How to Plan for an Authors School Visit

Ever thought of inviting an author to your school? If so, get prepared to do your homework.  This applies to the parents and teachers too.

Inviting an author to visit a school requires prior planning activities. You need to work on a few points. Browse the net to short list information about the various areas of interest.

Learn what is the area of interest among most of the students. It can be any one of Literature,Science etc. Choose an author of major popularity and acceptance among parents and students. Fill out the author request forms in any publishing websites. This is how a “Request an author appearance form” looks in a popular website, Simon & Schuster. Or visit the author in person and ask for his available dates.

Understand the stream of the author. Get a detailed biography of him/her and the works that he has done.  Give a session about the author, his best works, on-going projects and future plans prior to the D-day to the students. Ask students to have classroom sessions about the author.

Plan the overall budgets for the visit. Include costs of Honor-aria(payment given to author), expense travel expenses, purchase of books and other decoration costs. Prepare banners and flayers at important points inviting the author. Arrange for snacks and a small lunch at the school.

Share a news in the school website about his coming and detailed plan with timings. Conduct activities like quizzes, speeches, painting, mini-projects before 2-3 weeks. Plan for an on-the-spot debate competition on discussions about future works of the author. In this way, the author can brainstorm his ideas too. Create space for author’s active participation. The winners can be given prizes from the honourable chief guest on his visit.

Children can hang poems, science facts, formulas pertaining to selected area . A grand exhibition of student’s talents in his area can be conducted and, welcome the guest to see the exhibition. The exhibition can show case the books and writings of the author ,which must be previously present in the library.

 Teachers must monitor the students so that they don’t indulge in any bad behaviour in front of the guest. Talking while the speech is going on or laughing should be strictly avoided. These elements bring a bad impression about the school and it can be in the author’s website the next day.

Request the author give a speech , which must integrate the educational system and his area. This can be a motivational speech instead of a regular “Talk about your work” content. Give him prior information about the type of audience he has to address. That is the place or the number of people or the age group who are going to listen to his speech.

Arrange for a 30 minute question answer session with the author. Students should be well aware of him beforehand so that they can frame the questions which are of future use to them. These sessions can include parents too, who are interested to ask beneficial questions. There must be sufficient breaks according to author’s intentions. Prepare his best lunch and serve him water bottles where ever he goes, since he needs to talk much.

In case the students have purchased his books, allow for a signature campaign, where author can sign for the books purchased. Intimate the author beforehand in case students are willing to buy copies of his books. The author can be prepared to bring those books too.

At the end of the day, ask the students and people present to write a testimonial or a Thank you to the author. After his exit, update the websites for photos and videos of the activities of that day. This will allow people who had not attended, to know what happened in the school.