TEACHERS and LIBRARIANS
News flash! The Flame in the Mist wins the 2014 Atlantic region Crystal Kite award from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators!!
Thank you for stopping by. Here you'll find info about workshops and presentations I offer (see downloadable outlines below), as well as school and library visits.
I love to meet young students and readers and talk with them about writing. Seeing their liveliness and curiosity is one of the most fun things about what I do—and it's fun for them, too, to meet and ask questions of a real live author. So I would love to visit your school or library for a workshop or presentation.
Also, there's a downloadable teaching/discussion guide for The Flame in the Mist, annotated for the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts, grades 4 through 7. It contains academic questions and classroom activities designed to challenge students' intellectual abilities, while also being fun! For the full guide, click on the link below.
More details about each are further down the page, along with testimonials from students, teachers, librarians and workshop participants.
For more info, or if you're interested in a visit, please email me. I'm happy to discuss different workshops and programs with you, as well as the possibility of a Skype visits—FREE for 30 minutes for any class or book club that's read the book.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Note on fees: Guidelines on current fees and booking details are at the bottom of the page. These are NOT written in stone. I'm aware of budget issues, and am happy to discuss ways I can help—for example, arranging my visit in conjunction with your school's bookfair. I may also be able to help you find The Flame in the Mist at a reduced rate. Please email me to discuss the possibilities!
THE FLAME IN THE MIST IN THE CLASSROOM: TEACHING GUIDE
I believe that if core standards can be met via books that engage and enthrall a child, it's a win-win: you get to teach to those standards, while encouraging a love of reading.
Set in a fantasy version of medieval England, The Flame in the Mist is full of historical, social, economic and human themes, which are encompassed in the teaching guide. The guide also gives plenty of writing exercises, and is annotated for the following Common Core standards for ELA: Reading & Literature * Writing * Speaking & Listening * Language
POWERPOINT PRESENTATION FOR ASSEMBLIES
My fun, informative PowerPoint presentation is suitable for students grades 4 through 7, either in one group, or divided/adapted by age, depending on your preference. I talk about the themes in the book, as well as my writing influences, both literary and historical, and end by showing the book trailer.
The presentation also touches on Common Core-related aspects such as research, social themes, the importance of reading, and how students' own "stories", as well as the books they love, can inspire them to write.
WORKSHOPS FOR 4TH-8TH GRADE STUDENTS
Build A Story: To examine story structure in a playful way, with fun—and funny!—writing exercises
Character as a Starting Point: How character building techniques can create the beginning of a compelling story
Show, Don't Tell: Writing exercises and acting to examine this "rule" of writing.
Your ideas!: I'm happy to work with you on ideas for a workshop suitable for your students.
To download the whole Teaching Guide and/or presentation/workshop outlines, scroll back to the top of the page. (Click here to jump back!)
"Thank you so much again for coming to our school. The kids were still buzzing today!"
—Home & School Association representative, St. Joseph's School, Mechanicsburg, PA
"Kit ... had a beautiful ability to relate to the students as she made the pages of her action packed story come alive. A must read for upper-elementary and middle school readers looking for magic, mayhem and mystery."
—Elizabeth Kampf, Reading Specialist, Benjamin Rush Elementary School, Bensalem, PA
"OMG you came to my school and you were amazing!"
—Student, New Foundations Charter School, Philadelphia, PA
"Our 5th Grade students were captivated by your power point presentation and discussion...They are loving The Flame in the Mist. It is thrilling to see them so engaged while reading—a teacher's dream, really. Thank you again for exposing them to a world outside their own."
—Literacy Leader, U.S. Wiggins School, Camden, PA
"Everyone is talking about how much they enjoyed your visit and how much the children learned."
—Cheryl Martin, Literacy Support Teacher, H.O. Brittingham School, Milton, DE
Why not have me come to your school's bookfair (coordinated with participating book store) as a signing author? It's exciting for the students to have an author there—and if you book me for an assembly presentation earlier the same day, I will give you a special reduced rate for the presentation! See below for details.
