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VIRTUAL AUTHOR VISITS:
As students, teachers, and families adapt to new ways of learning online and in person, authors can connect with classes through virtual visits, supporting and enhancing what students are learning in the online or physical classroom. Author visits provide:
INSPIRATION — Visiting authors can help students build the confidence to find their voices and express themselves, and that can have a huge impact. Authors give a glimpse of their own creative process, leaving students inspired to develop their imaginations and tell their own stories.
INTERACTION — Author visits give students a chance to learn about the writing and publishing process from a professional, with an opportunity to have their questions answered and their thoughts and feelings heard. There are many ways to actively participate, from volunteering during activities to offering ideas and asking questions.
INTEGRATION — Visiting authors often touch on parts of the ELA curriculum like story structure and literary devices, as well as other cross-curricular topics. Students practice literacy, writing, and critical-thinking skills. Authors model making connections, problem solving, and looking at the world in new ways.
I’ve been a teacher for over twenty years, and I love sharing the creative process with students who are learning from home or school. I can also tailor presentations and workshops to complement your curriculum and the technology you’re using. Click here for more information on virtual author visits.
Note: many of my books are available online as e-books, so they’re easy to share with students at home or school before or after my virtual visit. Click here for more information for parents about my books and book orders.
Fees vary based on number of presentations per school. Contact me for more information using the contact page or email me at: jessica*at*jessicayoungbooks.com
TN Arts Commission: I’m a Teaching Artist on the TN Arts Commission’s Teaching Artist Roster, so public school teachers in TN can apply to have my virtual school visit fees covered through grants like the Student Ticket Subsidy Grant program. TN teachers or school librarians/media specialists who might be interested in having me visit virtually should register using the link above. Feel free to contact me with questions. *Please note: The STS grant opens on August 11, for the 2020-2021 school year and grants are awarded by county on a first-come-first-served basis. If you’re thinking of applying, register in the TN Arts Commission system now and apply early!
Other grants: There’s also funding available for me to virtually visit schools (anywhere) at no cost to the school through a grant from our regional SCBWI. Contact me for details.
“We were thrilled to have the opportunity to have a virtual zoom session with Ms. Jessica Young. Students miss each other, teachers are missing their students, and this provided a great time to relax and enjoy a great book and hear expert advice on writing. We thank you so much for providing this opportunity during a time we are all learning how this virtual learning works. It seemed easy today.” — Jamie Claybrooks, Librarian, Nashville, TN
“Jessica kept the students engaged throughout the presentation and cleverly incorporated how similes, metaphors and alliteration can be used in their writing. The students were creating their own with a little help from her! It was amazing!” — Lisa Valentine, 5th Grade Teacher, Center Moriches, NY
“Our 1st graders LOVED getting the chance to interact with author Jessica Young and ask her questions about writing and reading. She even had them playing their air guitars as she read from her new book, Play This Book.” — Katrina Hall, Librarian, Edmonds, WA
“Our students thoroughly enjoyed connecting with Jessica for a virtual Q&A session . . . She is personable, engaging, and most certainly, passionate about her work.” — Miranda Kral, Teacher Librarian, Oxford, IA
“Jessica’s dynamic and cheerful personality made our Skype session fun and kept students engaged. She was authentic and gave . . . tips on improving writing and embracing the writing process. We loved having her as a guest speaker after reading her books!” — Rachelle Mendes, English Teacher, Livingston, CA
IN-PERSON AUTHOR VISITS:
Check back in September, 2020 for an update about in-person author visits for the 2020-21 school year. Additional information below.
I love working with teachers and library media specialists to tailor presentations and workshops to best suit the needs of each school. Scroll down for details.
