Getting the Gig: A Two-Night Mini on Speaking Opportunities for Storytellers

Online | Business of Publishing
Whether you want to set up school visits, participate in literary festivals, and/or pitch your ideas to storyteller organizations, Alyssa Reynoso-Morris wants to help you “get the gig!" and "get paid!"

August 6 @ 7:00 pm - August 8 @ 7:00 pm




A Two-Night Mini Online Course

Whether you want to set up school visits, participate in literary festivals, and/or pitch your ideas to storyteller organizations, Alyssa Reynoso-Morris wants to help you “get the gig!” Alyssa booked 67 events in 2023 and, to date, has over 40 events confirmed for 2024. In 2023, she made an extra $19,000 from speaking engagements and is on track to exceed that amount this year.  So it’s safe to say, she knows what she is doing!  Join Alyssa for this short course to learn about speaking opportunities, contracts, and designing materials that put you and your stories in front of audiences.

This program is a great fit if you’re looking for a short course of two, 75-minute sessions offering limited interaction with the community, but loads of information.

  • Tuesday, August 6, 2024 (7pm – 8:15pm EST)
  • Thursday, August 8, 2024 (7pm – 8:15pm EST)
  • Webinar-style program with closed captioning available and limited interaction in the chat
  • Recordings available until September 30, 2024

Why This Workshop?

At the heart of what we do is communication–offering stories about our communities, selves, and the greater world. For children’s book authors and illustrators, we do this not only through the physical books, but through our speaking engagements as well.

Whether you want to set up school visits, participate in literary festivals, and/or pitch your ideas to storyteller organizations, Alyssa Reynoso-Morris wants to help you to “get the gig!” and “get paid!”

Key topics covered during the program will include:

  • An overview of possibilities (school visits, festivals, conferences, and more)
  • Understanding your voice and story when engaging with an audience,
  • What to expect (and ask for) when it comes to contracts and finances,
  • How to position materials on your website, speaker one-sheet, and in-person to “get the gig”
  • and so much more!

Feedback Expected

  • There will be limited interaction in the chat feature of the webinar-style program.
  • Optional consultations about speaking engagements and marketing are available on Alyssa’s website.
  • Optional consultations on developing your speaker one-sheet and website to secure speaking engagements are available
  • on Alyssa’s website.

It’s a Great Fit If…

  • You are an author or illustrator. This course is open to both authors and illustrators, regardless of experience level.
  • You would like to learn about paid opportunities that support your storytelling career. Speaking engagements are an excellent way to promote your books and earn extra income.
  • You are a debut author or illustrator. Learn ways to get your new title into the hands of readers, including children, teachers, and librarians.
  • You’re looking for something short, sweet, and smart! This is not a full workshop; these are short sessions meant to engage and build an understanding of opportunities that are waiting for you as a children’s book storyteller.

Tentative Agenda

At registration: You will receive a Zoom link to use each night of the course.


If you are unable to attend either session for any reason, you’ll have access to the recordings (with closed captioning) through September 30, 2024.

Please note that if you register for the course after the start of the first session, you will not receive recordings immediately.  You’ll receive both recordings after the close of the last session, usually within 24 hours.

All Times are Eastern Standard Time.

Click on the headings below to explore the agenda in more detail.

Part 1: Tuesday, August 6, 2024 (7pm-8:15pm Eastern)
Part 1: Opportunities and You!

  • Welcome and Introduction
  • An overview of speaking opportunities for children’s book authors and illustrators
  • Exercise: Brainstorm potential speaking opportunities (Bust out Excel!)
  • Defining your why and what YOU uniquely bring to an audience
  • Exercise: Brainstorm potential topics
Part 2: Thursday, August 8, 2024 (7pm-8:15pm EST)
Part 2: Finances, Contracts, Marketing Materials, and Q & A

  • Getting Your Website to Work for You
  • The Power of an Effective One-Sheet
  • Finances and Contracts (yes, you need to be paid for your time!)
  • Q&A with Alyssa

How It Impacts Kids

As Alyssa says on her website, “My main goal is to inspire children to read, write, and create.” Speaking engagements allow you as the storyteller to connect with children (and literary caregivers) in a meaningful way. This short course educates and encourages creators to develop a plan for their speaking engagements and “get the gig!”

Testimonials from Our Community

“I knew I could not attend in person but I signed up because you offered the recording. Having that option was invaluable.”

Please keep the mini sessions going so that those of us who need them can continue to learn about children’s book publishing.”

Meet the Faculty


August 6 @ 7:00 pm - August 8 @ 7:00 pm




When you register for this course, you’ll receive information via email to confirm.

For mini courses (one or two nights only), you’ll receive webinar links immediately to use on the evening of the course.

For longer courses, you’ll receive an invitation to your virtual classroom as the workshop approaches.

Learn more about the technology that we use for our online workshops.

Our Mission in Action

Share Your Story, Inspire a Child
Equity & Inclusion in Kidlit
Partners & Sponsors

The Highlights Foundation positively impacts children by amplifying the voices of storytellers who inform, educate, and inspire children to become their best selves.  Learn more about our impact.