It's back to school time! I'm always inspired by this fresh start, and by the promise of new notebooks to fill up with stories. I buy at least a dozen of these at the beginning of the year.
This time of year is also when I get a wave of Skype (that's virtual) school visits, and in-person author visits. School visits are my favorite: I love talking to educators and readers. There's just nothing better than talking about our favorite books and writing new stories. Hurrah for school visits!
I'm excited to be part of Tattered Cover Bookstore's Educator Night on September 5th and 6th. If you're an educator in the Denver metro area, consider signing up and joining the fun.
I love doing school visits so much, I even do a presentation on how to plan author visits at book festivals and educator conventions. I thought I'd share some of my tips and ideas, in case you are an educator looking for a place to start:
Quick tips for a successful author visit:
1. Decide how big you want the event to be. Consider starting smaller, with a Skype visit, or a short assembly visit arranged by the local bookstore (if available)
2. Build your team. It’s more fun if you get the community involved—plus, that way you’re not doing all the work yourself. Create a committee, enlist fellow teachers, parents, even kids.
3. Think local for less expensive visits—and kids love it when an author lives right where they do! I can attest to that :-) Try bookstores or referrals from other schools for author names. Local book fairs and festivals are a great way to meet authors.
4. Collaborate with other schools for bigger, pricier visits. Plan far ahead to allow time for fundraising and scheduling.
5. Apply for grants or organize fundraisers. PTO, book fairs, book sales are great fundraisers to get money. For travel expenses for the author, see if someone can donate miles/points for flights and hotel stays.
Authors who Skype for free (a list compiled by author Kate Messner)
Skype in the Classroom (through Microsoft, not necessarily book authors but any educational resource
Grants for school visits (these are just a few I found):
(You can contact any business for a grant, really, but these have existing forms)
Want me to come to your school for a visit..? Find out more here, or email me at author-at-ftbradley-dot-com.
Any educators or authors have tips or resources to share?