To arrange a visit, please contact Allyson Hickey at booked
Authors visits can have a meaningful impact on elementary students. They inspire children to pursue creative endeavors and help demystify the writing process. When they meet the real person behind the words, books become living things that represent more than just a lesson or a list of vocabulary words.
It’s very common for people (of all ages) to think that books just happen with authors exerting little effort. The mindset is that “ordinary people” struggle with writing whereas authors are prodigies of the written word. When an author shares reality – that writing is a daily struggle, that more of what she writes is bad than good, that she faces writer’s block regularly – it makes students see that they are not very different from the people they consider experts, and that writing is something that anyone can do if she is willing to put in the work.
Hearing about the journey from idea to publication changes the way students think about books. In all of my presentations, I try to impart that writing is an uneven and often messy process, one that does not get that much easier with age or grade level. I put a great deal of emphasis on two parts of the journey: finding inspiration and the revision process.
Overall, the author visit gives students a new understanding of what goes on in the writing process. As a result, they can begin to recognize the choices made by authors of the books they read, which in turn helps them develop various traits of good readers including the ability to make predictions, inferences, and associations.
My author visits can be structured to fit your school's needs in a variety of ways. A typical full day at a K-5 school might look like this:
Up to three (3) 45-60 min presentations for large groups
A 15-20 minute in-class reading for Kindergarten
Lunch with the author
*** Presentations or 3rd grade and up can also include a short writing workshop upon request
For more information on booking a school visit, please contact Allyson Hickey at booked
Children rarely lack inspiration. Instead, their challenge is having confidence in their ideas. I share with them the very ordinary people or events that sparked various books so they can begin to see how life gives rise to good fiction. My goal is to increase their ease with writing by validating their sources of inspiration and by giving them “permission” to have bad ideas.
The revision process is often where students have the most objections. Revision feels like re-doing the same work and thus a waste of time, where in reality, it is the process that uncovers the best possible story. When I discuss incorporation my editor’s comments into a draft or just how many drafts it takes to get to perfect, students recognize how I have to use the same skills that they are learning in class.