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Middle School & Author Visits (Through Skype?)

Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to speak to a 7th grade honors English class about the creative side of writing a novel and what it’s like to become a published author. It was a large class of thirty-seven students, and they were simply enthralled. Despite having a pre-planned list of subjects ranging from “How to structure a novel” to discussing examples of “Show-don’t tell,” the class broke into a half-hour Q&A, ultimately exhausting our time limit. The questions were remarkable, and multiple students came back to the microphone more than once. Without the teacher’s request, there they were, taking notes. It was fantastic… for me, the kids, and the teacher who was blown-away by her student’s attentiveness.

What I haven’t mentioned so far, is that this class was 5000 miles away, and we managed through a simply Skype connection. In fact, since I’m an American author living in Germany, this has been a major constraint for me in my attempt to reach out to more middle schools. But, on the other hand, it wasn’t a constraint. It was efficient, well executed, and overwhelmingly successful. No travel time or cost. The school required very little preparation. We were even able to reschedule at the last minute due to a school conflict. Of course, sitting in the same room cannot be replaced. But when that is not an option, based on my experience, this is a highly-recommended alternative.

To be honest… It was one of the most rewarding moments for me as an author, and I enthusiastically encourage more of the same. If you are a teacher, librarian, parent, or fellow author interested in learning more about “Author e-Visits,” please send me an email. I would love to discuss further opportunities to share the craft of writing with the eager minds of our future. After all, they are the reason I write to begin with.

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