She presented an engaging project with a fascinating theme which we could all relate to, but understood that we had some things to learn. Lisa worked with us to complete a type of project that we had dreamed of for years but only accomplished now.
— Jonas Sterner, James Gettys Elementary School, Artist-in-Residence committee member
...your passion was evident and the kids were really tuned in. I loved how you interacted with the students when we were checking out their writing in the hallway. It meant the world to them!
— Molly Regis, Reading Specialist
I know the Barkley teachers understood and were grateful for your message regarding research. In fact, many teachers were taking notes regarding their own teaching practices! Your presentation piqued the interest and prompted further research about horseshoe crabs and their role in our ecosystem for many students!
— Carlee Hanebury, Elementary Reading Specialist
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School Visits, Artist-in-residence, and Other Programs

I offer a variety of programs for a wide range of ages. I will also consider modifying existing programs or developing new programs to meet your needs. Please contact me to talk about possibilities!

lisakschnell (at) 

CUrrent ProgramS—school visits:  

Behold the Humble Horseshoe Crab (pre-K-grade 8; 30-45 minutes; any size group)

Horseshoe crabs--those weird beach creatures I tried to ignore as a child—are fascinating animals that are critical to migrating shorebirds as well as local ecosystems. Human health and even the well-being of our pets depend on them. Curiosity, ecology, and geography come together as we focus on these incredible animals and touch on the process of writing about them, too.


Follow that Idea! (Grades K-8; 45-60 minutes; any size group)

I am often asked where I get my ideas. In this presentation, we’ll talk about finding ideas in the first place, and we’ll also explore tools writers use to develop an initial idea into a compelling project. I’ll use examples from my book High Tide for Horseshoe Crabs to look at how research, revision, field work and more can help turn an idea into an adventure. 


Make it Sing: Finding the Fun in Research and Revision (Grades 2-8; 45-60 minutes; up to 50 students)

A big part of a nonfiction author’s life is digging deep into a story. From science to biographical subjects, strong research skills bring a book to life. In this interactive program, we’ll mine primary sources, experience the joys of revision, and learn to listen to that quiet intuitive voice.



I love working with students on a longer-term basis and am available for writing and art residencies. I have project ideas available to share, but I'm open to other ideas, too. Please contact me to discuss plans for your students.


Science-focused Nonfiction Picture Books (For teachers and librarians; 45-60 minutes; any size group)

Science-focused nonfiction picture books convey fascinating facts, but they can also do so much more! In this program, we’ll consider specific ways these books invite readers to explore, observe, and ask questions. We’ll also look at how they can support creative writing and research projects, and can even serve as springboards for conversations about diversity.


My fee varies depending on distance and number of programs. I offer discounts to schools in my home area (southeastern Pennsylvania). I also offer discounts for multiple visits in one school district. For long-distance visits, I charge travel and accommodation costs.

Please contact me at lisakschnell (at) to schedule a visit!


Planning an author visit:

For more information about how you can make the most out of your time with a visiting author, check out these resources:

Tips for a great author visit from author Kim Norman.

Ten tips for a perfect author visit by Michael Shoulders.

Tips on hosting an author/illustrator visit from the Cooperative Children's Book Center


If you'd like to find other authors to speak to your group, take a look at these websites: 

Kim Norman's list of author school visits by state.

The Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) has a very helpful Speaker's Bureau search tool.