Jessica Lanan
Author Visits
Photograph of Jessica Lanan reading a copy of 'The Fisherman and the Whale' at a story time event

COVID-19 update: Due to the pandemic, I'm offering virtual school visits until further notice. More info below!

I’m available for author visits to your school or library. My interactive presentations offer a behind-the-scenes look at the process behind picture book creation and inspire kids to follow their curiosity and passions. Most of my books are geared for the K-3 age group, but the presentations can be tailored to older students as well (especially for my nonfiction books like JUST RIGHT which tie in nicely with Common Core curricula.) I am also happy to do career-oriented presentations for the older set. Read on to learn more about available presentation topics and structure, speaking fees and booking information.

Looking for curriculum guides and storytime resources? Click here to see all the free downloads.

School Visit Presentations

All presentations begin with a brief introduction where I show childhood drawings and the early sparks of inspiration that led to a career as an author and illustrator. Then I dive into the process behind my writing and illustrating, from research to revision to production and, finally, the finished product. Along the way I include photos, video clips, anecdotes and interactive activities to keep the students engaged. The presentation runs 30-40 minutes, which leaves approximately 15 minutes for questions and a drawing demonstration.

Hosting a visit

Email me at for information about event availability and fees. Your local bookstore can help handle book orders and sales. (I recommend Tattered Cover, Second Star to the Right and Boulder Bookstore to name a few local options.) For in-person events, I bring my presentation either as a PowerPoint file on a flash drive or Google Slides presentation available online. I’ll need a computer, projector, and screen, and a microphone for large spaces. Speakers for sound are helpful but not essential.


The program can be tailored to fit your group's interests and curriculum. Here are just a few ideas:
  • Searching for Exoplanets. (Just Right: Searching for the Goldilocks Planet) In Discover the planets orbiting distant stars and find out how illustrations can make a complicated topic easier to understand. Works with our free STEM astronomy activities, available here.
  • Wordless Storytelling. (The Fisherman and the Whale) How do you tell a story without any words? Your students can help tell the story themselves--and explore all different types of storytelling.
  • Bringing the Past to Life. (Finding Narnia: The Story of C.S. Lewis and his Brother) The past wasn’t colorless and static like a black-and-white photograph. In this presentation I share the process of bringing the past to life and all the research that goes on behind the scenes.
  • Learning Beyond the Classroom. (Out of School and Into Nature) Learn about the education pioneer Anna Comstock and about how even for a picture book illustrator it's important to get out in nature and study the world around you.