Despite the fact that I spend most of my day in my little office cave, wrestling with the words in my head, I do like talking to people. Honestly! Especially the younger ones. I've visited schools across the country, and I detail each step of the writing process with grade-appropriate examples. Covering both fiction and nonfiction, I stress the idea that the same process applies whether you're writing a one-paragraph news article or a full book. And I try to be funny. Usually these attempts are successful.

There is a significant STEM component to all my presentations, which feature technology-related photos and artwork from articles I've worked on, plus marked-up manuscript pages from novels, outlines and early notes from my books, and more. The kids generally perk up when flying cars and Iron Man robots flash up on screen, but the overall goal is to explore the writing process in an entertaining, memorable way.

Some recent comments:

"Fantastic. So engaging. He really knew how to grab 10-11 year olds...Great lesson in explaining the importance of planning, editing, and revising." - Hingham, MA Elementary School

"The students were very engaged...they were eager to continue the writing started with Mr. Mone." - 5th grade teacher, Marshfield, MA 

Writing as Revising - Large Group Presentation

The talk for large groups (cafeterias, gyms, auditoriums, fields, spaceships, etc.) begins with a focus on science and technology journalism before turning to fiction. At the start I review some of the wilder stories I've written over the years for magazines like Popular Science and Discover. I stress the importance of becoming an expert in whatever subject you write about, whether it’s brain surgery, flying cars, surfing, or family history. Then I talk the students through the entire process of writing a book, from the initial idea through the planning, the creative writing, the revisions, and on to the finished work. This talk is forty to fifty minutes long, and designed to entertain, educate, and inspire. I can also condense the entire presentation to 30 minutes, and not merely by talking faster.

Classroom Talks


For smaller classes (roughly 30 students), I generally deliver a modified version of the fiction presentation described above, tailored to either Dangerous Waters or Fish. I focus on the same major themes – becoming an expert and the importance of revising – but engage the kids more with direct questions and discussions, and hone in on several lines, paragraphs, and characters in my books, and how they evolved through revision.

Science Writing:

In these workshops we discuss the challenges and rewards of telling stories about science. We can look at the scientific method through particular case studies, conduct brainstorming workshops on the challenges of traveling to and then surviving on Mars, or discuss the challenges, rules, and rewards of writing great nonfiction in the context of my forthcoming book on plastic bottles.  

Writing Workshops

Revising the Writer

We completely tear apart and reconstruct The Adventures of Super Q, a story I created in seventh grade. We start with the big picture, then zoom in and run through exercises that give the students a deeper understanding of voice, sentence structure and fluency, word choice, and more. This is a great way to show kids what revision actually looks like on the page, and how to make a mediocre story shine. The exercises change based on the grade.

"Greg made revising fun which is a huge help to our work as teachers....a wonderful learning experience!" - 5th Grade teacher, Essex, MA

Treasure Hunting

Working both as a group and independently, we write a scene from a treasure hunting story set in a familiar place, such as the school gym. The students collect sensory details on the setting in question before class. We then use those details to bring the scene to life. This is a great exercise for showing kids the entire writing process; we outline, draft, and revise the scene in a single hour. It's intense, but fun.

Spark to Story

As an author-in-residence, I work with classes to conceive a story as group on the first day. On the second day, we plan out the story and details. Then I run home, or back to my hotel, and write it, and on the final day we read, review, and revise the quasi-finished piece. The students become a part of the process, yet they also feel like they own the finished story. The sketch on the left is from the brainstorming phase with a group of first graders.  More detailed examples, including a PDF of a few of the finished products, are available upon request. 

Rates and Schedule

For references, fees and schedule, please contact the wonderful and very friendly Janet Zade, founder of Zade Educational Partners. She's here:

Janet Zade
Zade Educational Partners 
33 Talbot Rd
Hingham, MA 02043

And thank you for your interest!