School and Event Visits
Every single job I’ve had centers around words and stories–from teaching ninth-grade English, to reporting and editing for publications from Rolling Stone to the Washington Post, to writing award-winning, middle-grade fiction. I love stories for their power to inform and transform us, young people most of all. Writing is hard, but as I like to tell kids when I visit, it’s the caring part and the perseverance that make you a writer.
“Katherine Marsh’s presentation about the book and her writing process was highly engaging, and a student survey showed just how much they loved her visit. She gets middle-schoolers and I can’t recommend her books and programming enough!”
–Bill Antonitis, ELA Department Supervisor, Henry James Memorial Middle School, Simsbury, CT
THE LOST YEAR
My 45-minute visual and oral presentation introduces students to Ukraine’s twentieth-century history—including Holodomor, or the man-made famine of 1932-33 that killed millions in Ukraine–as well as my own intertwined family story, providing valuable context for current day events. As a journalist, I also discuss the topics of disinformation and media literacy, then and now, as well as the question of how history is made and who gets to make it. The covid pandemic, coping, and resilience are also part of the discussion. Finally, I share some writing advice and always leave time for Q&A. Best suited for grades 5-8
My 45-minute presentation takes students on a visual and cultural journey to Belgium, where I lived for three years with my family and where Nowhere Boy is set. It introduces them to the history and current events that have shaped and continue to shape modern-day Europe, as well as the United States. Chief among these are the global refugee crisis and the challenges and opportunities of immigration. My presentation also engages students with moral and ethical questions including how we should treat people different from ourselves and what is heroism. Finally, I share some writing advice and always leave time for Q&A. Best suited for grades 5-8
MEDUSA: THE MYTH OF MONSTERS (Coming February 20, 2024)
My presentation will give students a fresh look at familiar mythology through the story of Ava, who is sent to a boarding school for the descendants of Ancient Greek and Roman monsters. By revisiting the myth of Ava’s descendant, the fearsome gorgon Medusa, we’ll explore how societies use myths and folklore to reinforce their own power structures and stereotypes, including of women and girls. We’ll also explore how conceptions of heroes and monsters can change over time, as well as ways to reinterpret and reimagine these wonderful ancient stories and characters for the modern age. Best suited for grades 3-8
KEEPER OF THE STORY/ LOST YEAR WRITING WORKSHOP
In my 45-minute writing workshop, we discuss oral history and family stories. I share a short one of my own and we discuss how to choose moments and details to build emotion and make a story satisfying. Then the students follow in my character Matthew’s footsteps and become a “keeper of a story” by writing a family story of their own. As we read through student stories, I help them create a list of writing tips and techniques to use as they revise. Best suited for grades 5-8
LOST YEAR HISTORY AND MEDIA LITERACY WORKSHOP
In this 45-minute writing workshop, I introduce students to the 20th century history of Ukraine (as well as the Russian and Soviet empires) as context for the Holodomor or the Ukrainian famine of 1932-33. Using primary source documents, students will explore Western reporting about Holodomor and the role of disinformation in shaping our understanding of history. Finally, as a professional journalist, I’ll lead students through essential tips for media literacy then and now.
Best suited for grades 6-8
For rates and availability, contact How Now Booking: www.hownowbooking.com and click on “Book a Speaker.”
Click here for teachers’ guides to my books prepared by expert educators.
I give discounts to Title One Schools as well as schools in the same area that book me for three or more consecutive days!
I have also presented at numerous conferences and book festivals including the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE); Los Angeles Times Festival of Books; Miami Book Festival; AJC Decatur Book Festival; Tweens Read (Houston, TX); All Pikes Peak Read (Colorado Springs, CO); Harbor Springs Festival of the Book (Harbor Springs; MI) BYU Books for Young Readers Symposium (Provo, UT); and Gaithersburg Book Festival. English and History teachers, I will also be presenting in fall 2023 at the NCTE and NCSS conferences.