I love visiting middle schools, high schools, universities, and libraries. There’s nothing better than chatting with readers and writers of all ages. As a former high school English teacher and university writing instructor, I often find myself missing classroom interaction, and these visits give me the perfect opportunity to reconnect with students.
I offer a variety of presentations and will do my best to adapt to your particular needs.
For more details or to book a visit, please email me.
—Jason Stephenson, English Teacher
—Calypso Gilstrap, Teacher/Librarian
—Rachel Emmalee Monthie, Student
Examples of Presentations
A presentation on how I became a writer, where I get my ideas, and exactly what publishing entails from an author’s point of view. (5th grade—adult)
A review of the strategies I’ve used for research, character development, story planning, and revision. Planners and “pantsers” alike will come away from this session with an arsenal of tactics for avoiding and/or breaking through writer’s block. (9th grade—adult)
“Writing Horror with Heart”
This presentation introduces the classic elements of horror and offers tips on creating characters and conflicts that engage readers’ emotions. (9th grade—adult)
“Building the Perfect Monster”
A well-crafted monster is essential to any good horror story. In this session we’ll review types of monsters, their goals, and ways to maximize their capacity for terror and mayhem. Because the effectiveness of a monster is closely tied to the motivations, strengths, and weaknesses of your protagonist, we’ll also spend time discussing complex (and flawed) heroes and heroines. (9th grade—adult)
“How to Build a Horror Hero”
It’s time to build our horror protagonist—one who is strong and sympathetic but must overcome flaws and fears in order to succeed. We’ll review types of heroes and monsters, so be prepared to discuss your favorite examples from novels, TV, and fiction. (9th grade to adult)
$600 per day for a maximum of 5 class periods. Please email to discuss your needs in more detail, particularly if you are a public librarian inquiring about a shorter session. If your school or library is outside of the Oklahoma City metro area, travel and hotel expenses must be provided.
If your budget doesn’t allow for an in-person visit, how about a Zoom session? I will visit with your class or library group at no charge for up to 30 minutes. Let me know if you’d prefer a longer Zoom visit and we can arrange terms.
“The value of Sonia’s presentation does not come from a lecture or lesson that she merely tells to the audience. It truly comes from her engagement and interest in seeing the students buy into their own stories by asking the right questions and searching for the answers. My favorite part of Sonia’s presentation was seeing even my shy students engage with her about their works and their excitement when they developed a new idea with Sonia’s help.”
—Aaron Smith, Creative Writing, Journalism teacher at Highland Park High School, Dallas, TX
“With wit and charm Sonia not only entertained my creative writing students, but she also pushed them to deepen their craft.”
—Jason Stephenson, English teacher at Deer Creek High School, Edmond, OK
“We would give a glowing recommendation for Ms. Gensler’s author services. Norman High School has hosted her for both an author visit and a writer’s workshop — both have been successful. She is a great speaker, engages with the audience, well prepared, and willing to meet the needs of our students. Without a doubt, we will be asking Sonia Gensler to return!”
—Calypso Gilstrap, National Board Certified Teacher/Librarian at Norman High School, Norman, OK
“Sonia Gensler not only told her story of how she became a writer and where her stories come from, but she was interested in the stories of her audience. The students left feeling like they have a voice and each have an interesting story bubbling inside them just waiting to be written.”
—Theresa Kluge, Librarian at Choctaw High School, Choctaw, OK
“You’re an absolute inspiration. You’ve renewed my faith in myself to be a writer after seeing you at my school yesterday. Thank you so much.”
—Rachel Emmalee Monthie, student at Choctaw High School, Choctaw, OK
“It made me extremely happy inside to see other highschoolers motivated to write so much, and I think many of us had epiphanies today during the workshop that will help us succeed in the areas of literature and realize our dreams as young writers . . . The three hours spent in the Library today felt like one hour of any other class.”
—Isaac Yates, student at Norman High School and president of the Norman High Novella Group, Norman, OK
“Sonia Gensler is engaging, insightful and joyful about reading and writing. She held the attention of 85 high school students as she read from The Revenant and answered their questions. I highly recommend her school author visits! To quote one student: ‘That was soo cool! I’ve always wanted to meet a real author.'”
—Tracy Landry, Librarian at Nashoba Regional High School, Bolton, MA [Skype visit]