As a (relatively) young author with school-aged children, one thing I've been doing increasingly so is school visits. I've already managed half a dozen (and have started to obtain testimonials from the last three).
It's fantastic to interact with young minds and open them up to the world of books and publishing in general.
I've put together this page as a focal point for future visits. If you are on this page ahead of a visit (or proposed visit) from me, please take a couple of minutes to read it all through as well as preparing your students ahead of time to make the most of such an event.
There are a dozen ways to go about such an event––as you'll see from the testimonials, each did something entirely different and all equally fascinating. You don't need to be as themed as they were, but you are welcome to be as creative as you want––after all, I am coming in to talk about creative writing!
I will bring copies of my books with me and give an introduction to myself, an overview of my journey as a writer so far as well as doing a five-minute reading from one of my books. If you are happy (and please let me know before the day so that I can prepare) I will also bring copies of my books that can be purchased (and signed!) while I am with you.
Depending on the age of the class/classes, for the rest of the time we have, different approaches can work. For younger groups, I've found question/answer to be particularly engaging for them, as this way I answer questions they have.
Please prepare your students for some possible questions before my visit. Regardless of age, I always open up the room for questions and a little preparation stops the inevitable quiet that might otherwise occur in a classroom of teenagers.
My entire school visits (thus far) have been in Estonia (where I currently live) and have therefore been for groups who are not all native speakers of English, so I'm adaptable in any situation (providing some level of English is understood).
Below are three testimonials from three different schools. If you have further questions, would like to invite me for a visit, or need to know anything else, please do get in touch.
Our school has a tradition to celebrate The Week of Languages. This time we invite different people to visit our school. We try to give our students a chance to communicate with native speakers and make every day learning more fun.As we teach English from the first grade, it is important to give students knowledge, that studying English is more than books and handouts: it is people from different areas, it is communication, it is getting to know the author of many books, Tim Heath, for example:)
Students loved this event very much, they asked a lot of questions and were not afraid to do it grammatically wrong. They really were interested in Tim´s books and about the writing process, publication.Thank you, Tim, for sharing ideas, thoughts and even your readiness to answer questions like …`Who was before, the egg or the chicken?´ It was fun!
Fascinating! We had the pleasure of having Tim Heath visit our high school English class students during our “B&B: Brownies and Books” event. This gave our adolescents an unprecedented opportunity to spend time with a published author in an informal setting, listen to a reading from one of his books and engage Tim in a discussion about his mystery thriller novels.Tim was generous with his encouragements to write, tips on how to become a better writer and explanations about how a book journeys from author’s fingertips, past editorial and pilot reader teams and onto a bookshelf.
Tim Heath’s visit was enriching and inspiring to our students and teachers alike.
Tim came to my Primary 5 class and taught two lessons of creative reading plus an introduction to how he became and is a professional writer. I would highly recommend Tim coming to your class as he was well prepared, engaging and wonderful with the kids. Plus, they all learnt something about creative writing in a short amount of time!
The students were very engaged, enthusiastic and excited! Each student produced a short story that they shared with the class. Tim gave them some very helpful feedback and hints that I saw students using in their work after this lesson!