Visits

Author and Authors!

An experienced teacher, tutor and presenter, I love sharing my writing process and the trials and rewards of being an author. Peppered with humorous anecdotes, my presentations and workshops are designed to inform, entertain, and even inspire groups of all ages to want to write, too.

Book Fairs/Events for Pre-Schoolers
» » Read-aloud of Esther’s Hanukkah Disaster, followed by Q & A and games matching stuffed animals with silly and appropriate gifts. Programs for grown-ups and book signings can be added.
» »Read-aloud of Paulie’s Passover Predicament, followed by questions reinforcing messages of story and audience members’ reenactment of plot, using stuffed animals. Programs for grown-ups and book signings can be added, as well as coloring sheets with book characters and seder plates.
» »  Read-aloud of Don’t Call Me Sidney, followed by interactive rhyming activities. Programs for grown-ups and book signings can be added.
» » Read-aloud of What’s Up With this Chicken?followed by Chickenbookjanevolunteers’ re-enactment of humorous parts of story. Upon request, discussion of factual aspects about chicken life cycle, chicken raising, and chicken behavior  included. Programs for grown-ups and book signings can be added, as well as craft activities that transform cut-up egg cartons to baby chicks.

“Many thanks for yesterday’s GREAT event! You (and  Sidney) were certainly a ‘hit.’ I was especially impressed with the care you put into every signing. You make each copy a true keepsake.”—bookstore manager

School Visits
Each presentation is tailored to the needs and wishes of the individual school. My planning takes into account the size and age group of the audience, requests to support ongoing curriculum, and ways to complement specific language arts standards. Whatever the age group, I allow plenty of time for questions and discussion. Visits can include sale of books and evening programs for grown-ups about the roller coaster life of a children’s book author or my experience seeing my middle grade novel become a musical (see NEW THIS YEAR below).

School programs below support student growth in Common Core State Standards, including ELA Anchor Standards 1, 2, 3, 4, and 7 for Reading and ELA Anchor Standards 3 and 5 for Writing.

Grades K-2
» » MEET A REAL LIVE AUTHOR
Read-aloud of one of my picture books, using large projected slides. Kid-friendly explanation of how a book moves from idea to publication. Slides of messy revisions, editors’ post-it notes, illustrators’ sketches. Importance of revising emphasized. Terms matched to teachers’ terms, e.g., drafts might be “sloppy copies.”
Classrooms studying and/or raising chickens will find a reading of What’s Up With this Chicken? especially relevant.

“Your presentation is lovely, low-key, and filled with information to help children appreciate authors and their work.”
—second grade teacher”Thanks for coming to enlighten and inspire our students.”—first grade teacher

Grades 3-5 (Five Program Options)
» » HOW AUTHORS WRITE: Same as program for K-2, but with more detail, e.g., dealing with rejection, role of an agent, how a book becomes an app. Can be combined with programs below.

» » MAKING CHARACTERS COME ALIVE IN FICTION AND NARRATIVES: Interactive program on how to show/not just tell about characters’ personalities, conflicts, dreams, etc. Includes practice with evocative verbs to illustrate emotion and personality (examples: stomp vs. walk; wolf down vs. eat). Single or multiple sessions (with assignments between sessions) available.

» » USE YOUR SENSES TO MAKE WRITING COME ALIVE: Interactive program on using sensory details for vivid description of settings and objects (examples: describe the school cafeteria, a stuffed elephant). Practice using rich adjectives, adverbs, comparisons, verbs. Single or multiple sessions (with assignments between sessions) available.

» » REVISING=GOOD WRITING: Combines “Making Characters Come Alive in Fiction and Narratives” and “Using Senses to Make Writing Come Alive” with emphasis on the importance of revision. Especially helpful for preparing students to write narrative essays. Includes the why and how-to of revising, how to make a sentence shine, coming up with evocative adjectives, adverbs, comparisons, verbs—all to show/not tell. Single or multiple sessions (with assignments between sessions) available.

» » NEW THIS YEAR! HOW MY NOVEL BECAME A MUSICAL: Follow my journey that began when 2 high school students (see my blog) in a small town in Utah asked permission to turn my long out-of-print award-winning novel ME AND THE WEIRDOS  into a musical–—my conferring with them on the script, accepting their changing elements of the plot for dramatic purposes, flying out for the premiere of the terrific musical, and more. Inspired to get the book back into print, I revised it, worked with a new illustrator and designer, and the new edition is now out in the world (see books page)!  Can be combined with program on revision. The book’s designer and illustrator, Doreen Buchinski, can augment this program, describing her process.
***** This program can be adapted for all ages.
 “Your presentation was amazing and we were thrilled to have the kids hear your message about writing from a real author. They have referred back to your comments every day since your visit. You really connected with them.”
—fourth grade teacher
“You have a wonderful way of giving feedback to children so that they hear what can be improved and yet feel positive about what they have accomplished.”—enrichment volunteer parent
“Your visit is definitely one of the highlights of the school year!”— fourth grade teacher

RATES

Single presentation: $225

Multiple presentations in 1 day: $200 each. Mileage added for more than 15 miles from Lexington, MA.

$150 per virtual presentation

All rates include 1 free signed book for school library or classroom, plus a list of suggested follow-up activities.

For Grown-ups
» » THE ROLLER COASTER LIFE OF A CHILDREN’S BOOK AUTHOR: Informative, entertaining presentation for libraries, senior centers, assisted living facilities, adult education groups and parent organizations. Projected slides show stages from initial idea to printed book. Audience questions are encouraged. Children welcome. Signed books available for purchase.

*******See NEW THIS YEAR above

“Thank you! The residents were so interested and engaged by your presentation!”—activities director, assisted living facility

RATES

$200 per presentation