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School and library visits

One of my favourite things to do is to visit schools, preschools and libraries. You can book me to visit your school through the NZ Book Council or book me directly.

When I visit your school or library, my goal is to excite children and young people about reading and writing. I build a fast rapport with students by giving an inspirational talk filled with personal anecdotes. I also give tips on how to write and share my own writing process. I love Q&A sessions and I'll happily answer questions all day (if required!).

What I offer

I have a wide range of writing experience to speak to students about (please visit my About page to find out more), so I'm able to discuss many matters relating to reading and writing. If you have specific topics in mind, I will happily personalise my visit to suit your requirements. I also enjoy leading creative writing workshops with children and youth, so that's another option to consider for your students. Workshops can be as short as one hour, or can last the whole day if you wish. 

If you book me for a one-day visit we can cover a lot of ground. A visit to a Primary School may consist of a 30 minute talk to New Entrance students, 30-40 minutes with Year 1 & 2, 60 minutes with Year 3 & 4, 60 minutes with Year 5 & 6, followed by a workshop in the afternoon for a select group of students. A visit to an Intermediate or Secondary School may include a mix of workshops and talks to various groups throughout the day. Visits to preschools generally run for about an hour and include a book talk and colouring in. Library visits tend to run for an hour plus, depending on whether I'm also running a creative writing workshop. I have extensive experience working with all ages and will tailor-make an experience to suit your needs. So let's talk, and work together to create a great day!

"It was great meeting Donna – in fact better than great! She had an incredible impact on the students. Let’s walk back a bit with the setting – she came into a low decile school and she captured my students’ minds! They loved it – they went on and on about it. They wrote like they were Donna possessed today!" Sally Wilson, Principal, Raurimu Avenue School


I'll happily travel anywhere in New Zealand but I charge for travel (petrol or flights) and accommodation expenses (if overnighting) for visits further than 100 km from Whangarei. Many of the schools and communities I work with, which lie further afield, find it cost effective to team up with other schools to share costs. Alternatively they find a sponsor for the event or ask students to contribute a gold coin donation, as they do for other speakers.

I charge schools $250 for a half day (9 am - 12 noon) or $350 for a full day (9 am - 3 pm). A preschool visit costs $80. Visits to libraries differ, depending on what is required. For example library talks are free, if I'm able to also run a creative writing workshop to fund the event. 

Speaking engagements

I enjoy speaking to community groups, at fundraisers, and at corporate and industry events about my work, the writing process, and many facets of the publishing industry. In addition to this, I am also available to teach half-day, day-long and multi-day intensive workshops relating to formal and creative writing, authorship, and the publishing process (fiction and non-fiction, media, business and social). Compensation varies on the nature of the event, the topic and the audience. Please email me and outline what you have in mind.