A Guide to School Visits
Dear Event Coordinators
To make the most of our time together...
Begin planning early
As I divide my time between Trinidad, New York and Texas, I must schedule school visits and conference participation one to two years in advance. However, if I'm already in the area (State, City or Country), I'd love to participate in your event as well, if it can be arranged. So please check my calendar. I do offer a multi-school discount if several schools join together and book me for 3-5 days, or more, in one area. That being said, if you find yourself with a limited amount of lead time don't hesitate to contact me. If my schedule allows, great! If not, I may be able to put you in touch with a fellow children's author or illustrator who will be just right!
Scheduling a School Visit
Presentations for Pre-K -1st Grade will be about 30 minutes each. When scheduling, please allow extra time to bring students in and out of the room.
Presentations for older students will be about 45 minutes each. If the schedule permits, please allow extra time for bringing students into and out of the room.
I know some school schedules are rigid. If so, please let me know how much time I have for my presentation and I will adjust it to fit the time.
Preparing for an author visit
Just to be safe, contact me a few weeks prior to the event. Verify travel, lodging, directions. Make sure presentation equipment is in place and working. Charge up the batteries in your camera. Review proper presentation behavior with students.
Be prepared for the unexpected. Have some water, tissues, and a chair available. You might want to assign an “Angel” for the day to escort me to and from presentations, carry equipment, help set up displays. Have back up audio-visual equipment, extra bulbs, extension cords, overhead projectors, screen… better safe than sorry. Always have extra adult supervision on hand during presentations.
Get everyone excited about the upcoming author visit! Familiarize students with my books. Hang posters featuring my photo and book covers. Encourage students to create a welcome banner or bulletin board. Display featured books in the library and classrooms and read selections from them at story time.
To make the event more festive, consider choosing a theme for the day. I can help by providing recipes and suggestions from other events.
Special Activities incorporate the author visit into the classroom. Assign projects that relate to my books. Please download and copy the fun activity sheets available here on my site and share them with students.
Feel free to use my visit as a reward. I’m delighted to lunch with students who’ve won writing or illustrating contests. Allow me to help celebrate their achievements!
Whether this is the first speaker event you’ve planned, or the hundredth, I look forward to helping you make it memorable! —Kelly
—tips courtesy of the SCBWI-Houston Speakers Cooperative.
Book Sales & Autographing
I prefer to have books available for sale and autographing at a school visit! I do not handle book sales at events. (There are a few exceptions.) For information on how to order books in advance, go to the Book Sources page here on my site.
Book Order Forms:
A week or so before the event, send advance book order forms (download a sample form here) home to parents with information about the upcoming author visit and book purchasing information. You may wish to create your own book order form.