Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Speaker Profile - Dianne White


Region: Arizona
Age Levels: 5-10 and 11-13
Will Travel: Anywhere in the world
Skype Visit: Yes
SCBWI Profile: Member Profile
Speaker Email:

After almost twenty-five years in education, I moved to the suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona, and now write full-time. My teaching, reading, and writing eventually led to a master's degree in Language and Literacy, and later, an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. My first picture book, Blue on Blue, illustrated by Caldecott award-winning artist, Beth Krommes, was published by Beach Lane Books (S&S) in December 2014.

Presentation Description:

I’m delighted to visit schools and events as an author, speaking either to large assembly-sized or smaller class or grade-level groups. As a former teacher, my favorite subjects were reading and writing. I loved poetry, too, and wanted kids to find delight in words and the sounds of language as much I did! I now write full-time, but still enjoy sharing my love of books and poetry with students. Inspiring and encouraging young readers and writers is some of the most important work I do.                                                                                                               

My presentations are tailored to meet the goals of your school. Assemblies last from 30 to 45 minutes and include a digital slide presentation, student participation, and props. The most effective groupings for assemblies are K-2, 3-4, and 5-6, though every school has its own requirements and I can adapt to any grouping. Small group writing workshops or “Meet the Author” sessions can last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and can be tailored to meet your needs.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Below is a sampling of the types of presentations I’ve done in the past:

Poem-Making: In this hands-on workshop, we’ll talk about some of the specific features of poetry and look at a collection of poems about a single subject. We’ll collect words and compose out-loud. After a group poetry-writing session, students will begin to write (and share) their own poems. (Grades K-6)

The Extraordinary Ordinary: In this hands-on workshop, I’ll talk about the importance of observation as a “way in” to writing a poem. We’ll consider a handful of poems, noticing how the poet describes each subject in a fresh way. Then, we’ll study a photo of a familiar creature (a bee or dragonfly, for example) and collect words, looking with a poet’s eye to see how the extraordinary often hides within the familiar. We’ll begin a class poem together and lead students to write their own. (Grades K-6)

Behind-the-Scenes: In this class or multi-class presentation, I’ll talk about my life as a writer and give a candid look inside the creative process from story spark to draft, revision to publication. I’ll share an editor’s revision notes, an illustrator’s preliminary sketch “dummy,” initial color proofs, and we’ll have a look at the artistic collaboration of author, illustrator, editor, and art director.

Piecing a Story Puzzle: In this hands-on workshop, students will learn about the elements of a good story: character and setting, problem and solution, story arc, and the use of appropriate, specific details. We’ll share a mentor text and identify the story elements. Students will then innovate on the example to create their own story. Kindergarten and 1st grade students will write a group story. 2nd and 3rd graders will write their own. (Grades K-3) 

Video of Presentation: