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.


“Kelly’s visit to our elementary school was amazing!  All students, from kindergarten through 5th grade enjoyed hearing her give writing tips, sharing her stories, and answering questions.  She was engaging and really catered her presentations to the various grade levels.  Her books were flying off the library shelves and, days later, students and teachers are still talking about what a great author visit it was.  We have some lifelong Kelly Starling Lyons’ fans at our school now!” – Kristin Davis, Robinson Elementary Library Media Specialist

“Dynamic. I took 303 pics and videos, but nothing captures the day like a live in-person day of presentations with a prolific author of 30+ books, who captivated the kindergarteners with a read aloud about STEM, charmed the second and third graders with chapter books featuring Miles Lewis and Jada Jones, stars of their own individual series, and enthralled the upper class fourth graders with a biography of an engineer, and then tugged at their heartstrings by singing the historically significant anthem, ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing.’

Teachers complimented her ability to keep hold of six-year-old first graders with the Ty’s Travels adventures for 45 minutes! Teachers complimented her ability to recite her entire book from memory in a nod to her storytelling brilliance. She sang, she recited, she casually connected to entire grade levels as if she were talking to small group. We autographed more books during her author visit than any time during my career as an elementary school librarian.

She seamlessly weaves in history for every audience member to understand. Her PowerPoint presentations are crafted to every audience, with artful call-and-response read-aloud for kindergarteners, brilliant recitations of her early chapter books with first graders, master class instruction on the art and science of writing. She’s an awesome collaborator and her appeal is broad. She’s simply the best.” – Brahin Tabb, Penn Wynne Elementary Librarian

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 or Miles Lewis 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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