How many sessions can you do a day?
I can do up to four large sessions, as well as a short (15 minute) session with kindergarteners. For K-3 my sessions are 40 minutes; for 4 th-6 th 50 minutes, including a writing workshop.
How large can the groups be?
I’m flexible. While it’s great to have under 100 children to allow for give-and-take and many individual questions, I have presented to several hundred children at one time.
Are half day rates available?
Yes, for schools in the Portland metropolitan area, I can do half days (two sessions).
What about writing workshops?
They’re built in for students in 4 th-6 th graders, where I ask that students bring notebooks and pencils with them.
What equipment do you need?
I will need a room that can be darkened, LCD projector for a PC, a table to display books, screen and microphone. That’s it.
Do you travel out of the Pacific Northwest?
I’m writing a middle grade novel set in a travel bookshop right now. So, I love travel!
Deborah is available for 30-45 minute Skype visits with classrooms. Here's a chance for dialogue with a real author for a modest fee. (Deborah charges $150 for sessions under an hour.) Skype visits work best when classes have read one or more of Deborah's books and have questions prepared in advance.
About My School Presentations
Looking for an energetic, experienced, and flexible author who can speak to Kindergarteners through 6 th grade? I hope you will consider me and my books.
I visit schools all over the country and can adapt my program to all grade levels. A full day visit typically includes four large sessions but the schedule can be revised to meet your needs. With a wide range of published books and topics, I can adapt the books featured to your school’s needs – whether it is Black History Month, Women’s History Month, science and inquiry, Oregon Trail units, cooking, historical fiction, immigration, sports, and the like.
I focus not just on my own personal story as an author but on content that teachers can use in the classroom – how writers use reading and research, and the importance of revision. Students and I review the difference between historical fiction and nonfiction. We look at how illustrators develop the art for picture books. And I work with kids on historical thinking and comparing the past and present to develop a sense of historical context.
PRESENTATIONS FOR K-3:
What Makes a Writer?
Kids always want to know: How do writers get ideas? My 40-minute presentation What Makes a Writer? talks not just about where ideas come from, but how similar the writing process is for all writers – whether they’re in first grade or have published more than 40 books! My presentation is humorous and engaging. As I show slides of some of my picture books (including Apples to Oregon and Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek) the students and I also explore together what makes good writing: practice (and lots of it), perseverance and passion.
Have a special interest in a particular book, such as Girl Wonder during baseball season, Home on the Range (cowboy songs), inquiry and asking questions (The Humblebee Hunter) or Stagecoach Sal? (We all sing together for that one!) Just let me know.
PRESENTATIONS FOR 4-6
History Must Be Seen
My 50-minute presentation for students in grades 4-6 has a built-in writing workshop. Together students and I look at how illustrators and authors work together to create historical fiction and nonfiction books. How do writers do research? What about illustrators? With amazing slides from illustrator James Ransome of Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt, Under the Quilt of Night, and Sky Boys, students see how real-life visits to museums, family history, and books and old photographs inform picture books.
I ask that all students read Apples to Oregon in advance, as we focus our writing workshop on writing a letter to a person of the past.
Family Literacy Nights
Need a speaker for a family literacy night, an evening book fair, a young authors’ festival? I have presentations that work for 40 to 400 people of all ages that will help schools convey to parents the importance of reading and writing with children.
While I primarily do evening presentations in the Portland, OR metropolitan area, I am happy to add an evening presentation at a school or library when traveling out of state.
Conferences and Writing Festivals
PRESENTATIONS FOR K-3:
I love to speak to teachers, pre-service teachers, and librarians. Without you all, I wouldn’t even be a writer. I can speak on a wide range of topics, including helping young readers think like historians, encouraging historical literacy and using historical fiction and nonfiction works in the classroom. I also speak on individual books and the research involved. I have also spoken to fellow writers about creating picture books and nonfiction. I have spoken at Oakland University, Shenandoah University, WSU Vancouver, Western Oregon University, local, regional and national IRA conferences, ALA, and been part of district and federal grants on history and nonfiction.
I also love to speak to writing festivals that may include students, teachers, and families.
Honorarium and Next Steps
For honorarium and scheduling information, please contact me at 509.301.1826 or firstname.lastname@example.org