Writing Workshops & Book Presentations

Kris regularly speaks at writing conferences, schools, and business events. She has taught workshops for Fortune 500 companies, military commands, and university groups, and she has given talks to from small book clubs to standing-room only audiences at public events.  Some of her favorites writing workshops and presentations include:


When we think about grammar, often we think of the dry instruction we received in school or the intimidating jargon we never quite learned. But strong grammar is essential to powerful communication, no matter the form or genre. “Grammartopia” is a game-show style panel, where three to twelve contestants battle it out for grammar prowess in this entertaining and educational program. What was the punctuation mark first found in graffiti of ancient Pompeii? A member of what boy band once left the stage mid-concert to correct a fan’s sign?  Should we “flesh out” or “flush out” an idea? Prizes for winners and audience members include book edits, professional development workshops, free books, and more.

“Words Matter” Events

Now, more than ever, knowing how to express yourself well is essential. Being thoughtful with what comes out of your mouth or emerges from your keyboard matters. For this program, I work with partners, including local wordsmiths and thought leaders to share why #WordsMatter every single day. This conversation is so much bigger than my new writing resource book, Get a Grip on Your Grammar. It is a conversation that cannot be ignored. (Check out details for “Words Matter, RVA” held on June 1, 2017 to see what this event can look like.)

“Secrets of Process-Driven Editing” Workshop

Yes, there can be a method to the editing madness. Having a revision strategy in place and clearly defined goals can bring your manuscript draft from average to awesome if you’re ready to put in the effort. Don’t skip the necessary steps that allow your project to become what you’ve always envisioned it could be. In this workshop, attendees learn how to rethink their editing processes, dividing it into three stages. All will walk away with macro-editing goalposts and techniques, micro-editing cheat-sheets and strategies, proofreading tactics to put to use right away, and the knowledge that self-editing is an essential tool in every successful writer’s toolbelt.

“Find & Replace – Editing Secrets” Workshop

Just like any other piece of the writing process, editing is a craft to be learned. So often the best of stories are held back not by the author’s creativity but by common typos, cliché phrasings, and vague descriptions that don’t hook the reader as much as they could. How can an opening go beyond what readers have seen before? How can a writer think past smiles, nods, and glances? How can a simple interaction come alive? In this workshop, attendees will have the opportunity to brainstorm weak story examples together and will be given a “cheat sheet” to bring their writing to the next level using Kris’s favorite editing technique.

“Using Your Words Well” Workshop

Whether it’s creative, assigned, or conversational, we use written communications every day, but are we always making the most of our squiggles of ink (digital or otherwise)?This workshop will address writing for different audiences and the word choice we use in a playful discussion, followed by some hands-on writing time-which can be catered to student, professional, or creative writers.

“Elevating Your Email Communications” Workshop

Language matters. Making every word count is crucial. Writing is not just about putting down ideas. It’s about targeting language to a specific audience, writing clearly and concisely so that you know your message will be heard. Emails are designed for quick communication, but these correspondences need to be crafted as articulately and as carefully as any other business publication. Simple typos, informalities, or confusing language can lower the esteem of the entire company for the client or customer on the receiving end. Are you ready for your language to connect with your audiences more powerfully?

“Changing the World One Word at a Time” Presentation

There are more people writing today than ever before in human history. We use language effectively to communicate personally and professionally, and getting it right matters. After all, what is more important than connecting with other humans—across the office and across the world—through our language? Those concerned about the state of writing today will be shocked to learn that the first known use of “OMG” was in a 1917 letter to Winston Churchill, and an argument can be made that connects modern-day emoji and Egyptian hieroglyphs. In Kris’s presentation, “Changing the World One Word at a Time,” she will share the fascinating history of the English language, everyday strategies for elevating our communications, and where writing may be headed in the future.

Baba Yaga: Witch, Godmother, Feminist

Every culture has stories about witches, but Baba Yaga is so much more than just a witch. She may grant your wish or eat you for supper. She might imprison you within the gates of her fence made of human bones, or she might give you the power to create your own destiny. Living in a hut that stands on chicken legs deep in the woods, flying through the skies in a mortar and pestle, Baba Yaga is a complicated icon of fear and female identity itself.

This presentation is ideal for book clubs and university settings, and can easily be paired with Kris’s new novel, Nesting Dolls, publishing details coming soon…

Unraveling Wonderland: The Hidden Secrets of Lewis Carroll’s Alice Books

So often considered simply “nonsense,” Lewis Carroll’s famous children’s books are actually much more thoughtful than most readers ever notice.Steeped in allegories and philosophical examination, Charles Dodgson (writing as Lewis Carroll) explores complex subjects such as identity, politics, education, social norms and etiquette, and more–if we only take the time to look. His questions about the world we live in are as relevant today as ever.

This presentation is ideal for book clubs and university settings, and it can easily be paired with Kris’s new literary suspense novel, We’re All Mad Here, publishing details coming soon…

Web Writing & Author Website Workshops

Kris also offers workshops on a variety of web writing topics, through the other hat she wears as co-founder and Director of Creative Strategy at Midlothian Web Solutions.

  • Author Website Essentials
  • Writing for SEO
  • Power Blogging
  • Email Newsletter Strategy