School Visits

I spend most of my time writing, but I love to visit schools, and enjoy events at book festivals and other venues. Most of my visits include interactive, high-energy storytelling, with a bit of background about folklore, emphasizing the rich and varied folklore traditions found in the United States, with our many native and immigrant traditions. Children often discover the possibility of finding stories from around the world in their own classrooms and families when we put stickers on an inflatable globe showing all of the different cities and countries where they, their relatives, and ancestors have lived.

Other presentations focus on writing. We consider different kinds of writing that the children might find compelling. In smaller groups, we talk about and begin to “make-up” stories when we go on a “what-iffing” journey through our imaginations, exploring the process of generating ideas. Writing and imagination-based sessions work best, and seem to generate the most excitement about writing, story telling, and reading, with smallish groups.

I am also happy to talk about the writing and publication process, how I do research (with some graphic examples of how, when you don’t get your research right, you story can go way wrong, especially evident when I was working on my Afghani folktale!), and revision, revision, revision.

With adults, I have given presentations on folklore and talked about the writing process as well as discussing how to break into writing children’s books.

Locally, I do full or half day presentations. Out of town, my full days consist of up to four presentations, and I’m glad to have lunch with teachers or students.

Please contact me for more specifics.