Speaking & Workshops

I love speaking, connecting and creating with women seeking wisdom for their own journeys. I'm also delighted to share my work with teachers and students, celebrating the joy and discovery of creative self expression. 

To discuss availability and fees, please e-mail me at richmond.marianne@gmail.com.


Women’s / Community Events

“Marianne is a natural speaker, her presence on stage is both personable and refreshingly honest!”

— Kassi Wilson, MOPS Leader, San Jose, CA

One of the best parts about gathering in community is learning that we are not alone on our heart’s journey. Yes, our personal stories are unique, but we are united by our humanness and the common hopes we have for our lives and families. I customize my presentation (and yes, I will sell and sign books if appropriate)  for each audience, but these are some of my most popular themes: 

  • How to Cultivate Connection with your Kids
  • From Productivity to Presence 
  • Putting on your Gratitude Glasses
  • Bless and Release: The Key to Contentment and Joy

"Marianne is a natural speaker, her presence on stage is both personable and refreshingly honest. She shares her stories in a heartfelt way - spanning from love, loss, life-changing opportunities, and her newest adventure uprooting and moving across the country. It almost felt as if you were sitting with a close friend reminiscing about life over a cup of coffee. She encouraged us with the wisdom she’s gained through the years from brave choices, staying true to herself and walking into the unknown with a heart of faith. Our time with Marianne - truly inspiring and uplifting!" 

— Kassi Wilson, MOPS Group, Westgate Church, San Jose, CA

“Marianne, our group sincerely enjoyed your visit.  You touched us by sharing your authentic self with us. Thank you for being you; a fabulous person, who isn’t afraid to share her story and help others see that growth comes through experience.  You really were a great fit for our group.”  

— Amy Kurth, Messiah MOPS Group, Sauk Rapids, MN.

“Marianne spoke with our group and many were so moved by her work. I received rave reviews from the members about her enthusiasm for kids, her community and the arts. It’s safe to say there will now be more avid Marianne Richmond fans and her special books and gifts will find their way into many new homes!”

— Dianne Sparks, Kiwanis Chapter President, St. Anthony Village, MN

We invited Marianne to do a creative workshop at our church staff retreat. Marianne is a wonderful artist and leader, but she also showed us that art has no rules, giving us confidence and permission to play with different ideas. We truly enjoyed our day, had fun and went home with a piece of art that holds memories of our time together.

— Vicki Elliott, Business Administrator, Nativity Church, St. Anthony, MN

“Marianne is a very inspiring speaker. She shared many of her personal experiences feeling the constant distraction of being productive versus being present. She gave us ideas and things we can do to make our moments with her children and family more meaningful. Her books come from her moments with her children. She shared with us what it is to be a mom, wife, friend. Her short visit with us was full of wisdom and presence. There was not a dry eye in the audience as she read letters from her children to their father. What a beautiful woman who survived a brain tumor, raising children, and accomplished children's book author and inspiring speaker.”

— Dorothy Birnie

School Visits

“When she said good-bye to the last of the children filing back to class, you could tell that the students felt they'd not only made a new friend in Marianne but that they believed a bit more in themselves as well. A priceless gift!” 

— Rachael Parakh, PTA President, Simonds Elementary, San Jose, CA

Over the past two decades, I have talked with thousands of kids about the gifts of self-expression. I have also been a volunteer Project Cornerstone reader in my own kids' schools. 

My many “guest author days” have been both half and whole-day programs as well as evening parent gatherings. I have worked with classrooms on poetry writing and painting as well as coordinated a school-wide Artist in Residence project. My goal is to come alongside the teachers and schools in the most impactful and meaningful way.  I always talk about how I began my writing career, where I find inspiration as well as answer the questions students have. I work with schools to pre-sell books, either directly with the school or through their favorite independent bookstore and have an order form they can use. Some of my “main messages” include: 

  • Hooray for You, a celebration of you-ness — What is you-ness?  The grand sum of you that sets you apart, your body and brains plus your spirit and heart!” We talk about the important of celebrating individuality and honoring differences, compassion over criticism and empathy over judgment. 
  • I Believe in You — “The job of growing up takes hard work, you know but each day is an adventure and each problem helps you grow!” We talk about the “inner assets” needed to succeed (truth telling, courage, kindness, etc.) as well as the “life team” every kid needs, i.e., parents, teachers, coaches, etc. 
  • STOP and Write! — The blank page is intimidating for even the most experienced writer! A teacher saying, “let's write!" is often a panic moment for students. I share my personal how-to-get-started writing formula, simple enough for even the youngest child to remember. (S=Start with what you know T=Talk to people O=Open your Mind and P=Put it down on paper

“Hi Marianne, your presentations yesterday for our annual Author Day were wonderful. At the staff meeting after school, many teachers told me how much they and their students enjoyed your "STOP and write!" message. Teachers also appreciated that you shared your personal story of how you got started writing and illustrating. And the best compliment of all, a student asked me first thing this morning when you would be back!”

— Karen Ott, Media Specialist, Country Lane School, Cupertino, CA

“Marianne is an author and artist but during her presentation today at Simonds Elementary, she became an inspirationalist, too! She explained to the students that her success today is because she took a risk years ago while recovering from brain surgery. Weaving age appropriate details of her personal story into her assembly, Marianne challenged the students to celebrate the 'you-ness' inside each one of them — the essence of what makes every person uniquely special. When she said good-bye to the last of the children filing back to class, you could tell that the students felt they'd not only made a new friend in Marianne but that they believed a bit more in themselves as well. A priceless gift!

