Calling All Schools!

One of my favorite parts of being a children’s author is the opportunity I get to present in schools and work directly with students. I’m planning to be in the US in October 2014 and have 3 open dates (October 13, 14 &15) during which I would be available for presentations in schools.


Bio:   Kristy Dempsey is a children’s author and the librarian at the American School of Belo Horizonte. Her books include ME WITH YOU (Philomel), MINI RACER (Bloomsbury), SURFER CHICK (Abrams) and A DANCE LIKE STARLIGHT (Philomel). She is an experienced presenter to all age groups and often does writing workshops with elementary, middle and high school students. Her poetry has appeared in various anthologies, including the recent Poetry Friday Anthologies which help teachers connect poetry across the curriculum. Her visual literacy presentations support both Common Core and International Baccalaureate standards and provide both students and teachers with the tools they need to deepen inquiry in the classroom. Originally from South Carolina, United States, she has lived in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, since 1998.

Here are some comments from my recent school visits:

  • “Kristy is really good with kids. The perfect balance between expectation, positive tension, and humor.
  • “Kristy did an excellent job with my sixth grade students. She spoke at their level. She talked with my students about narrative writing that was very relevant to what we were doing at that time. It fit right into what I wanted them to learn. I only wish we could have had her visit for more than one period so she could teach them even more.”
  • Kristy relates so well to all ages of  students. She adapts the components of her presentations to entertain and teach the age of the students to whom she is presenting. In these days of school budget restraints and cutbacks, it’s even more important that dollars earmarked for providing guest speakers to our students are wisely spent. Having Kristy present to your students is an investment that you and your students will be delighted that you made.
  • “Several of my students commented that her explanation of setting strengthened their writing!”
  • “Kristy Dempsey’s presentation was engaging and fun. Her emphasis on where stories come from and how books are published was clear and interesting for students. They all really enjoyed it!”
  • “This was a truly outstanding presentation. Ms. Dempsey related well to students and really engaged the entire audience with humor and participation. Content was both practical and inspiring to our young student writers.”

For descriptions of each of the sessions I offer, both for students and for teachers as professional development,  as well as information on fees, please see my School Visits page.

The Tenderness of Hope

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Yes, these feathers were sketched by me. Is this where I’m supposed to put the © 2014 Kristy Dempsey?

Feathers. They’re tender and wispy. Pretty much how I feel about my artistic ability. I can sketch single feathers on a flat surface. (Or suspended in mid-air if you want to pretend that I might be capable of being intentional about that.) That’s it. That’s all I can draw beyond stick figures.

Don’t get me wrong. There is something I LOVE about feathers. They’re like snowflakes, each unique (but so much easier to draw because they’re not all geometrically symmetrical like snowflakes.) You almost can’t mess them up because they don’t have to be perfect. And mine never are.

But I can’t stop sketching them. They represent something to me. Maybe it’s the tenderness of hope that can be lifted by just the breath of a kind word. Maybe it’s their beautiful imperfection. Maybe it’s their reminder of new life, the tiny fuzzy hope that will one day spread its wings and fly.

On this beautiful Easter weekend, this is my offering of hope to you: that wherever you are feeling tender and incapable, may the promise of new life breathe hope beneath the imperfection and give you the faith to believe.

Highlights Unworkshop Scholarship Winner

ImagePhoto credit: Highlights Foundation


Whoo-boy, dear applicants. This was a difficult decision. Do you realize just how talented you people are? And dedicated? And hardworking? And did I say talented? Because you people are talented in double doses. Our retreat group wanted to give everyone a scholarship to attend a Highlights Foundation Unworkshop at Boyds Mills in PA.

When we set out to choose a writer to receive a 5 night stay at an Unworkshop, we hoped to be able to provide a dedicated writer with the time and space needed to complete or revise a work-in-progress. Each of us in our retreat group are working writers, many of us teachers and parents and volunteers. As we read your entries, we were struck by your perseverance, your incredible story ideas and how many of you write in the early mornings (just like many of us!)

In the end we could only give the scholarship to one writer and we chose Katie Mitschelen. Katie has been writing for several years, gives of her time to other writers, takes care of her family and her ailing father and, like many of us, just needs dedicated time to focus on her Depression era historical fiction middle grade fantasy novel. Yes. All that at once. And she still hooked us. 🙂 Congratulations, Katie! We hope to share more soon about you and your experience at the Unworkshop retreat.

My Favorite Book



Come along, old friend.
Let’s walk your road again.
I know each bend,
each rise
and fall.
I know it all, yet
every time you show me more
a twisted root
a hidden door
a sheltered nook
I’ve passed but never seen before.

Let’s run your road, this well-worn path.
We’ll kick up dust,
and later when I stop to rest,

I’ll feel your breath upon my back
press me

                                                                                      The End.