The following is a list of presentations that I love to give. Some of them I’ve already done several times in different forms. A couple are things I have not yet had the chance to do. If your organization would like me to present, please contact me sandra.tayler at Please be aware that I’m local in Orem, UT. In order to schedule an event more than an hour away, I’ll need several months advance notice and travel expenses paid.

Breaking Through the Blockages: Figuring Out Why You’re not Writing and Finding Ways to Start
This class discusses the cognitive loops and habit patterns that can prevent a person from writing. After identifying causes, the class will also discuss how to get around the trouble and get back to writing.

Blogging as Storytelling
This class will discuss how to use storytelling techniques in blog entries to engage readers and keep them coming back. Whether you’re writing blog entries as essays, contests, publication announcements, or slice of life, all entries can be made stronger by the use of story. I will teach how.

The Power of Picture Books
(This can either be run as a guided discussion for a small group or a lecture for a larger one.)
Picture books are a very powerful medium and not just for small children. This class teaches some of the particular things that picture books can do that other sorts of books can’t. This is taught with a focus on how you can craft your picture book to be delightful or powerful for your intended audience.

Building Community Among Your Readers

There is tremendous power in a devoted fanbase, it is a gift and a responsibility. This class will teach things you can do to encourage a community to build around your own work. We’ll talk about making connections between your readers and why it is far more important to give than to ask.

Public Face, Private Life
Success in publishing can depend upon authors stepping up and connecting with the readers. This class talks about different ways to approach a public life while still keeping some things private. Examples of how different authors approach this will be discussed.

Putting Emotional Depth into Your Children’s Fiction
Children love stories when they can see themselves in them and when the story draws out emotions that they have, yet children react to events in ways that are emotionally different than adults because of their developmental growth. We’ll cover the developmental stages of children and what sort of stories they’re looking for at each stage. (This one has about 90 minutes of lecture and a 30 minute discussion at the end.)

Anxiety, Depression, and Insecurity: Staying Mentally Healthy While Pursuing a Creative Career
I struggle with anxiety. Howard manages his depression. We both suffer from attacks of insecurity. Using our experiences and extensive research into psychology this presentation will focus on concrete things that a creative person can do to stay healthy. I’ll also discuss how to know when you’ve crossed the line into a clinical condition which needs medical intervention.

Structuring Life to Support Creativity

The way that you schedule your days can squash your creativity if you are not careful. I’ll discuss using biorhythms to your advantage, how physical spaces can affect you psychologically, and why you really do need to have time to play video games or watch movies. These concepts will be illustrated with anecdotes from the lives of artists and writers.

Successful Collaboration
I’ll discuss the important elements of a successful collaboration and the particular challenges that occur when collaborators are friends or family members.

Books for Special Needs Kids
Finding the right story can make all the difference to a person. This presentation will discuss some of the particular challenges with finding books for kids who are ADHD, Autistic, learning disabled, or struggle with mental health issues. It will also teach where to look for books that speak to these kids. Specific titles that have been helpful will be mentioned.

Cover Design Principles
Learn principles of good cover design. The class covers what draw interest and creates curiosity about your book. There will be examples of how to make covers communicate effectively, and some examples of what you really should not do. This class is intended to be useful for those who intend to do their own covers and for those who want to be able to consult with professional designers who are creating covers for them.

Finances for Creative People 201 (This works best as a panel discussion)
We’ll cover basic business structure, taxes, and incorporation. More importantly we’ll talk about the ways that running a creative business will affect your daily life and family. Some time will also be spent talking about how to transition from traditional employment to a creative career, how to make a business plan, and how to know when to call it quits. I’ll use illustrative anecdotes from 15 years experience of running a creative business and a family side by side.

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