I love to visit schools and libraries to read to kids, talk about my life and my books, and talk about writing and illustrating. I have all sorts of show-and-tell items which relate to my books, from Franny's basket to Sarey's lantern, to porcupine quills, a "genuine" moose egg and antler, a primitive spear thrower, and even a horse's skull! As a kindergarten graduate whose favorite subject was Show-and Tell, I find that students really respond to my "please touch" presentation of The Artifacts Behind the Fiction.

Kids especially enjoy finding out what's inside my Writer's Toolbox! What do you suppose a working writer needs in the way of tools? A pencil? Paper? An eraser? A great idea? Well yes, a writer needs all of those things that you might expect. But surely you wouldn't think of starting without your trusty troll jar, your sack of senses, your ear sharpeners, or that all-important, rare, and valuable substance that makes-all-your-dreams-come-true: butt glue!!! These and many other essentials emerge from my bright red Writer's Tool Box, concretely illustrating some of the principals of good writing, while generating discussion and laughter.

Everybody loves a good Pourquoi story, and In the Morning of the World and Moose Eggs are great starters for children to write their own nature myths. A school in Hampstead, NH actually wrote and presented me with a copy of their very own Water Why Stories!

The time goes quickly, so it's nice if the kids have seen or read at least one of my books before the visit. That way the teacher can work with them beforehand to come up with interesting questions. I can offer up to three presentations a day. For your convenience, books can be ordered through me at a 40% discount. I would be delighted to plan to meet the kids and sign books for them during the last period of the day. That way they will all have heard me speak and have a better idea of which book they might like to purchase. (Please allow plenty of time before busses!) It is very helpful to send parents a notice well before the visit, letting them know that books will be available for purchase, so that as few kids as possible will be disappointed. It is also very helpful if those wishing books signed could write the names to be inscribed, clearly, on a post-it note attached to the book.

Generally, all I require is a bottle of water and a table or desk to display my show-and-tell items. When addressing assemblies, I would appreciate a clip-on mike. 

Cost is negotiable depending on time, distance, and funding available for your school. Author School visits in New York State, Pennsylvania, or New England are easier for me, but I'll travel if you can help me get there! Contact me and we'll talk.

Susan Williams Beckhorn
author & illustrator
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Programs for Kids

Resources for Visits:
A Writer's Toolbox 
Book Order Form

The Kids Respond:

 "Thank you so much for coming and talking about your writing. I really enjoyed listening to you. I'm writing my own story, but I never had enough butt glue to get very far. Please come back and visit us soon."
Jane, Thatcher Montessori School, Milton, MA

"Thank you for the presentation. That was a very good story that you made. When I grow up, I want to be either a writer or an artist."
Lilly, Hampstead Central School, Hampstead, NH

"I like your puppets you brought. You are the best story maker in the world. You have a lot of tools."
Alex, Wellsville Elementary School, Wellsville, NY

"We just loved it when you passed around the bear claw."
Aaron, Greenwood Central School, Greenwood, NY

"I am your biggest fan!"
Danny, Buckingham-Browne & Nichols School, Cambridge, MA
From an Educator

"Susan Williams's presentation delighted my sixth grade students with her visuals and her tool box of writing tips. Ms. Williams gave the kids a memorable walk through the writing process by providing them with key tools that every writer needs in a very creative and entertaining fashion. Her conclusion, using 'butt glue,' demonstrated to students that an important step in the writing process is 'stick-to-it-ness,' determination, and drive."
- Nancy Pelez, sixth grade English, Millbrook School, Millbrook, NY
© 2014-2016 Susan Williams Beckhorn. All rights reserved. Site design Donna Farrell. http://donnadoodles.comshapeimage_14_link_0