Author Visits to Schools
What kinds of programs do you offer?
Do you do Skype visits?
Do you have programs for middle and high school students? For adults?
How do we contact you, and how much do you charge?
Our school can't afford an author visit. What can we do?
How should we prepare students and teachers for your visit?
We want an author, but we don't want you . . .
SECRETS OF A SUPER STORY (grades 2-5, any size group, ~40-50 minutes)
Common Core Writing Standard 5: With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing. Click here for instructional objectives
Do super sleuths Milo and Jazz solve their cases on the first try? No way! As any young mystery fan knows, the detectives' path is littered with false leads and slip-ups. But Milo and Jazz stick to the case like Velcro and, working together, come up with the answer in the end.
In this program, students learn that writing a mystery (or anything else!) is just like solving one. From the first brainstorming session to the final wrap-up, it takes persistence, collaboration, and a willingness to toss out ideas that aren't working and try new ones. (Tired of hearing your students whine about revision? Wait till they see how many drafts an editor requires!)
School equipment needed: laptop-compatible projector and screen; microphone
"I loved the mysterious entrance, and the humor. It was so beneficial to our kids to see the writing process in action.
Your presentation was very well thought out and gave clear, real life examples of every step of the writing process."
—Woodbrook Elementary School, Charlottesville, VA
"I loved the focus on the idea that writing is never perfect the first try." —Livingston Avenue School, Cranford, NJ
"I loved the way Mara dealt with our students. She asked intelligent questions and treated them with respect and humor. Her presentation and disguise were on target with the 3rd graders. The students were captivated by her presentation." —Samuel Gompers Elementary School, Philadelphia, PA
"The presentation taught the students all about the writing and editing process in a fun and memorable way. It was interactive and held the students' attention very well. . . . The presentation was done with humor and heart."
—The Millington School, Millington, NJ
"Since your visit our library's Milo & Jazz mysteries have been the most circulated items in our collection. I have something like 3 of each title and they are NEVER in the library. BRAVO!"
—Stone-Robinson Elementary School, Charlottesville, VA
"I loved how you kept the students engaged and led them through your process of researching without just saying I did this and I did this... you showed them the primary and secondary sources and really involved them in the process!"
—Severna Park Elementary School, Severna Park, MD
Yes, I do! See above for schools with a special interest in Mesmerized. More information on my page at the Skype an Author Network.
I have retired my assembly program for Get Real: What Kind of World Are You Buying? but I am happy to do small-group workshops and/or large-group Q&A with middle school and high school students who have read the book. For assemblies, "Adventures in Research" can easily be adapted for an older group.
I also speak to groups of teachers, librarians, writers, parents and children, and the general public. Just ask!
My fee varies depending on distance and number of programs. I offer substantial discounts to schools in my home area of eastern Pennsylvania. I also offer discounts for multiple visits in one school district.
Please email me for details, letting me know where you are and what schedule you have in mind:
Funding author visits
As every teacher knows, time spent in the classroom is just the tip of the iceberg. Visiting authors put in many hours planning, preparing, organizing, gathering materials, communicating with the school, and traveling. All that takes time away from our regular job—writing!
For schools, this means an author visit can be pricey. Here are a few tips:
Amber Brown Grant From the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
Grants for Librarians A comprehensive list, with links.
McBookWords Scroll down to "Funding an Author Visit" for links to grants.
Grants for School Visits Posted in 2004; some may be out of date.
Preparing for an author visit
When you book me, I'll send you a letter with specifics about your program. These links can also help you get started:
Ten Tips for a Perfect Author Visit By author and former school administrator Michael Shoulders.
The Perfect Author Visit Courtesy of Dan Gutman, author of many hilarious books including the My Weird School series.
Invite an Author: Planning, Fundraising, and Tips for Success Although this is aimed at schools inviting Scholastic authors, it includes lots of good general info on author visits.
Hosting an Author From the childrensauthorsnetwork (a small group of authors who do school visits).
Organizing an Author Visit Geared to parents' clubs, from PTOtoday.com.
Authors who do school visits
A. S. King
Donna Jo Napoli
Lisa Kahn Schnell
Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Eastern Pennsylvania - Find a Speaker
Author School Visits by State
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators: Find a Speaker