The Presentation:

I normally present to the 6th or 7th grade.  I do a one hour interactive PowerPoint presentation for one or two classes at a time.  My goal is to inspire students to enjoy reading as well as write stories of their own. I discuss the creative process involved in making up stories. I also do a few magic tricks as memory queues to reinforce some key points and keep it fun. At the end, we make up stories on the fly as students create a character, then give me a place, problem and solution. I do a maximum of two presentations a day or three if there is a break built in. I will also chat with writing groups if you wish and do not consider that as part of the presentation. For additional information regarding an author visit, contact David directly at stricklen@gmail.com.

Rave reviews from students and teachers alike:

I am writing to express my utmost admiration for Mr. David Stricklen, an accomplished author of “Ripley Robinson and the Worm Charmer” and the renowned Blackwater Pond Series. Additionally, he has gained well-deserved recognition as an ArtPrize Finalist with his breathtaking work.

Over the past two years, Mr. Stricklen has visited Thornapple Kellogg Middle School, leaving an indelible mark on our 6th-grade readers and writers. His engagement with all eight of our 6th-grade English Language Arts classes, of Mrs. Blair and Mrs. Slazas, has been nothing short of inspiring. Mr. Stricklen’s sessions are not only educational but also entertaining, with his incorporation of fun magic tricks that captivate the students.

During his time at TKMS, Mr. Stricklen skillfully imparted key literary elements, such as crafting a strong lead and hooking your reader, helping students understand the plot diagram, and recognizing the climax. His ability to connect with students is truly commendable, and their enthusiasm is palpable as he reads aloud climactic scenes from his novel. The interactive warm-up activities, centered around imaginative picture exploration, have proven to be particularly inspiring for all students. We eagerly anticipate his return next year, as his visits continue to foster a love for reading and writing that extends far beyond his time with us.

One of the highlights of Mr. Stricklen’s visits is the collaborative creation of protagonists with the students. This interactive experience has never failed to captivate and motivate our young learners. Beyond his literary expertise, Mr. Stricklen conducts himself with the utmost professionalism and demonstrates immense respect for both staff and students during his hour-long presentation.

In light of our positive experiences with Mr. David Stricklen, I wholeheartedly recommend that your school consider taking advantage of his talents to inspire your own readers and writers. His unique approach to literary engagement has undoubtedly left a lasting impact on our students, fostering a love for reading and writing that extends far beyond his visit.

-Mrs. Wanda Blair

Thornapple Kellogg Middle School

6th Grade ELA Teacher

TKMS ELA Department Chair

“Beneath and Beyond and Through the Eyes of the Beast are in constant demand in my room. As soon as someone turns one of them in, it is checked out again. Word of mouth has promoted the books because students appreciate the fast moving plot and action. As a teacher I feel the book is well written so that I can use passages for mini lessons on techniques and concepts such as explode a moment, vivid verbs, and figurative language.

“David’s presentations to my classroom added to the interest in the books. He is an excellent speaker who offers students advice and tips that they can easily apply to their writing. His diverse life experiences and interests make it easy for every student to find a way to connect to him as a person. The magic tricks and interactive presentation kept the interest of even the most reluctant middle school students.”

-Sandy, 8th Grade teacher, Grandville

Student Quotes:

I enjoyed how he helped us find better describing words to create a story of our own. I’ll remember how he talked us through the process of writing with the rope/magic trick… it was so cool! I am definitively going to read his whole series
– Belle Richards

The presentation was great! I loved hearing about the writing process from someone with the real experience. We especially like the activity when we were able to create our own story. We learned about how to make my writing better using different word choice, and that a lot of work goes into writing.
– Rachel Fiekema

Mr. Dave Stricklen taught me a lot about writing that I am going to remember for a long time.
– Harry Julien

In Mr Stricklen’s presentation I can honestly say that I wasn’t bored for even a second. It was great! I learned that in order to even begin your journey to writing a spectacular story, it is required that a plot graph is made. This will help you stay on track as you write your story and perhaps speed up your writing process. I really liked that Mr. Stricklen was laid back and easygoing with our class. Possibly in the future during the presentations he could include instructions on how to do his magic trick with the rope!
– Lyza Hockemeyer

The presentation from Author David Stricklen was quite enjoyable.  Mr. Stricklen revealed a process of imagination-exercise I had yet to discover. Actually picking a random magazine clipping and creating a back-story is quite brilliant.
– Katherine Sikkema

Yesterday Mr Stricklen taught us some really great techniques about becoming better writers. I really enjoyed how we created a story out of nowhere. All together it was a really cool experience.
– Lian Ammerman

I like that you got the whole class involved so we weren’t bored. I will remember the exercise we did where we created a story from everybody’s ideas.
– Nicole Howerda

Your book is very interesting. I think once Mrs. Tilley finishes the first one I will get the second one for myself.
– Nikiya Cole

Your book is very interesting and it gripped my attention just hearing the title. There are plenty of well-developed characters, and intriguing creative new things, I hope to finish it soon.
– Jordan Sugiyama

I really like how you had visual aids and you kept everyone interested, no one was bored at all.  I also really enjoy the book. I can’t wait to finish it and I can’t wait for book two to come out.
– Collin Roof

He also used new and exciting techniques that I have never seen before that were very detailed and interesting.
– Joe Farris

I learned how to make a character, how to form the person so it feels just like you know them.
– Starr Brown

I really like your writing style and look forward to your second book.
– Matthew Oomkes

I can’t wait to read what books that you have already written and upcoming ones.
– Sofia Phaneuf

I can’t wait until I order your book because then I can read it over and over.  Thanks for your inspiration!
– Jenni Parks

It was the most fun I ever had with an author guest or guest at all for that matter. It was fun making up Margarita. It was the most fun I’ve had in school this year!
– Melanie Youngquist

Below are some of the schools in which David has presented:

Duncan Lake Middle
Cedar Springs Middle
Lowell Middle
East Rockford Middle
North Rockford Middle
Grandville Middle
Northview Middle
Southeast Kelloggsville Elementary
Benzie Middle
Pine Island Elementary
Zeeland Elementary
Forest Hills Eastern
Forest Hills Northern