Everyone has stories to tell. Finding your own stories and being able to tell them in your own voice are great pleasures. Over the past years, I’ve enjoyed working with hundreds of thousands of students, teachers, librarians and parents, sharing the excitement of storytelling, writing, illustrating, reading and making books. Both children and adults often can’t wait to tell their own stories once we get started. I love hearing the comments such as “I’m starting my story right now,” or “I am going to make my own books!”
Visits to hundreds of schools, conferences and libraries providing writing, illustrating and bookmaking workshops, teacher and librarian in-services, and as speaker at conferences of a variety of professional service organizations such as NCTE, state library/media associations, IRA and ALA.
Active and participatory— I often don masks, show photographs and do some on the spot drawing– all with the goal of encouraging the development of each participant’s own capabilities. Thousands of children and adults have shared and developed their ideas enthusiastically at these meetings worldwide.
What happens at an author visit day at your school
Meet with the whole school community, students, staff, and interested parents. I enjoy making one-day or multi-day school visits. Generally during visits, I speak with everyone in a large group or two, followed by workshops. In the large group meetings/assemblies, I speak about how my experiences as a child and adult have led to my writing and illustration, explore the wide range of possibilities each of us has for using our enthusiasm and interests in the writing process and illustration. All is aimed to help children find the stories each has for the telling, and assist with skills development.
Explore ideas that have started cooking and dive into writing process. In workshops, (100-160 students, grouped by grade level), we can create a “big book” and address specific skill areas like finding ideas, editing (improving work), or illustration. Often, if schools are interested, I start a “big book” on large format paper so that the group can see how a story/writing is developed from ideas from the children to a bound book to share.
I look forward to meeting everyone at your school soon.