Jan07, 2017 |
Filed in:Children's Author
Follow Jody on Twitter @jodywrites4kids
Email Jody at jodyjensenshaffer @ gmail.com, or fill out the form below. NOTE: Please check your SPAM folder, if you haven’t heard back from Jody within one day!
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| TAGS:author visit, early reader, fiction, nonfiction, picture book, school visit
Whether in-person or virtual, exploring fiction or nonfiction, Jody inspires! Jody loves talking with kids about reading, writing, and books! Just reach out, and we’ll make it happen. Scroll down for pictures and endorsements!
For kindergartners and first graders, Jody shares how books can bring joy, heal hurts, and become friends. For second and third graders, she focuses on taking a great idea, forming it into a story, and then sending it into the world to become a book. Jody explores the writing process with fourth and fifth graders, and gives students a sneak peek into the world of publishing, where students become agents and editors. For second through fifth graders, Jody shares how nonfiction can be fun, exhilarating, and oh so cool! Q&A follows each fun, interactive presentation.
Title: SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS ARE BOOKS!
Length: 30 minutes (focus book: EMERGENCY KITTENS!)
Title: HOW A STORY BECOMES A BOOK
Length: 45 minutes (focus book: PRUDENCE THE PART-TIME COW)
Title: ROCK WHAT YOU WRITE
Length: 45 minutes (focus book: A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK)
Title: CREEP, LEAP, CRUNCH! NONFICTION IS COOL!
Length: 45 minutes (focus book: CREEP, LEAP, CRUNCH! A FOOD CHAIN STORY)
Questions? Just ask!
$1,800. Up to four schools may share the day, as long as travel time allows.
2 Sessions (must both be AM or PM)
IN-PERSON LIBRARY VISITS, LITERACY NIGHTS, WRITERS’ WORKSHOPS:
One hour $500
Two hours $750
Feel free to coordinate with a local school author visit in your town!
Travel fees apply to all visits (mileage, airfare, hotel, meals, etc)
VIRTUAL AUTHOR VISITS:
$450 for one 30-minute session
$1,000 for four sessions
NOTE: Jody will send a contract to confirm all details. Fees are payable the first day of her visit. Jody prefers group sizes of no more than 175 students. Questions? Email Jody at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Think you can’t afford to bring an author to your school? Here are some creative ways others have done it! Successful Author Visits (And How to Pay for Them)
“Our students and staff LOVED having Jody visit our building! Her interactive, thoughtful presentation helped expose students to the writing process and her kind, easy-going nature made her visit a breeze! She is welcome back any time!” – Megan Bright, Librarian, Lillian Schumacher Elementary, Liberty Public Schools
“Jody presents very engaging material, teaches them about the writing process, and students love her books!” – Liz Vannelli, Kellybrook Library Media Specialist, Liberty Public Schools
“The kids loved Jody’s visit. She was engaging and funny. Even a teacher came and told me that Jody was her hero!” Debbie B., Librarian, Rose Acres Elementary, Maryland Heights, MO
“Jody is friendly, approachable and she shares her experiences as an author in an encouraging way that inspires the students to write their own stories. The 3-5 group loved the interactive demonstration of how a book gets a publisher.”
“I loved her interaction with students during the publishing process skit. She was an all around amazing presenter…I wish we had had more time for her to keep talking about her books. The kids loved listening to her stories.”
“I loved how she interacted with students. They really liked her and she was very sweet with them. I loved when she brought students up with props to act out a scene. Very fun!”
“We enjoyed how personable Jody was and how she interacted with the students. We also enjoyed that she was local!! What a great experience for our kids!”
“I like the way she explained the publishing process by having students come up and play specific roles. Because they were part of it, they were very engaged!”
#KidsNeedMentors video in Maryland Heights, MO
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| TAGS:author visit, fiction, nonfiction, picture book, school visit
Sep29, 2015 |
Look what the UPS man brought me!
Laura Sassi’s darling new picture book, GOODNIGHT, MANGER [Zonderkidz], illustrated by Jane Chapman [The Bear books]! It’s all about trying to get a good night’s sleep in a really busy stable, and it’s darling. The rhyming text is sweet and funny; the illustrations are huggable and witty.
