Robert Paul Weston Presentation 03I’m available for speaking engagements, schools visits and delivering writing workshops to adults and youth. Feel free to contact me for rates and scheduling.

Robert Paul Weston Presentation 05Ready-made presentations:

1. Prince Puggly’s Misguided Guide to Fashion

Audience: ages 5-12
Time: 60 minutes
Topics: poetry, language, rhyme, history, fashion trends

Description: From creepy medieval bird masks to stupendously powdered wigs, in this presentation I guide students through some of history’s strangest fashion trends—featuring just the sorts of outrageous togs Prince Puggly and Princess Francesca might have worn to the Spiffian Centenary Ball! Also included, and not to be neglected, is an introduction to the novel’s poetry and artwork.

2. The Creatures of a Real Life Creature Department

Audience: ages 5-12
Time: 60 minutes
Topics: special effects, film-making, collaboration, writing, imaginary creatures

Description: In this presentation, I present on the pleasures and pitfalls of writing a book with one of the world’s largest special effects companies. My novel The Creature Department was a collaboration between myself, Penguin USA, and Framestore, the British special effects company behind visual effects in Gravity, Guardians of the Galaxy, Where The Wild Things Are, the Harry Potter films and many others. I discuss the enormous differences between the publishing and film industries and show the process of bringing a creature to life—literally (well, almost).

3. Fairy Dust and the True Tales of Grimm

Audience: ages 7-14
Time: 60 minutes
Topics: folktales, the Brothers Grimm, writing, representations of violence

Description: If you think it was a kiss that returned the Frog Prince to his human form, you’re dead wrong. The surprising originals of nearly every familiar folktale—from Cinderella to Snow White—is far nastier than anything Walt Disney produced. In this presentation, I introduce students to the medieval folklore that inspired the hardboiled mystery, Dust City. I also seek to challenge students to consider what may have inspired the violence and visceral strangeness of the stories original versions.

4. Zorgamazoo: Rhythm & Rhyme

Audience: ages 5-12
Time: 60 minutes
Topics: poetry, language, rhyme, illustration

Description: You’d have to be mad to write a rhyming novel. In that case, perhaps I am! In this presentation, I recount my early love of rhyme, introduce the technical aspects of the poetry used in Zorgamazoo, discuss the writing process with respect to diligence and revision, and talk about the fulfilment and frustration of telling a story in verse. Students will also be exposed to the creative and collaborative process of working with an artists to produce an illustrated novel. I conclude with the importance of performance in storytelling, culminating in a reading from the book, complete with silly voices and heaps of villainous drama!

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I am happy to cater my presentations to specific audiences and themes. I like to keep things light and humorous, but never at the expense of insightful, engaging content. Please note that I am covered by Public Liability Insurance through membership with the National Association of Writers in Education.

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(Photos courtesy of Yorkville LibraryPueblo City Library; and ALOUD: a Celebration for Young Readers at Harbourfront Centre: Photographer Tom Bilenkey; (c)

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