June 11, 2018

School Author Visits

As I've said before, one of the supreme delights in my work is being invited to schools and libraries as a visiting author.

Over the past several years, I've had the pleasure of being invited to Raleigh Park Elementary School each spring to present young writers' workshops to their students. Raleigh Park is a PYP (Primary Years Programme) school, and author visits tie in with their Programme of InquiryRaleigh Park's PTO generously supports my author visits each school year.

As in years past, during my first round of classroom visits I presented, "Write On!" a workshop about why I write and some of the amazing experiences I've had because I'm an author. During the second round of visits I presented, "Gotcha! How to Find and Capture Great Writing Ideas."

One of my favorite parts of school visits is receiving letters and pictures from the students. The image to the right is a sampling of letters that arrived in my mail box soon after my visits.

Whenever students write to me after an author visit, I do my very best to write back to them. Here is the letter I just wrote to one of the three classrooms I visited:

Dear Mrs. Baumgartner’s Class,

Thank you for taking the time to write and for letting me know what you learned when I visited your school.  Pickle and I have read and re-read each of your letters, and we have greatly enjoyed your artwork. I especially liked how many of you included pictures or mention of my chicken hat, reading trophy, pajama pants, and Pickle the Cat in your notes! Pickle is sitting on my lap as I write to you today.

I’m delighted that so many of you are excited about writing and sharing your own stories, and I’m happy that you enjoyed learning some sign language.  I hope you continue to read, write, and sign regularly and with enthusiasm!  

Many of you had additional comments and questions.  My responses are below:

Kennedy: You mentioned that your favorite color is purple. That’s my favorite color, too! It sounds like you are writing books about cats, teenagers and spies. Fun! Keep at it!

Sophie: I’m glad you like my books. You can find them at most local library branches. I encourage you to check them out this summer!

Suhey: I’m glad you love writing and that you have a diary. Keep writing in it all summer long!

Anthony: You asked me to tell you the names of my new books. I have two new books that will be available in 2019. They are entitled: WHERE DOES A PIRATE GO POTTY? and WHERE DOES A COWGIRL GO POTTY? As you can probably tell, they are humorous stories.

Alexis: I’m so glad you know how to say “Hi” in sign language. If you want to learn how to say other words in American Sign Language, here is a helpful website:

Eleanor: How fun that your dad writes books and that one of his books is about you. That’s wonderful! Maybe YOU could write a book about HIM?!

William G.: I’m glad you think I’ve inspired lots of people to make books. I hope one of the people I’ve inspired is you! Thanks for telling me about your friend’s cat. Maybe you could write a story about your friend or about your friend’s cat?

Camillo: Hooray to you for spelling KNOWLEDGE all on your own! I’m so glad I INSPIRED you to be an author. It’s a great job. Keep writing!

Alex: You asked if I was sure that Pickle helps me with my paperwork. Pickle is a very helpful cat, and a big inspiration. She is sitting on my lap as I write this message to you.

Jonas: I’m glad you also like to make books and that you are thinking about becoming a writer. I’m glad you practice writing every day!

William B.: You asked if I gave Pickle her name because her eyes are green. That’s a good guess. I gave her the name Pickle, because when she was a kitten she always managed to get into mischief, or “into a pickle.” I considered naming her Mischief, but the name Pickle seemed like a better fit.

Lark: I’m glad you love my books. As I mentioned to Sophie, you can find them at your favorite library. Maybe you will read them again over the summer?

Rafael: I’m glad you enjoyed when I read my books to you. You can see videos of me reading some of my stories at this website.

Autumn: I’m glad to hear that you want to be an author, too. It sounds like you’ve written quite a few books with some great titles. Squirrel and Acorn sounds especially fun! Way to go!

Lillian: I’m so glad to hear that you are writing books, too. You asked if I have any books other than the ones I showed you. I do have two more books that will be published in 2019. I recently wrote a blog post about the new books I am working on.

Javier: I’m glad you liked when I told you about pretending to be Harriet the Spy. That’s a really good book. Maybe you will get it from the library this summer?

Mason: I loved hearing about how you like to draw and write about Black Panther. You asked about some of my hobbies. I like to read (of course!), listen to music, hike, and travel.

Owen: I’m so glad you like to write stories. You mentioned that you’ve been to Mexico three times. Me too! Maybe you could write a story about Mexico?

Ashlyn: You mentioned that one of your favorite foods is Texas Toast. I’ve never had that before. I just did some research about it and it sounds yummy! I’ll have to try it some day. Maybe you could write down your recipe and share it with your friends or family?

Ben: I’m so glad you love to read and write. You asked if I love ladybugs. I do. There is a picture of a ladybug in my book, SEE THE COLORS. I wonder if you can find it?

Nathaniel: I’m so glad I inspired you to write some new stories. You mentioned that it would be nice if I could give out some of my books. Better than that, I can tell you about the library, where you can borrow my books (and other books as well). I hope you will visit my books at the library this summer!

Gwen: It looks like you were absent when I visited the first time. You can read a blog post about some of the reasons I like to write (which I what I talked about during my first visit).

Thank you again for all of your letters and pictures, and thank you to Ms. Baumgartner for inviting me to visit.  I hope I get to visit your school again in the future. In the meantime, if you’d like to read more about my life as a writer, you can visit this section of my blog where I talk about my writing life.

Have a great summer!


Dawn Babb Prochovnic (and Pickle)


I'd love to visit your school, too! If you'd like more information about author visits, click here, or send me a message using the contact form to the left.

For more posts about my past author visits and other aspects of the writing life, click here.

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