THERE IS NO CHARGE TO BE LISTED on this blog, however I do ask for a reciprocal link to Cool School Visits, at www.coolschoolvisits.com . (Check it out! I offer lots of free advice about doing school visits!) Sorry, except for a few close friends, I can only list you in your home state.
MY DEFINITION OF "TRADITIONALLY PUBLISHED"...If you're with a publisher you know I'll recognize, write to me and I'll add you. If you have any doubts, CLICK THIS LINK and scroll down to a list approved on SCBWI's "Published and Listed" (PAL) list. If you see your publisher on this list, write to me. If not, then you're with a publisher too obscure to be added. I don't want these author lists to become so lengthy that the site loses its original intent: to save educators time when "shopping" for an author.

Meet our guest blogger, Hannah Stahlhut


Our guest blogger today is Hannah Stahlhut, a young author based in Indiana. She writes:

I have had the amazing opportunity to encourage and share my story with many students in Indianapolis and the surrounding areas. I've met some incredible young writers and been completely amazed by the patience and kindness of many teachers. However, my fondest memory is still the very first visit-- my first appearance as an author.

I was excited, yet terrified as I awaited my first author visit. My book had just been released, and Uncle Tom insisted I make an appearance at his school. He and the other 4th grade teachers at Douglas MacArthur Elementary had read my story in manuscript form to the students, and they were anxious to meet me in person and buy an autographed copy of the book.

As the kids filed into the room, I fumbled with my notes and tried not to notice my parents, grandparents, and a few cousins sitting in the back row smiling at me. They knew I was more than a little nervous about this arrangement, and I would rather have given the presentation without them staring at me. I smiled nervously at the children and eyed the exit signs. No escaping now. The kids all sat down on the floor and quieted down, looking up at me. I cleared my throat and set my notes down on the table in front of me. My hands trembled.

I opened my mouth and started telling them my story. I explained that, though I have never been the best student, I have always loved stories. My goal since childhood was to share my own stories with other people through writing. I recalled how my short stories evolved into chapter books, and I entered my book, Journey to the Homeland, into a book competition. Most importantly, I told them I was really a very ordinary person—my parents aren't publishers and I've never had any special tutoring. If I could write a book, they could all follow their dreams, too. The words spilled out a bit quickly, but I was growing in confidence. I talked about the importance of setting high goals and sticking to them. Before I knew it, it was question and answer time.


The kids bombarded me with questions. They wanted to know my favorite character in my book. They wanted to know if there was going to be a sequel, or, better yet, a movie! I assured them there would be no movie, but a sequel was in the making. One girl told me about a story she was writing, which sounded like it would put mine to shame. They were all so interested in what I had to say, I couldn't believe it. My nervous doubts were long forgotten and I sat there chatting (or that's what it felt like, really) for another twenty minutes.


This certainly wasn't my best presentation ever, but I learned a lot that day in my uncle's classroom. I knew from that day forward that kids really looked up to me. A few weeks later, I received an email from one student who was inspired to write her own story after listening to me. I realized that my visits can make a difference in the students' lives and possibly encourage budding writers to pursue their dreams


###

Glad to hear you overcame your nerves and enjoyed the presentation, Hannah!

Visit Hannah's website HERE.

Kim Norman, Virginia
author of:
JACK OF ALL TAILS, Dutton, June 2007
CROCODADDY, Sterling, May 2009
I KNOW A WEE PIGGY WHO WALLOWED IN BROWN, Dutton, 2010
TEN ON THE SLED, Sterling, 2010

No comments: