As a former educator (kindergarten to college!), I love interacting with the next generation of readers and writers.
All visits include time for Q& A. Typically, programs run 50 minutes, but I’m happy to adjust to fit your school’s schedule.
Book sales of signed copies can be coordinated with your local bookstore, my local bookstore (River Bend Bookshop in Glastonbury, CT), or directly through my publishers (Charlesbridge and/or Aladdin/Simon & Schuster).
Large Group Presentation:
A Book is Born!
This presentation covers the basic components of my writing process as I walk students through the many phases of a book’s journey, from story concept to finished product. Topics include where story ideas come from, how to develop various story components such as plot, theme and characters traits (notebooks, charts, and mind-maps, oh my!), and the importance of research (even in fiction!). The program highlights the power of finishing a draft, the importance of critique groups, and a behind-the-scenes look at the publishing process. Comparing my editors to their teachers, I share multiple revision stages with students, from developmental edits to line edits to copy edits, helping them understand how I use one of the most important tools in the writer’s notebook: revision. Sharing images of my edited work highlights how messy the revision process can be and encourages students to acknowledge that often what they see as “the end” is only “the beginning”! We finish by discussing how determination and perseverance are key components to accomplishing any goal. Easily adjusted to suit different grade level audiences.
Small Group Writing Workshops:
What to do with a Blank Page
In this program, we discuss the trepidation everyone (even published authors!) can sometimes feel at the sight of a blank page. Through interactive demonstrations and examples from my own writing life, I share tips and tricks for engaging in writing assignments with joy! After I model strategies for generating ideas, creating characters, identifying a problem, creating sensory-rich settings, students will have time to apply the techniques independently to generate a piece of unique creative writing. We then participate in group share based on my own critique group structures and students return to their piece to choose a favorite sentence to polish and highlight. My goal is for every student to leave this workshop with renewed confidence in their writing ability.
Spooky Stories 101
This special creative writing workshop begins with a short reading from THE GHOST OF SPRUCE POINT before participants are led in a “Mad Libs”-style group haunted storytelling activity. Then, students are guided through the process of creating a scary story of their own (creepy descriptions, twists, legends/lore). Optional thematic craft and snack (where permitted) are available as add-ons.
How do YOU say it?
Playing with voice allows students to deepen their understanding of the process authors go through when creating characters. In this workshop, we study characters from several middle grade novels who stand out because of their unique speaking style. Students will learn how to use dialect, idiologisms, and pacing as they combine internal character traits and external speech patterns to develop characters that leap off the page!
Descriptive Writing Wizardry
In this multi-modal writing workshop, a variety of props (music, scents, textures, tastes) are explored as students are shown how to use every sense available to create rich and memorable characters, settings, and stories.
Author In Residence:
This four-session in-depth creative writing program may be spaced out over days or weeks, according to our mutual scheduling availability. Each session targets a different part of the writing process: 1) Idea generating, 2) character development, 3) setting & descriptive writing, and 4) critique & revision. Students are guided to develop, create, and revise a unique piece of creative writing over the course of the residency. Ideally, participants are screened for interest prior to embarking on this exciting writing journey.
Note: I’m happy to tailor presentations to specific grades (my books are best suited for grades 3-7) or customize topics to fit your school’s curriculum needs. Connecting with readers while supporting teachers is my goal!
Additional Visit Opportunities:
During the school year, I have a limited number of FREE 20-MINUTE VIRTUAL READING plus Q&A slots, with priority given to classrooms or book clubs that have read one of my books.
Please contact me at nancytandonauthor (at) gmail (dot) com if you are interested in setting up an author event.
I’d love to visit your school!