Sunday, September 9, 2012

School Visits: An Update

A few months ago, as I was preparing for publication, I posted a link asking for advice about school visits. Thanks to all who gave me some very helpful and encouraging advice!

Over the last several months, I have gotten an opportunity to use that advice. I have done school and bookstore programs including: "Goodnight Trucks" (a truck slumber party), "The Truck Stop Guide to Writing a Picture Book" and "Rhyme Crime Time" (where I dressed as Sherlock Holmes and investigated "rhyme crimes"). It has been A LOT of fun.

But now, I've got a new challenge coming up.

Northwest Bookfest is just around the corner... and I got brave enough to volunteer to do a presentation in the children's tent.

My presentations have been going really well, but in the venue of a book festival, I am eager to take my presentation to the next level. I really want to make everything as fun and interactive as possible!

I think I want to blow up my visuals so that kids can easily see them from farther away. And get the kids to help me with some truck sound effects. (Both of these ideas should make my school presentations more engaging as well. Yay! :o) )

But those are just a couple ideas. I am eager to do everything possible to make my presentation fantastic.

So awesome Paper Waiters-- how can an author make a standout presentation in a festival venue? (Any suggestions gratefully accepted.)

p.s. If you are in the area, please stop by Northwest Bookfest on September 22nd - 23rd. I will be in the story tent on 9/23 from 11-11:30. :o)

p.p.s. If you are in the Seattle area and are looking for a fun and informative author visit for the 2012-2013 school year, please stop by and check out my school visit descriptions! :o)


  1. I've never done a large group "festival" gig, but I think your best bet is to do anything you can to involve the audience.
    Your idea to have them help you with truck sounds is great.
    The hard thing about this venue is that people come and go while you're presenting so you have to have a really big "hook" from the start?

  2. Brianna, I would love to hear more about your Rhyme crime Time. Tiffany and I did a Crimes of Rhyme workshop for the NJ SCBWI, but not sure how to take it down to the K-3 level?

  3. Thanks for the comments guys!

    Gale-- I totally agree with you about the biggest challenge about people coming and going. I will definitely try to hook them from the start! (Hopefully I will have a positive update to share in a future post!)

    Corey-- With my rhyme crime time, it was really K-3 level because I focused on the phonemic awareness aspect of it. I take verses from my own book and change the word in the last stanza so that it makes sense but doesn't rhyme. And then I change it so it rhymes but it doesn't make sense. By using really clear examples it worked for a second/third grade audience. And it was neat because instead of reading my book at the beginning like I often do, I read it at the end, so they could really see how much better the verses were when they both rhymed and made sense. (Hope this explanation makes sense! :o) ) I would love to get to see your workshop someday!