How to Avoid the Feeling of Isolation by Conducting Author Visits by Donna McDine



Your writing career is moving at a steady pace, but from time-to-time, the feeling of isolation overwhelms you.  What is a writer to do to get one’s self out into the world of the living, but not neglect your writing goals?  One of the best ways to get yourself known locally as a serious writer would be to participate in author visits to elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools in your area - depending on what genre you write for. Also check out your local library and bookstores – they too may be interested in having you conduct an event.  Presenting your short story or non-fiction article for children’s magazines can be fun way to present the creative writing process to children of all ages without overwhelming them.  And since you are writing for children, why not spend time with them? 
It can be daunting to research school visits, considering the Internet comes up with over 2 million hits when typing in “School Author Visits.”  Why not check out the following resources:
1.      Local Schools –Contact an elementary school in your area and find out whom you need to present your school visit request to.  The school secretaries are happy to point you in the right direction, whether it is the principal, PTA or program coordinator of the school.  IMPORTANT: Keep in mind you don’t necessarily need to have a published book to conduct a school visit.  You may be able to present a published short story or non-fiction article to the class.  In addition, let the school know that you can meet with respective teachers and conform the event to coincide with their ELA State Assessment Guidelines.
2.      Network with fellow writers – We are all cheering for one another and I’m sure your network would be happy to discuss their ideas of school visits.  If you are just starting out, the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators – http://www.scbwi.org, has a wealth of information on all topics for writing for children.
3.      Local Librarian – I have had wonderful success in becoming “buddies” with my local librarian.  They are a chock full of information when it comes to conducting events for children.  You never know, they may be so impressed with your initiative that they may request that you conduct a visit at their library.  What better way to keep children inspired to read by meeting a local writer living in their midst?
4.      Local Bookstores – Approach the manager or owner to see if they would be interested in having you conduct an author visit.  If they are, obtain their guidelines for conducting such a visit and tell them that you will get back to them with your proposal / school visit kit.  Be sure to leave your business card with them.
Put yourself out there…it will not only be fun for the children but for yourself!

Bio: Donna McDine is an award-winning children's author, Honorable Mention in the 77th and two Honorable Mentions in the 78th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competitions,  Preditors & Editors Readers Poll 2010 Top Ten Children’s Books, Global eBook Awards Finalist Children’s Picture Book Fiction, and Literary Classics Silver Award & Seal of Approval Recipient Picture Book Early Reader ~ The Golden Pathway.

Her stories, articles, and book reviews have been published in over 100 print and online publications. Her interest in American History resulted in writing and publishing The Golden Pathway. Donna has three more books under contract with Guardian Angel Publishing, Hockey Agony, Powder Monkey, and A Sandy Grave. She writes, moms and is the Editor-in-Chief for Guardian Angel Kids, Publicist for the Working Writer’s Club, and owner of Author PR Services from her home in the historical hamlet Tappan, NY. McDine is a member of the SCBWI. Visit www.donnamcdine.com.

Wishing you all the best,
Donna McDine

7 comments:

  1. Great article, Donna. Congrats again on your latest school visit. I hear it was a smash success! :-)

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  2. I was a bit intimidated the first time I did a school visit, but it turned out to be a lot of fun!

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  3. Thanks for the tips, Donna. I approached my local library and hopefully in the future will get to do some school visits.

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  4. Great ideas, Donna. The school visits work especially well for writers of books for YA and childrens' books.

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  5. Ladies,

    Thanks for stopping by and for your lovely comments. At first it's scary, but the easy spirit of the children I quickly find my comfort zone.

    All the best,
    Donna

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  6. Great ideas! I'll keep your post handy.

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