Speaker Request

Below are AGT authors available to speak to your group. If you are interested in one of these programs, please fill out the SPEAKER REQUEST form below.

Stephen Lyn Bales

SPEAKER: Stephen Lyn Bales is a natural historian and author. He has written three books on natural history for UT Press and over 600 magazine and newspaper articles and columns in the past 25 years.


  • Natural Histories. Plants and animals with interesting connections to our own human history.
  • Ghost Birds. A period piece from the 1930s and the time when wildlife biologists started trying to save vanishing species.
  • Ephemeral by Nature. A closer look at plants and animals that pass through our day-to-day lives and then are gone.
  • Wonderful Life. A collection of vignettes about remarkable plants and animals that the author has written about in the past 25 years.
  • The Wonder of Hummingbirds. A detailed look at the remarkable lives of nature’s speedsters: ruby-throated hummingbirds.

LENGTH OF PRESENTATION: The talks are roughly 45 minutes long.

FEE & EXPENSES: His speaking fee for local groups is $50 to $100. Out of town bookings are $100 or more depending on the distance.



Sam Bledsoe

SPEAKER: Sam is a Navy veteran who later worked in marketing and eventually started his own business in that area. Sam is also one of the founders of the Authors Guild of Tennessee. Being a writer of science fiction novels, his scientific background led him to be a supporter of Climate Change theory.

TOPICS: Should We Be Worried About Climate Change? What we must do now to mitigate the effects of Climate Change, how long we have before we see devastating damage, and what kinds of people will be most impacted by it.

LENGTH OF PRESENTATION: 20 minutes to 1 hour

FEE & EXPENSES: Travel expenses and ability to sell books

AREA AVAILABLE: Within one hour of Knoxville, Tennessee


Gayle G. Curtin

SPEAKER: Gayle G. Curtin is a retired veteran of the insurance industry with formal training in adult education and has written a book on underwriting. In her 40-year career she trained independent insurance agents on Insurance Services Forms for all lines of business and wrote content for underwriting guidelines as well as training modules for her national carrier employer. Gayle is currently a volunteer and interpreter in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the Cades Cove area.


  • Cades Cove. General history and virtual tour of the Cove, Cades Cove Methodist Church history and funeral traditions, and Cades Cove Milling. Insurance.
  • Basic insurance concepts for small business owners. General Liability Underwriting with a focus on understanding rules and form implications. Agent/Underwriter relationships.

LENGTH OF PRESENTATION: Varies according to audience and topic, but generally 45 minutes.

FEE & EXPENSES: Expenses dependent on travel over 50 miles and ability to sell books at events.

AREA AVAILABLE: Within 200 miles of Knoxville, TN


Sonja DuBois

SPEAKER: Born in 1940 in Rotterdam, Clara van Thijn (Sonja) was separated from her parents on July 29, 1942 when they reported for the first Jewish transport headed for Auschwitz, where they were murdered shortly after their arrival. Sonja wrote Finding Schifrah, the story of her life journey.

TOPICS: My story of being a child survivor of the Holocaust, during and after World War II

LENGTH OF PRESENTATION: My power point photo presentation is 30 minutes.

FEE & EXPENSES: If the presentation is out of Knoxville, mileage is 50 cents per mile.  There is no speaker fee.

CONTACT: ronson1@att.net. Books are available at $15.00


Jerry (Jerome) Morton, Ph. D.

SPEAKER: Jerry Morton’s many and varied experiences in working with people range from deck-handing on an ocean-going dredge boat to directing an internship consortium for doctoral students in school psychology. Along the way he served as a psychology instructor for senior officers at the army’s Special Warfare Center, assisted inner city schools to become integrated, managed a cooperative of school systems, and directed an alternative school for at-risk students. His three books and his podcasts provide details of these and other experiences as he changes the perceptions and perspectives of those with whom he interacts.

TOPICS: Presentations are based upon what Jerry has written or recorded.

  • Belief systems and how belief systems change (If you believe it, you have made it true for you.)
  • The power and development of non-verbal communication (Yes, you constantly communicate what you believe.)
  • Issues coming out of the Viet Nam war (an army of draftees versus one of professionals)
  • Issues concerning integration in our society and in international relationships. (We are all the same but express that sameness from our cultural perspectives.)
  • The use of punishment versus positive reinforcement in attempts to change behavior (Is revenge more important than positive behavior change?)
  • Psychic phenomena (tricks versus the unexplainable and the threat of changing belief systems.)
  • Concepts concerning heroes and change agents (The Dao lists five types of leaders.)

LENGTH OF PRESENTATION: 45 minutes with variations to fit your needs. Presentations via Zoom, etc., can be arranged.

FEE & EXPENSES: Expenses are reimbursed with fees to be negotiated.



Bobbi Phelps

SPEAKER: Bobbi Phelps graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and became an international flight attendant. She started the Angler’s Calendar and Catalog Company in 1975. In 1993 her company won Exporter of the Year for the State of Idaho (small business category).

