One of the real perks of being a writer is getting to visit in libraries
and classrooms to talk with students about the process of writing a book.
It is so exciting to get their imaginations fired up and see what we can
There are things you can do as well to make the most of an author visit
for your students and for your class time. Here are some ideas to help you
make the most of our time together.
Schedule a Visit
I am available for individual presentations and workshops, or for an
author day or multi-day session. These can vary in format depending on your
class sizes, learning goals and facilities. For
, I can accommodate
up to 100 students, but workshops are best with smaller groups. To
request a brochure with details, please contact me
and provide an email address (for a pdf version) or mail address for a paper
What I Need
My requirements are fairly simple. I typically use a
projector of some kind (yes, I started with overheads but can hook in a laptop or discuss your current system)
with a screen or wall and a small table to set my materials
on. It works best if lighting can be dimmed over the screen without
darkening the entire room. The size of the room and the need for a microphone
will depend on the number of students you plan to have attend the presentation.
Skype presentations are also an option.
For workshops, tables and chairs help the students work at their
best. And if Iíll be there for the day, I enjoy having lunch with the
students or teachers. Add me to the cafeteria list!
I do require teachers to remain with their students both for safety and attention
issues and to enhance the benefit for the teachers who plan to follow-up
on the presentation material. I also provide additional handouts and
resources for teachers and librarians.
Book sales are also an option and Iím always willing to sign books that
students bring along.
What You Can Do in Advance
The one thing I always hope is that teachers and students have had a
chance to read my books before I come. We discuss some of the story
content and while Iím always willing to read to the students, itís a
full presentation time.
Talk about idioms (a teacher guide is available
Go through a variety of picture books and discuss topics, the style
of the pictures, how many pages they might have, etc.
As for the rest, itís always fun to see what exciting things teachers
and students come up with! Things other schools have done:
- think of other ways to make pigs fly and draw pictures or create
models of it
- let your local newspaper or news station know an author is coming — itís a
great chance to promote the school and raise community and literacy awareness
- prepare questions ahead of time for the students to ask during
- prepare a reading drama of one of my books and act it out
- one class all made pig hats that they wore while I talked!
An author visit can be an exciting opportunity to encourage your students
in their reading and illustrating skills. If you have any questions, please
donít hesitate to contact me!