Author Visits

Jessica loves talking books and writing with readers of any age and is available for school visits, festivals, conferences, and webinars. Possible sessions include:

SCHOOL VISITS (Grades 4-8)
Skype or Zoom visit (20 minutes)
Free Q&A for classes or groups who have read The Wolf’s Curse.

The Story Behind the Story (45-60 minutes)
This presentation includes the inspiration behind The Wolf’s Curse, a short reading, stories of tenacity and perseverance related to the author’s childhood and her 14 year journey to publication, the most important tool in the writer’s toolbox, and a peek at the revision process. For small or large groups. Q&A included.

“Jessica’s presentation was so inspiring and energizing for our fifth and sixth grade students! Her stories – both on and off the page – are magnetic. A couple of our more reluctant learners sought Jessica out after the talk to connect with her and have their photos taken. What a wonderful celebration of reading and writing!” ~ Ms. Zuk, School Librarian

Stand Out from the Crowd: Creating Compelling Characters (45-60 minutes)
In this hands-on writing workshop we’ll look at what makes characters come alive on the page and practice developing memorable characters by using story settings to “show” rather than “tell.” For small or large groups (and can be geared for adults).

“Jessica did a beautiful presentation for my 7th grade reading classes. My students were engrossed! At the end, she answered all of their questions about being an author, the writing process, and everything in between. It was such a fantastic experience for my students!” ~ Ms. O’Connell, 7th Grade Teacher

“Jessica . . . told engaging, relatable stories for our middle school students. She . . . also left the kids with a positive message that they, too, can achieve their dreams however out of reach they may seem.” ~Ms. Bartlett 7th grade ELA teacher

CRAFT WORKSHOPS FOR ADULTS (45-60 minutes)
Plantsing Basics (Pre-Writing Strategies for Writers Stuck Between Plotting and Pantsing)
Some writers won’t start drafting until they have a detailed outline (plotters). Other writers start drafting and figure out their story later (pantsers). This class is for everyone in between (plantsers). We’ll work through a flexible pre-writing strategy that provides writers with a framework to draft a novel without bogging them down or making the drafting process feel too prescriptive. This class is best suited for those who already have an understanding of story fundamentals and will also be useful to pantsers with a first draft ready for revision.

“Your presentation totally changed my life! It was so incredibly helpful and exactly what I needed for my writing.” ~Amy P., Workshop Attendee

This was, seriously, one of the best writing classes I have attended! ~ Workshop Attendee

PRESENTATIONS FOR GRIEF INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS (45-60 MINUTES). TOPICS INCLUDE:
-Inspiration for The Wolf’s Curse
-Death tropes: the importance of reimagining grim reaper mythology for children
-Using allegory to transcend religion and culture
-A survey of middle grade books that address grief and healing
-Guarding against corruption: serving families at their most vulnerable

To schedule a virtual visit or inquire about in-person visits, please email info@jessicavitalis.com

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS
*Microphone (where necessary)
*Projector
*Laptop (Jessica will provide a presentation on a USB.)

PREPARING FOR AN AUTHOR VISIT
*Offer students opportunity to pre-purchase the author’s book
*Generate enthusiasm by working on book-related projects, costumes, posters, etc.
*Coordinate travel plans, emergency contact, presentation schedule, food, and equipment with the author
*Publicize the event
*Get kids involved in greeting the author, etc.
*Most important: have fun!

More tips available at: https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/teaching-tools/collections/author-visits.html

FAQs
How do I coordinate for my students to buy your book?
It’s best to work through your local indie; please reach out if you need assistance or a flyer to distribute!

Why do you charge for school visits?
My time is valuable! As an author, it’s also best spent writing my next book; I can only justify leaving my desk if I’m compensated accordingly.

What if our school can’t afford your fees?
Consider reaching out to your parent groups for fundraising support. In the U.S., there are also grants available to fund author visits. U.S. Grants

Note: Jessica supports equity and inclusivity in the world of books and beyond. She is not available for any literary events that discriminate against marginalized or underrepresented people, either on the page or off.