Public Speaking, Workshops & Presentations

I love talking with groups of any size, writers and non-writers alike! Check out my TED Talk for a sample of my speaking. And here’s a Columbus Dispatch article about my recent Happy Class at Thurber Center. Contact me at katrinakittle@gmail.com for proposals and rates.


Practicing Happiness, or “The Happy Class”

This fun, informal workshop focuses on practicing happiness even with negativity swirling all around you–or self-care during tough times. Would you like to feel more positive (without giving up your awareness or fight)? Your happiness is not a frivolous, expendable luxury. The Pursuit of Happiness is one of our inalienable rights and is a powerful tool that can lead to improvements in your immune system, relationships, sleep, decision-making, creativity, and productivity…plus it’s FUN. The problem is, too few of us pursue it. You can make your own personal happiness a priority no matter what else is happening in the world–you don’t have to be in denial, but you also don’t have to deprive yourself. This workshop will combine story-telling, exercises, and plenty of interaction to set you on a path to reaping all the benefits from chasing joy.

Leap, and the Net Will Appear: Steps for Creating Positive Change

The expression “Leap and the net will appear” is often misinterpreted as “just jump and someone will swoop in to take care of you,” but the reality is we galvanize our own life changes by leaping…and then we must weave the nets ourselves. This presentation has been a keynote speech, an hour-long talk and presentation, a three-hour workshop, and a three-week workshop. I enjoy tailoring the message to fit the time and needs of each group. Typically, a Leap class begins with my own journey (through adventures both positive and awful) to illustrate how I arrived at the lessons I’m sharing, then it transitions into a variety of writing/sharing/brainstorming exercises to help the audience apply those lessons to their own lives.

  • Learn how to ask “What next?” instead of “Why me?” at setbacks, turning the worst things that happen to you into your greatest teachers
  • Create manageable, accumulative change, rather than waiting around for a big outside event to magically “fix” your life
  • Get tips for handling your own resistance at leaving your comfort zone

I really enjoyed Katrina’s genuine, real-life, authentic experiences and how she shared great examples for turning everything toward learning and growing opportunities. Each exercise was worthwhile for generating the inspiration and enthusiasm to pursue some goals that I have been putting on the back burner.”
—Karen Schmitt, LexisNexis Women Connected

This was a wonderful presentation and the speaker was simply fantastic. She made the audience feel comfortable discussing difficult topics and gave practical, “doable” steps on how to facilitate change. These exercises encouraged the audience to really take a look at where they are today, where they want to be, and steps on how to achieve goals.”
—Alison O., LexisNexis Women Connected

The vibrance and frankness with which you spoke made the path in front of me a whole lot less foggy, and the tools you provided have created the start of a bubble of excitement I have been craving. To me your presentation plays like animated courage.  From the bottom of my heart, thank you for sharing as you did.”
—Gail S., Dayton/Miami Valley PMI

This was a GREAT speaker. I think I just really needed this right now. I like that it wasn’t focused solely on work, and I like that it included a focus on emotions. I think it helped to put things into perspective and reinvigorate people who are getting worn down.”
—Carolyn Gredig, LexisNexis Women Connected

Add this as ‘One of the Best Of‘”—Anonymous, Dayton/Miami Valley PMI

This was an amazing experience and I am so happy I was able to attend. I walked in not knowing what to expect and walked out feel empowered. Katrina was amazing and so down to earth. I loved it.”
—Kendra Strodes, LexisNexis Women Connected

photo(4)Great presentation style that embraced the audience.”
—Lorna Hoilette, LexisNexis Women Connected

Loved the interactive exercises.“—Anonymous, Dayton/Miami Valley PMI

Very genuine, provided real life experiences, uplifting with realistic quotes. I was so intrigued I was feverishly writing notes!”
—S. S., LexisNexis Women Connected


I am often invited to speak about “The Story Behind the Story” for any or all of my books, “My Journey as a Writer,” and “Tips for Writers.” I can also customize a keynote, talk, class, or workshop for your group on any aspect of the craft of fiction or the writing life. Please contact me for proposals and rates: katrinakittle @ gmail.com

Recent presentations include:

  • Which Comes First—Character or Plot?
  • Make it Exist: A Roadmap and GPS for the First Draft
  • “I’d Know that Voice Anywhere”—Creating Distinctive, Authentic Character Voices
  • Jumpstart—Inspiration and Motivation for the Writing Life
  • Keys to Character
  • “My Own Defense of Marriage Act”: An Examination of Marriage in The Blessings of the Animals
  • Writing the Socially Conscious Novel

“One of the best author visits I have ever seen:  Katrina Kittle kept our students riveted with her lively and humorous anecdotes about breaking into publishing.  She deftly answered their questions and offered warm encouragement to our student writers, while reinforcing the message that there’s no substitute for hard work and passionate engagement.
Sue Swartzlander, Professor of English
Grand Valley State University
Allendale, MI

“When Katrina Kittle delivered the Mountcastle Lecture…what followed was an authentically provocative talk, one that truly held the audience’s attention because she consistently conveyed that she was speaking not at nor even to the group but actually with them.  One boy, just after the lecture, rushed up to say how much he appreciated a guest who did not ‘talk down to us and still challenged us with ideas we could understand.  We were inspired.’
Dan Christian, English Teacher
Gilman School
Baltimore, Maryland

“Katrina Kittle is not only a gifted and creative writer, she is an excellent public speaker and engaging storyteller.  She exudes kindness, compassion, intellect, and deep wisdom in her spirit.  She knows what it means to be human.  I have had the privilege of working with her on three occasions as we crafted worship services for my church around the theme of three of her books:  Traveling Light (AIDS/HIV on World AIDS Day) The Kindness of Strangers (Sexual Abuse), and The Blessings of the Animals (Marriage) All services were moving and powerful!  I can’t wait to have her back.”
—Rev. Dr. Michael D. Castle, Pastor
Cross Creek Community Church, United Church of Christ
Dayton, OH

“The Dayton, Ohio chapter of PFLAG had the opportunity to hear Ms. Kittle discuss her books at our scholarship banquet. Engaging and entertaining, Ms. Kittle is a strong voice by a straight ally for the LGBT community.”
Jan Couchman, President
Dayton, OH PFLAG

“Katrina’s visit with the mothers and daughters brought her book Reasons to Be Happy to life. Ms. Kittle addressed the peer issues facing young girls today with frankness and compassion. Katrina Kittle also shared her love of writing and was an inspiration to the aspiring young writers in our midst. She commended them on their insightful questions and answered honestly.  She is and always will be a teacher first. Her writing is a gift as is she.
Alice Beresford
Youth Services Librarian, Mason Public Library, Mason, OH

“Whenever I teach, I think, ‘what from this class will students remember in ten years?’ Without a doubt, it will be Katrina’s visit to talk about The Kindness with Strangers, and the accompanying service learning project through CARE House. Her book is one to open minds and change lives.”
Dr. Sarah Twill, Social Work
“Mental Health and Contemporary Fiction” class
Wright State University
Dayton, OH

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