As a kid, my favorite school days were when real live published authors came to visit our classroom. As a former kid, and current real live published author, it’s my delight and privilege to visit classrooms, libraries, and youth groups as part of my job!
I offer programs for elementary and middle/high-school classes. I share what it’s like to be an author, how to research your books, how many times you have to revise (many!), and some fun facts about skulls, bananas, and more. Specific details on each presentation are below!
Blair was a ray of sunshine when she visited my classroom. I have a class of very inquisitive first graders, and she answered every single one of their questions with excitement. My students learned fascinating facts about skulls from her adorable children’s book Skulls! They also learned all the details of publishing a book. At the end of her visit, Blair took time to personally sign books for the kids. My students and I were truly wowed by Blair. We can’t wait to have her back.
—Caitlin C. West Chester, Pa
A Full-Day School Visit
• Three 45-Minute presentations and a book signing. There are multiple topics to choose from—each session can be the same, or you can vary it up for each one!
• I can present in an auditorium or media center/classroom. The presentations are always interactive! (See specific presentations below for more details).
• Book signings? Of course! We can work together to arrange with a local bookstore.
Use Your Head! Writing Super Fun and Factual Books
Grades K–3 or 4–5
Book tie-in: SKULLS!
What do you want to know about? This presentation is all about how research and fact-finding can help you—yes, you!—create the funnest kinds of non-fiction books. Kids learn about skulls and the research process that went into writing the picture book, how I revised and made it super-accurate (with help from my editor), and what surprised me the most about the process (hint: I made mistakes at first!). We also play a super-fun trivia game together.
Go Bananas—All the World’s A Stage!
Book tie-in: Second Banana
This presentation is all about taking the spotlight! We discuss what it means to “get in character” as our fruit, vegetable, or other yummy food item. And, of course, do some reader’s theater, and talk about all the best ways to “show” a story on the stage.
Funny Because It’s True: How to Write Your Truth with Humor
Grades 6–8 or 9–12
Book tie-in: Who’s That Girl
This presentation shows tweens and teens how they can use the events, characters, and mishaps of their lives to write funny and meaningful fiction. We brainstorm jumping-off points, refine through revision, and end up with some top-notch short writing. I share anecdotes from my own adolescence and show how the things that happened to me as a kid and teen found their way into my fiction. We also dig into the specific ways that humor can be a powerful vehicle for truth (did you know I took stand-up comedy lessons? It’s true! Comes in handy for this one).
You can also view my Speaker Profile on the SCBWI website.
Do you travel for school visits?
I love traveling! I do lots of school visits in Pennsylvania (my home state), but I’m happy to visit your school as my schedule allows. The sooner you can get in touch, the better. Travel fees are calculated for visits greater than 50 miles from Downingtown, Pennsylvania.
How can we prep for your visit?
The best way to learn about my writing is to read it! I’d suggest having your students read my books and even think on some questions to ask me before I arrive. The best visits are the ones where students are rarin’ to go when I get there.
Where can we buy books for your visit?
If your group doesn’t have a standing relationship with a bookseller, I can help you find a local bookstore to place an order from. I can also help you get in touch with my publisher directly.
My rates for school visits are as follows:
• Full day visits, up to three presentations of 45 minutes each, plus “lunch with the author” and book signing: $1000
• Half-day visits, two presentations, up to one hour each: $600
• 20 Minute Skype Q&A: Free, subject to availability. I ask that your class has read one or more of my books before a Skype visit
• Travel expenses are calculated for more than 50 miles from Downingtown, PA
Let’s talk about talks! Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org