— Rachael Parakh, PTA President, Simonds Elementary, San Jose, CA


Education Events / Literacy Nights

Thanks for sharing your books and life stories with us. God blessed you with a special gift! I am looking forward to adding several of your books to our class collection.

— Melanie Ludwig, Educator, IA

I love to gather with the dedicated teachers (and parents!) tasked with growing our kids in a fast-paced, achievement-focused world, my work a perfect compliment to social and emotional learning (SEL). Marianne’s books invite kids and grown-ups to feel their feelings, honor differences, show empathy and cultivate connection. Telling stories from more than 20 years of writing and creating — and selling more than 3 million copies of her books — Marianne shares:
  • Her journey from brain surgery to best-selling author
  • Book readings and the why behind her work
  • Project ideas to encourage self-expression

“Marianne Richmond is a wonderful author. She spent the day talking with each of our classes and then spoke to our parents during our Annual Family Literacy Night event. Marianne shared personal stories, read a few of her books to us and explained how she approaches the writing process. The parents, students, and staff all commented on what an “awesome” day and evening it was. Two weeks after Marianne’s visit, some or our teachers are using her drawings to “spark” a writing activity in class. We can’t thank Marianne enough for sharing her love of writing and reading to our school family.” 

— Jim Cayton, Principal, Kalona Elementary, Kalona, IA

Whether you are planning a retreat or girl’s night out, you’ll find a whole lot of creative inspiration in the ideas below. To discuss availability and fees, please e-mail me at richmond.marianne@gmail.com.

“If you have an opportunity to take a class from Marianne, do yourself a favor and sign up right away! She's awesome!”

— Karen Midlo

Workshop: Intuitive Painting

Description: Creativity is the soul made visible! Using acrylic paints on canvas, you’ll tune into your inner wisdom, noticing what delights you in terms of color, pattern, mark making and imagery. The focus is less about completion and more about creative play and the pure joy of self expression!  Seeing our spirit come alive on canvas, we kindly remove ourselves from self-judgment and comparison, realizing we are the only ones who can create what we do! Materials provided.

“Marianne created an environment that was not at all threatening and free of judgment which helped me to actually put paint to canvas for my very first time and have fun doing so. Marianne helped me to realize what a rich experience it is to create and to just have some fun doing so! Thank you!”

— Mary Duvall

“I thoroughly enjoyed Marianne's class. Your warm, encouraging style of teaching helped me to be comfortable trying new projects. You created a non-threatening atmosphere which gave us a new freedom to explore. I walked away invigorated to be more daring in my art activities, trying more variety in my creations. As a creative guide, Marianne is inspiring, supportive, enriching and such a joy to learn from!”

—Toby Fernald

Workshop: The Art of Intention

Description: Give voice to your hopes and dreams through a time of focused introspection, inspired declaration and meaningful self-expression! We'll get quiet, get clear, and get creative, making wonderfully free, heart-led canvas paintings that encourage our aspirations. Perfect for open-hearted women (of all ages) looking to connect with and artistically declare their intentions. For the sure-footed and the shy, the certain and the seeker and anyone ready to receive the gift of self-expression. Materials provided. 

“I attended Marianne's workshop and it was wonderful. She is warm and inviting, and created a space to contemplate and express ourselves. The canvas I made is a great reminder of what is important to me and will hang in my office as a gentle reminder of my highest goals for myself.” 

— Karen Ritchey, Founder and Executive Director, Deborah's Palm, Palo Alto, CA 

“Words cannot express how deeply grateful I am to have been able to take an art workshop from Marianne Richmond. Marianne allowed me to express my feelings and was with me every step of the way. I was able to face my fears and leave the workshop with a project I felt good about. She helped me regain a confidence that had been lost for many years. I'm so grateful to her!”

— Karen Midlo, Art of Intention workshop participant


Workshop: Wear and Share your Heart Jewelry 

Description:  Wear and share the message of your heart in this hands-on workshop where you create your own set of Magnet House Jewelry. The concept is simple.

Choose your project.  Each option includes:  1) one necklace or bracelet or keychain 2) a magnetic gift in 3) three blank magnets.  Additional magnets can be purchased for $1/each.

1. Rectangle necklace on 22” silver ball chain

2. Square bracelet on ribbon tie

3. Heart Keychain

Create three personalized magnets using paper, words, fabric and embellishments. Swap out your magnet to match your mood or message (a hole in the back of the pendant lets you pop out the magnet with a paper clip, ball point pen or earring back). Design a cute gift tin to keep everything in one place. Just like that — a personalized gift for you or someone you adore! Materials provided. 

“Thanks for  gracing us with such a lovely evening.  My daughter and her friend loved their necklaces.  Such a personal gift.” 

“Thank you Marianne! We all enjoyed having you help us get our creative juices flowing and make super cute necklaces!”

— Ann and Karen, Mom's Night Out, San Jose, CA 

Workshop: Gratitude Rocks! 

Yes, gratitude does rock. Transform ordinary rocks into fun, colorful and motivational art that can inspire, empower and spread joy when shared with others (or kept for yourself)! Decorate your community. Adorn your schoolyard. Leave along your way. Gather in a bowl for a lovely centerpiece. Create a rock garden. Learn about and/or join The Kindness Rocks Project — one woman's movement to spread inspiration and motivation for unsuspecting recipients through random inspirational rocks dropped along the way. Materials provided.