Update: I will not be doing any in-person author visits during the 2021-22, and 2022-23 school years. During these two years, I will continue to provide online author visits.
The following are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about my school author visit programs. If you have a question that is not answered here, please contact me.
School Visit Questions
Absolutely. If you purchase your books from me, simply ship any unsold books back to me after the event.
When you book a visit, I will send you a prep kit that includes a copy of one of my books, among other things. You are welcome to use the poems from my books and website in your classroom activities. You may photocopy them, enlarge them, illustrate them, or do just about anything you like with them to help prepare for my visit.
Unfortunately, no. The books you order will be shipped to you directly from the publishers, which prevents me from signing them ahead of time.
I recommend separate assemblies for primary and intermediate students. The writing lesson I do with primary grades is simpler than what I do with older kids. If your school is only primary or only intermediate, I can do an all-school assembly. In a K-5 or K-6 school, I can do an all-school assembly, but I have to leave out the writing portion of the program.
Yes. My assembly programs have a large writing component. Typically half of the assembly is spent writing with the students. If you would like to schedule a separate writing workshop for your students as well, I always enjoy working with smaller groups of students in grades 4-5 (no more than 70) in a workshop setting after they have seen the assembly.
You are welcome to share the day and split the cost with another school in your area. In addition, if I am already planning to be in your area, I may be able to visit your school for a half day. However, it is cost-prohibitive for me to travel for less than a full-day visit. For a less expensive alternative to in-person author visits, please consider arranging an online author visit.
Typically, I make my own travel reservations. However, if you would like to recommend a hotel I should stay at, that would be helpful.
I do not generally require a deposit or payment in advance. However, please keep in mind that I do pay for my travel expenses ahead of time, so timely payment is appreciated. It is customary to provide a check by the end of the day of my visit. If your district is unable to cut a check until after my visit, please send it as soon afterward as you can.
I can do up to four programs plus an autographing session during the school day. If you like, I can also do an after-school workshop or evening family program for an extra fee. Book signing does not count as a session.
Travel expenses are divided between all schools visited on a given trip and are capped at $400/day. So, for example, even if it costs me $800 to get there, I won’t invoice you for more than $400 for travel. I always do my best to book additional schools. If I am able to schedule at least three days on a given trip, your cost for travel should be less than $400.
I speak to groups of any age, from preschool through adult. Most of my presentations are in elementary schools, but I regularly visit middle and high schools as well. For adults, I also provide teacher in-service workshops, evening family programs, and conference presentations.
In most cases, I will need you to provide the following: * A 6- or 8-foot folding table * A dry erase whiteboard with several colors of markers and an eraser. The board does not need to be large — an easel is fine — but it should be at adult height, not a children’s easel. * A bottle or glass of water I will bring everything else I need with me.
In assemblies, I can work with groups of any size, limited only by the space you have available. My writing workshops are only for smaller groups of no more than 70 students. When working with elementary students, I prefer to present to primary students separately from intermediate students so that my program can be tailored to the age of the children.
You can see what cities I will be visiting by checking my appearance schedule. If your city or state is not yet on my calendar, please contact me by filling out the form at the bottom of this page. If you would like me to notify you when I am coming to your city or state, please let me know and I will be happy to do so.
I offer a 20% discount and free shipping on all books to allow your PTA or library to treat the book sale as a fund-raiser. The Student Book Order Form lists the full prices of the books. The School Book Order Form is for you to aggregate your students orders, and reflects the discounted price, allowing you to earn a few dollars on each book sold.
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