How do writers turn everyday events into fantastic adventures? I’m happy to share some of the tricks and techniques I use when I visit your school or library. My presentations are fun and interactive, just right to get students motivated as you kick off a writing unit.
“We were so pleased to have Dr. Alison Stevens share her knowledge of the writing and research process with our students. Her presentation perfectly complimented our writing curriculum focus on research skills and nonfiction writing. The students were captivated by her experiences and eager to begin their own research projects.”
Jane Millard — Librarian, Morley Elementary School
Writing Non-Fiction that’s Weird (but True!)
This assembly-style presentation for upper elementary school and middle school (grades 4-8) is all about writing nonfiction. How do the Weird But True books come together? What is the research like? How do writers make their stories fun to read? And what are some of my favorites facts and stories that made it into the Weird But True books (or didn’t).
“Alison Pearce Stevens did an amazing job! Her presentation was inspiring for young writers while giving great writing tips to all students. There was interaction throughout to keep the students engaged and intrigued with her.”
Lindsay Borosko – Grade 6 Teacher, Lux Middle School
Non-Fiction Writing Workshop
In this workshop for grades 3-5, I talk about what it’s like to write National Geographic Kids’ Weird But True Ripped from the Headline books: how I find topics, how chapters come together, and how I create fun-to-read stories. Students will get to choose from an assortment of ideas and use these to practice writing Weird-But-True-style short stories. In this workshop, we will cover: how to find interesting information and be sure it’s true, hooking your readers, and making your writing fun and snappy.
“Dr. Stevens had all students completely engaged during her presentation, and they walked away motivated and excited to begin their research projects.”
Connie Peterson — Grade 5 Teacher, Morley Elementary
Fiction Writing Workshop
This workshop for grades 3-5 starts off with an assortment of photos of wacky events—the perfect prompts to ignite the imagination. As a group, we will select one image and use it to brainstorm story ideas, then write (and revise) our group story. Students will then choose their own images and practice brainstorming and writing their own stories using the techniques we covered in the first part of the workshop.
“What an incredible experience for our kids! They loved it!”
Christa Hake — Grade 4 Teacher, Belmont Elementary School
(Re-)Writing to Get it Right
Many students dislike having to revise their work. In this workshop for grades 4-8 they’ll quickly discover that not only is revision an essential part of the writing process, but it can also be fun. Students will draft a (very) short story, then apply my Revision Rules to their stories—after first learning how I use them myself. (Includes Revision Rules handout.)
“I learned a ton about being an author. The main thing I learned though was to always revise! I’m now revising everything I write.” – Kylan, Student
If none of these programs is quite what you have in mind, I would be happy to discuss a program that would fit the age group and curriculum, whether content-based or with an emphasis on the writing process (fiction or non-fiction).
I offer half-day or full-day visits. Half days consist of 2-3 presentations, plus a book signing (please note in your inquiry whether you are interested in selling books). Cost: $350.
Full days consist of up to five presentations, plus a book signing. Cost: $600.
I charge travel expenses for schools more than 30 miles from Lincoln, Nebraska. For schools more than two hours away, please book two sequential days. Ideally, this will be split between two (or more) schools (this will also allow you to share travel costs).
Please fill out the contact form for information on availability. I look forward to meeting you and your students!