Public Speaking Testimonials

17 March 2023

To Whom It May Concern


I have known Melinda for many years, through my work with the Storylines Children’s Literature Charitable Trust.

Also, representing her professionally on speaking engagements in schools.


I have witnessed Melinda speak on many occasions, particularly on Storylines Story Tours.

She is an accomplished presenter, having broad experience with all ages of children. From small groups to large audiences.

She is always well prepared, confident, and interesting. The students engage well with her and there are plenty of questions afterwards.


She delivers what goes into her own writing, as well as the general process round writing a good story, and how to get published.

Here is some feedback schools have sent me:


·      Melinda had excellent messages and her presentation really focussed on what we requested.


·      Teachers and children love her books and Melinda reading a couple of them aloud was the highlight.


·      Relaxed presentation. She came across as passionate and provided succinct commentary, which was easy to follow.


·       Melinda was friendly and professional.


I would endorse Melinda as a presenter, and am available for a verbal reference if required.


Kind regards,




Speakers Ink  

24 March 2023  


To Whom it May Concern 


Reference for Melinda Szymanik to become a Speakers Ink Speaker 


Read NZ Te Pou Muramura is delighted to endorse children’s writer Melinda Szymanik as a speaker for Speakers Ink. 


We are in the fortunate position of having worked with Melinda as a participant in our flagship programme Writers in Schools since 2016, she is highly sought after by teachers, librarians and school children as a presenter and speaker. 


Melinda has honed her skills over the years she has participated in Writers in Schools and is proficient at presenting to a range of ages, and abilities, and to groups of children of varying size. Her presentations range from lessons on story structure and useful ideas for sparking and developing stories to relatable stories about her own experiences of reading and how to find the right book, to creative writing workshops.  


School feedback confirms Melinda’s skills in this area and her adaptability in presenting to varied audiences, including adults. Below is a snapshot of the feedback we have received. 


To 110 teachers at the National Library of NZ as part of a professional development programme:  “Melinda reinforced many of the ideas we have been sharing with the teachers, about being a visible reader, along with her own experiences of reading and how to get young people reading and building a good reading culture, including author visits and finding the right book. Best of all she read us a story, which fitted well with an overarching theme of Wellness”. 


To 210 students at Al-Madinah School:  

“The presentation was engaging, succinct and explicit. Ideas/information relevant to in-class writing program - how to improve students' own writing using different techniques. Important tips of pursuing a career in Writing. It was good to hear from a "real life" author”. 


To a group of 200 children of mixed age at West Harbour School:  

“There were some great questions from kids after the talk. She shared how she had to change a part of the story to match the illustration as it made the story more exciting. It is something I can refer back to”. 


Melinda is professional and personable, she is always enthusiastic to attend school visits, and she understands first-hand the impact a visit from a ‘real-life author’ can have on a child.   Please be in contact if you require further information. 



Juliet Blyth   

Chief Executive   

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