“Having Greg Howard visit our school was one of the most powerful days I’ve been a part of as an educator.”  —Sarah Candler, 6th Grade Language Arts Teacher

GREG HOWARD was born and raised in the South Carolina Lowcountry where his love of stories blossomed at a young age. Originally set on becoming a songwriter, Greg followed that dream to Nashville, Tennessee, where he spent years producing the music of others before eventually returning to his childhood passion of writing stories. Greg’s critically acclaimed, debut middle-grade novel, The Whispers was nominated for an Edgar Award and his second middle-grade novel, Middle School’s a Drag, You Better Werk! is being adapted for television by Harry Potter producer, David Heyman, Heyday Television, and NBC/Universal.

Greg writes about LGBTQ characters and issues as his focus is writing the kind of books he wishes he’d had access to as a gay kid growing up in the South. Also the author of the young adult novel Social Intercourse, Greg’s latest middle-grade offering, The Visitors, was called “a masterful exploration into the power of storytelling” in the New York Times Book Review.

Greg resides in Nashville with his three rescued fur babies—Molly, Toby, and Riley.

Bookshelf

About the Visit

Greg’s hour-long presentations for grades 5-8 are engaging and interactive. He speaks to audiences of all sizes and strives to ignite a passion in kids and teens for reading and writing. Below is a sample of Greg’s presentations which can be customized based on age group.

WRITING YOUR OWN STORY: The Whispers was inspired by Greg own life and his relationship with his mother. He left a lot of his life on the page from characters based on his family, to experiences and adventures he had as a kid with his friends, to his beloved one hundred-and twenty-pound German Shepherd-Rottweiler rescue, Tucker. In this presentation, Greg helps young readers and writers understand that their personal story has value and is worth telling.

BLOWING YOUR OWN HORN: In Middle School’s A Drag, You Better Werk! twelve-year-old entrepreneur Mikey Pruitt starts a junior talent agency and signs the most talented kids at his school to his roster of clients. This book was inspired by Greg’s own childhood experiences of trying (and sometimes failing) to start businesses from the family’s storage/laundry room. In this presentation, Greg encourages young readers and writers to find their passion, their talent, their inner entrepreneur, and to go for it!

FINDING YOUR LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS: In The Visitors, the spirit of a twelve-year-old boy is “stuck” at a deserted rice plantation with no idea who he is, how long he’s been there, or how to move on. But he never gives up hope that one day he will find his way home. Kids today are living incredibly stressful lives, and some of them feel more lost in the darkness than basking light most of the time. From the pandemic, to bullying, to fractured home lives, to depression and anxiety, the one thing they need most in the world is hope. In this presentation, Greg “gets real” with young readers and writers, sharing his own childhood struggles with depression, self-hatred, and bullying and how he managed to find his way to from the dark to the light through reading and writing.

WRITING WORKSHOP: Greg guides young writers through exercises such as identifying their writing territories and using heart-mapping and quick writes to flex their creative muscles. He encourages (but never pressures) young writers to share their work with the group. This workshop for groups of 30 students max can be customized to the level of proficiency, or the age of the group.

Greg is also available for to serve on panels for conferences, book festivals, and to appear virtually at book clubs. He especially enjoys engaging with student-led gay-straight alliance or Pride clubs.

Testimonials

“Greg Howard is a natural when it comes to talking to students about his writing process and his books. His presentation is fun and engaging and includes time for students to ask questions. We look forward to having him return to our school!”—Cindy Sturdivant, Librarian and NC Digital Learning Coach, Charles D. Owen Middle School, Black Mountain, NC

“Greg spoke to four different groups of students—reaching nearly all 300 of our 6th graders—about The Whispers, but, more importantly, about how each and every one of us has “a story” and how sharing our story leads to a more empathetic world. The most meaningful part of the day, however, was when we facilitated a writing workshop for 30 selected students. The experience brought about laughter, tears, and it will surely be imprinted on the minds of many participants.”—Sarah Candler, 6th Grade Language Arts Teacher and Team Leader, Ooltewah Middle School, Chattanooga, TN

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