June 2, 2019

How to Pay for An Author Visit

Teachers love the idea of inviting an author to visit but often lack of money to make it happen. Funds are available for school visits! The benefits are too big to neglect investing in author visits.

The Librarian Leaps makes author visits a priority! Check out her video all about author visits from the School Library Connection. BONUS: Educators can earn professional development for it!

Fundraising for Author Visits

In-School Field Trip. Ask each student to contribute $2+ to cover the cost of the author visit for an in-school field trip. 
Share the Cost. Team up with another local school to request a discount. The author might visit School A in the morning and School B in the afternoon. Or maybe the author will provide a discount by splitting the visit between two days. 
Fund Raise. Bake sales and dunking booths are just a couple of ways to fund raise for a future goal. You could even raffle lunch (or a muffin) with the author (with the author's consent). Consider multiple events to raise enough money to cover the school visit fees.  
PTO/PTA. Ask your parent-led organization to help cover the cost of the author visit. Can they cover travel expenses if the school (or grant or...) pays for the author programs? (They may be more eager to help if a staff member contacts the author and the PTO only writes the check.)
Government Funding. Title I schools and others who receive special literacy funding might take advantage of combining an author visit with a family literacy night to use available funds. 
Grants. Donors ChooseArts Agencies, or SCBWI may be able to fund your author visit. MANY more grants are available, too. Those are listed at some of the links below.

More Ideas to Pay for Your Author Visit

Check out these resources. They include fun ideas, grants, and more!
35 Ways to Fund Author Visits
Funding an Author Visit: There's Money Available
Ideas for Raising Funds for Author Visits
This video from

Ask the Author 

If you have an author in mind for a school visit but your budget doesn't quite meet their fees, ask if s/he has any flexibility in pricing. Tell the author what your budget is and see if it might work for what you have in mind. He or she may have some ideas to make it happen!

MANY children's authors make a significant amount of their income through author visits. Despite some figures you may have heard from big-name authors, most children's authors don't make a living from writing. They supplement their income with author visits and most still depend upon another income (second job or spouse/partner) to pay bills.

I love visiting schools. I'm a nonfiction children's author living in Pennsylvania--near Maryland and Delaware. Can I encourage and excite your students about reading, writing, science, or history? Learn more about my programs or check out my Author Visit FAQ!
If you like this post, please consider signing up for my (infrequent) author newsletter!

May 19, 2019

Do I Need to Revise My Writing?

Revising and editing are a bit like home renovations.

Take a look at this house.
It's a basic house, right? Someone could certainly live there. Maybe you. Maybe me.  

But with some patience, time, and hard work, renovations make the house beautiful. Removing shutters, painting the siding and trim, and adding a porch make this look like a completely different house. A bit of landscaping adds a nice touch, too. 
Writing revisions are a lot like a home renovation. You can begin with a good draft or a nice house, but with effort, you can be proud of your project.

Maybe you wrote a draft and loved it. You even checked it over for any obvious errors (editing). You like it.

Is your writing project finished?


Whether you are a fifth grader or a professional writer, revising our work makes it better.

As a student, I edited my writing but didn't revise it properly. What I mean is I checked for punctuation and verb usage. I looked for misspellings. Edits fix simple grammar mistakes.

But I didn't try to make it easier for the reader to understand because I understood it. Good writers add and remove words and sentences. Good writers substitute words to make their writing clearer. Revisions make the text easier for the reader to understand. 
When I visit schools to provide author visits or professional development for teachers, I like to compare house renovations to writing revisions. Many students have binge-watched HGTV just like I have, so we relate. Many thanks to Melissa Stewart who first introduced me to this idea. If you're a teacher or writer, I highly recommend you explore her blog Celebrate Science

So, are revisions important? That depends. Do you care about your work? Do you want it to be your best? 

I hope so!

If you're a teacher, check out this proofreading printable.  Want to know more? Check out my writing FAQ and my author visit FAQ.

If you like this post, please consider signing up for my monthly author newsletter!

March 24, 2019

Author Visit Brochure

Many children's authors develop fun programs to bridge the world of books (both fiction and nonfiction) with the real world. Unfortunately not all schools, libraries, and private groups (like Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts) know authors are available to visit and inspire their groups.
There are lots of great authors out there who provide fabulous programs. Visit the website of your favorite children's authors to see what they offer. Maybe they'll be a great fit for your organization.

Of course you can just share a link to an author's website, but sometimes it's good to have something in print to hand a principal, PTO, or den leader. And that's why I just updated my brochure.
Want to spread the word about my author visit programs? You can download my brochure here or see the programs I offer here. I know budgets are often a concern. Many of the schools I've worked with use Title I or PTO funds. Did you know there are even grants available? If you need to raise funds for an author visit, check out these ideas. I can work within the budget of most schools. Talk to me if the budget is a concern.

Thank you for considering investing in a school visit! Children's authors don't earn much money so they really appreciate the opportunity to visit groups like yours.
If you like this post, please consider signing up for my (infrequent) author newsletter!

March 20, 2019

Writing Takes a Team

I sit at my desk writing with only the sounds of nature (and an occasional car or phone call) interrupting my thoughts. 
However, writing is a team effort. I certainly can't do it alone. And if you're a writer, you shouldn't try to do it alone either. 
Most published writing is a team effort. (Some self-published authors work with a team. Others don't. Usually it shows if they don't have a team.)

We need help! 
Students demonstrating a writer's team.
Students demonstrating a writing team during a Facts Are Fun author visit.

Professional writers get feedback from critique groups/partners and editors. The publisher hires a designer and/or illustrator to make all the words look great on the pages and art to go with the book. Then it's sent to a printer. Finally, book sellers get books to readers! 

Readers can even recommend their favorite books and/or authors to help their friends read more great books.

Student writers have a similar process. They get feedback from their classmates and teacher before publishing their stories.

Writing is work, but it's always worth it.

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