Authors Doing Homework for Students? Answering Interview Questions

  Last week, a high school student got in touch via email. Her teacher is requiring that students do a “Personal Project” that is meaningful to them. This particular student is interested in becoming an author illustrator. (Awww! How cool! She chose me to give insights and advice!) And she wanted me to answer seven […]

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Slap Happy Name Tags

  You’re probably scratching your head saying, “Really? A whole post on where to slap a name tag? Has she lost her mind?” But while getting ready for the upcoming SCBWI Summer conference this week, I thought about one of my pet peeves – hard-to-read name tags.  The stick-on kind and the hanging kind. Admit […]

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9 Ways to Get Teachers to Love Your Author Visit

What qualities do teachers look for in a visiting author? I decided to go to the source! I asked public school teacher and children’s author, Rebecca Langston-George, for advice. Rebecca is a past president of the Kern County Reading Association, host of the Young Authors’ Fair, which is, in my opinion, one of the best-run […]

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Janet Wong Shares “5 Things I’ve Learned About Doing School Visits”

1. Make an effort to keep expenses low. Recently I had the choice of driving, flying, or taking a train to a university conference where I was a speaker. Knowing that the conference was on a tight budget, I chose to drive, which saved at least $250 for the university. They reimbursed me in the loveliest […]

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5 Things I’ve Learned About Doing School Visits: Kim Norman

School visit season is over. Summer vacation is here. But keep your brain humming! Summer is a great time to reflect on what worked well for you last year and to think ahead to what you can implement in the next school year.  Here’s some advice from author and school visit expert, Kim Norman. 1. […]

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Signature Openings

Even outgoing authors get butterflies before school assemblies or other presentations. A little anxiety is a good thing! But don’t let nervousness to derail the rest of your presentation.One way to avoid this is by having a signature opening.  A signature opening means that you choose specific way to begin each presentation. Since the opening […]

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Scoping Out a School

Before I visit a school, I explore the school’s website try to find out as much as I can such as Location & directions (obviously) School mascot School colors Upcoming special events Total population Minority population Number of classes per grade level   This information gives me a feel for the approximate sizes of the […]

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Bundling Your Time

Author Dori Butler wanted to be able to offer free mini-Skype visits to schools, but needed a way to manage requests:   “I like to be able to offer something [to schools] for free, in the interest of promoting literacy. But I’m doing it on MY terms. I’ve decided to set aside one day a […]

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Perfect Parking

I circled the school three times before I found a spot. Time crunched, I schlepped a backpack, props, and equipment in the rain across a busy street and around massive puddles to the site of my school visit. Parking. This may seem like a tiny detail in the scheme of things – but to start […]

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4 Tips for Book Festival Presentations

Book festivals offer big challenges to authors and illustrators when it comes to keeping the crowd focused and engaged in your presentation. In school assemblies, you’re confident that the kids have a collective understanding of the school’s rules and are grouped by age. You can use a PowerPoint presentation to great effect. But book festivals […]

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