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School Visits

I love talking with kids about reading, writing, and books! For information regarding my school, library, and Skype author appearances and rates, please email Andrea Cruise at Penguin Young Readers Group: penguinauthorvisits@gmail.com, or get in touch using my Contact page!

School Visits with Picture Book Author Jody Jensen Shaffer

School visits begin with a talk about my life as an author. I bring in materials to show how books are created, from the first idea through illustration to publication. We’ll talk about where ideas come from and the revising and editing manuscripts go through. Then we’ll see a PowerPoint of images showing how books are made. Finally, we’ll read my book(s) and do a Q&A. All of my presentations are interactive and fun! If you’d like, I can focus specifically on an area of interest below. Just let me know!
For younger audiences, presentations that focus on interactive story times, instead of in-depth discussions of the writing process, seem to work best.

A Day in the Life of a Picture Book Author

What, exactly, does a picture book author do all day? Here’s where the nitty gritty happens! I’ll show my writing from grade school to the present, including sneak peeks at upcoming books, why I wrote them, and what I find interesting about them. I’ll tell readers what it takes to be a picture book author, and we’ll discuss the elements of a story. Finally, we’ll read my book(s) and do a Q&A.

The Care and Feeding of a Picture Book Idea

What separates a great picture book idea from a not-so-good idea? We’ll talk about what works and what doesn’t, and how one gets a good story idea in the first place. We’ll see if we can brainstorm our own best-selling idea! Then we’ll discuss how picture books are made and the role of each person who helps bring a book to readers. Finally, we’ll read my book(s) and do a Q&A.

Fiction or Nonfiction?

What’s the difference between fiction and nonfiction? We’ll discuss the characteristics that distinguish the two, including telling the storyteller’s voice from the reporter’s. Does the writing process work for both kinds of writing? There might be more similarities than you think! Finally, we’ll read my book(s) and do a Q&A.

The Brainstorm!

This session is all about idea-generating exercises to expand your students’ imaginations so they can create great stories. Silliness abounds in this interactive workshop! Shhh. Don’t tell your students they’re learning. Finally, we’ll read my book(s) and do a Q&A.

Creating Great Characters

This session is all about tips and techniques for creating characters your readers will want to spend time with. We’ll look at current popular book characters and discuss why readers love them. How can you make your characters memorable? This session is best suited for grades 3-6 in small group settings with tables or desks. Students must bring paper and pencil.

2018-2019 Rates

FREE 30-minute Skype session
In-person Visits
$450 One presentation (30-45 minutes, depending on age of audience)
$700 Two presentations
$1000 Full day (3 presentations) Plus current mileage, if more than 40 miles from my home
Full Day Fees for Out of State Visits: (3-4 presentations) $1200 pus travel expenses: airfare, rental car, hotels, meals
NOTE: I’ll send you a contract to confirm all the details once we’ve decided on a date. Fees are payable the day of my visit.

home books etc visits about contact News blog