school visits

Practical Programs That Support School Writing Curricula

In his school visits Mark provides students with hands-on, practical writing strategies that directly support school curricula in a creative, easygoing atmosphere. Appropriate for grades 4 through 12, his workshops focus on aspects of the writing craft such as creating effective characters, first sentences, and sensory detail – and have consistently garnered high praise from teachers and school enrichment volunteers.

what teachers and librarians have said
fee & booking info
resources for planning author visits

What Teachers and Librarians Have Said

“…inspiring…engaging, meaningful, creative, and fun! … Thanks for a great day!”
— Cristina Gaeta, 7th grade Language Arts teacher, Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ

“The kids and teachers loved Mark. He has a magnetic personality and he made the writing process fun. We were really impressed by his ability to entertain and teach.”
— Audrey Borus & Ryan Tahmaseb, Meadowbrook School, Weston, MA

“Fantastic!…[Mark’s] presentation was perfect…He talked with five groups of 50+ students and kept their attention each time. We were even thinking of asking him to teach English at WHS!”
— Karen Miller, Librarian, Winchester High School, Winchester, MA

“Mark is the BEST!…[The 6th, 7th & 8th graders] loved him and really got a lot out of the workshops. He really knows how to keep them interested. I have received so many compliments from the teachers and the principal wants him back!”
— Sue Krause, Library Teacher, Manchester Essex Regional Middle High School, Manchester, MA

“Mark was awesome at engaging the children in developing characters. The teachers were thrilled with the workshop and very happy with the presentation. Definitely have Mark visit your school!”
— Dr. Donna Tanner, Principal, Penn Brook Elementary School, Georgetown, MA

“The teachers loved the focus on the editing process. Mark was so engaging and so much fun! He related so well to kids. He was so real.”
— Chyleene O’Connor, Teacher/Coordinator,  J.H. Gaudet Middle School, Middletown, RI

“Thank you so much for coming. The kids were definitely excited to meet a real author who has published books. I really liked what you said about writing a bad first draft and revising it to make it better. It was amazing how you were able to keep every student interested and focused on what you were saying for an hour because that is not easily done here.”
— Jill Lofchie, Teacher, Knight Children’s Center School, Jamaica Plain, MA

“I just wanted to let you know how much I (we all) enjoyed your talk the other day…The students obviously enjoyed it immensely, as they were very attentive and asked many interesting questions. You covered all the topics of interest to a reader and to a writer or aspiring writer, and with just enough humor to bring the book and characters alive to them.”
— Judy Welch, Middle School Librarian, Framingham, MA

“Fabulous! Your presentation was superb! You informed and entertained!”
— Pat Keogh, Teacher, Contemporary Literature, Marlboro, MA

“[Mark’s] program was really the ideal author visit – humorous, instructive, and memorable.”
— Bri Johnson, YA Librarian, Barrington Public Library, Barrington, RI

“Mark Peter Hughes was a delight. His presentation, chracterized by his easy-going manner and understated humor, charmed my students…”
— Martha Curran, English Teacher, Natick, MA

“The students were very interested in his journey as the questions they posed to him were very thoughtful and appropriate…Mark answered all questions with great humor…The program was a very positive experience.”
— Jane Connolly, High School Librarian, Natick, MA

“Thank you for speaking to our eighth graders… They responded well to you because you treated all their questions as worthy of having serious answers.”
— Linda Stauffer, Language Arts Teacher, Framingham, MA



Any of my school, library or conference programs can be tailored for adults, high school students, middle school students, or elementary school students. While all programs can be adapted for either larger group “assembly style” programs or small group workshops, the writing workshop program options are ideal for smaller groups of up to 25 participants. I am conversant in both English and Spanish. One and two-day workshops are available. Sample programs include:

Good stories begin with vibrant characters. In this workshop, I share some of the secrets to creating realistic, interesting characters that readers will want to spend time with. Then, using a number of easy exercises that spark the imagination, I help participants create strong characters of their own. (Up to 25 participants ideal. Can accommodate more. Ideal for any age group, 2nd grade through high school and beyond.)

Great story beginnings demand a reader’s attention. They grab one’s interest from the very start using action, character and conflict that pull a reader into their worlds. In this workshop program, I discuss how a story weaves a spell, and I ‘give away’ the secret tools that good storytellers use in making up great beginnings—tools such descriptive words, details and “show don’t tell.” Then, using a number of easy exercises that spark the imagination, I help participants strengthen their own stories with gripping beginnings that will keep those pages turning. (Up to 25 participants ideal. Can accommodate more.)

With the right tools, anyone can learn to write more descriptively. Where do ideas come from? How do good writers turn ideas into interesting, descriptive writing? This program stresses effective writing techniques such as character, setting, plot, voice, choosing the right details and “show, don’t tell.” Worksheets are provided for follow-up activity. (Up to 25 participants ideal. Can accommodate more.)

What’s it really like to be a writer? What’s it like for an author when the Disney Channel transforms his work into a movie? This discussion focuses on how I became a writer, including sharing earlier works, the submission process, and what characteristics one needs to succeed in this competitive but rewarding field. Along the way, I walk through my process of writing a novel, where I get ideas, how I create characters and plots, outlining, first drafts, the revision process — and of course, what the Lemonade Mouth movie experience has been like. Includes a question-and-answer segment. (Ideal for any size group of any age, 2nd grade through high school and beyond.)

I’m sensitive to age-appropriateness as it pertains differently to elementary-aged readers, middle school readers, and high school readers. Whether the focus is on my journey as a writer or on the writing craft itself with workshops on aspects like character or first sentences, all of my assemblies and workshops are targeted to be age-appropriate for each specific audience.

Fee & Booking info

For Information, Fees, and Booking, please contact:

Janet Zade
Zade Educational Partners
33 Talbot Road
Hingham, Massachusetts 02043
Tel: (781) 749-2733(781) 749-2733
Or Contact Mark at

Resources for Planning Author Visits

Why host an author program? Check out Teacher Librarian Magazine’s article, “Making an Author’s Visit Your Best ‘Good Time,'” for a comprehensive look at the benefits of hosting an author program.

For information on setting up an author visit for your school or library, visit Random
House’s Author and Illustrator Appearance Kit.
There you can find tips on planning the event, raising funds to cover the author’s honorarium, and ordering discounted books directly from the publisher.

Another great place to find information on author events is the webpage of Toni Buzzeo, co-author of Terrific Connections with Authors, Illustrators, and Storytellers: Real Space and Virtual Links.

“…inspiring…engaging, meaningful, creative, and fun! … Thanks for a great day!”