Let’s Talk about Writing!

Connecticut author, Jeanne Zulick Ferruolo writes stories about kids discovering their own kind of BRAVE!

Through interactive presentations, Jeanne will discuss the writing process, including research, revision, and overcoming challenges. Teachers and librarians have called her talks, “inspiring, engaging, and thought provoking.”

Her middle grade novel, RUBY IN THE SKY received starred reviews from Kirkus and Booklist and was a Junior Library Guild selection. Her second book, A GALAXY OF SEA STARS comes out in February 2020.

Presentations, talks, and workshops are offered for Grades 4 through adult and can be modified to fit your groups’ needs.


RUBY IN THE SKY – from childhood memory to published book.
In this engaging talk, Jeanne discusses how she turned her memory of hand-feeding chickadees as a child into a middle grade novel through free-writing, plotting, seeking out and following constructive criticism, and loads and loads of revision. In her talk, Jeanne brings hard copies of the story in its various phases, as well as plotting charts she developed, photographs and other images, and her personal journals so students can see firsthand how an idea is shaped and molded and ultimately brought to life in story.

A GALAXY OF SEA STARS – a journey inside the story and how it was made.
Jeanne will go in-depth into how she came up with the idea for A GALAXY OF SEA STARS (spoiler alert – it had to do with her own middle school drama) and how she brought the story to life through her childhood journals, beta readers, and working for over a year with a group of young refugee ladies who gave voice to the character, Sitara. In this presentation, Jeanne brings in copies of the story in its various stages, as well as props that give the audience hands-on examples of how a story is made.

THE TRUTH ABOUT TELLING A LIE–conducting the careful research that authentic fiction requires.        “Write what you know,” is a common adage for authors – but what if you are inspired to write outside your wheelhouse? The answer is RESEARCH and loads of it! As a former criminal defense attorney, Jeanne has had a great deal of experience researching, but writing for children took this process to a whole new level. From working with beta and sensitivity readers, to hand-measuring the depths of Ninigret Pond with a weight, to driving through the remnants of a Vermont snowstorm to sit in criminal court – Jeanne discusses the hands-on (and sometimes unconventional) ways she conducts research for her stories, and helps remind writers that you can write about almost anything, as long you’re willing to do the hard work to get the story right.



Writing, in fact, IS revision. In this hands-on workshop, Jeanne will use real examples to demonstrate revision and editing techniques she uses to ensure her stories are told in the best possible way. Jeanne will work with students as a group to understand how a piece of writing is improved through revision. Students will then have an opportunity to use these techniques to revise their own work.

Everyone knows that each story has a beginning, a middle, and an end – but what everyone doesn’t immediately recognize is that in a good story, certain things need to happen in each part. Once you do, it is easy to outline a story ready to be developed. In this workshop, writers will use “surprise prompts” to help ignite story ideas, and will then develop their 3-part outline to share with the group (only those comfortable need share— but the fun becomes contagious!) You will be surprised and delighted to hear the stories that emerge from this workshop!

WRITING ABOUT SCIENCE AND NATURE with hands-on activities (for younger audiences).
Jeanne’s books incorporate STEM concepts – the moon, nature, stars & constellations, ocean & tides, to name a few. In this hands on workshop, kids will do a science related craft while discussing its relevance to either RUBY IN THE SKY or A GALAXY OF SEA STARS. It is a seriously fun way to introduce science concepts through literature.


♦ One-hour engagement, including book signing: $150
♦ Half-day engagement including two presentations and a book signing: $300
♦ Full-day engagement including three presentations and a book signing: $500
♦ 20-minute Skype visits are free for groups who have read RUBY IN THE SKY or A GALAXY OF SEA STARS.


To order Jeanne’s books, you can buy at a reduced rate (fifty or more) directly through Macmillan, or purchase through your local independent bookstore. If you need help ordering books, please contact Jeanne.


“Jeanne held the students’ attention as she talked about her book and the process of writing and publishing…The students were completely engaged in the activities and were glad they were able to participate.”
▪ Kim Musket, School Librarian, James H. Moran, Sr. Middle School, Wallingford, Connecticut

“The writing workshop was a collection of well-crafted and unique exercises…that I really enjoyed as an aspiring author.”
▪ Chelsea, 8th grader

“Jeanne was an engaging and delightful speaker for our 7th graders! She captured our students’ attention with her insightful, thoughtful, and impactful presentation of her story making process.”
▪ Pamela Johnson-Spurlock, MLIS, School Librarian, Green Mountain Union School, Chester, Vermont

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