I spent 34 years as a college writing instructor. A great deal of the research I did with my students went into Copy Boy. I love to talk to groups about the ideas that power plot and character and history.

Here are some talks I have given at middle school, university, library and museum events:
  • Needs and Wants: how to write a mystery with meat on its bones.

  • The art and science of resilience—how and why people survive and sometimes thrive in terrible times (the Depression, the Pandemic) and how others are ruined by them.

  • Ambition—how it can inspire and limit us.

  • Fact and Fiction—what is the difference and why it matters.

  • Gender roles and achievement, in literature and life.

  • Finding and defending identity: the biggest job of young adults.

Here are some topics I have presented to groups of technical professionals who write for work:
  • Say it Plain: write to be understood.

  • Tell a Story: use the dramatic arc to explain vividly.

  • Sentence Strategies: four tips that clarify and empower your prose.

  • It’s All About Why.

  • Trends, Outliers, and Insights: what your readers want.