Schools

Information for Schools

If you would like to arrange a school presentation please contact me for availability and detailed information:

Email me by clicking here.

I offer 5 different dynamic writing workshops and 2 power point presentations for students Grades 3 - 8. Each workshop focuses on writing and reading-comprehension state test objectives. From 2014 I will also be offering writing workshops for K - Grade 2. Honorarium for all workshops: $350.00 per day for Houston area schools, $600 per day for North Texas/ Austin/ San Antonio area schools and $800 per day for out-of-state visits and remote Texas schools. Please note that I usually book up at least nine months in advance.

For school presentations in Houston, the price includes travel but lunch is required on the day. For school visits out of Houston, but within Texas, these prices include travel and accommodation expenses if I have 3 or more schools in the same area. For out-of-state visits, the price includes air-fare if I have four bookings in one week in the same area. Please check my calendar page for availability.

Letters from Schools

Thank you to all of you who have sent me such wonderful letters. They are all greatly appreciated. I am sorry that I only have room to print a few of them. Below are letters from teachers. Please scroll down to read letters from students, they are listed by schools.

The fourth graders at Giesinger LOVE it when Mrs. Ralles comes to visit. I had previewed her books with them, and they could not wait to read them. They were always checked out after that, and they put a lot of them on hold. Mrs. Ralles's presentation to the fourth graders is amazing!!! The students learned so much about writing and the teachers are using her writing ideas in anchor stations so that the students can continue using what they learned. Thanks so much for coming!!! We look forward to your visit every year. Thanks for all you do. Susan Jackson, Giesinger Elementary, Conroe, Texas

Hilary, The kids just adore you!!!! They can't stop talking about your books. I had kids ask me about their book orders all day today. We have collected 10 more orders. We look forward to seeing you tomorrow for the book signing. Thanks for all you do to make a positive difference in our children at Greentree. Christina Blackshear Third Grade Teacher Greentree Elementary, Kingwood, TX

Hilary, I just finished browsing your website, and I found that 11 and 12 year-olds were saying everything that I wanted to say. I wonder what that means. Perhaps it shows that kids are smarter than some adults think! Thank you for inspiring these children. Thank you for inspiring me. You were born to teach. I'm glad that you write, but what you do when you give workshops is so important. Keep up the great work, and I look forward to seeing you again next year. Anita Saint Pe' Wolford Elementary, McKinney, TX

Dear Hilary, Thank you so much for coming and sharing your knowledge with our teachers and students. Your presentations were just what we needed to empower students - not only the selective readers but creative writers as well. We are all pleased and had a great time. Looking forward to next year! Thank you again, Linda Saunders. LMS Briar Glen Elementary, Union ISD, Tulsa, OK

The presentations you did for us at Beck were fantastic! Your books are checked-out all the time now. I have passed on my praise and enthusiasm for you and your work to the other librarians around the district. If you get any inquires from NWISD, you'll know it was from me! Thanks so much for coming and introducing all of us to your wonderful books!! Christine Savage

Dear Hilary, I want to thank you so much for coming to Brentfield. I know the students really enjoyed their time with you and got a lot out of your workshops. The teachers also commented how wonderful you were. I really enjoyed your books ans am looking forward to your next ones. Fondly, Ann. LMS Brentfield Elementary, Richardson, TX

Mrs. Ralles, I enjoyed having you in my classroom. I learned a lot from observing your work with the class. Thanks so much. The students did a good job developing their characters and their stories are turning out to be quite interesting. Sincerely, Jeanette Bailey

Thank you so much for your visit to us. We enjoyed your writing tips & some teachers are continuing with your "box" in their classrooms. I especially enjoyed your warm nature & ease with the children not to mention that terrific British accent!. I hope the teachers will want you back next year. I will let you know as asoon as I know. Attached are some pictures. Good Luck on the Darok 10 opening! Lenore Piccoli Media Specialist MPE Livingston, N. J.

Thank you very much for sharing your wonderful ideas with our students from your tales of becoming an author to "The Creativity Box". We were all inspired to write. Our classroom "creativity Box" is set to go, and out students are writing away. One was so inspired, he was writing a story even when he wasn't supposed to. (I wasn't too hard on him, he had a wonderful title, fabulous first sentence and exciting character names!) Once again, thank you for your ideas and stories. Sincerely, Amanda Lieber, Lafayette School, Chatham, N.J.