“My students LOVED having Jessica Young come and visit our school! She was extremely engaging and she truly brought her books to life! Our students were entranced by her stories . . . . I bought all of her books for my classroom library because my students were hungry to read them again and again! I would HIGHLY encourage other teachers and schools to invite her to read to their students. A few of my students have told me that they want to be an author when they grow up after having her visit us.” — Ashley Ogle, Kindergarten Teacher, Nashville, TN
“My kids loved the visit from Jessica Young. Having an author come . . . lit fires in many of my young readers. I was able to purchase some of her books, and it has been a battle as to who gets to read them next. I have even overheard mini book club discussions regarding their favorite part, parts that made them laugh, or parts that caught them off guard.” — Katie Barksdale, 3rd Grade Teacher, Nashville, TN
“Athens City School System had the pleasure of having Jessica Young visit for two and a half days to meet with all five of our schools. . . . Jessica is a wonderful presenter! She kept the students engaged, presented information relevant to students’ lives, and made wonderful connections to school curriculum. The presentations . . . were a great asset to our school system!” — Lori Farley, Athens City Schools, Athens, TN
“Working, planning, and organizing with Jessica was great. She is very knowledgeable about the needs of various students and prepared a program that was extremely engaging, educational and fun. One of the most incredible things that I saw was the way in which Jessica was able to engage with the students. Teachers and students alike were very receptive to the program that she ran . . . an amazing opportunity for our students who left feeling encouraged to write their own stories!” — Deepa Jain, Teacher-Librarian, Dublin Heights Elementary and Middle School, Toronto, ON
“Working with Jessica Young to plan our elementary’s annual author visit was a breeze — she was extremely helpful and easy to work with. The students loved hearing her message about how we can all tell stories through writing, music, art, and dance, and how stories don’t always come out perfectly on the first try. She does a marvelous job tailoring her message to each age group and getting kids excited about reading and storytelling!” — Megan Tsai, PTO Author Visit Chair, Maple Grove Elementary, Bargersville, IN
“Ms. Youngʼs presentation was both fun and engaging. . . . She had a lasting impact on our students . . . . Students at our school were creating pieces of art and poetry based on Jessicaʼs book due to her enthusiasm and willingness to share her personal stories. I found Jessica to be outstanding in her preparation, delivery and follow up. . . . I give her my highest possible recommendation.” — June Rysinski, Teacher-Librarian, Corpus Christi School, Thunder Bay, ON
“The kids really loved your presentation, and the teachers were very impressed with how you keep them involved and listening. . . . The discussion on writing tools and the process of drafting and editing was very helpful for their Reading/Language Arts skills. And the encouragement of hearing that they all had idea seeds in their minds that could develop into stories was wonderful.” — Suzanne Costner, School Library Media Specialist, Fairview Elementary School, Maryville, TN
“Jessica did a great job bringing her book to life for students by including stories about herself as a child and adult. She showed students how she used criticism constructively to improve her writing. Her words about persevering have stayed with my students.” — Melissa Sherman, Second Grade Teacher, University School of Nashville, Nashville, TN
“Jessica was able to engage the students by using creative activities and asking questions. After the presentation, teachers continually came up to me to tell me how much they enjoyed the visit.” — Brandy Spencer, Library Technician, St. Mark Elementary School, Burlington, ON
Adapted for age/grade level , 40-55 minutes. Up to 200 students per presentation is preferable — less for a more personal experience (although greater numbers can be accommodated).
Various presentations include: the writing and publishing process, writing tools (literary devices and more), story structures, revision , writing tips, and Q&A.
Hands-on activities designed for one class (up to 30 students), 40-60 minutes, depending on grade level and activities.
Fees vary based on location and presentation specifics — full-day, half-day, individual program, or bundled school visits (more than one school), and virtual visits. I also offer discounts for schools ordering 50 books or more. Contact me for more information using the contact page or email me at: jessica*at*jessicayoungbooks.com
TN Arts Commission: I’m a Teaching Artist on the TN Arts Commission’s Teaching Artist Roster, which means that public schools in TN can apply to have my school visit fees covered through grants like the Student Ticket Subsidy program: “The Student Ticket Subsidy (STS) grant program provides funds for artist fees, ticket costs, and transportation fees for students from Tennessee public schools to experience a broad variety of cultural opportunities, arts disciplines, and artists.” If you know any TN teachers or school librarians/media specialists who might be interested in having me — or another teaching artist — visit, feel free to spread the word about this great program! *Please note: The STS grant opens on August 11, for the 2020-2021 school year and grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. If you’re thinking of applying, don’t wait!
Kentucky Speakers Bureau: I’m also on the Kentucky Speakers Bureau Roster, which allows Kentucky schools to apply for author visits through Kentucky Humanities.
The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Amber Brown Grant: This grant provides a school with a free author visit and free books.
Check out your state Humanities Council or Arts Commission for grants in your area, or consider partnering with a local library or university for author visits.
Fairylight Friends Series
Print FAIRYLIGHT FRIENDS activities: What’s Your Magic? and Draw Your Fairy House
Print FAIRYLIGHT FRIENDS activity page: What’s Your Story?
More Fairylight Friends activities here!
My Blue is Happy
Print Common Core-linked teacher resources and activities for MY BLUE IS HAPPY:
“My ___ is ___like________.” Activity Sheet
Haggis and Tank Unleashed Series
Additional HAGGIS AND TANK UNLEASHED activities and lesson ideas.
Play This Book and Pet This Book
A Wish is a Seed
Finley Flowers Series
Spy Guy the Not-So-Secret Agent
Make A Reading Fort With Us!
It’s time for a read-in! Have your children or students get creative and make a reading corner decorated in their own style. They can download one of the printable signs below to add to or embellish — or make their own (like the one my daughter made for me!).
Print a Reading Nook sign
Print a Reading Palace sign
Print a Reading Cave sign
Materials to gather to make a fort:
- Blankets, sheets, tablecloths
- Banners or flags (made from paper, pillowcases, cloth or paper napkins, or clothing)
- Clothespins, string, or mini-clamps for holding blankets in place
- Pillows, blankets, sleeping bags, and bean bags
- Snack delivery basket (and bell to ring for refills)
- Stuffed animals to read with
- Flashlight or headlamp
- Strings of LED lights, ribbons, and other decorations
- Ambient/classical music if wanted
Help younger children make their forts so chairs and dressers don’t tip over and lights and ribbons are strung safely. They might also need help tying up their blankets and sheets.
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