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It's always a delight to meet young writers!

Common Questions

What do you do for a school visit?

School visits are generally two-day visits. I visit the school for two full days, and work with the school's schedule for class arrangements. For K-1st grades, Attention spans are generally shorter. We read stories, playing with characters and with an emphasis on "imagination." Grades 2-3, are able to maintain a longer focus, so I've crafted a presentation for this age called "Cooking up a Story" where we get into Character, Setting, and Plot. For grades 4th-5th we do a full on writing workshop called "Story Building" where kids learn how to create strong characters, they'll make up their own delicious settings using sensory writing, and learn about the conflict and tension needed for strong story. Volunteers share aloud with classmates, and it's a fun hour. With all classes I show them how books are made, and we talk about the books and characters they love in their personal reading.

If you're interested in an author visit, I do work with teacher schedules and content. I can tailor a presentation to meet your specific needs.

I do have a pre-visit packet I send out to the school ahead with book order information, Book Bites, (ways to use books in the classroom) and illustrator line drawings, which are way fun for kids.

How long are presentations?

For K-1 30 minutes

This is sometimes expanded to include a Mrs. Fickle activity, either planting a small seed, or making a pickle ornament to hang on a Christmas tree, as is (said) to be a German tradition. Teachers have supplies on hand, and I am there to assist.
Please let me know if you plan to include an activity.

Presentations for grades 2-4 run about 35-45 minutes.
Topics vary.

Grades 5 and 6 presentations last about 60-70 minutes.
Students will need a flat surface for writing. Actual tables where students can sit, and work together, work best as we do group exercises to learn about the writing process.


Author Readings
Story Building
How books are made
Hands on Writing Workshops
Our favorite Books
Where ideas come from
A Writer’s life

Set up

K-1 Story time chair, small table, classroom or library setting

2-6 Gym or library setting, screen, table for laptop and projector, microphone if needed.

Please prepare for the author visit by getting children acquainted with the books. This way when I come to your school, the students will be excited to see into the world of publishing and how these particular books were created.

*New for school visits, learn to draw Aggie! Now kids can draw Aggie with a step by step guide from Frank Dormer! (I recently noticed you can download this from the Charlesbridge website! See links on the right.)

Creating great books takes a great team!

*Welcome Banner Created By Mary Woodward Elementary

Note for teachers:

One of the greatest joys for children's authors is the opportunity to connect with students. Please remind your students about internet safety and sharing personal information online when they comment on author sites. There are times when students share too much personal information as with full names and addresses or school information. Author websites are widely public, and students can forget this. We love fan mail, but also wish to keep our reader friends personal information protected. Thank you for teaching our readers about online safety.