Visits & Programs

Write the Story Only You Can Tell

In each of us, there are stories waiting to be told. In this session, kids hear about my journey to publication and how my life informs the stories I create. They receive tips on mining their lives for ideas, using their senses to fill stories with meaningful detail and showing instead of telling. Readings and Q&A are part of this inspiring program.

Drumbeat for Change

In this interactive presentation, students hear the history behind several of my picture books, learn that kids throughout history have been agents of change and that the power to create change lives in them too. During the program, students will participate in readings and a call and response in the poem, Drumbeat for Change, included in the acclaimed anthology, We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices.

Dream and Do

In this multimedia program, students learn how kids passed along Lift Every Voice and Sing, the song that became known as the Black National Anthem, and the childhood paths that led architect Philip Freelon and ballerina Misty Copeland to realizing their dreams. They will gain insight into the process of turning an idea into a finished book and receive encouragement to dream big and believe they can make their aspirations come true.

Mine Your Life For Story Gold: Writing Residency

In this five-day residency, I teach students that moments and memories offer inspiration for personal narratives. Through writing and discussion, students learn how to infuse their work with heart, meaning, cohesion and sensory detail. Through lessons on revision, they gain skills in strengthening and polishing their pieces and giving constructive feedback to peers. The last day features readings and a celebration of the story or poem each has written.


I offer Zoom visits. Please contact me at for information and fees.

Custom Workshops for Kids

I can customize presentations or workshops for your class, library, community group, book club or church. I enjoy exploring history, celebrating family relationships and giving kids and adults tips on writing stories from the heart.

2023-2024 Fees

Please contact me at for information on scheduling and fees. You can also reach out to my booking agent, Carmen Oliver, at

Book Orders

If you’d like signed copies of my books, you can order them through Quail Ridge Books and Music – 919-828-1588. Let them know how many copies you want and how you’d like them personalized.

If you would like to order directly from the publisher for Sing a SongEllen’s BroomTea Cakes for ToshHope’s Gift or the Jada Jones chapter book series, call Penguin’s Author Appearance Order Processing Department at 866-206-5865. Schools and libraries are eligible for a 40% discount and the books are returnable.

To order directly from the publisher for One Million Men and Me and NEATE: Eddie’s Ordeal, call  or email Just Us Books Director of Sales, Willie Hudson at 973-672-7701 or

You can also purchase copies of my books through online booksellers such as,, and

Celebrating the launch of One Million Men and Me, Kelly signs posters and books at Just Us Books’ booth at BookExpo America. Photo by Stephan Hudson/2nd Chapter
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