21 episodes

A podcast dedicated to demystifying the art and business of school author visits for authors, illustrators, educators, librarians, parents, and booksellers.

Author Visit Podcast Shanda McCloskey and Bonnie Clark

    • Arts
    • 4.9 • 8 Ratings

A podcast dedicated to demystifying the art and business of school author visits for authors, illustrators, educators, librarians, parents, and booksellers.

    21. Writer's Workshops with Lola Schaefer

    21. Writer's Workshops with Lola Schaefer

    Shanda picks the brain of author and teacher, Lola Schaefer, about how to put on writer's workshops for kids. (Bonnie Clark is on vacation).
    (Shanda) Welcome to the Author Visit Podcast! I’m author-illustrator, Shanda McCloskey. And our topic today is all about putting on writer’s workshops with kids, with our special guest, author, and writing teacher - Lola Schaefer! Welcome, Lola!

    (Shanda) We always start by telling how we’ve been doing for the past few weeks, so I'll start.
    (Shanda) Finished a reeeeally rough sketch dummy for the Rube Goldberg book, Visited my sister in Greensboro, NC, and now I’m working on my first keynote for the Arkansas Literary Association’s Annual Literacy Conference (Doll-E 1.0 won 2nd place in the Arkansas Diamond Children's book award)... How’ve you been, Lola?
    (Lola) Lola tells about how busy she’s been incredibly busy with gardening and books lately.
    (Shanda) Lola, I’m excited to pick your brain about putting on writing workshops for students! First, can you tell us a little about yourself, the books you make, and your experience with writing workshops?
    (Lola) Lola tells how she began as a classroom teacher and learned on the job how to get students writing!
    During this talk, Shanda and Lola discuss the following…
    What exactly is a writing workshop? How does a regular classroom writing workshop differ from an author visit writing workshop? How long do they last? One session? Multiple? What ages do best in writing workshops? How does a writer-in-residence differ from a writing workshop? What do you write in a writing workshop? How many students per session? What are some nuances that authors/educators might need to know or think about if they’ve never done a workshop before? How can authors tailor their writing with students' experiences so they complement what the teacher is currently doing in the writing workshop? What should authors charge for this sort of thing? Who is the contact you deal with most of the time at schools (or other) to set these events up? What about virtual workshops? Any special memories or funny stories from a workshop you’ve done in the past? What do you wish we had asked? Can schools book YOU for writing workshops now? (Shanda) That wraps up our 21st episode all about writing workshops for kids with Lola Shcaefer!  This was a truly awesome talk! You can find me at www.shandamc.com, on Twitter: @ShandaMcCloskey, and on Instagram: @shandamccloskeydraws. Lola, where can you be found?
    (Lola) www.lolaschaefer.com and on Twitter and Facebook.
    (Shanda) And here’s a kid book review… by Beni M.
    (Shanda) This podcast is sponsored by AuthorVisitCentral.com and produced by Ben McCloskey of EngineIndustries.com. And if you enjoyed this episode, pleeeease rate-and-review us! We may even read your written review (on Apple Podcasts) on the next episode!

    (Shanda) We love to hear from our listeners. Feel free to leave comments, ideas, and even have your kid record a kid book review on AuthorVisitPodcast.com. We might use it as the kid book review on the next episode!
    (Shanda) Thanks for listening to this episode of the Author Visit Podcast. Bye!!!
    Resources and books mentioned in this episode (with affiliate links that help support this podcast): Lift, Mix, Fling!: Machines Can Do Anything by Lola Schaefer (author), James Yang (illustrator)

    A Fun Day at the Park: Ready-To-Read Graphics Level 1 (Sprinkles and Swirls Series) by Lola Shaefer (author), Savannah Allen (illustrator)

    A Cool Day at the Pool: Ready-To-Read Graphics Level 1 (Sprinkles and Swirls Series) by Lola Shaefer (author), Savannah Allen (illustrator)

