Brenda would be happy to come to your school, synagogue, church, book club, camp, or writing group to speak about being an author. All of her programs are presented in PowerPoint to offer a visually exciting focus. Brenda hopes to inspire children to believe in their dreams and work hard to make them come true. By illuminating her writing process, she gives children the tools they need to take their own writing to the next level. Brenda prefers to speak to groups of 75 or fewer, but she will speak to larger groups as well.
Brenda is always happy to customize a presentation for your group. Here are some of the topics she's covered in the past:
WHERE DO STORIES COME FROM?
Appropriate for kindergarten-third grade, this is a 30-40 minute interactive presentation where children learn that Real Life + Imagination = Story. Brenda shares the real life incident that inspired The Yuckiest, Stinkiest, Best Valentine Ever and shows how she used imagination to turn that event into a story. Basic fiction elements are introduced at a level appropriate for the audience. Children participate in the reading, and a Q&A session follows.
A PEEK INTO THE LIFE OF A CHILDREN'S BOOK AUTHOR
This 30-40 minute presentation, appropriate for grades 4 and up, highlights the steps involved in creating a novel, including: idea formation, plot and character development, revision revision revision, the agony of rejection, and finally, the thrill of publication. Brenda uses her debut novel, Julia's Kitchen, as a model for this presentation. A question and answer session follows.
IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING...
This is the perfect presentation for book clubs. In about 45 minutes, Brenda answers the most frequently asked questions about her, her book, and publishing in general. Some questions include, "Why did you write such a sad book?" and "How can I write a book and get it published?" The intimate setting of a book club is the ideal atmosphere for exchanging ideas, learning new information, and inspiring dreams.
THE STORY BEHIND JULIA'S KITCHEN
This presentation, suitable for churches, synagogues, or religious schools, goes beyond the writing process and delves into the question that prompted Brenda to write Julia's Kitchen in the first place: Why does God let bad things happen? Through an open and frank discussion, participants explore Cara's belief in God and how her faith changes as she deals with the tragic loss of her mom and sister. They also talk about the Jewish traditions in the book and how those customs are similar to or different from the ones the children are familiar with in their own homes.
REVISING WITH POWER AND PURPOSE
Appropriate for students in grades 6 and up as well as adults, this presentation covers Brenda's favorite topic...revision. Brenda shows examples of her own revisions and gives tips and techniques that everyone can use as they find ways to improve their writing. Topics covered include: How to look at your work objectively, How to see the big picture, Writing until it's true, Cutting excess, and Polishing up. Anyone who shudders at the word, "revise," will have a new appreciation for this powerful process.
FOR JEMMA HARTMAN, CAMPER EXTRAORDINAIRE...
Brenda is planning a summer camp tour. Brenda will visit your camp and organize a program centered around friendship, stories, singing, sailing, and fun. E-mail now for more information and to book her for this summer.
Here's what people are saying about Brenda's presentations:
"We had such a great night with you! Thank you, thank you for visiting our book club. You were awesome."
Roz Topolski, mom in a mother-daughter book club
"Thank you so much for your informative, inspiring, and motivating talkI don't recall a recent concert or assembly where at least one of the kids didn't need to go to the bathroom in the course of an hour :) That's a great middle school compliment! Let's hope they put all the great ideas you gave them into their Writer's Workshop pieces."
Shenach Cameron, language arts teacher at Shepard Middle School
"Thank you for sharing your writing talent with our students and inspiring them to achieve their dreams! The students loved you. I loved the way they warmed up to you right away as if you were a long lost friend! I was told by some other librarians that you are "super nice" and they were right! What a difference it makes to have an author that is so warm and personable! Thanks again for spending the afternoon with us!!"
Helen Weiss, Sherwood Elementary School librarian
"I will never be able to thank you enough for yesterday's videocall! It was absolutely the most amazing thing ever. I can't quit thinking about it and the impact you made on our students. You gave them so much to think about and ponder. They were enthralled the entire time. All of their eyes were glued to the screen. They were soaking up your every word. Their smiles could have lit up an entire room. So, thank you from the absolute bottom of my heart. Each year it seems to be more of a challenge to motivate and 'turn' kids on to reading. You have truly lit a fire for reading for Mark Twain students."
Beth Campbell, Media Specialist at Mark Twain Elementary School in Bettendorf, Iowa
"Your visit was absolutely wonderful. It felt like one of those rare experiences in which everything lined up in an unexpectedly perfect manner. I still smile whenever I think about it:)"
Andy Cross, Children's Librarian, Chicago Public Library
"On behalf of my students, I would like to thank you for coming to our town and giving an excellent visiting author talk. The students continue to express how much they liked your talk better than other visiting authors. You may even get some e-mails from them."
Jane Foy, fourth grade teacher in Muscatine, Iowa
"Thank you for being a wonderful visiting author. I know for a fact that all libraries are now hounded for copies of your books and there isn't enough to go arounda good problem to have!!!"
Beth Elshoff, School Librarian in Muscatine, Iowa
"Each student was inspired and motivated by your thoughts and words. They couldn't wait to get back into the classroom to begin writing."
Jeanne Sayner and Carlee Gold, 4th grade teachers at Kipling Elementary School
"She was very funny. I didn't know it was so much fun to be a writer, and I didn't know writers could work in their pajamas!"
Emma, age 7, student at Wilmot Elementary School
"The fifth grade teachers LOVED you. They RAVED about your presentation."
Anne Shimojima, librarian at Braeside Elementary School
"We are snagging you earlier this year so we can practice the revision techniques you highlight in your presentation the entire school year. The seventh-graders did so well forming critique groups. It was awesome!"
Camille Hogan, media specialist Prairie Junior High School
"You did a beautiful job of relating to the children and sharing the intricacies of the writing process in a way all could understand."
Linda Rageb, principal at Walden Elementary School
Half Day (1 or 2 presentations) $400
Full Day (Up to 4 presentations) $800
Book Clubs (Within 20 minutes of Boca Raton, FL) $100
Virtual Classroom Visit using Skype $100
Travel expenses are not included in the above prices and will be added as they are incurred.
Any out-of-state events will be charged at a higher rate.
Wondering how to find money to pay for an author visit?