Please go buy yourself a copy when it releases on October 6, 2015. It’s the perfect Christmas gift for the baby in your life.
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| TAGS:Jane Chapman, Laura Sassi, picture book, Zonderkidz
Sep01, 2015 |
Remember in early May when Marilou Reeder stopped by and told us about her picture book, THE DARING PRINCE DASHING?
Well now she’s got an awesome Kirkus review to show you! The part I especially like is when they acknowledge that Reeder’s heroine “isn’t in need of saving.” Princess Power!
Read the full review below.
Readers, you can visit Marilou on Twitter @MarilouReeder.
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| TAGS:Kirkus, Marilou Reeder, picture book, The Daring Prince Dashing
Apr29, 2015 |
Thanks again to everyone who entered Marilou’s Cover Reveal Contest. We have a winner!
Danielle Farrelly Modzelewski
Congratulations, Danielle! Send me an email [address in profile], and I’ll forward your information to Marilou.
Thanks for playing, everyone. And congrats on the book, Marilou!
Speak up:20 comments
| TAGS:Marilou Reeder, picture book, The Daring Prince Dashing
Jan28, 2015 |
caregivers are still reading and loving this tale. (It’s still in print!)
Can you believe it’s been 20 years since CINDER EDNA was published?
my favorite fairy tale). For example, I could never understand why the prince
didn’t recognize Cinderella when he came to her house with the glass slipper.
He’d been dancing with her all night, and presumably looking at her. And why
“glass” slippers? That didn’t seem like the best choice of material for a pair
of shoes. My first thought was to write a humorous story that would explain all
those little discrepancies. But then it occurred to me that Cinderella wasn’t
much of a role model either. Why not have my Cinderella be spunkier and more of
right. For example, at the end there’s a description of the Cinderella’s life
as a queen and daily routine. I wanted to make it funny, and I rewrote it
several times. And the same was true at the beginning of the book where I tell
about Cinder Edna’s chores. The details had to be funny, but appropriate and
not too distracting.
make children (and, hopefully, their parents) laugh. The “message” or theme
usually creeps in somewhere along the way, but it’s often just a part of how I
look at the world. In the case of CINDER EDNA, I was aware that Cinderella had
led me astray as a child. It instilled in me the idea that I needed to look for
a prince–someone who would sweep me off my feet and provide for all my needs.
And I’d better grow up to be beautiful to attract that prince.
I think that most can be interpreted in more than one way, especially
Cinderella. But I’m not beautiful and I’ve learned that it’s more satisfying to
improve your own life rather than expect a fairy godmother to do it for you.
All this was in the back of my mind when I wrote the story, but I wasn’t really
planning it all out consciously.
publisher acquired it. Some editors thought it should be a “magazine piece.”
Others thought fractured fairy tales were a dying genre. There were a lot of
different reasons why it was rejected.
very much an up and coming illustrator at Lothrop, Lee and
Shepard. Kevin and I did sign books together at ALA when CINDER EDNA
first came out, so I got to meet him. I thought he was absolutely delightful.
He’s a wonderful performer and very funny.
different theater companies, and made into a musical three or four times. My
agent has sold foreign rights to Germany, Korea, and several other countries.
favorites–has touched so many lives. Thanks a bunch for telling us about it,
Ellen. And continued success with your writing!
Readers, you can visit Ellen at http://www.ellenjackson.net/.
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| TAGS:CINDER EDNA, Ellen Jackson, Kevin O'Malley, picture book
Apr22, 2014 |
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| TAGS:Kathleen Rushall, Nancy Paulsen, picture book, ROCKY
Aug29, 2013 |
critique. (I promise, I had been doing this long enough to know that you should
never expect to get a manuscript acquired from a critique. But this time it
group critique with a Random House editor to be held at the Jennifer De Chiarra
literary agency. (Thanks so much to Jennifer De Chiarra and to Stacy Mozer for
these awesome critique opportunities!) So I sent off two manuscripts.
got an email with the title of one of the manuscripts. Was the editor writing
me for some reason?
