I'd love to visit your school (virtually)!
I have given many workshop-style presentations to schools and libraries in the Greater Toronto Area. Kids seem to love learning about how I wrote and Rich Murray illustrated My Best Friend Is a Secret Agent, which is similar in content and style to the popular Captain Underpants and Diary of a Wimpy Kid series (but 100% Canadian!). The book is very fun and entertaining, as is my presentation, perfect to get young children interested in reading.
This year poses some new problems, of course, and in-person visits to schools are no longer possible. Not only that, school budgets are very tight, so even virtual author presentations are often not an option.
That’s why I decided to put my author presentation on video and offer this pre-recorded version to schools for $30 total. Each school can play my 27-minute video as many times as they want and for as many classes as they want for the one price. This also includes access to pdf’s of a writing exercise and many colouring pages from the book.
There is still the option of hiring me to do a virtual presentation for each class, which has the benefit of allowing me to interact with the students (leading the kids in the writing exercise, etc.), but that cost would be $100 per hour-long session. (I used to get funding for half the cost from The Writers’ Union of Canada, but that’s gone because of the pandemic too.) If you decided to choose this option, we would arrange a Zoom or Google Meet visit.
Both my pre-recorded and virtual/live presentations involve an introduction to the book (first in a series) as well as to myself and the illustrator, sharing some fun visuals from the book (both stills and video) and from our creative influences. Then I do a funny Top Ten List followed by a reading which is accompanied by onscreen illustrations. After that, I explain how I wrote the book, and I give students a writing exercise so they can write their very own Secret Agent story. Finally, I play a video of Rich Murray showing the kids how he created the illustrations, and I give them a colouring page to illustrate a scene from the stories they created. I also offer a selection of illustrations from the book which the students can colour. (For the pre-recorded presentation, I would provide teachers with pdf's of the written exercise and colouring pages that they could print and hand out ahead of time.)
Since my presentation is for grades 2-5, I made sure that the educational components are just as fun as the book itself. The kids always love coming up with their own stories and illustrations! I'm also able to provide the students with the opportunity to buy the book at less than the retail price.
My pre-recorded presentation lasts 27 minutes, but teachers can stop it anytime to discuss certain sections with their students, and also give them time to do the writing exercise and the colouring. (This easily expands the time to a full period.) The virtual/live presentation, however, lasts about an hour, and I can do up to four presentations per day.
Please visit the home page to learn more about the book. You can also watch a short book trailer there and check out our Global News TV interview.
If you would like to buy my pre-recorded author presentation for your school for just $30, or schedule a virtual/live visit, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. (I’m available outside the GTA as well.) Thanks!