Author Visit Program: How to Host an Author Visit
PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12
Dear Author Host,
Congratulations! Your students are lucky to have you. By bringing an author to your institution, you will make a powerful connection between your students and the written word and help bring books to life for them. Not only do author and illustrator visits offer a fun break from the classroom routine, they also introduce students to the processes of writing, developing characters, and expressing one’s creativity.
Researching what you will need to do to make an author visit happen is the first step. In this guide, you will find plenty of useful information, great tips, and inspiration for your own author visit.
Visit our Author Visit Kits page to complete the online author request form. Please allow two to three weeks for a reply. Keep in mind that as the host, it is understood that you will pay all travel costs and expenses incurred by the author or illustrator in addition to their honorarium.
Information you will need handy to complete the online form:
- Author name
- Three preferred dates for your event
- Number of presentations desired (maximum 3 per day)
- Estimated attendance
- Audience description (students, grade level of students, teachers, librarians, parents, etc.)
We look forward to hearing from you, and we’re so happy that you are excited to celebrate books and reading with your students.
The Author Visits team
Author Visit Planning Timeline
8–12 Months: Before You Request an Author
- Think about the type of event you want to plan. Consider the number of presentations, audience, size, and venue.
- Choose a date for your event. Take into account school testing, seasonal connections, and working with a One Community, One Book program.
- Secure an appropriate budget. Honorariums for authors can run between $200 and $5,000 a day, which does not include the costs for travel (airfare, taxi, parking), lodging (if needed), and related expenses (meals, other necessities).
- Put together a proposal for administrators. Your proposal should include budget estimates and the educational benefits of the author's visit. A clear proposal will help you secure funding, approvals, and support.
- Come up with fundraising ideas:
- Book sale, bake sale, car wash, etc.
- Crowd source funding.
- Connect with local businesses, bookstores, and public libraries to see what resources they can provide or if they want to partner with you.
- Look for literacy/educational grants. You can check in with your local district, a public library partner, or your district administration. Additional resources are available through Scholastic's grant programs.
- And don’t forget that your PTA/PTO may be a good resource as you move forward with any of these options, and they may even have other ideas for funding!
6–8 Months: Requesting an Author
- Find the right author! Scholastic has a robust list of possible authors who actively do school visits for grades PreK–12.
- Look at Scholastic’s list of authors, which you can view alphabetically, by region, and by authors and illustrators who will do Skype visits.
- Do some research! You may not be familiar with an author who might be perfect for your school. Check out various authors’ websites, social media presence, and books to learn more about authors who may be within your price range or geographical area.
- There may be additional available authors who are not listed on the site, so feel free to contact us with any questions.
4–6 Months or More: Getting Students and Teachers Prepared
- Provide copies of the author’s book(s) to each classroom scheduled to attend the presentation. When students read the book before the author visits, it makes for great discussions.
- Share details about the author and their books with students through library book talks, class read-alouds, and in-class or extracurricular book discussions.
- Consider seating plans and implement positive behavior expectations.
- Students can create visual or dramatic displays by:
- Dressing as characters from the book
- Assembling collages representing scenes from a book
- Outlining a character’s journey on a map or timeline
- Creating welcome posters featuring characters from one or more of the author’s books (Consider having these signed by the author for display after the event!)
- Help students prepare questions to ask the author during any planned open discussion time.
3–4 Months: Booking Author Travel and Coordinating Logistics
Once a confirmation is provided, you will communicate directly with the author or the author’s staff to determine the details of the visit. Make sure you’ve considered and discussed all of the following:
- Hotel/lodging/accommodations: It’s important for your author to be well rested!
- Transportation: flights or travel, as well as coordinating booking, ground transportation, and reimbursement.
- On-site contact information, including cell numbers and arrangements for who will greet them the day of the visit.
- Presentation information (if not included in the confirmation), including: length of presentations and audience information (grade level(s), faculty and parents, etc.).
- Equipment needed for presentations, including: microphones, podium, computer, projector, video, audio, lights, or easels. Make sure to test any electronics before the event!
- Breaks, meals, or receptions. Be sure to ask about dietary needs!
1–3 Months: Making Final Preparations
- Send a final schedule — with any agreed-upon details — to the author and anyone else involved.
- Prepare the school and community by publicizing the event.
- Order books for the author’s autographing. Scholastic offers a 40% discount on books for an author's visit.
- Arrange for a space for autographing and selling books.
- Ask for a W-9 and any other forms your school may need from your author to process their reimbursement enough in advance for you to provide their honorarium check on the day of the appearance.
Quick Tips for the Visit
- Make sure to greet the author at the school when they arrive.
- Pay attention during the author presentation; students take their cues from their teachers.
- Provide water and tissues.
- Have fun, take pictures, and have students serve as ushers or photographers.
Order Discounted Books
To pre-order books at a 40% discounted rate, please contact Scholastic customer service in Jefferson City, MO, at 1-888-724-1872 x8015. Customer service generally requires two to three weeks for delivery. For more information, please visit Save on Books: Order Your Visiting Author's Work.