from the editor who was giving me the critique. It was from a wonderful agent I
had submitted to via an online form a month or two earlier. The agent (now my wonderful agent) liked my manuscript
and wondered if I had anything else.
a very good mood. What a great day!
amazingly detailed written critiques she had prepared for each of us. She was
so thoughtful. As I began to skim through mine, I was very pleased. She was
very complimentary about my first manuscript and believed it would find an
about my manuscript. Again, she was very complimentary, but the final line
really got me. She “would like to consider acquiring it for their list”
with my agent. Hooray! She liked many of the manuscripts I had sent her. Soon
after we heard from my editor, and WHERE DO DIGGERS SLEEP AT NIGHT? was
acquired. It was quite the whirlwind (though as I waited to hear back time
seemed to pass very slowly :o) .)
heard from both my agent and my editor was incredible!
three or four rounds of revisions on DIGGERS. The first round was right after
it was acquired. I completed the revisions that my editor had suggested on my
manuscript in her initial critique. I removed some verses entirely and replaced
them with others. Others I polished to make them flow better.
revisions is when I changed the tractor verse from “Do their dads sing Old
MacDonald for a barnyard bedtime song?” to “Do their dads sing Old TruckDonald
for a barnyard bedtime song?” That idea just came to me as I was making
the verse flow better and it has been another hit with my young readers. During
the truck slumber parties I often do for little ones, we all have a grand time
singing Old Truckdonald. :o)
changing one of my verses to make it about monster trucks. Some parents and
grandparents have mentioned how much their kids appreciate the inclusion of
monster trucks, so this was another awesome suggestion!
me with one more super-important question. I had not answered the question I
posed in my title. Where DO diggers sleep at night? Yikes! How could I NOT answer
that question? But, how COULD I answer that question? After some thought, I
added two more verses that imagined where all the trucks could be sleeping…
though I kept it in question form just like the rest of the manuscript.
In each round of revision, she challenged me to make the manuscript better and
us a bit about it, without giving away the plot?
“a tale of a very competitive dinosaur named Tina and some disappearing
contestants at the Miss Dinosaur Pagaent.”
came from a joke. One day for some reason, I joked to my husband about a
dinosaur beauty pageant. He laughed and told me, “That could be a picture
book.” The idea stuck in my head and I kept working on it through many,
many rounds of revisions. (In fact, I even wrote a blog post about this one
titled “How Many Times Can I Revise 500 Words?”)
TIARA-SAURUS REX will be published by Bloomsbury
in 2014. Can you tell us about
the acquisitions process?
My wonderful editor at Bloomsbury wrote back to my agent and said that she was
in the process of prepping the manuscript for an acquisition meeting with her
group. From the time we got that email, I was so excited and so nervous. What
were the chances of my manuscript going through acquisitions? I knew that many
manuscripts got that far and still got rejected. So I hoped and waited. (And
the NY Metro area had a major storm during that time that shut everything down.)
phone call from my awesome agent. We were going to get an offer! And then came
the email with the offer! It was real!
picture books in the works. A couple about dinosaurs, a couple about jazz, and
one fun one about a dragon.
most surprising thing about it? What’s the most rewarding?
thing about officially being an author is how badly I keep wanting to get the
next book published. Somehow in my dreams of being an author, I always imagined
how wonderful it would be to get a book published. (Which it is! Yay!) But in
my dreams, I almost imagined that as the end. But in real life, it is fantastic
to get a book published…. and I can’t wait to work on getting the next one
out there (and hopefully the next one and the next one and the next one!).
and bookstore visits. I was a classroom teacher for many years and I love to teach
writing. It is so much fun to get to be the visiting author who teaches kids
us about your publishing journey, Brianna. Best of luck with the rest of the trip!
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| TAGS:Brianna Caplan Sayres, picture book
Dec03, 2012 |
Today we’ve been joined by children’s picture book author Diana Murray.
Thanks for stopping by, Diana! How did you begin writing for children?
When I was eight years old, I wrote and illustrated my first book. Instead of trying to get it published, I buried it under a tree. I imagined that archeologists might find it someday and put it on display in some shiny, futuristic museum.
