Author Jon McGoran is available for school visits, writing workshops, & book groups, in person & via Skype or Zoom.
"My freshmen were lucky to Skype with Jon McGoran. Since they were in the process of writing short stories, I asked if he could specifically speak about his writing and editing process. He gave the students such great advice! He was a natural at answering my students' questions with insight, honesty, and encouragement. It was a GREAT experience!"
English Language Arts Teacher, Director of LHSU,
Lebanon High School, Lebanon, MO
"Jon's enthusiasm for storytelling is infectious. Engaging and dynamic, he sparks teens' interests in writing compelling stories. I would have him back at our library in a heartbeat.”
Young Adult Reference Librarian
Abington Free Library, Abington, PA
"Jon McGoran was a captivating speaker who conveyed to the teens how his work highlights environmental issues and xenophobia."
Haverford Township Free Library, Haverford, PA
"My students and I were so fortunate to have the opportunity to Skype with Jon at our school's luncheon honoring our strong readers. Jon spoke about the writing process and the work it takes to hone a rich and engaging text. It was wonderful for my students to hear that successful published writers plan, draft, get feedback, revise, edit, and rewrite pieces before going to final print- all the skills I try to instill in the writers in my classroom. When asked if it's important to 'write what you know,' Jon responded, 'It's important to know what you write.' I'm posting that quote in my classroom.
"Jon was gracious in his talk and in answering questions my students posed. His talk was interesting and applicable to both the age of my kids and the writing that they do- in and outside of the classroom. We even got to meet his dog Kismet on the Skype call. My kids loved that. And, after reading his book Spliced, my kids are clamoring for the sequel. What a thrill to meet the author."
Christina Iadicicco, MAT
Language Arts Team Leader
Martin GT Magnet Middle School, Raleigh, NC
Spliced touches on a number of themes relevant in schools today, and Jon McGoran is an experienced writing teacher, coach and workshop leader.
Spliced explores many scientific and technological concepts, how they come about and how they could impact society. Some of the scientific and technological themes discussed in Spliced include:
energy & transportation
Many of the key technologies in Spliced reflect existing technologies. Topic areas include explorations of where those technologies may be headed next, for better or for worse. Some technologies in the book are considerably more advanced, like genetics, renewable energy, infrastructure, and implantable computers. Others have become less available or advanced, such as the internet and cell phones.
Other scientific themes figure prominently in Spliced as well, including climate change, a transition from fossil fuels, mass extinctions, and epidemiology. All of these themes have shaped the world in which Spliced takes place, and can serve as the basis for fascinating talks and lively discussions.
Politics & Sociology
One of the most immediately striking elements of Spliced is the existence of the chimeras —people who have chosen to alter themselves in various ways by splicing animal genes into their own. But much of the book’s deeper meaning comes from society’s reaction to the chimera’s, including those who view them with repulsion, fear, or hatred, and those who seek to exploit those emotions for political gain.
Both the chimeras and those who seek to dehumanize and exploit them serve as metaphors, for those who are marginalized in contemporary society, as well as those who seek to exploit those marginalized groups for political gain.
Spliced also touches on issues such as animal personhood, wealth stratification, urban planning and infrastructure, and the legislative process.
Teen Writing Workshops
- Character, Voice & POV
Setting: place, time & what it means to your characters & your story
Economy and exposition: How to keep your writing lean and powerful without losing anything vital.
Editing: How to self-editing your work, and things to look for before you share it with others.