-Susan, Brooklyn New School/Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies Librarian
-Marybeth, LitWorld 3rd Grade Girls Club
“You are amazing. You give me so much hope for the future of children’s literature. Thank you for making it about the readers. I trust that you will continue to hold them dear. It blows my mind that you can put on a set of headphones, sit down in front of your computer, and touch the lives of 10 year old’s a 1,000 miles away. What an amazing world we live in. Thank you!”
-Mr. Sharp, 4th Grade Teacher
-Laura, 6th Grade Teacher
I love hanging out with writers, educators and book lovers of all ages. As a visiting artist, with many years of experience in schools, classrooms, community-based organizations, and home education settings, I look for ways to support and enhance what’s already being done, and what writers already know, and offer tools and inspiration to encourage independent, joyful teaching and learning long after my visit has ended.
I’m especially interested in online writing workshops and residencies (usually via Skype.) I’m also available for brief Skype presentations and/or Q&As with groups and classes.
Presentations and workshops include:
- Reading, Thinking, and Writing for Change (memoir, persuasive writing, and personal narrative techniques): “Discover Your Superhero Self: Write for Change & Change The World” (can include letter-writing workshop, collage activity)
- Cook Up A Great Story (for all ages): Create the recipe for story success, and sample one of Ruthie’s specialties (she’s gotten better, I promise!).
(Thinking about young activists? Read what the Albany-Times Union had to say about SUPERZERO and Mitali Perkins’ wonderful BAMBOO PEOPLE in this article by GRINGOLANDIA author Lyn Miller-Lachman.)
- Look, Listen, and Look Again. Multimedia presentation on exploring the author’s life and work process, different revision techniques, and finding the heart of a story.
- The Words & the World good for themed book clubs, connecting current works by a variety of authors to issues in everyday life. Multi-session.
- Play on Words: Encouraging all kinds of readers and writers through handwork, bookmaking, collage, and multimedia tools.
More of my thoughts on how much fun this can be on Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter’s SPILLING INK creativity blog,, at Imagination Soup and on crafting and writing at author Margie Gelbwasser’s blog.
- Storyplay (Storytelling and literacy fun and games).
(my related article for Instructor magazine on easing Pre-K and Kindergarten children into the school routine.)
- New Ways to Write About Reading: Using 21st Century Tools for Timeless Teaching & Learning ( Wikis, Googledocs, Twitter, Podcasts, and more to energize student writing and for meaningful discussion about reading).
- Playlisting Your Days: Stories, Songs, and Life.
I am also available in the tri-state area (NY, NJ, CONN) for extended residencies or workshops, including digital writing workshops, and will design custom writing workshops and programs (essay, realistic fiction, genre fiction, memoir, etc.) that complement K-12 classroom work and promote critical and creative thinking skills. I have years of experience in early childhood classrooms and can conduct reading and writing workshops using classic and current picture books, songs, and other activities to engage even the youngest children.
I have 15+ years in literacy education and youth development work with children, adults, and families; a Professional Development certificate in the teaching of writing from the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University, an M.A. in Educational Technology and English Education from the Steinhardt School of Education at NYU, and my B.Sc. from Cornell University.
The fee for a one-hour Skype workshop (video lecture, live talk, Q&A, and writing workshop; usually two separate 30-minute sessions) is $200.
For in-person visits, fees generally begin at $500 for one presentation, and $1500 for a full day (2-3 presentations + writing workshop, book talk/club session, signing, and lunch.) **This depends on the location, type of visit, number of presentations, number/age of students, etc..
Rates for other events and activities (literacy festivals, read-ins, virtual writing workshops, residencies, etc.) vary.
There are many ways to fund a visit! Maybe you can partner with another school or organization. Look into grants, the SCBWI Amber Brown Fund, local arts councils and commissions, adopt-a-classroom, your PTA and other local organizations, national and local businesses…bake sales, book sales, and other fundraisers can also be a big help. Author and school visit expert Alexis O’Neill offers video tips to help schools and libraries find funds for author visits.
For school visits, signings, and related matters, please use the form on my Contact page, or send an email to email@example.com. Thank you so much — hope to meet you soon!