In college, I majored in psychology and (unofficially) minored in art. After that, I worked in the field of graphic design. When I left my job to stay home with my first daughter, I started reading her picture books. Lots and lots of picture books. I had never really been exposed to that genre before. I had never had that magical “picture book experience” as a kid. It felt wonderful to share those moments of bonding with my daughter. I began to fall in love with picture books and buy them by the dozens. I had picture books squeezed onto every shelf in my apartment (not to mention the chairs and tables). How did I not know about them before? They were the perfect blend of everything I adored–art, creativity, philosophy, psychology, humor, wordplay, quiet, conciseness–all in an attention-span-friendly, easy-to-share package.
After some fumbling around, I finally joined SCBWI around 2007. I started exchanging manuscripts with other writers, making some contacts, and learning the basics.
You’ve been published in lots of great children’s magazines. Tell us about your magazine work.
When I started writing, I focused on picture books exclusively. But in 2008 I joined a great critique group and soon began to write more and more short poems. I got better at interpreting criticism and applying it to my own revisions, as well as offering constructive criticism to others. Slowly but surely, my form rejections turned into personal rejections with invites to submit again, and finally, acceptances. My first acceptance to a major children’s magazine came from Spider in 2010. Since then, I’ve sold twelve poems to Highlights for Children, Highlights High Five, and Highlights Hello, as well as one poem to Clubhouse Jr. It’s worth noting that some magazines take many months to respond to submissions, so the process can take awhile. “Unwelcome to Opposite Island” was the first poem I ever got to see in print. It was published in the July 2012 issue of Highlights. It was wonderful to see how the illustrator could bring it to life.
Your story, GRIMELDA, THE VERY MESSY WITCH, won the 2010 Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators’ Barbara Karlin Grant, awarded to an aspiring picture book author. Tell us about the story and your win.
The manuscript grew out of a concept I had for a quirky, messy character. The plot for the story kicked around in my mind for a few weeks, and once I started writing, it just poured out. Sometimes I forget this, but I was about seven months pregnant at the time! Anyway, I could tell from the reaction of my crit group that I might be onto something. I polished it up a bit and sent it off with my grant application. I got the call in early July. I didn’t pick up, as I assumed a telemarketer had been calling me all day. When I listened to the message, I nearly fell over in shock. It was just the confidence boost I needed. I felt like things were finally starting to come together. That was the first time I openly shared my secret passion with my family (not including my husband, of course, who had been supportive all along).
There’s a bit more about my experience winning the grant here: http://taralazar.com/2010/07/06/piboidmo-success-story/.
More recently, you landed an agent and sold your first THREE picture books! Can you give us some details?
When I read about my agent, who was new, I had a strong feeling that she might be “the one”. I queried her with GRIMELDA. In a couple of weeks, she wrote me back that she really liked it, was sharing it around, and that she wanted to see what I else I had. I selected five more manuscripts to send to her. After a great phone conversation, we decided to work together, with an initial focus on selling two picture books: GRIMELDA, THE VERY MESSY WITCH, and NED THE KNITTING PIRATE: A SALTY YARN.
There’s more about my experience getting an agent here: http://frolickingthroughcyberspace.blogspot.com/2012/09/how-diana-murray-got-her-agent-plus.html.
At this time, I can’t give too many specifics about what went down, exactly. But to sum things up, NED and GRIMELDA both sold pretty quickly. GRIMELDA sold in a two-book deal, so that will be my first experience writing a manuscript under contract. It’s extremely exciting!
What advice do you have for those who write poetry or picture books for children?
Read everything you can get your hands on in your genre, never stop learning, write what excites you, crit and be critted (both equally important), revise wisely, don’t get stuck on one manuscript, take chances, and have fun!
There’s some more advice here: http://laurasassitales.wordpress.com/2012/06/11/write-like-a-top-chef-with-diana-murray/.
Thanks for sharing a bit about your writing, Diana. Good luck!
Thanks so much for having me, Jody, and congratulations on your new and upcoming releases!
Diana Murray is a picture book author and poet represented by Brianne Johnson at Writers House. She lives in the Bronx with her husband, two very messy children, and a goldfish named Pickle. http://www.dianamurray.com.