To arrange an author visit, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I love visiting schools and talking with students — if for no other reason than I remember how THRILLING it was to get out of class. It’s just as thrilling these days to meet young and passionate readers.
The Mid-Atlantic region is easiest for me, though I do tour in other parts of the country.
I can visit schools from the comfort of my desk—I've even read The Book of Boy aloud to a fifth-grade class in Chicago! For a remote classroom visit of 40-60 minutes, I charge $300. If the entire class has finished The Book of Boy, I'm thrilled to visit virtually at no charge. It's so great when the kids and I get to discuss the ending! Either way, I am happy to sign bookplates with students' names and mail to the school.
Fee Schedule, subject to change without notice:
Keynote address: $1500 plus travel for a keynote address
School visits: $1200 plus travel for up to three presentations per day. This is negotiable! If your class is reading The Book of Boy, or the drama club prepared an opera of the life of D.J. Schwenk . . . Let’s talk.
Skype visit: $300 per class. Again, negotiable.
Depending on whether the visit is virtual or live, presentations might include:
• an auditorium speech with slideshow on medieval history (especially pants) and the writing process
• a gathering with students who’ve read one of my books — because how often do you get to talk about a book with person who wrote it?!
• a classroom exercise on writing and revision, especially the difference between verbs (good) and adverbs (not).
• a meeting with teachers or a creative writing class to discuss creative writing
• a meeting with a literacy or remedial group.
Such a schedule allows me to meet — and hopefully to inspire — a huge number of students, teachers and librarians, making the day as profitable as possible for everyone involved.
Tips for a perfect author visit
PREPARE THE KIDS! Five minutes of effort will make a world of difference. It will create students who ask AMAZING questions, who listen and respond, and who get so much more out of my visit. Here are some suggestions:
• Booktalk — or have a local bookseller booktalk — the books. It’s amazing how much enthusiasm a two-minute summary can generate.
• Circulate copies in the classroom or library. I’ve known librarians who draw from nearby public libraries. If you’re hard up, contact me. I’ll see what I can do.
• Read the first chapter or first page aloud.
• Brainstorm questions. One question scrawled on a scrap of paper, and suddenly students are all ears. You might want to collect the scraps before the presentation or the kids will be a little too focused.
• Create a classroom or library display of my favorite books. Kids love to learn what I used to read when I was their age. Or a display of great books on the Middle Ages.
• Offer my books for sale ahead of time. Often the PTO will manage this as a fundraising activity. Local bookstores love to assist.
• Equally important: Alert students to the sale! Nothing is more heartbreaking than watching a student stand empty-handed as her friends get their copies signed.
Offer my books for sale after the event, when students can’t wait to read them. If you ship me a box of books, I’d be delighted to sign them and ship them back. Or email me students’ names and I’ll mail you an envelope of signed bookplates.