Author Talks

Reading to students
Photo courtesy of Rainbow City Public Library


Reading to students of John S. Jones Elementary School
and others in a Rainbow City (Alabama) Public Library program

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Students at Pittsfield Elementary School in
Ann Arbor, Michigan, showed their creativity:

paper & cotton ball sheep
Sheep figures

kids at work
Making fancy masks for Sheep Trick or Treat

jeep costume
Fifth grader Zachary made this wearable jeep!






Are you looking for a speaker from your area?  Here's a
state-by-state list compiled by author Kim Norman.

How Do You Make a Book?

In my elementary-school visits, I read my stories and talk about how an idea turns into a book. How many tries does it take to get the story right? (A lot!) At what stage is it important to get the details and the spelling right? What does the editor do? What does the illustrator do? How is the book put together?

I show samples from the different parts of the process. I usually bring a slide show for larger audiences.

For grades 4 and up, I concentrate on how to write for different audiences. I may share a work in progress.

Programs can be adjusted to suit the school's needs. I love to take questions from the audience. If there are questions left over, I ask the school to send them to me, and I'll write an answer back.

For advice on making a school visit successful, check out HMH's guide.

For information on availability, fees, and program specifics, please contact me, or one of my publishers.

Nancy Shaw

Comments from An Open Book Foundation, Washington, D.C.
"The students and teachers were over the moon. Your presentations are a model of intuitive pacing, high energy and variation in substantive content and student participation opportunities.  And hearing you read your books is so much fun!!!”
Janet Zwick, Education Director

From Kerby Elementary School, Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan
"Thanks for creating a wonderful experience and lasting memories for our students!"
Maureen Rembisz, Principal

"You have become many of our students' favorite author.  I've heard from the first grade teachers that you've inspired lots of reading and writing.  Thank you for giving so much pleasure to so many people."
Anne Maurer, Media Specialist

From the Benton Harbor (Michigan) Public Library
"We loved having you here in Benton Harbor with us and have received many, many favorable comments from the attendees. Your presentations were both fun and informative...it was the perfect way to get the word out about the importance of reading to your children..."
Susan Kading, Children's Librarian

From Kimball Elementary School, Kimball, Michigan
"I loved the part where you read part of the new story and asked their opinion.  It really engaged them in an authentic way. 
"The students and teachers were all thrilled!  When you read your own work aloud, the magic in the words came out even more."

Shelley Harding, Principal

From Portage District Library, Portage, Michigan
"It was obvious that you captivated the audiences here and that the children were enthralled with your clever words and fascinating box of interesting and fun 'recycled' things...You certainly have a magic formula for connecting with children, Nancy--enchanting stories...and entertaining presentation!"
Christine Berro, Library Director           Christy Klien, Head of Youth Services

Darbydale, Ohio second graders
"Thank you for coming to our school...You were very nice and really funny. I had a very good time. I think everyone had a very good time."

"Everyone enjoyed you sharing your pictures of you and your family. I like the funny parts...That day was fantastic. Are you going to go to different schools?"


From the University of Michigan Residential College, Ann Arbor, Michigan
"The students have now given me their feedback, and I have to say your class was a highlight of the term (and we have enjoyed some amazing speakers)...The skill with which you summarized the history of publication and revision and answered their questions compelled us all. Thank you for a marvelous class!"
Elizabeth Goodenough, Lecturer, Literature