Hi. I love speaking to students, parents, and teachers, and I've been a repeat speaker at many schools, private and public, all over the country. I'd be delighted to help you customize an Author Visit for your school, and please scroll down for information about ordering books at a discount.
Want me to talk to kids, teens, parents, or teachers? Great. I'm game. Contact me at email@example.com. Many schools have me address several different audiences--three presentations per day is fine. Many school visits happen simply because a student is an Ava or Melanie or Girltalk fan and tells a parent or librarian. I can also do any talk in Spanish sin problema.
I enjoy talking to third, fourth, fifth and sixth graders about being a novelist and about AVA AND PIP, my new book (a Children's Book-of-the-Month Club main selection), and Melanie Martin, my protagonist who travels to Italy, Holland, Spain, and New York City. (Google: "Author Carol Weston Visits Your School.") Kids pick up on my enthusiasm and I inspire them by explaining that writers don't just write--we rewrite until we get it right. I read from my work (published or in progress) as well as my childhood diary, and I talk about book publishing--from ideas to rejection to acceptance to cover designs. I am comfortable speaking to groups of 25 or 250, (go ahead and fill the gym!), and the Q & A session is always lively. To get more of a sense of my visit to your school, please read my essay "Fourth Grade Forever" or read this newspaper article about a recent school visit that came about after a fifth grader wrote to say she liked my novels.
MIDDLE SCHOOL KIDS
Two options. I can discuss writing skills or life skills. Many students know my "Dear Carol" advice column in Girls' Life, and I've talked to coed groups about making smart decisions, to girls' groups about growing up issues, and to all-boy groups about how girls work ("Girls 101"). I enjoy speaking to big and small groups (200 is fine), and I read letters from students their age and ask how they would answer such questions if they had my job. This makes for lively conversation! In many schools, before my visit, students scribble questions anonymously on index cards. When I arrive, I answer them aloud. No question is ever off-limits or too embarrassing! Note: When I address all boys, it is best to have a teacher present so that the workshop can be informative, entertaining but not too rambunctious. (Good thing I grew up with brothers or I might be thrown by eighth grade boys!)
HIGH SCHOOL KIDS
I'm very comfortable talking to older students about writing as a career and/or how to stay sane, safe, and sensible when it comes to teen temptations. You'd like me to talk candidly about condoms and STDs? Just say so. You want me to avoid such subjects? Just say so. I'm flexible and can tailor my talk to fit your needs.
I relish the opportunity to talk to parents about raising healthy happy daughters and/or preteens and teens. I have spoken to many groups of parents at public and private schools, coed and all-girl schools. Need a flyer? Girltalk: Raising Happy, Healthy Daughters or Middle School Parent Talk: Dealing With the Tricky Issues or something similar, can be distributed electronically, or printed and mailed and also posted to help spread the word about an event. Please feel free to use as a template, or talk to me about what you'd like me to discuss with your parent body during a morning tea, lunch hour chat, or evening meeting. The media are talking to our kids loud and clear, so parents have to weigh in, and I enjoy helping them do so. I share statistics as well as eye-opening letters from girls (and boys) 10 to 17 and this can generate a great Q & A where even awkward topics are suddenly on the table and not so daunting.
At the National Council of Girls' Schools in Memphis, and at a recent National Assistant Heads' Conference in Montreal, Canada, I spoke to faculty about preteen and teen issues. Would you like me to talk to your teachers about what's on tween minds--besides math, science, and Latin? I can share my female email and remind teachers that while it's crucial to be aware of teen issues, most students are not anorexic or obese, bullies or bullied, leaders or losers, transgender or pregnant. Most are Kids in the Middle who are stressed about body and friendship changes. Most crave encouragement and a kind word to a child in crisis can make all the difference. I am happy to address specific needs your school may have. I also like talking to teachers about helping kids enjoy reading and writing.
Whether at Yale, Columbia School of Journalism, or the Universidad de Zaragoza in Spain, I have enjoyed connecting with students and faculty who are interested in hearing from a professional writer.
If your school has a book fair, consider inviting me and having me speak before the event OR having your kids read Ava and Pip or The Diary of Melanie Martin before my appearance. I can sometimes provide books, but for a crowd, you can make money for your school by ordering them at a steep school discount, or you can enlist a local bookseller to deal with book sales. Want to do it yourself? For Ava and Pip, call 1 800 432 7444. For The Diary of Melanie Martin, call 1 800 733 3000. For Girltalk, call 1 800 242 7737. Many schools send out a form to parents and then order books which I sign at the event. Others ask for orders after my talk.
I enjoy going to schools and would like to help you arrange a visit that won't break your budget. (Some schools arrange for their Lower School and Middle School to share expenses or for a neighboring school to take part in the visit.) And Skype is a possibility. I live in New York City and visits in this area are especially easy to manage. I can also stay with family or friends in Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, Atlanta, Washington, Louisville, Boston, Columbus, San Francisco, and many other cities, so do not hesitate to contact me to discuss fees and expenses. I'm afraid I'm not a bold driver so I'm less game about renting a car and driving long distances. But I'm big on subways, buses, trains, and planes! And getting kids excited about reading and writing is a goal for me and I take pride in helping parents parent and teachers teach, and getting older students to think twice before making decisions they may later regret. Please check my resume for the long list of schools I have visited and revisited. And shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give a call! 212 724 1311.