I just wanted to say thank you so very much! I had so many positive comments from teachers and students. It was a great day for us at Downing. It was such a pleasure to meet you personally. You are not only a terrific writer, but a wonderful person. I am hoping that they will consider another workshop for next year. I will let you know if they do. Jamie Pouster, Clayton Downing Middle school, Flower Mound, TX

I am looking forward to seeing you often in RISD schools - I think your program is wonderful. Karen Shull, Director of Library Media Services Richardson Independent School District

Ms. Ralles, On behalf of myself and my entire classroom I wanted to thank you for visiting us on Tuesday, September 2nd. My students were engaged and enjoyed your presentation. I've found today, just one day later, that students have been looking through newspapers and magazines for more ideas to use on their future writing assignments!! They are really taking what you said to heart and are working to improve their creativity. Thank you so much and we look forward to having you again next year! Lorenzo Arredondo Jr. 4th Grade Daffron Elem. Plano, Texas

We are almost finished with Keeper of the Kingdom and my kids are still loving it. I've driven them crazy by only reading a chapter per day. I will make sure we finish before we take our holiday break. "Zang it!" is the current expression of exasperation in our room. Glynda Welch, Andrews Elementary, Plano, TX

Dear Mrs. Ralles, My students and I have been reading Darok 9 and have been having a wonderful time with it. It is a very exciting book and truly draws the students in and keeps them hooked. Our language arts teacher and our librarian are very pleased with the excitement that the students have about the book and are planning to write for a grant to purchase a classroom set. Thank you, S.J. Taft Middle School, Oklahoma City

I wanted to thank you once again for returning to Weatherford this year to present such outstanding and informative writing workshops to our 4th and 5th grade students. Not only were the students totally captivated with your presentations, but also the suggestions you shared will help them prepare for TAKS. You are truly and inspiration to all the students, whether they are gifted or struggling writers. Plus, your enticing books encourage students to pick up a book and READ. Wishing you the very best, Jayme Karen, Weatherford Elementary Librarian, Plano, TX.

Oh, it is such a pleasure to have you visit us! The kids completely enjoyed it. They are writing great stuff! We have benefitted so much from your experience! Many of my students have read and tested over Keeper... and they are doing very well. They love your books! Keep up the great work! Michele Oberlin, 6th Grade Language Arts, Dowell Middle School. McKinney, TX

Thank you for presenting to our 8th grade students all day and for providing "The Creativity Box" workshop for our writer's club. It is a delight to get to know you. Much success in your writing career. I thoroughly enjoyed Keeper of the Kingdom and look forward to reading all your further contributions to young adult literature. Mary Long, Librarian, Wilson Middle School, Plano

Our fourth and fifth grade Brinker Bears were very motivated by your writing workshop with them. Their Creativity Boxes and tips from you will really pay off at TAAS writing time. You are delightful to work with and have a special winning way with students. Thanks so much for taking so much time with us. D. Schuler, Librarian, Brinker Elementary, Plano

Thank you so much for your willingness to encourage the children in their writing! Your enthusiasm and talent is inspiring. Good Luck in the future and I hope you can come again. Thank you. 5th Grade Staff, Wells Elementary, Plano

Ms. Ralles, If your ears have been buzzing it's because my students haven't stopped talking about you. I gave a writing assignment to my students on Thursday, and after just a brief discussion on the topic they generated numerous ways to begin their stories. I don't think they will ever start a story with 'One day...' ever again. Yea!! A few kids asked for magazines and newpapers to get ideas. Wow! I got the pictures back and will give you a set. Once again, thank you for coming and doing an incredulous presentation/workshop. We truly appreciated it. J. Conciardo, Withers Elementary, Dallas

Thank you for spending two mornings teaching the students in our Creative Writing Class at SIGS. Your presentations were clear and very useful. It was a delight to watch you interact with the children as each one was special to you. The children are so excited about your book and many, as you saw, have already begun to write using their Creativity Boxes. Thank you for sharing your passion with us. I wish you the very best in living out your dream. I am sure our paths will cross again. With sincere thanks, Sherre Shafer and Cheryl Pitts. (PISD Summer School - Gifted and Talented Program)

