One of my favorite parts of writing is going out to schools and spending time with the kids! As a former classroom teacher, with a master’s degree in middle level education, I am at ease with audiences of all ages and can tailor my presentation to fit the needs of any school environment. Since the publication of Mia the Meek, I have had the pleasure of working with students in grades K-8 in various classroom settings. My general presentation starts with a brief personal history of how I started my writing career and then moves onto a discussion about how to write an interesting story. I talk about creating opening lines to grab a reader’s attention, how to build conflict, and the importance of integrating a creative cast of characters into a story. Sometimes, I even demonstrate these techniques by having students act out a scene from one of my books.
My current fees are: Full day: $400.00 (plus expenses for travel, if applicable)
1/2 day: $200.00 (plus expenses for travel, if applicable)
A full day includes up to four presentations and a book signing. A half-day is one or two presentations scheduled in a morning or afternoon and a book-signing. The size of each group is to be determined by the school, but it’s easier for me (and the kids) if the number of students per presentation doesn't exceed sixty. If it is a large group or a big room, I would prefer to use a microphone--my teaching voice is not what it used be! Each session is usually 45 to 60 minutes in length, which includes time for questions. I can also do smaller sessions geared for students interested in creative writing or classes wanting to learn more about the writing process. Some ideas for these workshops are: generating story ideas, building tension in the plot, creating creative characters, writing believable dialogue, and building a story with an engaging plot. My presentation and workshops support the six traits of writing and can be adapted to meet each particular school district’s curriculum standards and benchmarks.
My editor, Bruce Bortz, at Bancroft press (www.bancroftpress.com) offers schools a 50% discount on Mia the Meek. Some schools choose to charge students full-price for books ($16.95 for hard covers and $12.95 for paperbacks of Mia the Meek or $19.95 for hard cover of Mia the Melodramatic) and use the profit to offset the honorarium. If a school would like to pass the book discount onto students, other funding sources are educational grants, Title 1, district PTA/PTO's, and funding from local organizations or business groups.