I love writing, poetry, writing poetry, and helping writers find the best ways to say what they want to say. I've worked with thousands of students of all ages as well as adult writers and teachers. My in-person visits are on hold for now, but I do offer several virtual presentations. I'm especially excited after Kate Messner's terrific "Reinventing Author Visits" workshop on best practices for virtual visits.
Virtual visits are $150 per presentation.
(On hold) My in-person rate of $750/day includes up to three presentations. Depending on distance, visits may require accommodations, mileage, and/or meal expenses. Contact me for a price quote.
To plan a visit, choose one or more topics from the Presentations list below.
To schedule a visit or to discuss additional topics or scheduling options, e-mail me through the "Write to JoAnn" link (under "Send a Message") on the left side of any page of this site.
Inspiration, Imagination, and Publication
For about 30-45 minutes, accompanied by PowerPoint slides, I explain the inspiration for each of my picture books and discuss my writing process, poetry, and publishing. Participants are invited to ask questions. Suitable for all ages, including students, families, teachers, and community groups.
Nature in Your Neighborhood
Inspired by my experiences with monarch butterflies, beekeeping, birdwatching, and other wildlife encounters, this Powerpoint presentation includes tips for observing, researching, reflecting on, and writing about outdoor experiences. Suitable for all ages, it lasts about 30-45 minutes. Participants are invited to ask questions.
What Makes a Poem a Poem?
This interactive discussion is suitable for small or large groups, grade 3 and up. It lasts about 45 minutes. Participants discuss the following topics:
• Form: how a poem differs from a story
• Patterns: what rhythm, rhyme, and repetition contribute to a poem
• Language: the kinds of exciting words poets use
• Imagery: how poets use all their senses to create word pictures
• Ideas: how a poet starts writing a poem
The presentation includes examples of wonderful poems (many written by students in my poetry workshops), opportunities for students to contribute their own creative ideas, and time for questions and answers.
Write a Poem Step by Step
(not available virtually)
This popular writing workshop lasts from 90 minutes to two hours. It is intended for a class-sized group, third grade and up. Each participant writes a draft of a poem in five logical steps:
• Finding a good idea
• Adding imagery
• Using exciting words
• Patterns in poetry
• Breaking the lines
The presentation includes examples of wonderful poems, many written by students in previous workshops, and includes time for writing and questions.
For the youngest students, I am happy to read one or several of my picture books and answer questions. For more ideas, write to me!
Ordering Books for School Visits
Most publishers offer significant discounts to schools for ordering books in conjunction with author visits. Schools can then either resell the books at a discount or sell the books at the cover price and use the income to help fund an author visit. For information about ordering my books for school visits, see the following web sites:
Three Routes to Publishing and a Few Side Trips
Activating Passive Language
Write a Poem, Step by Step: A Simple, Logical, Effective Way to Write Poetry with Your Students (for teachers)
This 2-hour workshop gives teachers the tools to help students write their own poems. Each participant writes a draft of a poem using the simple, logical method I teach in my workshops. Then teachers learn how to help their students write their own poetry using the step-by-step method and other resources.
Participants receive specific instructions for revising first drafts and suggestions for encouraging students and evaluating their work. They also learn how to customize a presentation for their own students that includes age-appropriate and subject-relevant examples of wonderful poems.
I can tailor any of the student presentations for adults. Contact me for more ideas!