Author, Blogger, Storyteller …
I am an author from Central Virginia and write novels for middle school and YA readers—humor, contemporary, historical, and imaginative fiction. My books cover topics from childhood obesity and diabetes, and the everyday struggles our kids are facing because of them, through the genuine smuggling operations of 18th century Jacobites, following one girl’s journey for independence that parallels her country’s determined fight for religious and political freedom.
But my author school visits are not, in truth, about my books. I tour middle schools to reach out to kids, mainly 5th-8th grade, and offer them a sense of hope and a slightly altered vision of their future. My talks are filled with humor, realism, tragedy, and inspiration. They are specifically tailored to capture the interest and attention of kids whether they are drawn to the liberal arts or focused on STEM.
My publishers are Sourcebooks and HarperCollins, I am a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and the James River Writers, and I participate on middle grade and YA panels and do author visits via the Virginia Festival of the Book.
If you are interested in booking an author visit, click here for a downloadable brochure. I would be wholly excited to share my talks with your students and look forward to hearing from you.
How to be a Hero: an inspirational talk that walks middle schoolers through “the hero’s journey” and explains how it can be applied to their individual lives.
How to Botch a Rocket Launch: a motivational talk that illuminates the importance of failure and illustrates it via the subjects of NASA, storytelling, and humor.
Each talk is approximately 45 minutes long and can follow with a Q&A and/or book signings.
A few great ideas for funding sources:
- District funds
- Title 1 funds
- Community sponsors such as:
- Friends of the Library, etc. may donate funds to pay for an author visit.
- Service clubs like Rotary, Lions, and Kiwanis
- Local business are sometimes willing to help fund a special school event.
- Grants – Teachers and/or librarians may apply for literacy grants. Check out:
Also see the blog: How to Get a School Grant
Or read this absolute gem: 21 Ways to Fund Author Visits – The Booking Biz
Art is being created all around you. The person you meet at your local pool or pizzeria may have created your favorite book!
We invite all schools, libraries, homeschool groups, scout troops … groups of any size to join us! Take the challenge to read as many of these books from local authors/illustrators as you can, for a chance to win fabulous prizes, such as signed books and free Skype visits with one of our Read Local authors or illustrators. Then visit our websites to find our already-scheduled book signings and events, or to schedule a visit to your school or library.
All of our Read Local authors and illustrators have agreed to offer a 10% discount on their speaking fees for any school or library participating in the Read Local Challenge. Now is the perfect time to schedule a visit. We’d love to get to know you! Joint visits at special rates are also available. If you’d like to set up a special panel for your school or library, please email Veronica Bartles, Published and Listed Coordinator for the MD/DE/WV chapter of SCBWI at mddewv (at) scbwi (dot) org.
For more information and graphics please visit: http://mddewv.scbwi.org/read-local/
Or Download the poster and brochure. I hope you consider participating!