I love getting to meet young readers — and older readers, too!

I'm available for professional conferences, school and library visits, writing workshops, book festivals, classroom Twitter chats (details on those here and here), and more.

Chris Barton

Contact Me

To schedule a visit or get more information about programs, fees, etc., please contact me.

Need More?

If your event or school district needs multiple authors, you can make your budget go further by booking both me and my wife, Jennifer Ziegler (Revenge of the Flower Girls) — ask me for details!


In particular, I want to express my appreciation for your sincerity with our students. Your presentations allow them to ask questions, discuss ideas, and share their own experiences in a supportive and thoughtful conversation with you. I know it takes time to prepare for student audiences, but their enthusiasm during the visit and in subsequent library visits is worth it. With our fourth graders, modeling the research and writing process gave them an authentic experience of being a writer for young people. And with first grade, it was all about cool ideas, great words, and the importance of illustrations to help us understand stories. Your visits become part of their whole library discovery and our library dialogue.

Maya McElroy, Elementary Librarian, Austin ISD

We were so fortunate to have Chris speak at the 44th Fay B. Kaigler Children's Book Festival! Chris was an entertaining and engaging speaker who kept the crowd of librarians, teachers, educators, and writers interested during both the informational parts of his presentation and the fun parts, too. He was flexible and dynamic and both festival organizers and attendees would highly recommend him for your next speaking engagement!

Karen Rowell, The University of Southern Mississippi

The participants were uniformly enthusiastic about their workshop experience with Chris. ... From an administrative point of view, Chris was also a total pleasure to work with. He was responsive, flexible, gracious and thoroughly professional.

Emma Walton Hamilton, Director, Southampton Children's Literature Conference

You have a fantastic and natural repertoire with kids and had them engaged throughout the presentation. ... I would definitely recommend you to other librarians and/or schools looking for an author visit!

Rachel Salvaggio, Teen Services Librarian, Austin Public Library

One of the most inspiring moments was when Chris explained that writing children's books was not his original goal as an author -- he stumbled across an obituary of Bob Switzer and was inspired to write about him. What a wonderful way to answer the question, "Why is writing important?" So we can remember those who inspire us and their life stories.

Cindy Modrall, Language Arts Teacher, Leander ISD

Chris gave an outstanding presentation to Austin SCBWI. He motivated everyone in the crowd to go home and write picture book biographies, and the bibliography he provided was outstanding. I highly recommend him as a speaker for any type of children's literature event.

Tim Crow, Former Regional Advisor, Austin Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators

My current offerings include:

Tips for better author visits

In my experience, there are three things schools can do that generally make author visits better experiences for their students:


Prepare the kids — and their teachers. When faculty members are present — in every respect — during my sessions, it underscores for students the value of having me there. And the more that students know ahead of time about me and about my books, the more they'll anticipate my visit, the more attentive they'll be during my presentation, and the more substantial their questions for me will be.


Allow plenty of time. Trust me — I won't expect pre-K students to sit still for a full hour. But the more time we have together — after the kids are seated and before they stand up to leave — the more I can truly engage with your students without having to rush through my presentation.


Have books available for me to sign. This is not a requirement. But I do find that adults who have lots of books in their lives sometimes overlook how special — inspiring, even — it can be to a child to own one particular book signed by a real-life author (or "arthur") who they actually met at their actual school.

Looking for more tips? Have a look at "Make It Happen: Awesome Author and Illustrator Visits" from Education World.

Want to win a free book?

Enter your email address to sign up for my Bartography Express newsletter.