Thinking Thursday: “WHY” Should Schools Invite Authors and Illustrators

authorvisit2“WHY” Should Schools Invite Authors & Illustrators

Today I’m continuing my block of posts on…


I want to touch on the WHY part for schools to schedule a visit.

WHY take the time out of classroom time?

While Classroom Time is extremely valuable, having a break in the routine can help snap students attention back into focus. Trying something different is a great way to increase your attention. Think about seeing and doing the same thing over and over again. Such as this simple example:


Did you spot the “7”? Stuck out didn’t it. Now you tend to look back at it to make sure it’s there right? Something different, something new. Can get the most out of you. Taking the time to see and/or do something out of the ordinary routine will help stick it into your brain better.

WHY you should encourage students to look into the presenter?

Here are two senarios:

  1. You book an author and tell the students they are coming. Then the presenter shows up. They look out into the crowd and see blank faces staring at them…
    Yes, I have had that scenario played out before my very eyes. They were told I was coming a month ago, but they forgot. Now all they know is they are getting out of class and I’m here for SOMETHING.OR….
  2. You book an author and tell your students they are coming.  The books your purchased are displayed where everyone will see them as they come into your library. You sent home the author bio and book order form flyers, so the parents can ‘meet’ the author too. There are extra author bio flyers available for the students to look at. They look the author up online, read their background, watch the book trailers, and read the books. Then the presenter shows up. They look out into the crowd and see smiling faces and a few students shyly wave and mouth, “Hi!”. They know who the presenter is and have a few questions ready, in case they get called upon.
    Yes, I have had this scenario played out before my very eyes too.

Guess which one the presenter is hoping for? By getting the students involved BEFORE the presenter comes will encourage not only a better session, but research, planning, and expectation.

WHY should you promote and sell the author’s/illustrator’s books?

Quite simply, you are showing support of them and their products. Authors and Illustrators work hard to get where they are and one way they get paid is in royalties from books sold. While we don’t make much, every bit counts.

WHY should you allow your students to meet an author/illustrator?

By allowing a presenter to come to your school it not only adds a new element for the day, but it also introduces them to someone who is knowledgeable in the field. Everyone likes to hear what experts say and do. So here’s your chance to allow someone with first-hand knowledge of the book industry into your school.

We can tell you the struggles of writing, editing, and just how scary it can be to see something you created go out into the world.

WHY will you see the effects of an author/illustrator visit?

I like to think of it as a rock being dropped into a still pond.

You have the immediate reaction of the presenter being there. Then after they have left you will see ripples as your students read more, talk about writing/drawing more, having to work hard for something you want to accomplish.

There are many ripples too.

This will expand to the outer reaches of their learning. Maybe even influence them in some way.

WHY you should incorporate this into your learning curriculum?

Bringing an author or illustrator into your school can be incorporated into the Common Core Curriculum. You can talk about where they are from (Social Studies), What background they have in their learning (Literature), How long it took to get their book published (Math), as well as many other things when you incorporate a book of theirs into the equation.

The learning never stops!  🙂


So what can hold a school back?
I’ll say it…


It costs money to bring presenters in. This is something not all people realize. But think about it…

WHY should you pay for them to come?

You wouldn’t expect a doctor to do their job for free. Or a police officer. Or a cashier. The same should be applied to an author and illustrator. They have spent years honing their craft, submitting to houses, and getting ready for this day. Plus this person is taking time out of their schedule to come. That can include writing time, drawing time, revision time, gas, dry cleaning, time while at the school, you get the picture, right?

BUT… budgets are tight and getting tighter.

Here are a few things to help out:

  • Fund-Raisers
  • Title I Monies
  • Bake Sales
  • Sponsorships from business/organizations
  • Donations
  • Grants

Check out my Fund Raising/Grants page on my website for more ideas and information.


So I hope I made you pause and consider WHY inviting an author or illustrator is important and I hope you will consider encouraging your local schools to invite one or two or three or more this year!


Do you know of any other WHYs as to why you should invite an author or illustrator?
Have a question? Ask in the comment section and I’ll do my best to answer it.

Happy Writing!


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5 thoughts on “Thinking Thursday: “WHY” Should Schools Invite Authors and Illustrators

  1. SO true! School visits are the best. I love when the students are prepped, but usually ask that the teachers don’t read my book to them, since I do that as part of my presentation. I’m most impressed when I’m walking through the halls afterwards and can hear the kids and teachers discussing all that they learned, brainstorming for their own writing, or formulating a thank you letter.

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