Peters Elementary in Broken Arrow, OK had the fantastic experience of a visit from the author H.J. Ralles. Ms. Ralles arrived with a portfolio of display items, autographed books and a generous smile. She was totally prepared to spend the day discussing her writing and books with our students. She did her splendid presentation of The Creativity Box for our 5th grade English classes. Each and every student had a wonderful time hearing about how Ms. Ralles goes through the writing process. The students were inspired to create their own stories. The workshops allow only enough time for Ms. Ralles to guide the students through the beginning of the writing process. The great thing is, almost all of the students completed the stories they started with Ms. Ralles on their own.. . .The 5th grade faculty hopes that Ms. Ralles visits will become a tradition here at our school for our 5th grade English classes. Kay Leslie. (Media Specialist, Peters Elementary, Broken Arrow, OK.)

Dear Ms. Ralles, As president of Spring Branch Middle School's PTA I would like to take this moment and thank you for the excellent presentations you did for our school. The students thoroughly enjoyed your talk and are still talking about what you said. I have had nothing but positive comments from both the faculty and the students. So positive in fact, that they would like to schedule you to come back next year! Those that have read your book have caught me in the halls to tell me how much they enjoyed it and they are anxious for your next book to come out. Thank you again for your time and energy. Please know that it was greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Sue Henderson. (PTA President, Spring Branch Middle School. Spring Branch, TX.)

Dear Ms. Ralles, First I'd like to say that I loved your book, Keeper of the Kingdom. One of my students lent it to me to read because he knows that I have been looking for a good example of Science Fiction to use in a unit I do here at Carlisle Elementary in my fifth grade. Right now I am reading it to my homeroom as an extra treat. We would love to have you come and speak to our fifth graders about writing to publishing and also discuss ordering a set of books to use in our unit next year. We anxiously await your reply. Sincerely, Cheryl LaMotta. (Carlisle Elementary, Plano, TX.)

Dear Ms. Ralles, I just wanted to let you know that several parents have come to me and remarked that their kids were writing stories using your ideas. Also, they have had trouble getting them to turn out the light! My 8th grade journalism class wrote some very good articles about your slide presentation. Thank you! Norma Rogers. (Librarian, Prince of Peace, Plano, TX.)

Dear Ms. Ralles, It has truly been a pleasure having you visit our school. Your presentations have inspired our students to write and encouraged me to publish. I wish you the best with your wonderful novels. Sincerely, Kim Murff. (Librarian, Bethany Elementary, Plano, TX.)

Thank you to the all the students from Lafayette School in Chatham, New Jersey who sent me such wonderful letters. I was sad that I could only select a few to put on my website.

Dear H.J. Ralles, Thank you so much for coming to our school. I'm so happy that you taught us how to use the Creativity Box. I'm really enjoying my Creativity Box and I'm thinking of making one for my family. I am really interested in your book Keeper of the Kingdom and I was also inspired by your presentation. I love the way you always try to make things interesting and not boring. From Sara.

Dear H.J. Ralles, You really inspired me to write! My teacher even caught me writing a story. I can't wait to finish my story when I get home . . . Now since I have a Creativity Box, I won't have to complain about writing a story for homework or anything else for a long time! Thank you for coming and thank you for everything. From Chad.

Dear H.J. Ralles, I liked that Creativity Box so much that I wished for indoor recess to finish the box and I got indoor recess! As I didn't have enough time to finish I'm going to try to finish my box tonight. Thank you, Allie.

Dear Mrs. Ralles, I thank you for coming and teaching us that writing is so easy. I am going to ask my cousins when they come over on Thursday if they want to write a story! Sincerely, Nicholas.

Here are some of the delightful letters written to me after my visit to Greenwood Hills Elementary School in Richardson, TX.

Dear H.J. Ralles. I would just like to thank you for your advice. I will use it every time I have to write a paper report. Your speech was one of a kind. I have always had a thing for writing, but since you told us what you did I have a greater passion for it. You are now my inspirational writer! Sincerely, Kayla

Oh my goodness, where do I start? I mean I had a terrific time! I want to thank you for teaching me how to write. I loved the story about how you started your first book. Your friend and fan Lacy.

Dear H.J. Ralles Thank you so much for visiting our school to tell us about you books and how to write a better stroy. I am going to start an idea box today. I will add things to it very often. You gave me good advice on how to start a story. Thank you for taking time off writing to come to talk to us. I hope you finish the Keeper series really soon. I hope I can read them all! Sincerely Hannah.

