__Making the Most of CAN! Author and Illustrator Visits: A Step-by-Step Guide to Quality Assemblies, Programs and Workshops for Students, Teachers and Parents
Inspire lifelong readers, writers and artists. This easy step-by-step guide will help you communicate with your visiting author/illustrator and create a successful event. Planning is half the fun! You CAN! Do It.
Author Visit Guide Children’s Authors Network!
Presenting Quality Assemblies, Programs, and Workshops for Students, Teachers, and Parents
Connecting children and authors inspires lifelong readers and writers. This easy step-by-step guide will help you communicate with your visiting author and create a successful event. Planning is half the fun!
Step-by-Step Guide You CAN! Do It
4-6 MONTHS AHEAD: Find an author by going to the CAN! website (www.childrensauthorsnetwork.com) or by asking for recommendations from your local children’s bookseller, librarian, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, or an author you have worked with, or by contacting publishers directly.
Call or write the author to request a press kit and a book order form. Set a date for the event.
2 MONTHS AHEAD: Prepare an event schedule. Discuss it with the author and school staff. Make necessary adjustments. Schedule presentations for consecutive grades (K-2, 3-5, etc.). Allow time for a break between presentations, and for an Autograph Party. Provide written confirmation on all details discussed. Include a map with directions to your school and parking information.
Recruit students and PTA volunteers. You will need: 1) an Author’s Day Coordinator and committee 2) a Media Liaison to publicize the event, 3) an "Author’s Angel" to escort your author during their day on campus.
Call your local children’s bookseller and order books. Include copies for the library. Pick up advance copies for teachers and the librarian.
1 MONTH AHEAD: Media Liaison announces the author’s visit and availability of books for autographing in the school newspaper, PTA Bulletin, and other publications read by students, teachers, and parents.
Complete, copy, and send home an Order Form for Autographed Books with each student. Your author or bookseller may already have a form. Ask.
Plan an Autograph Party in the library. Ask the coordinator to arrange for punch and cookies to create a festive mood! Duties will include set-up, collecting last minute sales money, and distributing books.
Copy and distribute author information to teachers to share with their classes. Students should read at least one of the author’s books prior to the visit.
2 WEEKS AHEAD:
Collect and count book order forms.
Call your local children’s bookseller to confirm that your initial book order has arrived. Order additional books if necessary.
Arrange to pick up your order.
1 WEEK AHEAD: Announce the author event over your school’s public announcement system. Send students home with a written reminder.
Test all equipment requested by the author (projector, screen, microphone). Make sure that the room can be adequately darkened if slides will be used. Have a back-up projector and bulb.
1 DAY AHEAD: If your school has a marquee, use it to welcome your author.
Brief the "Author’s Angel" to escort the author, help unpack and pack, act as an aide (work lights, provide water), and assist the author at the Autograph Party.
Remind students about the author’s visit and last minute book orders.
THE BIG DAY: Set-up and retest all equipment.
Reserve a parking place for your author for convenient unloading of equipment.
Greet your author one-half hour prior to the first presentation. Introduce the principal, librarian, and Author Angel to your author. Students receive an important message when the principal and administrators attend the presentation.
Arrange to provide lunch for your author.
Set-up the Autograph Party in the library. You will need two tables with two chairs each. One for the author and the Author Angel, the other for book sale assistants. Be sure to have change for last minute cash sales.
FOLLOW-UP: Return unsold books to your children’s bookseller.
Write a thank you note on school letterhead to the author. Be specific about what worked. Include news clippings, photos, student letters, and artwork.
Confirm that your author received payment.
Now, begin planning for your next author event. We look forward to meeting you and sharing our experiences with your students!
HELPFUL HINTS: Have students design a bookmark. Ask your author to autograph it. Copy and distribute. This significant souvenir will last longer than pieces of paper students may ask the author to sign.
Grading papers during the presentation is distracting to your author. Please respect the author’s efforts to create a memorable event for your students and staff.
Authors enjoy hearing from students. Encourage authentic writing experiences. Have students express their reactions through letters to the author.
QUESTIONS to Ask Your AUTHOR
When is the best time to call you?
How long is each presentation?
How many presentations are you comfortable doing?
What is your maximum audience size?
What equipment, set-up or special needs do you have?
Would you like to eat lunch with students or teachers?
Shall we discuss your fee on the telephone or do you prefer to mail the information? (Payment is due on the event date. If other arrangements will be necessary, discuss.)
How Can You Fund Your Event? Inquire about these funding resources at your next staff meeting: PTA Adopt-a-School Sponsors Friends of the Library Title I Title VII School Improvement Plan (SIP) LAAMP Goals 200 Grants Grandparents