Bobbi was a twenty-year member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America, a nine-year Idaho board member for The Nature Conservancy, an Arnold Gingrich Writers recipient from Fly Fishers International, a five-star award winner from Literary Titans, and a first-place gold medalist from Feathered Quill Book Reviews.

The Authors Guild of Tennessee twice voted her president. Her website is www.booksbybobbi.com.

TOPICS: Her book titles are:

  • Behind the Smile During the Glamour Years of Aviation: In 1965 it was a more innocent and glamorous time of travel, when passengers dressed formally, smoking was permitted, and the captain allowed in-flight visits to the cockpit. But there was another side to a flight attendant’s profession: Harrowing landings in horrific weather, unruly soldiers, sexual escapades, babies being born during flight, and terrifying episodes in war zones.
  • Sky Ranch, Living on a Remote Ranch in Idaho: This book tells of industrial ranch life from the point of a naive East Coast former resident. The author learns about cattle raising and row-crop farming as well as hailstorms, blizzards, and floods. The Rocky Mountain region introduces her to duck hunting, fly fishing, boating, camping, and coyotes.
  • Africa – On My Own and Unafraid. This is a period piece about visiting East and Southern Africa, before GPS technology, when tourism was young. She writes of seeing lions and elephants, zebras and giraffes, all close by in their savannah grasslands. She witnessed tribal Natives in their bright robes, their bodies decorated with colorful beads. And she writes dramatic details of her climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro.

LENGTH OF PRESENTATION: The talks are roughly 20 to 40 minutes long with show and tell objects along with a following question and answer period.

FEE & EXPENSES: Her speaking fee is made up by the selling of her books. Special prices are offered and Bobbi pays the sales tax.

AREA AVAILABLE: Within an hour’s driving distance from Lenoir City.


Brenda Prater Sellers

SPEAKER: Entrepreneur Speaker, Entertainer, Author. She advanced from receptionist to president of a global company, to Philanthropist of the Year, to Community Leader to climber of Mt. Everest and beyond! Learn how her book, You Slept Where? Calamities of a Clumsy Businesswoman, has raised over $45,000 for two nonprofit organizations!


  • Growing Business (small business to global)
  • Entrepreneurship (become the leader that makes a difference through time management and achieving goals)
  • Under-40 Mentorship Program (how to climb the ladder to success-like climbing Mt. Everest)

LENGTH OF PRESENTATION: 20 minutes + 10 minutes Q&A (with half day workshops available)

FEE & EXPENSES: Starting at $1,000 with one-on-one mentorship available. Travel expenses: Negotiable.

AREA AVAILABLE: North and South America, Canada and Mexico, UK



  • Fundraising – outside the box strategies to exceed goals
  • How to motivate staff members, volunteers, board members for maximum results

LENGTH OF PRESENTATION: 20 minutes + 10 minutes Q&A (with one-on-one mentorship available)

FEE & EXPENSES: $500* with 25-book commitment of You Slept Where? Travel expenses:  Negotiable. ($500 fee is donated back to nonprofit agency)

AREA AVAILABLE: North and South America, Canada and Mexico, UK


Victoria Winifred


Bring the magic of storytelling to your school with Victoria Winifred. As a guest author, Victoria offers engaging presentations and book-related activities tailored to different age groups. Students will have the opportunity to learn from a licensed elementary educator author and gain valuable insights into the behind-the-scenes world of how to craft a book. Reserve a date and discuss terms and fees by contacting Victoria today.


  • Duration: Half or full days
  • 2 or more Presentations: Geared towards different age groups
  • Activities: Book-related activities included
  • Q&A Time: Students can interact and ask questions
  • Available for booking: Contact Victoria to reserve a date


Victoria Winifred is not just an author but also a licensed and highly qualified elementary educator, new teacher mentor, and life coach. Her expertise spans various subjects, making her an ideal speaker for private events and groups. With four award-winning children’s books under her belt and more to come, Victoria also edits her late mother’s poetry for publication while providing private tutoring and coaching.


Victoria offers a range of topics for groups, including but not limited to:

  • The Value of Chess in Education: Connecting chess to all subjects and promoting engagement and critical thinking
  • Writing, Publishing, and Marketing Your Books: An inspirational talk to help aspiring authors plan and take their next logical steps without getting sidetracked
  • Learning Chess: An introduction to the game for all ages, with multiple chess sets provided
  • Creating Your Classroom Culture: Injecting personal passions into the classroom to make it come alive
  • Gifted Education: A brief history of Gifted and Talented programs in Public Education, along with guidance on supporting gifted children.

LENGTH OF PRESENTATION: Talks range from 30-60 minutes+ depending on chosen topics and organizational needs

FEE & EXPENSES: Speaking fee: Starts at $100 for both local and virtual speaking engagements. Additional travel fees may apply for distances exceeding 40 minutes from Madisonville in any direction. Books available for sale at events, with personalized inscriptions upon request

AREA AVAILABLE: Madisonville to Knoxville and surrounding areas In-person visits outside this area will be assessed and priced on an individual basis; Virtual Visits available.


Complete and submit form below to request a speaker