Meghan Cox Gurdon Keynote Speaker

  • Essayist, former foreign correspondent, and passionate read-aloud advocate
  • Children's book reviewer, The Wall Street Journal
  • Author, "The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction" (2020)

Meghan Cox Gurdon's Biography

Meghan Cox Gurdon is a weekly columnist for the Wall Street Journal, where she writes about children’s books, literature, and culture. Meghan is the author of the acclaimed work of nonfiction, “The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction” (Harper) which is now available in six languages.  A former foreign correspondent and graduate of Bowdoin College, Meghan has five children with her husband, the English journalist Hugo Gurdon.  She and her family divide their time between Maryland and Maine.
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Meghan Cox Gurdon's Speaking Topics

The Read-Aloud Discovery: How Parents and Teachers Can Help a Child Succeed

In this lively and authoritative talk, Meghan describes the astounding restorative power of reading aloud at a time when many children are struggling. Drawing on stories (real and literary), along with brain and behavioral studies, she lays out how read-alouds will turbo-charge a child’s social, emotional and language development, while fostering happier family relationships. She also shows how teachers can harness the read-aloud magic at school, giving all kids in a class, whether they’re strong readers or not, the same exhilarating access to language and narrative, while also giving their least proficient pupils a surprising boost.

An Obstinate Act of Love: Advice for Magical Read-Alouds in the Age of Distraction

Busy parents want to get it right: We want our families to be happy and harmonious, we want our children to succeed socially and academically, and, sure, it would be great to read aloud more often. But who has the time-- or the attention span? In this validating and inspiring address, which includes stories from literature, personal anecdote, scientific tidbits and practical tips, Meghan explains why a daily read-aloud is the single most effective (and joyful!) activity that parents can pursue to give their children what they need to thrive.

“You’ve Given Me Back My Childhood!”: Shared Reading Recharges the Aging Brain

Reading aloud is not just for children. In this heartfelt and moving talk, Meghan draws on science and storytelling to show how the mingling of voice and text enhances the intellectual and emotional well-being of older adults. From alleviating loneliness to improving concentration, from reducing agitation to galvanizing existing brain pathways, reading aloud is a balm to the older soul.

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Videos of Meghan Cox Gurdon

Meghan Cox Gurdon on the Importance of Reading Aloud to Children
Meghan Cox Gurdon on the Importance of Reading Aloud to Children
The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction
The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction

Books by Meghan Cox Gurdon

The Enchanted Hour

Comments & Testimonials

“Meghan speaks with warmth, joy, and love for the written word and storytelling. I cannot recommend her enough as a speaker, as well as an advocate for the power of human connection through reading aloud.”
Private social club event host, New York City
“Meghan was magnificent. An incredible speaker with a brilliant mind. She really put in perspective the value of reading to kids -- it’s actually life-changing. We had close to 250 attendees and they won’t stop raving about how amazing she was. “
Nonprofit literacy program director, Cherry Hill, NJ
“We hosted Meghan for an author talk on “The Enchanted Hour” and I have heard nothing but positive feedback from those who attended. Meghan delivered a captivating presentation, and her passion for reading aloud is contagious.”
Bookstore owner, Frederick MD
“What a delightful speaker-- and what an important topic. Meghan is a delight to work with, friendly and engaging with all attendees.”
Think tank event organizer, Washington DC
"Meghan was engaging, intelligent, a bit provocative, and very likeable. Her presentation was excellent. She was very accessible to attendees’ questions and open to their ideas and enthusiasm, which was considerable."
Event host for 600-school membership group, Milwaukee WI

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