Brenda Maier is an elementary gifted education specialist and mother of five. As a board member of the Oklahoma Association for the Gifted, Creative, and Talented, she presents at state gifted conferences each year. She is also an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Her debut book, The Little Red Fort, has received positive reviews from Horn Book ReviewBooklistKirkusSchool Library Journal, and more. She resides in Oklahoma. You can find her at

Making It Happen: How an Idea Becomes a Book

Grades K-2
30 minutes

Grades 3-5
50 minutes

In this engaging presentation about persistence, picture book author Brenda Maier uses a slide show, props, and audience volunteers to demonstrate how an idea is made into a book. She finishes with a reading of the story, and her goal is for students to leave feeling like they can do anything if they’re willing to persevere and problem solve.

Assembly Required: Creating a Retelling Together

Grades 3-5
50 minutes

After a fun “pop quiz” on literary tools (terms), author Brenda Maier shows how she changed things like the characters, setting, and problem to create a retelling. She invites the audience to change elements of the folktale, The Little Red Hen, to investigate how one element of a story affects another. Includes readings of original and The Little Red Fort

The Structure of a Story: Small Group Workshop

Grades 4-5; limit of 25 participants
50 minutes

In this presentation, Brenda Maier will show students how using structure can make writing much easier. Whether it’s a plot diagram, paragraph, or essay, these structures can be thought of as blue prints for your writing. 

Conference and Festival Appearances

“Things Don't Just Happen. Things are Made to Happen.”

30 minutes

In this presentation titled after one of her favorite quotes, picture book author Brenda Maier will share how she got the idea for her debut book and give tips on how pre-published writers can make things happen for themselves.   

Virtual Visits

Brenda is occasionally available to drop in for a free 15-minute Skype virtual visit and Q&A with a class that has read The Little Red Fort. (Because she’s a full-time teacher, please check for schedule availability.)

Brenda will give an abbreviated talk about how an idea becomes a book, or the session can be all question and answer. If you prefer question and answer, please submit the questions 48 hours before the visit.

AV and Tech Needs for In-Person Visits

Brenda will need a set up to show a PowerPoint. Please make sure there is a laptop hooked up to a projector or Smartboard so that she can just pop in her memory stick. A lapel mic would be wonderful for any audience larger than a classroom. Please also include a table for props. 


• Within the Tulsa metro area, $700 per day (includes up to 3 sessions daily; can be 4 sessions if two are 30-minute ones)

• Outside of the Tulsa metro area, $1,000 per day plus transportation, hotel, and meals.

Request a visit. 

Ordering Books

Schools and libraries may order books at a discounted rate by visiting The Scholastic Teacher Store or by calling 1-800-SCHOLASTIC.