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Writer & Illustrator



Matt is comfortable in front of small groups or large. He is pretty flexible. Family nights are always fun to plan in conjunction with a day visit. He also enjoys visiting libraries, bookstores, and other venues -- even zoos.

His school programs are high energy. There is a lot of audience participation. The emphasis is on imagination and using it to create a story from start to finish. He draws at every session and also gets the children to join him in creating some artwork of their own. Along the way we see how words and pictures can work together to bring a story to life. He uses a lot of improvisation techniques and a repertoire of silly voices, zany mannerisms, and goofy jokes to pull it all together, and the children leave with more ideas than they came in with. He's available for assemblies, classroom visits, art and writing workshops, parent nights, book signings and everything else in between.

His writing and art workshops are available for any type of group. He’ll work with the school to develop a hands-on project-oriented experience for elementary or college students, writers, families, illustrators, or educators.

Matt is also available for Artist-in-Residence programs for 3 to 5 days or longer. He works with students in an intensive and fun environment to develop deeper understandings of the writing or artistic process. He is also available for
ANIMATION in-residence workshops. All in-residence programs stress teamwork and imagination.

Since he worked as a Disney artist, he enjoys giving presentations, workshops, in-residence programs, etc. dealing with this topic. It's a great way to expose children and teens to not only the fun of creating animation but also the importance of teamwork.

An author event at the public library is also an excellent way to attract kids and families. Whether it’s a formal presentation, a book reading, book signing or workshop, he's happy to help create an exciting day or evening program to get the community revved-up about reading.

Many students walk away from Matt's presentations excited about writing and illustrating. He exposes them to some out-of-the-box thinking techniques that can be applied to many areas of their lives. His presentations, while structured, are nevertheless filled with a lot of improvisation and each one is different from the others. He also gears his presentations to various age groups. He's a bit sillier with the younger groups (Grades K-3) than the older groups(Grades 4-6) where he elaborates on writing and book publishing a bit more. No matter the age group, he keeps them laughing and sends them away with valuable information.

His presentations are between 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the age range and attention span.


If the size of the group is over 50 students, Matt will need a microphone of some sort, (Cordless is great but a microphone with a long cord also works well). He also needs a small table to set things on and drinking water. He brings along his own easel and drawing supplies, but please make sure the students are provided with drawing materials (basically paper and colored markers).



His usual fee is $850 for a full day. That includes all travel expenses if the appearance is within a 3 hour drive. (Anything beyond that, travel expenses will apply as will hotel expenses if applicable.)

He charges $1,500 for two days; $700 per day for 3 or more consecutive days. Team up with a neighboring school to save money and share expenses!

He charges $500 for a half day visit (this means two presentations, and he usually only does half days if they are within driving distance).

There's an additional $250 for after-school or evening sessions and these can only be in conjunction with a full day visit.

For further information, especially about the expenses (travel, hotel, and meals), click the "Arrange An Appearance" button and see "General Information on the Cost of an Author Appearance" as well as the 'Honorariums' section near the bottom of "How to Plan an Author Appearance."


Louise Haggerty, 115 Shepherd Lane , Lincoln University , PA 19352 , phone (610) 255-0743, (February/March 06)

If more are needed, please call or email Balkin Buddies.