Would you like tips and ideas on how to plan an author visit from the experts?
I have had two visits to Bishop Challoner School in Tower Hamlets this year. It has been lovely getting to know the pupils there and I was very impressed by some writing they sent me after my visit. It was very difficult to decide on which pieces to publish, but hope you will enjoy reading The Penalty and two pieces of writing titled What to do when an author visits your school. I think you will find their advice useful and entertaining. Let me know what you think.
Jamie Johnson stepped up to the penalty spot. He cleared his mind, ignoring the taunts from Dillion Simmonds. He imagined his granddad Mike taking a penalty, and set out to do exactly what he would do.
Now he was at Hawkstone, FA cup final. If they scored, they would win.
A droplet of sweat rolled down Jamie’s forehead. The wind was towards the left, so if he shot left would it go wide? He was confused. A shout came from the sideline; it was his granddad. ‘Come on Jamie just like I taught ya’.
The pressure was really on now. So with no hesitation, he ran at the ball, eyes set to the top corner. A sudden shout from Dillion Simmonds trying to put him off changed his mind –a simple chip. The ball rose slowly and dipped. The goalkeeper fell flat on his bum. As the ball went straight in, the opposing team screamed at the distraught keeper and Jamie ran over to his granddad to give him a hug.
Now he had proved himself to the coach, Dillion and his granddad. Now he wondered would the coach notice him; would he choose him?
Jamie got up especially early the next morning so he could check room 311 to see the school’s year 7 team. He was nervous and excited all at the same time: this was the moment he would find out if he was in the school team. The nerves suddenly kicked in. His belly felt light. He walked over with pace and there it was…
Left midfielder: Jamie Johnson
The relief was priceless; someone actually thought he was good. All the anxiety was gone; he was proud of himself. He was one step closer to his dream; to become a professional footballer.
By Thomas M
Having an author visit your school? Don’t know what to do or how to prepare? Don’t worry because you are in luck! This short piece of writing will help you prepare as effectively as possible. However, for this to happen, you must realise that having the chance to meet a published author doesn’t come around every day. Do not just turn up and not ask anything or say anything, because one day you might regret it. You must prepare for the big event and be ready. Carry on reading to find out how!
Firstly, if the author is coming in to speak about a specific book, I highly suggest reading the book beforehand, as this will greatly increase the number of questions you will be able to think of. If the author is just coming in and not talking about a specific book in particular, then remember one thing: Google is your friend! When I say this, I don’t mean get questions straight off the Internet – use the Internet to research the author and use your research to make your own questions.
Another helpful tip is to participate. What is the point of taking a long time to think of questions and research if you’re not going to say anything? Don’t just sit there like a bag of chips! Ask as many questions as you can, and if you can’t ask all of them, why not prioritise? This means choosing the questions you want the answer to the most and asking them first. This will help you to get the information that benefits you the most.
Another key point is to speak formally. You must remember that you shouldn’t speak to the author as if you are speaking to your friend. Do you really think the author would be impressed if you said things like “What’s up?” If you prepare to speak formally, then you are in the right frame of mind to meet the author.
One final point to remember is to remember. Confused? When I say this I mean after the author leaves, don’t just forget about this visit and never speak of it again. Tell your friends and family. Tell them what the author said and what you did and asked. However remember, if you are telling someone who wasn’t as lucky as you to meet a published author, don’t gloat. If you gloat, they are most likely going to get annoyed with you, so make sure you set limits!
In conclusion, try to enjoy yourselves. Your teachers haven’t gone through the stress of arranging a meeting with a very busy author only for you not to enjoy yourself.
Don’t overdo it! For example, you don’t have to read an autobiography or biography about him/her. If you have read and you follow these simple, suggested tips, then you will be ready for the big event.
Good luck and have fun!
Having an author visit your school is very special. Not many schools are privileged with this opportunity, and that is why you have to prize this opportunity. It is not every day you get to meet an author who can advise you and help you; this has a massive impact on your learning. If you are wondering how to make the most of it, just read on.
Before the visit, you must be prepared for the author. You can’t just be there without knowing anything about him or his writing style. I advise you to google the author and read at least one of his books. Also before the visit you should look very formal, it is rude not to. You should also have a question or something to say, because it is not very nice to have nothing to say when someone visits.
During the visit you should look interested and focused; it is disrespectful not to maintain eye contact. Also sit somewhere where you won’t be distracted by people, and you shouldn’t distract anyone either, because not only will it disrupt your own learning, but it will affect your classmates’ learning too. Be inquisitive; ask a lot of questions, because it shows you are focused.
At the end of the visit, try to get your book signed. One thing that you should never do is sell the book on ebay! If the author gives you anything, you should treasure it. It reminds you of a great experience and do not damage anything or mistreat it. If the author gives you a book, make sure you read it.
Keep in mind that you are responsible for the impression the author forms of your school, so I suggest that you follow these steps, because they will benefit you greatly. Take any advice the author gives to you and use it as much as you can; and spread the word that you met an author!