Booking a visit with Kelly Yang for your community!

I love sharing my writing journey with students and families all over the country! I give three different talks:

How I Went From Managing the FRONT DESK Of A Motel To Becoming A Best-Selling, Award-Winning Author!

A one-of-a-kind, fascinating, and humorous talk by Kelly Yang on how she overcame poverty and language barriers as a young immigrant child to go for her dreams and become an award-winning author– guaranteed to inspire your students! Kelly is a powerful, dynamic public speaker and her talk, which she’s given at hundreds of schools, affirms and invigorates all students. A funny, interactive and deeply engaging talk, Kelly’s presentation gives students confidence and courage that they, too, can achieve their dreams. In addition to talking about her books, Kelly also shares practical writing tips and advice, from her 15+ years of experience being a writing teacher! This is a talk not to be missed!

Be Loud, Be Brave, Be Seen!

In this powerful, heart-warming talk, Kelly encourages kids to feel FINALLY SEEN. She talks about not having the courage to tell her friends at school about her real life — living and working in a motel — when she was a young immigrant girl. How she didn’t speak for an entire year and worked hard with her ESL teacher and librarian to gain the confidence to finally say her first sentence in English. She soon started devouring books, but she never saw herself in them. She speaks movingly about the importance of books as mirrors, windows, and sliding glass doors, and how she finally found the courage to her write her award-winning modern classic FRONT DESK. In this stirring, passionate talk, Kelly speaks about what it means to have books where kids can see themselves represented.

When You Find Your Life Derailed

*For High Schools/Colleges*

Powerhouse author Kelly Yang speaks candidly to teenagers about an experience in her life which derailed her as a student and a young woman. A first generation immigrant, Kelly overcame poverty to become the youngest woman to attend Harvard Law School at the age of 17. The last thing she ever expected to happen to her at Harvard Law School was sexual assault.

Kelly opens up to teens about consent, her trial in Harvard’s mini-court system, the injustice of the verdict, the toll on her immigrant parents, and the experience of having her goals and identity derailed by this experience. As heart-breaking as the trial was, Kelly refused to let the experience wipe her out. She talks about bravely putting herself back together afterwards, piece by piece. In order to find a new path, she had to search deep down inside her and find the one piece of identity that could not be taken away, no matter what happened. A writer.

She talks about finding the courage to write her critically acclaimed young adult novel Parachutes, and embracing her survivorship. Sometimes an experience can derail you, but you never know what can bloom from the aftermath.

Combining pain, resilience, and humor in Kelly’s signature dynamic and relatable speaking style, this inspiring talk will open young adults’ eyes and leave them better prepared to navigate the rest of their lives!

To schedule a talk with me, pls email Lisa at!