Hi,

I've been speaking in classrooms but I've just been asked to do an assembly at an elementary school--380 kids divided into two groups.

I'm an author--not an entertainer! I wish I had a light show or something but it's just me!

Two questions--any advice an creating an interesting presentation for the kids? So far I'm planning to share how I got into writing, my education at UC Berkeley, read from the book, and do a creative writing exercise. I want ideas on interactive activities I can include with the kids etc.

They asked me what my fee is? Good question? I'm planning on "donating" my time until I gain more experience. But, if any of you speak at schools, what is an appropriate fee? I live in Northern California.

I am excited that they are sending pre-orders for my book to 380 students!!

Thanks!
Jen
http://www.jenniferlynnalvarez.com/
http://www.amazon.com/Pet-Washer-Jennifer-Lynn-Alvarez/dp/098484848...

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Hi Jen, 

Congrats on the opportunity to speak at a school!

One of my suggestions, would be if you can come up with something interactive that reflects the theme of your book.
This blog post is a year old but I had it in my references and it does provide some great insight on presenting to kids :o)
http://thebeejournal.blogspot.com/2010/12/tips-for-presenting-to-cl...

As to what to charge, that really depends (if you want to charge per presentation, your qualifications and experience). I have worked with authors who donate their fees  to charity and others who have charged a lot more (in the $400-$600 range) Typically an author's fee can be $200-$300 per 1hr presentation. Other authors I know are happy to present for anywhere around $50-$75  . 
http://www.cwill.bc.ca/pages/teachers_booking_info

Good luck and hope you have a great time presenting your book to the students :o)  

Hi Tina-Sue,

Thank you for taking the time to respond to me! I read your beejournal--great ideas!! I can tell you love bees, it shows. I appreciate the info on author fees as well. I speak in classrooms for free if they are close by--but I decided I would charge for assemblies. I volunteer for my kids' PTA and I know it's not out of line to charge a fee to cover my gas and time. I ended up asking $150 for a total of two presentations and they thought that sounded "great"!

Sincerely,

Jennifer

Oh the bee blog isn't mine--I just like collecting posts I think may be useful when I see them :o) 
 That's awesome! Wishing you much success with the presentations :D  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPsdbloyQqE

When I speak... I show my cool book trailer!!!      Rules for the Single Dude!     I speak at High Schools!

Talk about how you can be a self published author.  The steps!  The cost!  The marketing.  Especially, the marketing.    You can make anything, but unless you market it.. it isn't any good.

www.timesishard.net       

Too true! Thanks for the tips, David!

I don't clam to be the world's greatest at this, but none of the kids has thrown anything at me yet, so I may be doing something right. My biggest piece of advice is that with kids, audience participation is key right from the start. If you just talk and expect them to sit and listen, you're dead.

I've never gotten a fee, so I can't help you on that part.

Thank you, Richard! Would you mind sharing your favorite audience participation ideas with me?

There are probably lots of different things you can do depending on the age of the kids, the size of the class or assembly, what specific thing (if any) the teacher wants you to talk about, the time allotted, and whatever.

I like to teach the basic elements of a story and how they fit together by working with the students to invent characters and a plot for them to inhabit. The most basic way to do this is just to ask the kids for ideas, kick the ideas around, write them on a blackboard, etc. But depending on the circumstances and your level of showmanship, you could in theory go absolutely crazy with this. You could pull kids out of the audience to represent the characters, give them each a line or two of dialogue to say, give them basic actions to perform, and actually turn the story that's being created into a rudimentary little play.

More great ideas, Richard. I will be teaching the elements of a story--I'll be bringing the kids directly into that process. I have a powerpoint presentation as well as some other elements. Thanks for replying again and taking time out of your day. Jennifer

I would suggest a very animated powerpoint presentation that you use when you speak.  They love the "wavy words" and get into text streaking across the screen.  You can get your point across better if the screen literally screams for their attention.

Question:  Creative writing exercise?  How are you going to do that in an auditorium where the kids most likely won't have something to write on?  Think it through - all aspects of it.  Pen, pencil, paper, something to bear down on to write.  Something on the screen to give them ideas from which to create.

Fee?  I really don't know but if you are going to be in a private school setting  in Northern California, they usually have some cash to throw around.  I would also ask that they tell th parents you will autograph each book purchased and write in the book "To Johnny, Best wishes, Jennifer Alvarez" or something similar.

The others have given great ideas - much better than mine.  I just know that from the kids I've seen in our school and how they respond to stuff, they like animation on the powerpoint.  The book trailers and the kids acting out the characters sounds really good.

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