I love connecting with students and talking about my two greatest passions, writing and reading! Meeting a “real author” gives kids insight into how writing works and why it’s fun. It inspires them both to read more and to write their own stories. I’m always amazed at how insightful the students’ questions are and how interested kids are in the process of writing, from how I build a story to how the final book is created.
Questions? Comments? Email me here.
THE IMPORTANCE OF STORIES
length: 30-45 minutes
content: multimedia presentation about how stories are important to our culture and why we love them, how they’re constructed, and how students can–and do–build their own stories. Includes lots of imagination-sparking images, taking story construction through character, setting, and plot. Lots of student participation and engagement. Ends with about 10 minutes Q&A.
ideal for: both small and large groups, 3rd-6th grades; can be shortened & adapted for younger audiences
WRITING THE KEY & THE FLAME SERIES
length: 30-45 minutes
content: multimedia presentation narrating my journey from first ideas to research, writing, and publishing The Key & the Flame and the rest of the series. Includes videos & photos of my writing space, notes, journals, as well as advice for kids who want to become writers someday or who want to publish right now (handouts available). Includes about 10 minutes Q&A.
ideal for: small or large groups, 3rd-6th grades; can be shortened & adapted for younger audiences
“The kids were certainly engaged and interested in what Claire had to say about writing! She kept the pace of the presentation moving well while emphasizing some thoughts crucial to know about good writing. The sprinkling of humor throughout also kept the students listening.”
–Marsha F., Stilwell Elementary School librarian
length: 30 minutes
content: prompt students through story starters and images to create and share their own stories.
ideal for: small groups (<30 students), kindergarten-6th grade
WHAT’S YOUR IDEA?
If you want some combination of these, or some other type of presentation altogether, email me. I can customize a presentation just for your kids.
Ideally, before an author visit, the students have some notion of who the author is and why they’d be interested in hearing her speak. And usually, kids are eager to get a signed copy of the author’s book before or after the event.
I try to partner with independent bookstores in your area to provide a way for students to place book orders. Signings can be held as part of the event (note that this will add to the time allotted), during a lunch period, after school, or even offsite at the bookstore that evening. With enough advance planning, we can come up with a system that works for your school. You can download a book order flyer for your students to take home here.
Generally, an author is paid an honorarium to speak at schools (for example, Scholastic Publishing has some guidelines here). While I’d love to do school visits for free, please understand that they do take time away from my writing work and also involve a good deal of preparation outside of the time spent traveling and doing the presentations. For this reason, my fees are as follows:
- a full day (e.g., two or three assemblies of 45 minutes each, or visits to three classrooms): $500 + travel expenses
- a half day (one assembly or classroom, 30-45 minutes): $250 + travel expenses
If your school is in one of the Johnson County, Kansas, districts (Shawnee Mission, Olathe, De Soto, or Blue Valley), KCK, or KCMO, travel expenses are waived.
Our school budget doesn’t allow for that much money. Can we work something out?
Probably so! Maybe you can partner with another school in your immediate area and split the time and costs. The Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) has more info on finding funding for author visits. Just email me. I’d like to help you make it work!