For further questions, or to schedule a visit, please email me.
I'm now available to come to your library and give the following presentations / workshops /talks for teens and adults:
World Building in Fantasy Fiction
The Dark Underbelly of Character
The Road to Publication
See what participants have to say about each, below. And of course I can also give any of the workshops for 4th-8th graders, too. (Outlines available to download at the top of the page.)
Kit Grindstaff presented at PaLA 2013, and it was superb. Engaging, entertaining, and exciting, mastering the art of 'spooky' storytelling. A great program, and a great time had by all.
—Karl Rebon, Director, Reynoldsville Public Library
"This past fall I attended Kit Grindstaff's workshop 'World Building in Fantasy Fiction.' I thoroughly enjoyed her presentation and found it informative, very well organized and easy to follow. Highly recommended!"
—Ann M. Lorenc (Library presentation, Howell, NJ)
"'The Dark Underbelly of Character' was my favorite workshop of the 2013 NJ SCBWI conference. Kit and (co-presenter) Jennifer (Hubbard) taught us how to add flaws, secrets, and lies to deepen our characters and their stories. This fascinating workshop helped me realize what was missing from my novel, and how to fix it."
—Joanne R. Fritz
"I could not have asked for a better presentation to start the WW season than yours last night. Extremely informative & interesting. . .your book trailer was fantastic!"
—Judy Detrano, organizer, Wednesdays for Women (From talk on The Road to Publication, Hamilton's Grill, Lambertville, NJ)
For further questions, or to schedule a visit, please email me.
FEES: 2014 GUIDELINES
- 45 minutes: $100
- 60 minutes: $125
- 60 minutes: $150
- Morning at school: $225-$250 (2 hour-long workshops, or assembly presentation plus workshop)
- All day at school: $500
Special rate reduction for Bookfair bookings:
Invite me to sign books at your school's bookfair on the same day as a presentation or workshop, I will give the presentation for half price, or the workshop for a 30% reduction.
What if my school's budget can't stretch to that?
We may be able to work something out! Please feel free to email me—I'd like to help if I can!
Also, you may want to take a look at the following:
Grants for School Visits
Within a 20 mile radius, car travel mileage rate is waived. Otherwise, it's calculated at the current IRS mileage rate minus the first 20 miles (40 miles round trip.). (Based on gas + car depreciation. Any tolls included.)
If a school is farther away, other travel expense may apply (hotel, meals, airfare). However, if I can visit another school the following day or the previous one, both schools can split the expenses AND receive a discounted rate for my visit.
BEFORE MY VISIT
4-6 weeks before the visit, I will email you an order form for books. This allows plenty of time for children to get them back to your school, and for your local book store to have the order ready and delivered to the school before my visit. I can either sign books before the event, or after.
Often, local stores are willing to work with schools and discount larger orders. In areas where I have contact with a bookseller, I'm happy to put you in touch if you'd like.
If a booking is made within a month, we will work as best we can within that time frame.
Invoicing: Honorarium and travel expenses are due on the day of my visit.
Equipment: For the PowerPoint presentation, I'll bring my Mac laptop. I have adaptors to fit with both HDMI and VGA inputs into your school's projector. Most schools' and libraries' projectors are compatible with this setup, but we should of course ascertain this before my visit.
For further-afield schools, this can be an ideal way for me to talk to students. For classes, library or book groups that have already read The Flame in the Mist, Skype visits are FREE for a half hour.
For all other visits:
- 45 minutes: $50
- 60 minutes: $75
Sessions are most productive if students have questions ready to ask me. I'm happy to talk about The Flame in the Mist, what went into writing it, the writing process, other books...You—and the students—name it!
To set up a visit—school or Skype—please email me.
Thank you, and I look forward to visiting your school or library!