The children of Bear Creek Elementary sent me some wonderful letters after my visit. Here are a couple of them.

Dear Mrs. Ralles, I really enjoyed you coming to our school and I hope that you come again. A few days ago we had to write a story about anything we wanted, but I had a hard time thinking about what I was going to write about. When you came and taught us how to write a story it was so much easier for me to write. I used one of my ideas I came up with whilw we were working on our folders with you. For my surpise I got a 100%! Thank you for your help, Mrs. Ralles and please come again. Sincerely, Nermeen.

Dear Mrs. Ralles, Thank you for coming and teaching us about writing. One thing I learned from you was how to make an organized writing box. Also, I want to give a big thanks to you for sharing your books with us. I hope you will write a sequel to Darok 9. I hope you visit again next year. Sincerely, Mary.

Dear Mrs. Ralles, How is your next story going? I hope you can visit us again and teach us more ways of how to make a story. I learned a lot from you. The special box really works. No wonder you can make good stories! Thank you. Your friend, Mohammmad

Thank you to the students of Saigling Elementary who sent me these wonderful letters.

Dear H.J. Ralles, Thank you soooo much! I love the Creativity Box idea, it really is creative! I am going to ask my Mom if she can buy all, not just one, not just two, but all of the books! I am writing a book on my computer. It's called 'When I grow up.' I already have 23 pages! Yours truly, Anna.

Dear Ms. Ralles, I really anjoyed your presentation. I thought it was exciting. The trick you taught us is really cool. I also think that letting your kids read your books before you send it off to the publisher is a good idea. I hope my mom will let me buy both of the books. Sincerely, Zachary.

The children of Shepard Elementary in Plano, Texas, were asked to write persuasives about why they would like to have lunch with H.J. Ralles. Here are a few extracts.

I would like to have lunch with H.J.Ralles becuase I met her at my summer school and did not have time to talk with her. I think she is a great author! Also I want to ask her how she comes up with topics for her stories and get some tips on writing a good story, because even though I may be good at writing it's always hard to come up with a topic for my story. I want to be a creative writer but still keep some originalities. My third reason is that I need help on explaining my ideas on paper, or expressing them. I've had trouble with that the most, like in the beginning and ending of the book. I want to capture the reader's eyes and thoughts and write unexpected conclusions or problems in the story. Monica

Lunch with Mrs. Ralles . . . Just thinking about it makes me shiver with excitement! A real live author having lunch with me. One reason I would like to have lunch with her is because I totally love her books, and I think she would like talking with me. Another is that I really like writing and reading and not many children in 5th grade like it too much. She would probabbly like my fascination for writing very much. I would love to have lunch with Mrs. Ralles. I will appreciate it a lot if you choose me! Lucy

One sunny day I heard that an author was coming to Shepard Elementary. I suddenly heard that a few select students will eat lunch with the author. We had to write three persuasive reasons to eat lunch with H.J. Ralles. Well, I had to sit by the author. One of my reasons to sit by her was because I could get some great tips about writing from her. Number two was because I just love reading and she has made such wonderful books and sitting by her would be an ultimate honor. Finally, number three is hearing about her oh so wonderful stories. So those are my three reasons. I hope I get to sit my her! Rachel

Letters from students of Carlisle Elementary, Plano, Texas.

Dear Mrs. Ralles. I really enjoyed you coming to teach me about your creativity box. I know that I will really help my writing in the future. It seemed to take off a lot of pressure for deciding the titles and names. I really enjoyed hearing you speak about how you got started writing books also. I really enjoyed Keeper of the Kingdom and can't wait to read the other two. Your friend, Rachel.

Dear Mrs. Ralles, This is a letter of appreciateion. I thank you for coming to Carlisle to give us a lesson or a strategy on something I call creative writing. The good thing is that it actually works. My creativity box helps a lot in my writing. Your Pal, Divyesh.

Dear Mrs. Ralles. I'm really glad you showed us your way to come up with ideas. With your method I came up with the best story I'd had in years! My mom has given me a box, and I have already started filling it with pictures and words from the newspaper. Thank you for coming to Carlisle! Your friend, Lorenzo.

Letters from students of Canyon Creek Elementary, Richardson, Texas.

