Monday, December 14, 2009
Visiting Schools & Libraries
"Dear Mrs. Peggy Dymond Leavey,
My name is . . . I go to . . . Middle School. I read Trouble at Turtle Narrows at school. It is the best book I have ever read. Joel Osler is so cool. He has the same life as me. You are my favourite author. Would you please come to my school?
Your biggest fan."
We all love to get fan mail like this, and I make it a point to answer each one I receive. Because I hate to disappoint a child, I explain that, although I'd love to come to his school, his teacher would need to invite me.
I always welcome the opportunity to talk to the kids who are reading my books. I have a general presentation on file, but I re-work it to meet the occasion or the expectations of the teacher.
Most writers depend on giving talks and readings to supplement their incomes, and therefore, we set fees to cover our time and transportation expenses. I try to make it as inexpensive as possible for the schools and have actually lowered my fees in the past year.
Fortunately, there is money available to help with the cost of having an author visit your school. Through the Ontario Writers-in-the-Schools program, the Writers' Union of Canada provides funds to subsidize the cost of an author visit, providing the author is a union member.
Public libraries can also apply for funds from the Writers' Union through the Canada Council for the Arts. These readings must be open to the public, and the author must be a member of the Writers' Union of Canada.
Teachers can find out more about my presentations (talks & readings, or writing workshops) and my fees by visiting my website, or by contacting the Authors' Booking Service: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'd love to visit your school!