Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Speaker Profile - Verla Kay


Region: Inland Northwest
Age Levels: 5-10, 11-13, and 14-17
Will Travel: Anywhere in the world
Skype Visit: Yes
SCBWI Profile: Member Profile
Speaker Email:

Verla Kay writes historical picture books in a special kind of poetry she calls cryptic rhyme. She has sold a total of eleven picture books. All of her books have received recognition, including "Tattered Sails, which was named a "Child's Best Book of the Year" by Child Magazine. The text from “Covered Wagons, Bumpy Trails” is in a 2nd grade social studies program in schools. Verla’s book, “Rough, Tough Charley,” is on the 2008 Amelia Bloomer Project list of recommended feminist literature for young readers. “Whatever Happened to the Pony Express?", “Hornbooks & Inkwells,” and "Civil War Drummer Boy" are her three newest books. Verla Kay's message board has become almost an "icon" in the children's publishing world as "the" place on the internet for writers and illustrators of children's literature to gather and share information with each other. It was acquired in 2013 by SCBWI and now, still run by Verla and her extremely dedicated team of Administrators and Moderators, it is part of SCBWI's fabulous website. Besides writing award-winning picture books, Verla is a former instructor for the Institute of Children’s Literature. She taught the basic “How to Write for Children” course. Since retiring from ICL in 2009, she has been concentrating on her own writing and what she loves best -- doing author talks at schools and conferences! Verla lives part of the year in eastern Washington and the rest of the year in Yuma, Arizona.

Presentation Description:
Verla Kay gives dynamic powerpoint presentations in person at grammar schools, conferences and other events. She wears a colonial costume to heighten interest in history when speaking to young children at schools. Her presentations inspire children to write and helps them discover how interesting history can be. When she speaks at conferences and other events for older children and adults, she imparts enthusiasm, dedication and a lot of down-to-earth helpful information for aspiring and experienced writers. Verla Kay loves giving presentations!