Watson, Stephanie

Contact info:

Lives in: Minneapolis, MN

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.stephanie-watson.com 

Author of:

Children’s Fiction, Picture Books, Middle Grade Fiction

Age Group: 0-12 years


Pencilvania (Sourcebooks, August 2021)

Best Friends in the Universe, illustrated by LeUyen Pham (Scholastic, 2018)
Starred review: https://www.slj.com/?reviewDetail=best-friends-in-the-universe

Behold! A Baby, illustrated by Joy Ang (Bloomsbury, 2015)

The Wee Hours, illustrated by Mary Grandpré (Disney-Hyperion, 2013)

Elvis & Olive: Super Detectives (Scholastic, 2010)

Elvis & Olive (Scholastic, 2008)

Book Awards:

Best Friends in the Universe, finalist for 2019 MN Book Award

Behold! A Baby, finalist for 2016 MN Book Award

Elvis & Olive and the sequel, Elvis & Olive: Super Detectives, both Junior Library Guild selections

Stephanie’s picture books include Best Friends in the Universe (illustrated by LeUyen Pham, a 2019 MN Book Award finalist), Behold! A Baby (a 2016 MN Book Award finalist, illustrated by Joy Ang) and The Wee Hours (illustrated by Mary GrandPré). She also authored the middle-grade novels Elvis and Olive and Elvis and Olive: Super Detectives, both Junior Library Guild selections. Her newest work is Pencilvania, a middle-grade novel (August 2021, Sourcebooks). Stephanie loves teaching writing workshops to children and adults at schools, libraries and the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. Learn more at www.stephanie-watson.com.


Classroom Presentations (Virtual or In-Person):

All writers rely on tools and tricks to help them create good stories. In this dynamic presentation, you’ll learn the 10 things that have helped me most as a writer. If you’re interested in becoming a writer, these things can help you, too!
Grade levels: 2 – 8
Group size: 30 – 1,000 students
Length: 45 – 60 min

To grab readers’ attention and keep them hooked till the last page, your story needs high stakes. In this workshop, we’ll do fun group activities and writing exercises to practice upping the ante.
Grade levels: 2 – 8
Group size: 30 – 60 students
Length: 45 – 60 min

Learn how Best Friends in the Universe was created, from initial brainstorm to finished book. In this highly visual presentation, I show each step of the process, including my rough drafts, editing the text, as well as Joy Ang’s initial sketches and final artwork. Followed by a Q&A.Grade levels: K – 8
Group size: 30 – 1,000 students
Length: 45 – 60 min

Do you ever sit down to start a story and find yourself staring at the blank page? Writing prompts, also known as story starters, can be a great way to get the ball rolling. As a group, we’ll create Story Jars–writing prompt tools that can remain in the classroom for future use.
Grade levels: 2 – 8
Group size: 30 – 60 students
Length: 45 – 60 min

Library Presentations (Virtual or In-Person):

My standard 30-minute presentation is designed for ages 0 – 5 (and their adults). Features Behold! A Baby and The Wee Hours, and includes interactive games, songs and puppets! Aligns with early literacy learning objectives, with elements that foster vocabulary, letter knowledge, phonological awareness, print motivation and numeracy.

In this highly visual talk for older kids (grades 3 – 8), we explore the writing and publishing process. I share images of my early drafts, my desk and illustrator sketches. I talk about how I create a book, from initial idea to finished product, and invite kids to consider creating their own stories. This type of presentation typically lasts 30 – 60 minutes.

Other Presentations (Virtual or In-Person):

I’d love to offer a writing workshop for adults in your community. These are typically one- to two-hour standalone sessions, but we can also do a series. You choose the focus: idea generation, character development, revision, or another writing topic. Each participant will leave the class with the beginnings of a brand new story!

I love sharing the story of my creative journey, and hope that audience members leave feeling inspired to exercise their creativity, too. To create a keynote address, I start by learning more about your organization and your goals for the day. I then craft my talk to suit your audience and preferred length (usually 30 – 60 minutes).

I’d be delighted to present at your upcoming book festival or fair. I’ve been a featured author at:
-The Festival of Children’s Literature at the Anderson Center in Redwing, MN
-The Twin Cities Book Festival
-The Alphabet Forest at the Minnesota State Fair
-LitFest at the Blake School in Minneapolis, MN
-St. Paul Saints games
-Rhythm & Words Festival in Burnsville, MN
I’d love to come celebrate with you, too!
*All presentations are available in person or virtually, via Zoom, Google Meet or Skype*

$200 for online presentation (30 – 60 minutes), $300 for in-person presentation in Twin Cities Metro Area; available for in-person visits outside of Twin Cities with addition of travel expenses