Dear Mrs. Ralles. Thank you for showing us a new way to write a book or story. Writing now seems easier to me. I am like your son- writing definitely doesn't come naturally to me. I can't wait to read your new book. It sounds very interesting. I like Keeper of the Kingdom so far. It is very good. I enjoyed learning how they made the covers of your books. Sincerely, Anne.

Dear Mrs. Ralles, Wow! I really learned a lot when you came to visit our school on December 3rd. I enjoyed it and the project we got to work on. What you taught us is going to become extrememly handy the next time I write a story. Thank you so much for everything and keep up the great work on writing your stories. Also thank you for coming and spending your time to visit us. I can't wait to read all the books that you have already told us about and that you are going to write. Thanks a ton. Sincerely, Laura.

Dear Mrs. Ralles. Thank you for taking the time to visit our school. You must be very busy already, and I was glad that you came. I am one of the people that wines for an hour before I write. The box of names, titles, first lines, characters and settings will help me. Thank you agaian for coming. Sincerely, Trevor.

Dear Mrs. Ralles. I think you were great yesterday! I like to write so I like to hear what other authors do, and how they write stories and their ways of thinking. I am going to use your box idea for organizing my writing ideas. Yesterday I went home to work on my book and I was stuck so I used the newspaper to help. I was very happy to hear Keeper of the Kingdom has two more sequels on the way. I am also excited about Darok 9 and am looking forward to reading it. Its very exciting having an author come to talk to with us, and come back soon! Sincerely, Jeanne.

Letters from students of Withers Elementary, Dallas, Texas.

Thank you for coming to my school and for your noteworthy presentation. It was so methodical and interesting. Your great techniques of thinking of titles, people, names and settings is brilliant. I really enjoyed your explanation of how you got Keeper of the Kingdom published. You influenced me to write better and with better nouns. I realized that you don't have to write wonderfully in elementary school to become a writer. You truly inspired me to write. Sincerely yours, Laura.

Dear Mrs. Ralles, Thank you for visiting our school and helping us be better writers just like you. We loved working with you and we loved your strategies. I liked the way you come up with names, and I also liked your techniques like how you made the creativity box. . .We all hope you come again to Withers Elementary School. Sincerely, Brenda.

Dear Mrs. Ralles. Thanks for coming to our school. I never have gotten to meet with a real author before. It really meant a lot to me. I'm glad you donated your time to talk to us. Thank you for doing us a favor, accomodating us and showing us how to write better stories. Your friend, Lorenzo.

Letters from students of Bethany Elementary, Plano, Texas.

 

Dear Ms. Ralles, Thank you for coming to my class and talking about writing. I had considered writing before but I didn't take it serious. Now I know I want to be a writer. Your Friend, Krista.

  

Dear Ms. Ralles, Thank you for coming to our class. Book writing must be fun. I hope to get your book Keeper of the Kingdom. You have inspired me to become a book reader. When I get home Im going to make a book. I'm so excited about writing a book I started making a book on the computer called Valley of the Golden Mummies. . Thanks again, Morgan. 

 

Dear Mrs. Ralles, Thank you for coming to our class. I will use your advice and use my imagination. I like writing stories. May be one day I will be a writer myself. Thank you again for coming. I'm looking forward to reading your book! Sincerely, Ross.

 

Dear Mrs. Ralles, Thank you for coming to our school. We really liked your visit. I am hoping to see you again. Your new book was really wonderful or what we read of it. Your new friend, Stevie.

 

Dear Mrs. Ralles, I just wanted to say thank you for taking time from you're busy schedule just to talk to the 4th grade. It was so much fun! I really want to read you're new book. I bet it takes time to write a really good book and I know it took you a long time to write this book. So that means your book is really good. I think anything is possible since you came. You've inspired me that I can do anything. From Missy.

 

Dear Mrs. Ralles, Thank you for coming to our school. We had a fun time. When you asked us if we liked writing I said no. But after your visit I now say yes. Thank you so much for coming. From Lauren.

  

Dear Mrs. Ralles, Thank you for coming and sharing the extremely helpful steps for writing a story. I'm definitely going to read Keeper of the Kingdom. It sounds so intriguing! I just can't wait to read it! Sincerely, Bree.

 

Dear Ms. Ralles, Thank you so much for coming to our class! It was really interesting and fun. I hope you come back! Sincerely, Cullen.