Author Visits

I'll Tell You About
This Trophy When I Visit!
I love visiting schools, libraries and community groups to share my passion for reading, writing, signing and all things literacy! My book talks and writers' workshops are known for being lively and interactive, and I'm always happy to autograph books after the program.

My author visits "typically" fall into one or more of the following categories:

Young Writer's Workshops
Sign Language Story Times
Family Literacy Nights and/or Parent/Teacher Education/Outreach

(I've summarized some of my most popular writing workshops at the bottom of this post, and a more comprehensive
 listing of current program offerings is available at this link). 

My standard weekday rate is $125/hour, (or, $100/hour for four or more consecutive hours, $600 for a full-day visit, or $1000 for two full-day visits), plus travel expenses. For visits that span more than one classroom or grade level, (e.g. involves the school community more fully), if a school-wide book sale is facilitated/promoted by the school as part of my visit, then I also gift a teacher in-service meeting or a family literacy night to supplement my visit. If the author visit is in the Portland (Oregon) metro area, this "extra programming" does not need to take place on the same day as my visit, but it should be coordinated/packaged as an extension of (or preview to) the author visit experience. For organizations outside of my local area, the first hour of instruction/consultation is typically adjusted upward to incorporate a distance surcharge. Weekend programming generally requires a full or half-day commitment.  

Whenever pricing is a barrier, I do my best to be flexible and creative. For example, upon request I will waive one hour of instructional fees for every 24 books that are pre-ordered directly from me at the $19.95 school/library price. For point of reference, here is my publisher's catalog page for my books

Each year I donate a select number of classroom author visits and/or Family Literacy Nights to fund-raising auctions and/or raffles that benefit local schools, community organizations, and other non-profit groups. I begin taking requests at the start of each year, and when they're gone, they're gone. My goal is to help the school/community organization raise money (in the form of auction bids) and to provide the gift of an author experience to a motivated school or community group. Motivation requires that there is at least one key staff member (or in some cases a key volunteer) that generates interest/momentum for the author visit experience being auctioned.  The best way to increase interest/bids is to get one or more teachers (vocally) on board for the classroom author visit. If teachers/librarians let parents know that they want to "win" a classroom-based writing workshop and/or sign language story time, parents are more inclined to bid on the item(s) at the auction. It can also work to have one or more teachers "co-host" the event (e.g. "After School Story Time and Tea Party with Mrs. Smith and children's author Dawn Babb Prochovnic" (and then auction-goers sign up and pay for a "slot" for their student/family at the auctioned event). 

In addition to auction-based donations, each year I also gift several "Sign Language Story Times" directly to classroom teachers and school librarians around the community who request a visit via a personal letter describing their interest and need. I do ask that a book order form be sent home with students prior to (or directly after) my visit. I also offer complimentary 20-30 minute SKYPE (or FaceTime) Q and A sessions, as well as Email Q and A sessions. For the complimentary "E-Visits" I do request that students are familiar with at least one of my books before the visit ( all 16 of my books are widely available in public libraries). I do not prepare a "presentation" for complimentary SKYPE/FaceTime visits. For these visits, I ask that teachers prepare students with questions ahead of time (typically ranging from my writing process to the names of my pets ; ), and then we engage in a back and forth exchange during our time "together." For Email "visits," I ask that the teacher summarize up to ten questions from the students, and then compile them in one email. I make every effort to respond within two weeks (and generally sooner).

As part of my "Capture that Story" promotion, I'm currently offering FREE in-person author visits to groups that are able to provide me a group/subset of students/families that are willing to participate in/assist with a filmed sign language story time (with appropriate photo/video releases signed, so the experience can be posted/shared on YouTube and/or SchoolTube). I would LOVE to arrange something like this where older students get involved in the filming aspect of things.

The bottom line is that I never want a motivated learning community to miss out on an author visit experience because of budgetary constraints. If you are motivated to bring an author into your learning community, get in touch and we will find a way to make it happen. You can contact me via the contact form on the left side of the blog, or via the contact links at SmallTalk Learning

Dawn's Most Popular Young Writers’ Workshops:

Gotcha! How to Find and Capture Great Writing Ideas: In this “how-to” workshop, Dawn discusses how to think like a writer by doing things like reading, remembering, watching and listening to the things going on around you.

Revision Rocks!: A workshop that explores some of the actual revisions Dawn made over time in her picture book, "The Nest Where I Like to Rest," (a 2011 Oregon Book Awards Finalist) and provides participants with an opportunity to suggest revisions to one of Dawn’s current works-in-progress.

Your Pencil is Magic: A hands-on workshop that demonstrates how writing props and prompts can help you unlock the creative ideas hiding inside of you.  This workshop is based on a popular class Dawn teaches at the Oregon Writing Festival.

You’re a Poet and Didn’t Know It: How to Write Poetry When You Think You Can’t: In this workshop, Dawn shares a not-yet-published book about finding inspirations for poetry in nature, and facilitates age-appropriate poetry-writing exercises.

Write On! An Author’s Perspective on Why Writing is (Possibly) the Most Important Thing You’ll Ever Do”: In this workshop Dawn reads her book, "There's a Story in Your Head" and shares with students why she writes and some of the rich experiences she’s had in her life because she writes. The workshop (like the book) concludes with an invitation for students to get busy writing the stories that are in their own heads.

Anatomy of a Picture Book: An informational workshop that provides a behind-the-scenes look at how picture books are made and the opportunity to have an informal Q & A with a published children's author.

A more complete listing of program offerings is available at this link.

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