    Karen's Roller Skates: A Graphic Novel (Baby-sitters Little Sister #2) by Ann M. Martin (Author), Katy Farina (Illustrator)  
    This podcast is sponsored by AuthorVisitCentral.com and produced by Ben McCloskey of EngineIndustries.com. And if you enjoyed this episode, we would surely appreciate it if you would rate an

    • 56 min
    20. The Visit Planning Workflow Episode

    20. The Visit Planning Workflow Episode

    Children's authors, critique partners, and friends (Bonnie Clark and Shanda McCloskey) talk about their (detailed) workflow processes from the moment a school reaches out with interest in having them present to students to the day of the event.

    The last episode was about reaching out and hopefully getting a few “bites” from schools wanting to schedule an author visit with you. And let’s say it worked! A school has contacted you saying they’d love you to come speak to their students. Super! ... Now what? What exactly should you do next? 
    For this episode, Shanda and Bonnie share their different workflow processes they have put in place starting from the first inquiry email from a school. Hopefully, you authors can take some of what you hear today on this episode and use it to build/tweak your own unique visit planning workflow process. There’s probably a thousand different ways you can handle this stuff. This is just what is working for them… for now. We hope you enjoy the listen!
     
    Kid book review by Amera Clark.
     
    Resources and books mentioned in this episode (with affiliate links that help support this podcast): Taste Your Words by Bonnie Clark (Author), Todd Bright (Illustrator)
     
    Where to find us:
    Bonnie: https://bonnieclarkbooks.com/
    Facebook and instagram: @bonnieclarkbooks
    Twitter: @bonclark
      Shanda: https://www.shandamc.com/
    Twitter: @ShandaMcCloskey
    Instagram: @shandamccloskeydraws

      This podcast is sponsored by AuthorVisitCentral.com and produced by Ben McCloskey of EngineIndustries.com. And if you enjoyed this episode, we would surely appreciate it if you would rate and review us and please share with others who might like it too! And if our podcast is helpful to you, please consider making a donation to help keep us going!

    If you have comments or even ideas for future topics to cover on an episode let us know on the contact form at AuthorVisitPodcast.com. With your help, kids can record a book review there too and it might get used as the Kid Book Review on one of our future episodes! There’s even a printable book review template there to help guide you if needed.

    Thanks for listening to the 20th episode of the Author Visit Podcast!

    • 26 min
    19. The HOW, WHEN, and WHO to Reach Out To Episode (for kidlit authors)

    19. The HOW, WHEN, and WHO to Reach Out To Episode (for kidlit authors)

    Children's authors, critique partners, and friends (Bonnie Clark and Shanda McCloskey) talk about their various personal experiences with drumming up school visit bookings. We hope you enjoy the listen!

      Kid book review by Harvey, age 11.
      Resources and books mentioned in this episode (with affiliate links that help support this podcast): Go with the Flow, by Karen Schneemann (Author)  Lily Williams (Author)
     
    Where to find us:
    Bonnie: https://bonnieclarkbooks.com/
    Facebook and instagram: @bonnieclarkbooks
    Twitter: @bonclark
      Shanda: https://www.shandamc.com/
    Twitter: @ShandaMcCloskey
    Instagram: @shandamccloskeydraws

      This podcast is sponsored by AuthorVisitCentral.com and produced by Ben McCloskey of EngineIndustries.com. And if you enjoyed this episode, we would surely appreciate it if you would rate and review us and please share with others who might like it too! And if our podcast is helpful to you, please consider making a one-time or reoccurring donation to help keep us going!

    If you have comments or even ideas for future topics to cover on an episode let us know on the contact form at AuthorVisitPodcast.com. With your help, kids can record a book review there too and it might get used as the Kid Book Review on one of our future episodes! There’s even a printable book review template there to help guide you if needed.

    Thanks for listening to the 19th episode of the Author Visit Podcast!

