My school visits are FREE and all my books are “clean,” meaning there is no sex, profanity, or teenage drinking/partying.
Kids don’t like to write because they often associate it with school work and research papers. I’m passionate about reading and writing, and my goal is to show kids how to experience fun, creative writing. My 45 to 1 hour visit is not to teach writing, but to give kids an opportunity to explore fiction writing using exercises that give them free reign to create and use their imagination.
Here’s what you can expect from my classroom visit:
- I will provide teacher with a short story called “Fire Striker.” The teacher can either read aloud, or provide students with a copy to read. This shows the kids who I am as a writer and serves as a preliminary introduction. At appropriate grade levels, you can do an activity centered on the story, such as fan art. I can pick out my favorites the day of the visit and offer prizes.
- Since my visits are free, I do ask that you give me the opportunity to sell books at the end of the visit. Typically, I have the teacher take an unofficial count of kids interested in buying books in order to give me an idea of how many books to bring. Also, it’s a huge help if you can send some kind of communication home to parents/students about the visit and the special pricing I offer on my books specifically just for school visits. (2 for $20, 1 for $12).
Day of Visit
1) 10 minutes – Introduction and Q&A. For certain age groups I toss a beach ball as a tool to entice kids to ask questions.
2) 5 minutes – Video to inspire kids to write. Excerpt included from Rick Riordan on writing. Will need projection equipment to plug laptop into.
3) 20-25 minutes – Creative writing exercise. This can be tailored to each individual class and includes one of the following:
- One line writing prompt
- Index card prompts – person, place, thing, dialogue tag – kids pick one or more cards
- Item prompt – kids are presented with an item and they incorporate the item into a story
- Round-robin group writing
- Free writing time on works in progress with opportunity to meet with me and have me review a sample. In one class there were so many kids working on novels, I held a contest after the visit and featured the winners on my website (with parent permission).
4) 10 minutes – Have students share their stories
5) 10-15 minutes – Book purchasing/signing