Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Speaker Profile - Joseph Harvey


Region: Pennsylvania: East
Age Levels: 11-13 and 14-17
Will Travel: Anywhere in my country
Skype Visit: Yes
SCBWI Profile: Member Profile
Speaker Email:

Joe Harvey is a writer, musician, and teacher. His first novel, for middle-grade kids, From Blue Ground, was published in 2015 by Sunbury Press. He has two upcoming novels for 2018, a coming of age story for Young Adults called Summer Changes Everything and a suspense-filled middle-grade novel called If We're Really Quiet, It Won't Find Us, the first book in a series called Famous Last Words Joe received a Bachelor of Science from Millersville University and a Master of Education from DeSales University.  He currently teaches English in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.  Joe holds a Master of Arts from West Chester University and has conducted historical research in the field of musicology, identifying a lost symphony by the mid-nineteenth century American composer William Henry Fry. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Kara. They have two children.  Besides writing, Joe loves to read, play the guitar, watch the IronPigs, and root for the Phillies.

Presentation Description:
Please contact me about scheduling an author visit to your school, book club, store, or event! I am willing to make presentations on a wide range of topics from the basics of historical research and the writing process to the nuts and bolts of seeing an idea through to publication. Examples of presentations are detailed below. I will tailor or combine any of these presentations to meet the needs of your particular group and age level. Presentations generally last from 45 minutes to an hour and are suitable for grades 4 through 12. Upper Elementary and Middle School Students For students in fourth through eighth grade, I have two presentations dealing with the writing and publication process, and how writing is both an art and a business. Balancing Clarity and Creativity: The first presentation examines how writers use the five stages of the writing process to balance the creative impulse and the functional elements of storytelling. Using examples from my personal drafts, manuscripts, notes, and research, the students will come to a better understanding of the importance of revising and editing in storytelling. Concrete examples will illustrate how manuscripts can be revised both at the sentence and structural levels. Students will gain a better understanding of how the writing process is an artistic conversation between the writer and the reader. The Art and Business of Writing: From Idea to Publication: The second presentation examines how each book starts with an idea and blossoms into a finished work. The presentation examines each aspect of the publication process from submitting a manuscript, to working with an editor, cover artist, production designer, and publicist. Various cover and book designs are examined and discussed to illustrate how each person in the process is vital to the success of a book. Special emphasis is placed on the author as an artist and how important it is to believe in yourself and take ownership of your art to ensure your ultimate vision is realized. High School History and English Classes For high school students, I have two presentations that focus on the two aspects of historical fiction. Both use examples from my young adult historical novel From Blue Ground. The Lens of Historical Perspective: The first presentation examines the historical underpinnings of the novel and surveys the rise of the Gilded Age in the United States in the 1870's. Using historical characters from the novel, the presentation focuses on how history is not always "black and white" and sometimes the heroes and villains change over time depending on perspective. Early industrialists and labor unions in Pennsylvania and the United States are investigated. Motive and Plot in Historical Narrative: The second presentation examines the intertwining elements of plot and character. The fictional element of historical fiction begins with one question: what if? This presentation investigates the origins of plot and character and how they are influenced by both a character's personal motives and the inevitable unfolding of historical events. Character motives and plot lines are analyzed from personal and historical perspectives.

Find out more information here.