Thursday, March 3, 2011

School Visits

My first official school visits were yesterday.  I mean, I've been in school reading my stories. I've visited my daughter's class with my books. But yesterday, I had three formal presentations to the entire 2nd grade in my home town. Topic: writing nonfiction.

I was nervous! I've presented to an auditorium full of first year college students and their parents, and a room full of 2nd graders made me nervous. But it was great. They were good listeners. They had good questions. And some of them have taken out my books from the library--that was cool.

Best comment from a little boy, "No offense, but John Lance was here yesterday and HE started writing in the 3rd grade."  This is all the funnier because I'm friendly with the Lance family, and John is fellow local author.

Things I learned:

1. Go to the bathroom before they walk in the room.
2. Have a bottle of water ready--cause your throat will dry up.
3. Be ready for ANY question (i.e., talking about my book WHO REALLY DISCOVERED AMERICA, one child asked "what about Adam and Eve?"  Someone else asked "How old are you?")
4. Be ready to fill in silence...with a question to them, some interesting thing about yourself, reading a bit from your book.

I had made myself an outline so I had a loose idea of what I to say, but I wanted to give them a chance to ask questions.  Next time I think I'll be a bit more formal. Powerpoint? Notecards?  I strayed from my outline a bit.  But they didn't seem to notice. :)

Next month, third grade.


MG Higgins said...

The idea of school visits gives me the willies. Sounds like you did a great job! (And thanks for the advice.)

Kristine Asselin said...

You could totally do it, Melissa!

I didn't want to do an auditorium, but I asked for smaller groups in the library. Much less daunting. I did these sessions gratis--but with a few under my belt I feel like I could charge a modest amount.

Laura Pauling said...

I love the questions kids come up with! Hilarious. Glad they went well!

Ansha said...

I love that it went well! :) woo hoo! Go Kris the school-visit pro!

Cambria Dillon said...

OMG the QUESTIONS! LOVE. IT. Glad to hear it was a hit!

Katie said...

From what I've heard through the grapevine, the kids and the teachers loved your presentations! Thank you so much, Kris!

Kristine Asselin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristine Asselin said...

The questions were hysterical and adorable. And they seemed so interested--one boy was disappointed I wouldn't be reading from OUR SUN, because he said "I love that book!"

A very cool boost to my ego. :)

TerryLynnJohnson said...

way to go! this is a nerve-wracking new thing for me. Personally, it makes me more nervous to have a formal presentation. I like to wing it, and that went quite well for me last week. However, everyone has their own style for sure. Love these questions and comments! Thanks for sharing!
And HUGE CONGRATS on your agent! You are moving fast!