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. Max. 35 students per 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.) Max. 35 students per workshop.
“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).
Free Virtual Visits
Want a visit for free? You’re in luck! I participate in World Read Aloud Day. In addition to WRAD visits, I offer a limited number of free 15-minute Skype/Zoom/Hangout visits with classrooms each year. During these visits, I read from my books and answer students’ questions (please have students read one book and prepare questions in advance to make the most of our time). One free visit per school per two year period. Max. 50 students per session. Please book early to ensure one of these spots.
I have reopened my free visits during the pandemic. If you and your students are interested in a visit, please let me know!
Longer Virtual Visits
I also offer longer virtual visits for a small fee. These can focus on one of my books, a writing-related topic of your choice, or cover general writing processes plus Q&A. I’m very flexible in what I can present—just let me know what you’d like! Max. 50 students per session.
30-minute presentation cost: $100
40- to 60-minute presentation cost: $200
In-Person Author Visits – not available at this time
I offer full-day visits, consisting of up to five presentations, plus a book signing (please note in your inquiry whether you are interested in selling books). Cost: $600 (see note below).
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 and note that my hotel accommodations must also be covered. (The only exceptions are schools in/near Johnson County, Kansas and Jefferson County, Colorado, because I have family in both areas with whom I can stay.) School visits that require air transportation are $750 per day (the increase covers food, airport transportation/parking on my end, and other incidentals) plus airfare and hotel accommodations.
Ideally, a two-day visit will be split between two (or more) schools, which will allow you to share travel and honorarium costs.
Note: Wondering why author visits cost so much? Learn more here. Funding is available to cover the costs of bringing in authors. Here are some tips on seeking local support or getting grants for school visits.
Please fill out the contact form or email me at alison [at] apstevens [dot] com for information on availability. I look forward to meeting you and your students!