    • 26 min
    18. All About the School Visit Page On Your Author Website

    18. All About the School Visit Page On Your Author Website

    Children's authors, critique partners, and friends (Bonnie Clark and Shanda McCloskey) talk about how to structure and organize the school visit section of your author website in order to book more visits! 
     
    A note from Ben (web developer and producer of this podcast) on websites:
    You don’t have to hire anyone to build you a website nowadays, but if do it yourself, you need to think about the structure of the site. It’s pretty easy to get a WordPress or SquareSpace or other site up and running quickly, but you really need to think through the structure of pages in general. Don’t make people think too hard about what information is where. Don’t try to be avant-garde or unique with regard to menus, navigation, and layout. Make sure the wording is clear and succinct throughout the site, especially on the author visit page. Like, put all your information out there, but try not to repeat yourself, and don’t ramble. As for SEO, make sure to title the pages with what you want to come up as in a Google search (example, mention your town or area somewhere if you want to appear in searches for author visits in that area). Most modern systems like WordPress come with themes that are already mobile friendly, but be sure to test it out and try a few different themes to get the look you’re going for. Worst case-scenario, if you break something, WordPress developers are pretty easy to come by on sites like Upwork, and there’s probably one in your area if you search for it specifically.
     
    Now, let's talk about the school visit section of your site...
     
    Bonnie, what’s your philosophy on this subject?
    Easy to read/ follow
    Everything you need to know about me/ my presentations 
    Author visits in action (me & students)
    Should get a good “vibe”and snapshot of my personality
    Testimonials (new this year!) 
    Accessible contact information for further questions
     
    Shanda: ​​I believe that a good author-visit web page does 3 jobs:
    Gains trust
    Informs
    Calls to action
    My author visit page is first a place to show that I welcome visit opportunities AND I have experience speaking to kids. I show this through my words, photos, and testimonials. This is the gaining trust part. 
    Once the school sees evidence that I can provide an engaging program, then they will start looking for more detailed information. This is the inform part. There are links to my IN-PERSON visit packet pdf and my VIRTUAL visit packet pdf. These pdfs list my presentation menu, pricing, book sale info, and tips for a great visit. 
    I update these pdfs every summer before the new school year begins. Sometimes I might remove a presentation that I’m not crazy about anymore, add a new presentation to the menu, or adjust my pricing. 
    *Notes on pricing: I choose to have a price that I show plainly. It’s the same for all schools and it’s all-inclusive with travel expenses as well. I do this because I got burned before. A school had a per night hotel price cap that was outdated. So I lost hundreds of dollars by letting them “pay for my travel”. I just did a little research and built that into my price. It’s served me well so far. And schools like it because they know exactly how much my visit will cost with one simple price. I saw author Stacy MacUnulty do this on her author visit webpage. And it made so much sense to me. She actually uses a booking service now, but when she booked all her own visits like I do, she used this method. A simple, all-inclusive price for various distances- Local, Semi-local, and Beyond. I do the same.
    My author visit page also has an availability calendar.  It’s a little fancy and I may have seen one other author use one, so it’s definitely NOT a must-have, but I love it.. It’s useless though if you don’t keep it up, but so awesome that schools can see immediately if a date they have in mind is clear for me or not. My husband (Ben) made this possible. I wouldn’t have

    • 23 min
    17. What To Do In 2022

    17. What To Do In 2022

    Children's authors, critique partners, and friends (Bonnie Clark and Shanda McCloskey) look back at what worked and what didn't (school-visit wise) in 2021 in order to set new goals and improve in 2022.

    Kid book review by Amera.
    Resources and books mentioned in this episode (with affiliate links that help support this podcast): The Gift Shop Bear by Phyllis Harris

    Where to find us:
    Bonnie: https://bonnieclarkbooks.com/
    Facebook and instagram: @bonnieclarkbooks
    Twitter: @bonclark Shanda: https://www.shandamc.com/
    Twitter: @ShandaMcCloskey
    Instagram: @shandamccloskeydraws
    This podcast is sponsored by AuthorVisitCentral.com and produced by Ben McCloskey of EngineIndustries.com. And if you enjoyed this episode, we would surely appreciate it if you would rate and review us and please share with others who might like it too! And if our podcast is helpful to you, please consider making a one-time or reoccurring donation to help keep us going!
    If you have comments or even ideas for future topics to cover on an episode let us know on the contact form at AuthorVisitPodcast.com. With your help, kids can record a book review there too and it might get used as the Kid Book Review on one of our future episodes! There’s even a printable book review template there to help guide you if needed.

