Children’s Author Visits
The more I visit schools, the more I realize how valuable author visits really are. They do give young readers and writers cause to stop and really think about writing from a different perspective. They also reinforce and compliment curriculum goals such as:
- defining roles of author and illustrator
- identifying similarities and differences of characters with other stories
- identifying characters, setting and events that occur in story and describe them based on illustrations and details
- taking away meaning from stories
- confirming understanding of story with Q/A session
- explaining how illustration add to and help clarify a story
- describing key ideas
- Recalling information
Read on to find out more. I’m also a participating author on the professional organization; SCBWI (Society of Children’s BookWriters & Illustrator’s) visiting author website.
For Preschool- 1:
All PreK-1 receive an introduction to authors and illustrators with a little about where ideas come from. Newest release: Once upon a Poodle full-color picture book. Storytelling from this adorable and funny book which follows the tale of a little poodle who tries everything possible to find a brother—feathers fly, nuts are cracked, gardens are harvested in this tale made just for storytelling
New PowerPoint presentations are offered each school year for my children’s author visits. Presently, they are based on my newest book for this age group, The Upside-Down Gardener. They focus on tuning into creativity, what to do with ideas, how to begin, parts of a story, how a book is made and a little storytelling. Unique aspect is a focus on students learning how to tell stories of their own, in addition to my storytelling. In this particular program, children will also learn a short lesson in botany, like the anatomy of a plant, what plants need to thrive, about seeds, flowers and more. Those who purchase books will receive a seed packet for their own experimentation, and the class will receive seeds in order for the entire class to understand how seeds grow.
I use my experience as a long-term magazine writer and author to demonstrate how I got the ideas for my stories, how I gave each character a personality and placed them within a setting, how I created an action or problem and solved it, how I observed what’s around me or something that has happened to me for inspiration—-and had a little fun in the process.
If desired, writing workshops can also be done for those in grades 2+. Please see more below.
Choose from a special holiday theme from the easy-reader series: The Adventures of the Poodle Posse.
Halloween Program: A visual storybook telling of Creepy Tails!, a Halloween Adventure
Midwinter Program: a visual storybook telling of Trouble Down Under, a Midwinter Adventure
Beach Blast: A visual storybook telling of No Dogs Allowed!; A Summer Adventure
Length of sessions: 30 minutes + time for Q/A
Length of sessions: 45 minutes
Reading past the levels of my books doesn’t mean that they can’t appreciate what goes into creating books for young children. So they do benefit from an author visit that includes all of the above, plus a sort of ‘rap’ session that discusses their issues with writing: good and bad.
But this age means that older students are ripe for a writing workshop with hands-on skill development in either fiction or non-fiction genres.
Length of sessions: 45+ minutes
These are available for grades 2+, geared toward ability level. Students are engaged in both instruction and practice, as they write from somewhat unusual prompts—visual, oral and written. For younger students, the focus is on creative writing, where imaginations are opened up and the most interesting ideas pour out. For older students, the focus is on non-fiction writing, where students have to get creative with facts—making it a bit of a challenge for them to make even the driest topics—a bit more interesting.
Length of sessions: 30-45 minutes
**Programs are also designed for school book clubs, Title-1 programs and literacy nights.
Bulk book pricing, printouts for discussion available.
SCHOOL VISITS ARE SO VERY EASY-AND VERY SCHOOL FRIENDLY!
You pick the date and time, and I supply the rest – hands-on interaction with students-plus a new PowerPoint presentation each school year that focuses on one of the many themes listed below:
- Author & Illustrator-the team
- Why authors write what they do
- Tips for better writing
- Writing & production process
- Where to begin?
- You are already an author
An author visit is usually an assembly, where I speak to several grades about inspiration and idea generation, through my PowerPoint and storytelling. But it can also be more intimate in a library or classroom setting. For older students, a series of hands-on creative writing activities, where students delve a bit deeper into their own imagination through a series of visual, written and spoken prompts can be done in class, an auditorium or cafeteria —somewhere comfortable to write.
I can make it a morning, a day or more. It’s all up to you and how much time you’d like to devote.
What to do?
So easy for busy teachers- I supply discounted book order forms and preview books. Just collect orders, drop me a line a day or two before with the info and I bring the books on the day of the visit-dedicated and ready to go. There is no need to deal with book distributors, stores, etc. Just check the calendar to find an event or open date to schedule a visit to your school. Or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
You pick a date that’s good for you, secure the space, distribute discount book order forms and talk up the visit. Then I do the rest. I supply the order forms and bring my laptop and projector on the day of the visit. Book signing can be done in advance (preferred) or on the day of the visit. It’s up to you. I bring all of my books with me, so there is no need to deal with book stores or book distributors
Each year, special weeks come with special offers. Discounted visits are offered during CATHOLIC SCHOOLS WEEK and READ ACROSS AMERICA . Travel fees apply outside the greater Philadelphia/Central/Southern NJ areas.
Discounted Book Sales– Books are discounted by at least 10% or more (depending upon volume) from retail price.
I love visiting with students and sharing my love of writing with them. So, I am therefore ‘fee simple’ and hands-on; promoting the experiences of reading and writing through my examples rather than promoting just the sale of a single book or series. All programs are designed for the needs of each school, so please drop a line for a quote: email@example.com. or call (267) 250-6626. Fees are by arrangement, depending upon location, number of programs per day. Special fees available for Catholic Schools Week and Read Across America Week. Watch for other specials.
For financially-challenged districts, please send a note to me: firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try to work out a suitable program.
You are certainly welcome to preview any of the books prior to booking a visit. Just send me a note: email@example.com.
Primary school visits are tweaked and crafts and activities added, offering complete storytime/young reader programs based on the stories in the books: summer, winter, bullying and Halloween themes are the most popular. Flexible programs allow for ‘comp’ books and crafts for each participant to take home.
Adult talks on the writing process (self-publishing vs. traditional) include all aspects of navigating the process and moving manuscripts from rough drafts into finished manuscripts. Special library rates apply for single programs-beginning at $150. More info firstname.lastname@example.org.