The Big List of Virtual Author Activities

All the best ways to interact with authors and illustrators online.

It’s no surprise that authors are incredibly good at bringing their own books to life. Whether through live or pre-recorded visits, read-aloud videos, or other virtual author activities, kids will connect with books like never before! Here are some of our favorite options to try.

Pre-Recorded Virtual Author Visits

Check out these videos of presentations authors have given at schools and libraries. There are authors here that will interest students at any age.

Arree Chung

Hear Chung talk about the process of creating his book Mixed: A Colorful Story. The allegory of one color who thinks it’s better than the others is meaningful at any age.

Bao Phi

Bao Phi’s lovely book A Different Pond showcases the relationship between a father and his son. As they fish for the food their family needs, the father tells his son about a pond from his own childhood in faraway Vietnam.

Jasmine Warga

Author of the Newbery Honor book Other Words for Home, Jasmine Warga gives an engaging talk about how she writes.

Jennifer L. Holm


From her Babymouse graphic novels to the Sunny series and beyond, Holm writes books that middle grade readers absolutely love.

J.H. Reynolds

Do your students love the thrills and chills of the MonsterStreet series? Then they’ll love seeing its author answer kids’ questions about reading and writing!

J.K. Rowling

Every kid will recognize the author of the beloved Harry Potter books! See her interview with the Harry Potter Reading Club in this video.

Kate Messner

Kate Messner writes fiction, nonfiction, novels, chapter books, and picture books, so there’s a good chance most kids have read at least one of her books.

Katherine Applegate

Lots of kids read The One and Only Ivan in class, and Applegate has plenty of other popular and award-winning books as well. Hear her talk about her books (and even show off her adorable dog!).

Lois Lowry

Here’s another name kids will recognize. Whether they love The Giver, the Gooney Bird series, or any of her other numerous works, they’ll enjoy listening to her speak and answer audience questions.

Max Brallier

The Last Kids on Earth book series is now a Netflix series too! Listen to author Max Brallier talk about his writing process and give kids a writing challenge of their own.

Live Virtual Author Visits

Children's author Natascha Biebow holding up her book, Crayon Man, and a handful of crayons. She does virtual author visits and other activities.

Want to set up a virtual author visit live for your class or school? If you have a particular author in mind, visit their website (or their publisher’s) to contact them and find out if they do virtual visits. Scholastic offers virtual author visits through their catalog, so that’s a great place to start.

The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators has a terrific roundup of virtual author visits and writing workshops too. Here are some to consider.

Dan Gutman

Gutman has written all sorts of books for kids, and he’s happy to do virtual school visits. Find his offerings and prices at his website.

Kevin Kurtz

Nonfiction children’s author Kurtz loves to present his books to kids of all ages. His virtual offerings include readings, interviews, and concept-based workshops.

Melinda Long

Long does both in-person and virtual author visits based on her popular books, like How I Became a Pirate. Visit her website to see her offerings and book a visit.

Natascha Biebow

Biebow’s colorful book about the inventor of Crayola crayons is a delight. She offers free virtual visits, plus interactive in-person workshops.

Susan Koehler

Known for Dahlia in Bloom, Koehler offers both virtual author visits and writing workshops. She does professional development workshops for teachers too.

Virtual Author Read-Alouds

Still from video of Grace Lin reading from one of her books, perfect for virtual author activities

When you hear authors read their own books, it gives you a whole new perspective on their works. That makes read-alouds some of our favorite virtual author activities.

Bruce Hale

Hale’s YouTube channel includes a playlist called Storytime With Uncle Bruce. Hear him read about Clark the Shark and other hilarious characters.

Dan Gutman

Gutman has a whole collection of read-alouds on his Facebook page, like Miss Blake Is a Flake. Kids will love his wacky style!

Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Visit her YouTube channel to see the author read her book Where Are My Books? She’s got a few other read-alouds too, along with drawing tips.

Fabien Cousteau

Fabien Cousteau is the grandson of famed sea explorer Jacques Cousteau. His book series explores his own experiences under the water, and you can watch his read-aloud on Facebook.

Grace Byers

You’ll feel inspired when you hear Byers read her heartfelt book I Am Enough.

Grace Lin

Lin reads aloud from her picture books as well as chapters from her longer books on her YouTube channel.

Jo Knowles

Watch Knowles read the first chapter of her middle-grade novel Where the Heart Is, while giving students a fun writing exercise.

Julia Cook

Hear Cook read a variety of books from her collection, like Wilma Jean the Worry Machine. Her YouTube channel also includes interviews, advice, and other fun virtual author activities.

Kate Messner

Watch Messner read Fergus and Zeke and the 100th Day of School in this YouTube video.

Kevin Noble Maillard

This read-aloud of Fry Bread includes some of the author’s thoughts on writing the book and the recipe he included at the end.

Leah Henderson

Listen to Henderson read the first chapter of her book The Magic in Changing Your Stars on YouTube.

Mac Barnett

The author regularly shares read-alouds of his books, like I Love You Like a Pig, on his Instagram page.

Monique Gray Smith

The author has added a collection of videos of herself reading from her picture books on Instagram. Titles include When We Are Kind and You Hold Me Up.

Neal Shusterman

Hear readings from Shusterman’s books on his YouTube channel, including excerpts and complete short stories.

Oliver Jeffers

The author created a Stay at Home: Story Time section on his website. Initially made during the 2020 COVID lockdown, these videos are still lots of fun to watch.

Peter Reynolds

Visit Reynolds’ Facebook page to see him read from some of his most popular books, like The Dot.

Susan Katz

The award-winning author and illustrator reads from her book The Story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg in this YouTube video.

Tony DiTerlizzi

The author reads his picture books on his YouTube channel, where he also has lots of drawing videos for inspiration.

Other Virtual Author Activities

Still shot of video of Jeff Kinney drawing his Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, part of a list of virtual author activities

So many wonderful authors and publishers have YouTube or Instagram channels! Join them as they teach you how to draw, offer writing tips, and lots more.

Authorfy 10 Minute Challenges

Kids will do more than just watch these videos. They’ll write, draw, and create on their own, inspired by famous authors and illustrators.


Watch story time, Cressida Cowell’s summer camp, author interviews, how-to-draw videos, and a whole lot more.

Grace Lin

The prolific author has a robust website full of videos, activities, podcasts, and more virtual author activities to engage kids of a variety of ages.

Jarrett J. Krosoczka: Draw Every Day

The Lunch Lady author and illustrator has a series of videos showing kids how to draw some of their favorite characters. His YouTube channel also has cartooning tips, writing tips, pep talks, and shorts.

Jeff Kinney: Wimpy Kid

This YouTube channel is rich with content, including interviews, tour journals, how-to-draw tips, and so much more.

Lunch Doodles With Mo Willems

The Kennedy Center sponsored this series of videos with the beloved author of classics like Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!

Raina Telgemeier, @goraina

Author and illustrator of hits like Smile and Drama shares drawings, time-lapse videos, and more on her Instagram page.

Rob Biddulph: #DrawWithRob

Aspiring illustrators will enjoy this series, where any kid can learn to draw creatures of every kind.

The Bookwanderers Club

These half-hour chats with well-known middle grade authors are the perfect length to share with your classes.

What virtual author activities do you use with your class? Come share in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Plus, check out The Best Read-Alouds on YouTube for Classroom or Home.

Check out live and pre-recorded author visits, read-alouds, and other virtual author activities like drawing sessions to share with students.