    Thanks for listening! Happy 2022!

    • 29 min
    16. Creative Add-Ons for School Visits: A Talk with Shannon Anderson

    16. Creative Add-Ons for School Visits: A Talk with Shannon Anderson

    Bonnie and Shanda interview award-winning Children's book author and national speaker, Shannon Anderson, about her experience offering creative add-ons for school visits. 
    SHANNON ANDERSON IS AN AWARD-WINNING CHILDREN'S BOOK AUTHOR AND NATIONAL SPEAKER. SHE TAUGHT FOR 25 YEARS, FROM FIRST GRADE THROUGH COLLEGE LEVEL AND WAS NAMED ONE OF THE TOP 10 TEACHERS WHO INSPIRED THE TODAY SHOW. SHANNON LOVES DOING AUTHOR VISITS, PROVIDING PD FOR TEACHERS, MENTORING ASPIRING WRITERS, AND KEYNOTING AT EVENTS.

    Let’s get to it! … Questions we asked Shannon:
     
    Shannon, when we first started chatting about you joining us on the podcast, you mentioned that you had been binge listening to it. So, then I asked you what is a topic we haven’t yet discussed or discussed well on the podcast that you could help shed some light on for us, and you suggested this episode: Creative Add-ons for School Visits. So here we are! Can you give us an overview of what you mean by creative add-ons and why  are you interested in the topic ?
    How can this benefit schools? And authors?
    How can this help with funding?
    You were a teacher, so what do schools need and what can they really use?
    Are these ideas things that can be carried to the virtual realm as well?
    Speaking of which, if you could look into your crystal ball, how do you see this school year panning out as far as authors visiting in-person again?
    And wherever else we go with this conversation...
     
    Thank you SO much for chatting with us, Shannon!

    Kid book review by Laney Jones (11).
     
    Resources and books mentioned in this episode (with affiliate links that help support this podcast): Y Is for Yet: A Growth Mindset Alphabet by Shannon Anderson (Author)  Jake Souva (Illustrator)
    Too Shy To Say Hi by Shannon Anderson (Author)  Hiroe Nakata (Illustrator)
    Mindset Power: A Kid's Guide to Growing Better Every Day by Shannon Anderson (Author)  Violet Lemay (Illustrator)
    Wink by Rob Harrell
    Lightfall: The Girl & the Galdurian by Tim Probert 
     
    Where to find us:
    Bonnie: https://bonnieclarkbooks.com/
    Facebook and instagram: @bonnieclarkbooks
    Twitter: @bonclark
      Shanda: https://www.shandamc.com/
    Facebook & Twitter: @ShandaMcCloskey
    Instagram: @shandamccloskeydraws
      Shannon, where can listeners find you?
    https://www.shannonisteaching.com/
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shannon.b.anderson.58
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shannonisteaching/
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/Shannonteaches  
    This podcast is sponsored by AuthorVisitCentral.com and produced by Ben McCloskey of EngineIndustries.com. And if you enjoyed this episode, we would surely appreciate it if you would rate and review us and please share with others who might like it too! And if our podcast is helpful to you, please consider making a one-time or reoccurring donation to help keep us going!

    If you have comments or even ideas for future topics to cover on an episode let us know on the contact form at AuthorVisitPodcast.com. With your help, kids can record a book review there too and it might get used as the Kid Book Review on one of our future episodes! There’s even a printable book review template there to help guide you if needed.
    Thanks for listening!

    • 58 min

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