Meet the Author!

I’d love to visit your school, library, or community group and share my passion for reading, writing, signing and all things literacy!  My book talks and writer’s workshops are known for being lively and interactive.   And of course, I’ll be happy to autograph books after the program.  Here is a sample of my current offerings:

Young Writers’ Workshops:

Gotcha! How to Find and Capture Great Writing Ideas: In this “how-to” workshop, Dawn discusses how to think like a writer by doing things like reading, remembering, watching and listening to the things going on around you.

Revision Rocks!: A workshop that explores some of the actual revisions Dawn made over time in her picture book, "The Nest Where I Like to Rest," (a 2011 Oregon Book Awards Finalist) and provides participants with an opportunity to suggest revisions to one of Dawn’s current works-in-progress.  

Your Pencil is Magic: A hands-on workshop that demonstrates how writing props and prompts can help you unlock the creative ideas hiding inside of you.  This workshop is based on a popular class Dawn teaches at the Oregon Writing Festival.

You’re a Poet and Didn’t Know It: How to Write Poetry When You Think You Can’t: In this workshop, Dawn shares a not-yet-published book about finding inspirations for poetry in nature, and facilitates age-appropriate poetry-writing exercises.

Write On! An Author’s Perspective on Why Writing is (Possibly) the Most Important Thing You’ll Ever Do”: In this workshop Dawn reads her book, "There's a Story in Your Head" and shares with students why she writes and some of the rich experiences she’s had in her life because she writes. The workshop (like the book) concludes with an invitation for students to get busy writing the stories that are in their own heads.

Anatomy of a Picture Book: An informational workshop that provides a behind-the-scenes look at how picture books are made and the opportunity to have an informal Q & A with a published children's author.

Parent/Educator Programs:

Our Hands Are Full: How To Enrich Your Learning Environment With Sign Language. Kids love American Sign Language (ASL), and a growing body of brain research illuminates the benefits of incorporating ASL into learning experiences for general and specialized student populations. In this fast-paced workshop, you’ll learn quick and easy tips for enriching your learning environment with ASL, and you’ll discover many literacy and behavior management benefits of incorporating ASL into interactions with hearing students of all ages. Click Here to get a sneak peek at some of the ideas you’ll learn.

Put Your Hands Together for Sign Language: An Enthusiastic Overview of the Benefits Associated with Signing with Infants, Toddlers and Young Children:  Incorporating American Sign Language into your communication with infants, toddlers and young children can provide a meaningful and lasting enrichment to your learning environment. Early exposure to sign language strengthens fine motor skills, boosts early literacy skills, and stimulates language development, and the list of benefits just keeps growing. In this fast-paced session, Dawn shares 22 reasons why she’s a passionate advocate for signing with infants, toddlers, and young children.

Read to Me: Hands-On Tips for Enriching Your Story Times: In this program, Dawn shares the National Research Council’s six recommended skills for preparing children to become readers by the time they are school-aged, and she demonstrates practical ideas for enriching circle times and lap times with songs, sign language and developmentally appropriate literacy/early literacy activities.

Sing, Sign & Story Time Parent and Professional In-Service: School-age kids view sign language as a secret code to unlock, preschoolers embrace signing with the same enthusiasm reserved for treasured finger plays, and many babies born today will learn to sign before they can talk.  In this fast-paced workshop participants will learn practical tips for incorporating American Sign Language into story times, and explore resources for ongoing learning and support.

Sign Language Beginner Basics for Early Literacy (and Fun!): In this fast-paced workshop, participants will learn the benefits and ease of incorporating American Sign Language (ASL) into daily activities with hearing children of all ages and a variety of practical techniques for using ASL as a tool to support routine transitions, improve behavior, and enrich literacy/early literacy activities.

Infant/Toddler Sign Language Beginner Basics: Join in for a fun, interactive introduction to Infant/Toddler Sign Language. Through songs and play, learn how to encourage preverbal babies to use signs to communicate. Participants will learn American Sign Language (ASL) signs for words and ideas that are important to babies and explore sign language resources that support additional learning. This fast-paced workshop is geared for parents, childcare providers, and educators who are eager to get started signing and for those who want a motivating refresher. (Available in “Quick Start” and “Expanded” formats. Multi-week programs that build on the foundation of this program are also available).

