities of the creative process.

Small Group Sessions

Included in day-long school visit;
Any grade level

We’re happy to meet with groups of 8-10 students interested in writing and/or art to share stories and answer questions over lunch—or bring us to a fifth-grade classroom to talk about creative careers. The exact configuration is up to you.

School Visit Fees

Our standard fee for a full-day, in-person visit is $2,500 plus travel and lodging. 

If your school is more than a three-hour drive from our home in Chestertown, Maryland, we ask that you coordinate with other schools in your area to book us for three (or more) straight days—which also allows you to pool expenses.

We’re happy to work with Title I schools to provide programming that unlocks eligibility for Parent and Family Engagement Funds.

WORKSHOPS

We’ve led in-person and virtual workshops for second graders, graduate students, professional illustrators, and pretty much everyone in between. The formats vary, but core themes are always the same: harnessing the creative impulse in the name of observation, discovery, collaboration, laughter, and storytelling.

Microflash Picture Books

grade 3 and up (reliably fun for adults, too)

Participants work in groups to jointly author and illustrate off-the-wall books while playing a game of “visual telephone,” followed by discussion of creative principles and visual tropes.

$4 per student materials fee

My Book of Wonder

grade 2 and up

Following discussion of the power and importance of noticing, recording, and sharing their experiences, participants bind and create illustrated journals of their experiences and observations.

$1 per student materials fee

Jim, Joe, Larry, and Super Bob

grade 4 and up

Following a presentation on simple binding techniques, participants write and illustrate Mad Libs–style “mix and match” books in which four illustrated panels recombine in 108 different ways. 

$4 per student materials fee

Bind, Write and Illustrate a Book

grade 4 and up

Participants learn simple binding techniques and the basics of story structure, then work together to crowd-source an illustrated story before workign independently to create their own books.

no materials fee

Workshop Fees

We lead up to four workshops as part of a day-long school visit ($2,500 plus travel and lodging).

We’re happy to work with Title One schools to provide programming that unlocks eligibility for Parent and Family Engagement Funds.

VIRTUAL VISITS

Any of our assemblies and a few of our workshops are available virtually—whether we’re presenting to individual students, to classrooms, or to a larger group. We have a professional home studio setup and hundreds of hours of experience in front of the camera. Having two of us helps keep virtual presentations lively, engaging, and interactive.

Virtual Visit Fees

Costs vary based on the number and type of programs included in the “visit.” Inquire to discuss options and request a quote.

TALKS

Give us two mics and we’ll tell you what we’ve learned across 20 years of creative collaboration—from running small presses to working with major publishers to living in a school bus on a yearlong literacy tour. Part information, part comedy show, we’re equally capable of inspiring college students, energizing a workplace, or creating conference buzz.

The Accidental Entrepreneurs

high school, college, and beyond

How does a children’s book get made? Are there times when the best business plan is to forget the bottom line? Can questionable decisions made with best intentions yield positive results? Is it possible to be rejected by more graduate schools than you apply to? Can reckless childhood dreams become reality? And can Spider-Man help? In this densely illustrated, lighthearted, and candid presentation, we talk about our unlikely journey from homely adolescents to communications professionals to indie publishers to emerging voices in the kid lit world.

Topic of Your Choice

all ages

We’re happy to create a customized talk on a given theme or topic. Points of interest an expertise include: creative entrepreneurship, collaboration, self-publishing, building a creative life, working with one’s spouse, and balancing creativity and parenting.

Speaking Fees

Fees determined by context, plus travel and lodging. Let us know what you’re thinking and we’ll send you a quote.

SHORT-TERM RESIDENCIES

We offer multi-day residencies consisting of assemblies, workshops, critiques, classroom visits, and evening events—including programming for your faculty and middle and high school students, if desired. We’ll work with you to build a slate of programming that matches the needs of your school community.

Residency Fees

$2,500 per day, plus travel and lodging.

Testimonials

“Simply put, one of the best author/illustrator presentations in YEARS. I loved it, the kids loved it. It was personable and relatable, timed out well and piqued the interest of the audience. I welcome them to be our visiting authors for the next few years even, to build a rapport with our community.”

—Theresa Booz

Second Grade Teacher,
New Eagle Elementary

“One of the unforeseen joys of hosting Robbi and Matthew, illustrator and author, wife and husband is watching them work together and their openness about their creative and family lives.”

—Sue Dahlstrom

Librarian,
Wayne Elementary

“We were mesmerized by Robbi’s and Matthew’s energy and inspired by their ingenuity. My students left the presentation believing that they too, could become authors and illustrators. I truly saw a boost in class morale, as well as students’ self-esteem and positive mindset as a result of Robbi and Matthew’s visit. We could not be more thankful!”

—Haley Smith

Second Grade Teacher,
H.H. Garnet Elementary

“For a presentation so entertaining that the kids don’t even realize that they are learning, I strongly recommend Robbi & Matthew!”

—”Mr. Steve” Fowler

Youth Services Librarian,
Bellingham Public Library

“Frankly, I’m star-struck. It all started when Robbi and Matthew gave a workshop for my program a few years back. They were engaging and funny. The students loved them! I think I love them, too!”

—Whitney Sherman

Illustrator & Director,
MFA in Illustration Practice,
Maryland Institute College of Art

References available upon request.