Programs, Workshops & Speaking Engagements

When you bring Tim O’Shei to your school, you get an author who:

  • has published more than 60 books.
  • specializes in nonfiction, and can teach your students the research skills and writing techniques that make expository writing shine.
  • began writing professionally at age 16, and can show your students how to aim for an early start too.
  • is an educator. Tim’s degree is in elementary education; he holds a New York State teaching preK-6 teaching license, has taught elementary and middle school, and currently teaches high school and college classes in Buffalo, New York.
  • excels at showing students how writing can be exciting. Writing has given Tim the opportunity to interview presidents, Hollywood celebrities and sports’ biggest superstars. It’s also provided him the chance to travel, achieve some of his childhood dreams (example: playing professional baseball), and earn a living doing the things other people do for fun.
  • is versatile. Programs can be customized for students at every level, from kindergarten through college.
  • is a teacher trainer. Tim has extensive staff development experience in writing instruction. He is a certified trainer in the Six Traits of Writing and also shares his own techniques for planning, creating and revising quality prose.
  • gives you a full day. When you bring Tim to your building, he’s yours for the school day. What does that mean? Set up large- and small-group sessions that fit your school’s needs. Pick kids and staff to have a “Lunch with the Author.” Pack the schedule and make the most of it!

KEYNOTES & LARGE-GROUP PROGRAMS (adaptable for smaller groups):

Write to Your Dreams!

We’re all big dreamers. All of us, at some point, have visualized ourselves in the spotlight. But for kids today, who are bombarded with images of celebrity and fame and glory, that’s truer than ever.
In this high-energy, interactive presentation, students will learn how to use research, reporting, writing and speaking skills to explore their dreams. They will learn about Tim O’Shei’s path as a children’s author and celebrity journalist, with anecdotes and tips on overcoming rejection, handling awkward moments in the spotlight, and finding the best stories to tell. They’ll learn how to transfer those lessons to their own lives by using language skills to set goals, plan for obstacles and chase their own dreams.
This program can be adapted in length and focus to fit the needs of your school. It can also be combined with Tim’s instructional writing program, Adventures in Nonfiction.

Adventures in Nonfiction

The emphasis on on fiction writing in schools is stronger than ever. The author of 60-plus books and a veteran journalist who has interviewed presidents, sports stars and Hollywood celebrities, Tim uses a high-energy, interactive approach to teach students the research and storytelling skills they need to create powerful nonfiction.
Sharing strategies for making research both effective and fun, he reveals:
• the three ways to begin a writing piece;
• the magic question that injects energy into every part of the writing process;
• how to sprinkle gems into writing;
• and much more.
This fully interactive workshop is loaded with stories about Tim’s own experiences interviewing some of today’s most famous athletes, entertainers and newsmakers.
This program can be adapted in length and focus to fit your school’s needs and combined with the Write for Your Dreams! workshop.


Red Carpet Reporting

Through Live Starring You!, hundreds of kids and teens have interviewed professional athletes and entertainers both on and off camera. In this program, Tim brings LSY!’s red-carpet techniques to your school or program, teaching students how to research a subject, form questions and perform on camera while keeping focused on content. (Note: Students interview each other in this program and, with the help of the host, we aim to recruit a local celebrity as well.)

Dream Boarding

Dream Boards use words and pictures to describe your goals and wishes, identify what’s important to you, and figure out what obstacles you need to overcome. The first Dream Board in an LSY workshop was created spontaneously by actress Heather Morris of Glee. Since then, thousands of kids, teens and adults have done the same.

Writing with “WOW”

In this workshop, students dig deep in their research to find interesting information that makes readers say, “Whoa, I didn’t know that!” or, “Wow! That’s interesting!” Tim uses examples from his own books (snowflakes the size of large pizzas once fell in Montana!) and guides students in finding their own “WOW” information.

Writing “Small Moment” Stories

The best writing has a tight focus and reveals lots of physical and emotional detail about a small moment. (This is true even of larger writing pieces, such as expanded essays, lengthy articles or books. These are a collection of small moments that form a tightly focused whole.) Since the ability to share small moments is essential for any writer, this workshop keys in on that basic building block. Tim will model a small moment story of his own, having the students ask questions and contribute ideas. Then he’ll guide them in writing their own highly detailed, laser-focused stories.

Digging for Details

Here’s a skill every writer needs in the toolbox: The ability to write in deep physical and emotional detail. Using the inquiry method, Tim will teach students to dig for detail by posing questions and tapping into their brainstorming skills. He’ll present to them an object – for example, an old hat – that has a story behind it, and let the students’ inquiries reveal the story and shape the description.