Story Time Programs:

Sing, Sign & Playtime!: A special story time for toddlers and preschool aged children focused on developing/strengthening early literacy skills through theme-based songs, stories, sign language, and signing games/activities.

Sing, Sign & Story Time: A special story time for preschool and early elementary aged children focused on developing/strengthening literacy/early literacy skills through theme-based songs, stories, sign language and signing games/activities.

Unlock the Secret Code of Sign Language: A story-based program for elementary aged children focused on developing/strengthening literacy skills through theme-based songs, stories, sign language, and signing games/activities.

Family Sign-a-Long: An all-ages story time program focused on developing/strengthening literacy/early literacy skills through theme-based songs, stories, sign language, and signing games/activities.

Family Story Time: A private story time for small groups, parties, and organizations that serve young families, including schools, PTOs, play groups, scout troops, and home school support groups. Can be combined with a Book Fair to act as a fundraiser for sponsoring group/organization.

Other Featured Programs:

Parent/Child Book Group Gatherings: Each one-hour session focuses on developing/strengthening literacy/early literacy skills through theme-based songs, stories, sign language, and signing games/activities. Each session focuses on different signs/themes to help participants build a sign language vocabulary and build practical skills for incorporating signs into daily activities and routines. Schedule as many session as you’d like on a weekly, monthly, or as-needed basis. Tuition is $20 (per family, per session), and it includes a copy of one book for each family. The host's tuition is waived if there are six or more guest families (unless the host wants a book, too, in which case the host pays only $10 per title.  If guests would like additional copies of any of the books (for birthday gifts, holiday gifts, etc), they can be purchased at $15 each, and the host family earns points that are good towards free books for each book purchased by their guests (these host points can be accumulated over multiple sessions). The host collects the tuition from each guest in advance; the class date is confirmed when payment for a minimum of five families is received.

Book Fair/Fund Raiser: An opportunity for parent groups, scout troops, childcare organizations, preschools, and elementary schools to earn free instructional services and/or raise money. Organizers can choose to receive 1) one hour of free instructional services for every three sets of books (24 books) that are purchased at the $19.95 school/library price 2) earn $4 for each book that is sold at the $19.95 school/library price, or 3) purchase books at the author-discounted price of $15/title.

Meet the Author (in person, via Skype/Facetime, or via Email): An opportunity to meet and have an informal Q & A with a published author.

Capture That Story: Dawn is currently in search of after-school groups, play groups, scout troops, church groups, etc., who would like to invite her for a complimentary author visit in exchange for capturing video footage of the visit to post on YouTube. Dawn would like to capture several videos of this nature. Likewise, Dawn would like to encourage groups to capture their own video footage of story time events involving books in her “Story Time with Signs & Rhymes” series so that these can be shared with other readers via YouTube. Dawn will provide a complimentary Skype/Facetime or Email Author visit with any group that shares a video of this nature that is suitable and available for upload to YouTube.

Customized Programs: The above listing summarizes Dawn’s most frequently requested programs. Dawn offers additional programs that may not be listed above, as well as customized programs to meet specific requests and client needs.  Please contact Dawn to learn about additional offerings and/or to begin planning your customized program.

Click Here for current rates and promotional offerings. Please contact Dawn with additional questions or to schedule a visit. 

For Writers

These are some of my favorite websites for children’s writers:

SCBWI-Oregon Chapter


The Purple Crayon

More Info

Click here to inquire about scheduling an author visit at your preschool, elementary school, library or community event.  Dawn also visits play groups, scout troops and book groups.

Catalog Page From Dawn’s Publisher

Dawn’s Bio

Dawn’s Photo

Link to Abdo Publishing Group’s Interviews with Dawn (scroll down past Stan Lee interview)

Return to SmallTalkLearning

Follow Dawn’s Blog

Find Dawn on Facebook

Just for Kids

Check out these fun signing sites just for kids!

Signing Time

ASL Rose


For Signers

These are some of my favorite online sign language dictionaries:


MSU Online Browser

Signing Savvy


Here are some helpful goodies from my publisher:

Link to Abdo Publishing Group’s Resource Page with ASL Glossaries, Story Time Activity Packets and ASL Event Guides ) (scroll down past Star Wars event info)