Speaking to Kids
For School Visits, you’re on the right page! For information about Michelle’s availability to participate in conferences, workshops, keynotes, library appearances, etc. please CLICK HERE!
*For a detailed list of scheduled public appearances, please check out the CALENDAR. School visits and other events not open to the pubic will NOT appear on the calendar. For information on how to book an appearance, read on…
Does Michelle Houts visit schools?
You bet! Talking to kids about writing is one of Michelle’s favorite things to do! Michelle Houts brings energy and excitement to your school with customized presentations for Pre-K to Grade 8. The author of award-winning fiction and inspiring biographies, Michelle connects each listener to their own reading and writing habits with stories of research, revision, mistakes, and successes.
Read through the information below. Then, email Michelle for exact costs and availability.
Download School Visit Packet
(25 – 45 minutes) Thanks to her mom, Michelle still has the first story she ever wrote – when she was just 6 years old! Michelle connects to the youngest readers and writers on their level, sharing picture books and photos and stories.
(40 – 60 minutes) Michelle shares where ideas come from, how even authors have to revise, rewrite, and create many drafts before a piece of writing is complete. She’s often told by her editor to add details and show don’t tell! Sound familiar? Michelle inspires love of science and writing with her Lucy’s Lab Series, STEM-cenered chapter books based upon some of the common themes of early elementary science learning: Habitats, States of Matter, and Fossils. See below for details about an extended three-day Science Writing Workshop for this age group.
(45 – 60 minutes) An audience participation activity demonstrates how an idea evolves into a bound book on the bookstore or library shelf. (There’s some career education smuggled into this activity!) Students discuss how both fiction and nonfiction reflect life situations and where to find ideas. The Mark Boney Promise and the 52 Letter Challenge are also topics that can addressed. (See links at the top of the page)
Michelle Houts is committed to designing a day that meets the needs of your young readers and writers. While she talks about her books and life as a writer, her presentations are ultimately about your students and their lives as readers and writers. No two school visits ever look exactly the same! The Mark Boney Promise and the 52 Letters Challenge are two unique incentives Michelle can bring to your school visit. Be sure to talk with her about what YOU want for YOUR school visit.
Family Presentation (90 minutes)
This parent-child event has been receiving rave reviews from parents, teacher, principals, and most especially children! An evening program provides a brief presentation by the author, and then allows time for families to create their own story. Ask about after-school or evening presentations for the whole family.
Dear teachers, librarians, principals: Not too long ago, I was also a part of an elementary team. As a school-based speech-language pathologist, I found the intricacies of language-learning fascinating. I loved that my two professional worlds – SLP and Author – were so beautifully intertwined. Now I write full time, but I haven’t forgotten how very full your school days are. An invitation to spend a day with your young readers and writers is not taken lightly. I promise to bring something of value to your students with an exciting, engaging presentation they won’t soon forget. ~ Michelle
Full-Day Visit: $1250 plus Travel. Up to four presentations, large group or small group or a combination
Half-Day Visit: $ 800 plus Travel Half-day visits are most economical within driving distance of my Ohio home.
Multi-Day, Same school Artist-in-residence or multiple schools, same district: $1000 plus travel Special rate for multiple schools in one district or for Lucy’s Lab Science Writing STEM/Literacy Workshop.
Evening presentations – Literacy Nights, Library Talks, etc. Fees range from $250 – $400, depending upon whether the evening event is stand-alone or in addition to a daytime event in the area. Email Michelle to discuss details.
Travel equals airfare or mileage plus one night’s lodging per school day.
Wait. What about Skype?
Virtual Author Visits are an affordable way for schools to connect with authors and illustrators who live far away. They are best used with single classrooms for short sessions, like Q & A after a class has read one of the author’s books.
Sadly, you won’t find a virtual visit option here because I live in a rural area. (I write in a one-room schoolhouse built in 1894!) Yes, I have wifi, but my attempts to stay connected in video chats have resulted in disappointment on both ends. I make a few exceptions for WRAD and RAA, but that means I have to go somewhere else to connect. Email me for more information. But for now, virtual visits aren’t the best option for connecting with this farm girl.
Ideas for Funding an Author Visit
School budgets are tight. But meeting an author and getting excited about stories and reading and writing can pay off many times over. Here are a few ways to make that author visit happen in your school!
- PTO/PTA – Work a year ahead to plan with your parent group
- LOCAL SERVICE GROUPS – Kawanis, Optimists, Toastmasters, Rotary
- GRANTS – Amber Brown, State Literary Grants
- BOOK FAIRS – Some school use their book fair money to host an author every year
- SHARED COST– Two schools in the same area qualify for a discount & shared travel
What about other public appearances besides school visits?
Sure! Michelle is available for library presentations, book store events, and book signings. She can speak to adult groups about the writer’s life, Dottie Kamenshek and the AAGPBL, Emma “Grandma” Gatewood who was the first woman to solo hike the Appalachian Trail, midcentury modern artist Charley Harper, or about her 1894 schoolhouse restoration project. Fees vary depending upon location and type of group. Contact Michelle directly to schedule.