As part of our nonprofit’s educational mission, we host and take part in lively public events across the country. We’ve performed one-off gigs from California to New York and lots of places in between, but now we’re ramping that up as part of our first-ever national tour.
These are packed, lively occasions filled with language-y wows, linguisticky goodness, bookish goofing around, and the ever-important Q&A.

Upcoming Events

Interested in booking Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett? Call (619) 567-9673 or email to inquire. You may also contact their tour agent, Josh Lindgren at CAA, (424) 288-2000, ext. 2726, or

Don’t see your town on the list? Then take this survey to let us know where you are, how you listen, and that you want us to come to your town! We go where the demand is. If enough people in a place ask for A Way with Words, we’ll do our best to make it happen.

“Words Alive could not have chosen a more perfect team in Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett to emcee our Annual Authors’ Luncheon. Held every year as the centerpiece event of our organization, the luncheon celebrates literacy, Words Alive’s role in the community, and its supporters. Few speakers have been able to connect their message to Words Alive’s audience in a more passionate, impactful way as Martha and Grant. We’re truly grateful for their participation – and are convinced that their participation played a significant role in making the event a major success!” —  Patrick Stewart, Executive Director, Words Alive literacy organization, San Diego, California

“Speaking from my experience, you’ll love their presentations and the opportunity to ask them direct questions during the question and answer period at the end of their presentations. You’ll be able to personally explore with them expressions/words specific to your region/city or to ask about those ‘fabled’ family expressions. Maybe you can even stump them, although I doubt it! Don’t miss it!” — Barbara Alexander, San Antonio, Texas

Choose Your Own Event and Audience

Typical Topics

  • Language change and new words
  • Word histories, etymology, and word origins
  • Regional dialects and language differences
  • Language differences across eras and generations
  • Slang, youth language, and what’s new with it
  • Language diversity: why we don’t all speak alike, never have, never will, and why that’s just fine
  • The reading life: books, libraries, and learning
  • Taboo, naughty, and forbidden language
  • Anything-goes Q&A
Typical Events

  • Lively presentations/lectures/speeches
  • Emceeing and hosting
  • Schools (we have a killer slang presentation!)
  • Corporate events (Martha’s diversity talk is in high demand)
  • Professional conferences
  • Panels (as moderator)
  • Formal interviews (as interviewer)
  • Academic conferences (as plenary speakers)
  • Workshops
  • Commencement addresses
  • Charity dinners
  • Awards presentations
Typical Audiences

  • The general public
  • Your clients
  • Your donors
  • Corporate staff
  • Professional staff
  • Classrooms
  • College students
  • High school students
  • K-12 assemblies
  • Church groups
  • Business fraternities
  • Youth groups

For more information on what Martha and Grant can do:


  • Wayword, Inc., the nonprofit on whose behalf Martha and Grant appear, is paid a fee for their public appearances.
  • Expenses, including accommodations, airfare, transportation, and other incidentals, are covered by the client organization.
  • Martha and Grant fly out of San Diego.