William Durbin Author Visit Kit
William Durbin is an author and a former teacher who lives on Lake Vermilion at the edge of Minnesota's Boundary Waters Wilderness. He has published eleven historical novels for young readers, including The Broken Blade, Wintering, Song of Sampo Lake, Blackwater Ben, The Darkest Evening, and three books in Scholastic's My Name Is America series: Until the Last Spike, The Journal of Otto Peltonen, and The Journal of C.J. Jackson. His novel El Lector was recently optioned for film by Jane Startz Productions; and his latest work, The Winter War, deals with Stalin’s invasion of Finland prior to World War II.
His honors include a Junior Library Guild Selection, Bank Street College Children’s Book of Year list, Great Lakes Book Award, Minnesota Book Award, the ALA’s Amelia Bloomer list, New York Library Books for the Teen Age list, Maud Hart Lovelace nomination, Jefferson Cup Series of Note Award, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Award, America’s Award commended title, and a Book Sense Summer Pick.
Title: The Truth in Historical Fiction
Length of Presentation: 50-60 min.
Grade Level: 4th grade to adult
Mr. Durbin’s books are a perfect fit for the social studies and English curriculum. During his assembly presentations he gets students excited about reading, writing, and research by showing archival slides from the historical periods that he has researched, including the fur trade, logging, homesteading, immigration, the Transcontinental Railroad, and the Dust Bowl. He relates well to students of all ages, and he is also willing to conduct writing workshops when time and budgets allow. Communities often have him split a day between two nearby schools and/or combine a school visit with an evening public library talk.
Conferences & Festivals
Mr. Durbin frequently speaks at festivals and conferences throughout the country. In addition to his children’s novels Mr. Durbin has published poetry and essays for adults, and he has supervised writing research projects for the NCTE, Middlebury College, and the Bingham Trust for Charity. For more information, visit his website, williamdurbin.com.
These are a few of the topics that he has addressed in the past:
Novels in Your Neighborhood: how to use people, places, and events from your own hometown as the foundation for short stories and novels.
How to Publish Your Writing: tips on how to market your writing. Everything you’ve always wanted to know about editors, agents, contracts, rights, royalties, & publishing trends. Suggestions for student writers who wish to get published.
How to Beat Writer’s Block: ways to make the initial engagement in the writing process more enjoyable and productive.
No Teacher Left Behind: one of the many education-oriented topics that Mr. Durbin has shared with education and reading associations across the country.
Historical Fiction as Diversity Education or Prejudice and Tolerance Through Time: how Mr. Durbin’s novels have depicted conflicts between a variety of cultures including the French Canadian voyageurs and the Ojibwe, the builders of the Transcontinental Railroad and the plains Indians, Irish and Chinese railroad workers, Finnish-American immigrants and United States Steel Corporation, Dust Bowl era migrant families and the Southwestern establishment, and Finnish-Americans and Russia’s Stalinist regime.
Mr. Durbin is willing to conduct 20-30 minute skype or facetime sessions in a question and answer format for a fee of $100. Request a visit.
LCD projector and microphone.
$800 per day out-of-state
$600 per day in Minnesota
Plus transportation and lodging.