I would be delighted to visit your school, library, homeschooling group, or book club to share my love of imagination and stories with kids, talk about the writing process, answer questions, and sign books.
Everyone has an imagination—it is the source of inventions, scientific discoveries, great art and music and stories, fear as well as hope—and one of the most important questions our imagination asks is, “What if?" In a typical presentation to a large group, I talk about how I grew up playing the “What if” game with myself, how it is part of the writing process, and how it led to the idea for my first novel The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic. Then we discuss the basic elements of stories and brainstorm a story together from start to finish. The presentation includes a reading from the book and time for questions and answers. For a single class or smaller group (around 20 or less), I conclude by having the students write outlines of their own stories and share them with the rest of the group. If you are interested in another kind of creative writing workshop, please ask. I have taught a wide variety.
Most of my presentations and workshops are designed for 3rd through 5th graders, but they can be adapted for older or younger students. Ideally, the students will have read all or part of The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic before I come—for example, it's great if a teacher or librarian has been reading it aloud to them in the weeks before my visit. I've also found that kids get a lot more out of Q&A time if they've spent some time writing down possible questions ahead of time. Then on the day I come, they can either read their question aloud, or questions can be put in a hat for me to draw from.
A typical school visit includes the following:
- Three sessions of 45 minutes to an hour each (this can be any combination of large group presentations and/or small group workshops with different grade levels)
- -Time in between presentations for book purchasing and signing
- Lunch with a small group of students (a book club or students selected by criteria decided by the school) for an informal time of Q & A
Equipment needs: screen and projector set up for PowerPoint
Fee: $600 + travel costs if outside Nashville, TN
In addition to in-person visits, I offer FREE Skype chats with small groups. These are informal, 20-minute Q&A times with classes and book clubs that have read my book.