Crafting Successful Author & Illustrator Visits 2020

May 26 - 30, 2020

Join Us To:

Create and deliver an impressive school visit with our faculty by your side. Learn how to take what you’ve written or illustrated and turn it into an attention-grabbing presentation for kids. Get strategies for creating and delivering engaging talks, information on developing materials for teachers and students, and guidelines for developing other promotional tools. Professional headshots and optional promotional videos are new to the course this year.

What You’ll Learn:

This workshop offers a unique learning experience:

  1. Faculty will help you develop or refine your school presentation.
  2. You will visit a school and deliver your presentation, which will be videotaped.
  3. Afterward, faculty will review your presentation with you and give you specific feedback.

You will:

  • Learn the fundamentals of public speaking.
  • Prepare materials for your presentation.
  • Receive one-to-one feedback about your presentation.
  • Deliver an on-site school visit, accompanied by faculty.
  • Review, with faculty, video of your school visit.
  • Discover how to approach schools to arrange visits.
  • Discuss finances related to school and public visits.
  • Get an overview of other marketing techniques, including social and traditional media.

Attend If:

  • You are an author or illustrator. This course is open to both authors and illustrators regardless of experience.
  • You would like to develop or refine your school presentations. School visits are an excellent way to promote your books and earn extra income. This course will help you develop the best presentation for your audience, and give you practice in delivering it.
  • You’re hesitant to do public speaking. Public speaking is a skill that can be taught. Many alums of this course have said it marked a turning point for them in being able to do author/illustrator presentations. Join us and find out why!
  • You are a debut author or illustrator. Learn ways to get your new title into the hands of readers, including children, teachers, and librarians.

Find out more about this course in this video where Program Director Alison Green Myers talks about 2020 courses that will help novelists build their careers.

Is the Author Visits program geared for elementary school students?
No, this is a program for all ages. The course is tailored to your book and your story as an author; using who you are to be as authentic as possible in front of the students. You will be given strategies for public speaking and you can interpret them and craft the responses that fit your book.


Day 1
Arrival and check in

Appetizers & dinner
After dinner: Introductions, overview of the week, short kick-off exercise

Day 2
Connecting With Your Audience, Carmen Oliver
Writing exercises will be used by attendees to help craft their school visit program content.

Incorporating Your Book Into your Presentation & Visual Aids/PPT, Jan Cheripko
Discussion, examples, practices, of what works and what doesn’t when you weave in a reading, use supporting material, and/or a power-point in your talk.

The Business Side of School Visits & Building your Brand
Create an Outline for your Presentation with Examples

Appetizers & dinner

Program preparation


Day 3
Review Presentation Outlines

Individual work time and meetings
Optional Small-Group Peer/Faculty Reviews of 30 minute sessions

Appetizers & dinner
After dinner: Final touches

Day 4
Live School Visits!

Big Sigh of Relief and then Lunch!

Head shots and optional consults on promotional videos.
School Visit Critiques

Appetizers & dinner
After dinner: Opportunities outside the classroom: conferences, Skype, libraries, and more

Day 5
School Visit Critiques continued
Panel Discussion, all faculty

Lunch & farewells

A Note About Highlights Workshop Agendas


Peter Jacobi: On Conducting Interviews
Day 4: The School Visit
Jan Cheripko–The Key to a Successful Presentation: Listen to Your Audience
Podcast: Aram Kim on doing school visits when you’re not an extrovert
Peter Jacobi: 3 Myths That Published Writers Need to Banish
Faculty Interview: Carmen Oliver
Peter Jacobi: Five simple rules to minimize the dangers of public appearances
Student Spotlight 2017: Author Visits

You can watch videos from some of the workshop’s alums here.


Watch video testimonials from previous attendees:
Author/illustrator Aram Kim
Author Andrea Loney
Author Julie Dao
Author Leah Henderson

“The synergy and positive energy from three faculty members were almost unbelievable.”

“Very knowledgeable instructors with lots of wisdom and experience to share. We all learned a great deal from them.”

“This truly was an essential ‘boot camp’ for debut authors!”

“The workshop was small and intimate, which kept me focused and allowed the instructors to do a deep-dive into the information.”

“Through learning, delicious meals, shared purpose we bonded as a group. I met amazing people I’d never have met otherwise.”

“The faculty’s deep belief in what they’re sharing, their knowledge, their commitment to helping us connect with kids and spread the joy of books.”

“The people that attended were so supportive and it was like we were family by the end of the week. The faculty was genuine, down to earth, caring, and humorous. I am looking forward to a time when I can come again.”

Scholarships Available

Scholarships are available for this workshop from the General Scholarship and the Peter P. Jacobi Scholarship Fund:
Application deadline is Feb 29, 2020. Scholarships will be announced April 15, 2020.
Click here to apply!
For more information about scholarships, click here.


Carmen Oliver

Carmen Oliver is the author of picture books A Voice for the Spirit Bears: How One Boy Inspired Millions to…
Learn more

Jan Cheripko

Jan Cheripko is the author of seven books for children and young adults. He has been a featured author at…
Learn more

Andrea J. Loney

Andrea J. Loney’s picture book Bunnybear (Albert Whitman & Company) is about a bear who believes in his heart that…
Learn more

All-Inclusive Event Cost: $1,395.00

All-inclusive registration includes workshop tuition, lodging, meals, beverages, and snacks. Free shuttle service is available from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AVP) International Airport. Airport pick-up at Newark Airport is also available for $75 round-trip.

We offer payment plans as low as $75/month. We'll be in touch with details after you register.

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workshop information

Begins Tuesday, May 26, with dinner and ends on Saturday, May 30, with lunch.