Kimbra Cutlip, [a.k.a. Kara Lynn Conyer] visits classrooms for presentations on

  • marine life, ocean science and conservation
  • creative writing and careers for young writers
  • Book discussion and analysis based on Restricted Waters
third grade_8937 Marine Bio HS_8956 book club_IMG_8942

Sessions include interactive classroom activities and discussions and are geared appropriately
for grade levels ranging from Kindergarten through grade 12.

Contact the author for more information
** Live remote sessions are also available for classrooms with SKYPE capabilities.


Most presentations touch on all of the following topics to some extent. Each is adapted for grade level, and emphasis can be adjusted to focus more on specific topics to fit class needs and interests.

Amazing oceans: Brings to life the fascinating, and seemingly alien creatures that live beneath the sea—from the mimic octopus that can disguise itself as a snake to 30-foot long giant pyrosomes, tongue-eating fish lice, blind frill sharks and the ghoulish fang toothed fish that lives 15,000 feet beneath the surface.

Habitats and adaptation: Exploring the various habitats within the ocean from the deepest trenches where pressures reach an amazing eight tons per square inch, through the lightless abyssal zone with it’s blind inhabitants and the eerie twilight zone where bioluminescent creatures communicate in flashes of light. The session discusses the ways in which ocean animals have adapted to fill their unique niches, and touches on the difficulties humans have in exploring an area that makes up most of the livable space on our planet.

Why we need Oceans: Illustrating important ocean services from transportation of goods through shipping, to providing food for the majority of the world’s poor and livelihoods for the fishing, shipping and tourism industries, as well as driving climate and global weather. This session can be geared to all ages and expanded for use in social studies classes as well as science classes.

Taking Care of Our Oceans: Exploring the impact of human activity on the marine environment and marine life. Discussing the major threats to our world’s oceans and offering solutions and opportunities for children to participate in conservation efforts.


Program Options

1] Writing a Novel: (stand alone or in combination with sessions 2 or 3)
This session pulls back the curtain on the novel writing process. It’s not a session on how to write, rather, it outlines the step-by-step process of creating and putting together the parts of a novel from one author’s perspective. From nurturing an idea into a storyline, choosing the audience and the voice, sketching characters and scenes, through drafting, tracking subplots and analyzing for revision. This session uses actual draft pages with revision notes and a visual chart of novel in progress. ** NOTE: Students must have read Restricted Waters prior to session.

2] Getting Published Today: (Combine with session 3 or 1) from pitching ideas and querying editors in the traditional publishing arena to self publishing and marketing an e-book or hard copy book. This session discusses the how and why of various publishing options for young authors.

3] A Writing Career: (Combine with session 1 or 2) The author relies on more than 20 years of writing for a living to discuss career paths, options, the changing landscape of communications careers, from Journalism and science writing to technical writing, copywriting, PR work, and creative writing.

4] Book Discussion & Analysis: A book club style analysis of the themes presented and the writing techniques employed in the book Restricted Waters. ** NOTE: Students must have read Restricted Waters prior to session.

Program begins with a hilarious in-class activity in which students use parodies of popular tales, including my books in the popular Night Before Christmas Series, to echo a style and technique. They will explore the ideas of character, voice, rhythm, and creative thinking and then branch out to create something completely different in their own voice. Program requires teacher participation.

A hilarious in-class, activity-based program that will get the kids laughing, thinking and writing their own stories. The program uses examples from popular parodies of familiar tales, including my books in the popular Night Before Christmas Series, to explore the ideas of character, voice, rhythm, and creative thinking in the writing process. Program requires teacher participation.

Discussions of the various themes presented in the book Restricted Waters.