Deborah Wiles Author Visit Kit
When I visit schools, I focus on the fact that we all have stories to tell, and how each of those stories is important.
Personal narrative is the backbone of all storytelling, all history, and all fiction. I start from there. I structure an author visit day as instructional time — I teach — and I partner with your teachers.
I sometimes work an entire day with teachers. Sometimes I work with teachers after school or as one of four sessions in a day’s author visit. I go into detail with teachers and demonstrate the skills I am teaching their students in workshop or assembly. We work together on teaching personal narrative writing, and teachers finish the day with useful tools and methods to add to their writers’ toolboxes, while working in their classrooms with young writers.
I write picture books and novels for children. I am also a freelance writer — I write essays and features for adults. I write in many different genres, for all ages. My books span pre-K to young adult. I hold an MFA in writing from Vermont College.
I believe in teaching. I have been teaching writing for over 20 years in various settings from elementary school through college. I have taught and learned from teachers across the country. I taught “Writing Techniques for Teachers” (ECED422) at Towson University and have taught in the MFA programs at Lesley University and Vermont College.
I believe in teachers. I support and partner with your teachers and your writing goals, to help your students improve their personal narrative writing skills — skills that are tested and scored frequently throughout their academic careers. All teachers attend assemblies with their students and bring notebooks, as I in-service teachers while I work with their students. I offer an after-school workshop with teachers as well, to delve deeper into the concepts I present in assembly.
Suggested audience: K-8th grades
4 Presentations per day Maximum
Students in grades four and up bring their notebooks to assembly. Students in grades K-3 do finger writing with me. I use my published books and many others as mentor texts, to show how personal experiences find their way into writing for personal expression, including fiction. Everyone leaves assembly with stories to tell and ways to tell them . . . all those text-to-self and -world connections. In addition, teachers leave with tools they can immediately use to augment their writing toolboxes. I tell stories across the curriculum, and in all genres. It’s a writing intensive, and it’s fun at the same time. Lots of laughter, and lots of hard work.
I can work with very large groups provided I have excellent sound, attentive and participating teachers, and engaged students who are able to sit comfortably. I tailor each assembly for each grade and age; for students in middle and high schools, I take a different approach. I do show slides, and I do a similar talk, geared for them. I talk about inquiry-based learning and research, as this is a backbone of Countdown and the Sixties Trilogy.
I can do up to four 45- to 60-minute assembly programs in a day. I can eat lunch with students and/or teachers. I can sign books. I can do an after-school workshop with teachers. Each school has its particular needs and schedule, and I am sensitive to that, and flexible — we’ll structure a day to fit your scheduling challenges, content needs, and curricular goals.
I also do writing residencies, working with a select grade or grades for extended periods — a week, three days, two. We work these out in advance, together.
My published books are the backbone of the assembly. The better students know the books, the more they will take from assembly and the more teachers will be able to work with these ideas. I will supply you with a list of which books are best for each grade grouping or, if you prefer, you can assign particular books to each grade that suit your curriculum goals, and I can work from there. I use familiar books by other authors as mentor texts as well, and will supply you with a list of these to use after our time together.
For rates and fees please fill out our Author Request form and the Author Visits Manager will respond shortly.
I am currently available for author visits through Fall 2012. Request a visit.