I know what it’s like.
The long hours. The never-ending paperwork. The tests looming on the horizon. And even with everything you do, even with how much you give, there’s still that nagging question in the back of your mind–am I doing enough?
The answer is a resounding yes. I see it every time I walk into a classroom. The hand-crafted learning aids on your walls. Your classroom library overflowing with quality literature. That look on your face when, in response to one of my questions, a kid shares something both profound and unexpected.
You always do the best for your kids because they really are your kids. And sometimes, you just want to give them a little something extra. Or maybe even something a little extraordinary.
That’s where I come in.
I bring with me years of experience, both as a professional writer and teacher. I have a BA in Education and spent six years as a classroom teacher. I also have an MFA in Writing for Children and have published a book (Superstar, HarperCollins 2017) that has received a respectable bit of critical praise. And while these accomplishments are important, they don’t matter quite as much as what these years have taught me.
Me. You. My characters. The kids you teach. We are all in the process of becoming who we are. And the more opportunities we have to reflect on our own thoughts and the world around us in meaningful ways, the more we have to grow.
Writing is one way to do this. That’s why my writing lessons often lead right into life lessons. (But not in any didactic way). Instead, these life lessons develop organically through the act of having real conversations about real things—like how we see other people (character building), how to keep going when we fail (working through a revision), and why each and every one of us (and each and every one of our stories) is important.
In reality, what I offer is small, especially compared to what you give your kids each day. But sometimes the small act of seeing or hearing or experiencing something in a new way can make a huge difference.
I offer presentations for third through sixth graders in either a small group (up to 60 kids) or large group (up to 150 kids) setting. I do not do whole school presentations. Below are the three presentations I currently offer. They each last about an hour.
From Idea to Book: A Journey through the Writing/Publishing Process (for grades 3-6) – In this presentation, I’ll tell the story of how Superstar became a real book, from beginning sentences to publication and beyond. We’ll explore not only the process, but why I’m the only person in the whole world who could have written this exact book. Students will be challenged to consider what makes their own stories unique and important.
Fail, Fail Again, Fail Some More: A Hands-on Lesson in Revision (for grades 3-6, small group only) – Everywhere I go, teachers tell me their students hate revising. I’m on a mission to change that! In this lively workshop, we’ll explore various revision techniques as we work to revise either a fiction or non-fiction piece that I wrote as a kid. Students will learn why failure is so important in the writing process (and in life).
Filling the Jar: An Exploration of Characters and Stereotypes (for grades 4-6) – In this deep and heartfelt presentation, we’ll use a jar as a metaphor to explore how certain character traits (such as autism) can trigger an immediate response in us and cause us to automatically “fill up the jar” with ideas about a person that may or may not be true. Without judgement of ourselves or others, we will explore and question this automatic response and search for a deeper understanding of the characters we read (and write) about, the people around us, and even ourselves.
In addition to the above hour-long presentations, I also offer half hour readings/author Q&A sessions where I will read from my book and answer any questions the students may have about me, the writing process, or anything else they want to know.
I believe that books have the power to shape a young person’s view of the world, to affect them in deep and immeasurable ways. I intend my author visits to do the same.
I charge by the presentation, rather than by the day. That way, schools pay for only the presentations they want. I’m available to speak to just one class or to stay for the entire day (up to three hour long presentations plus readings). The cost for an hour long small group presentation (up to two classes/about 60 kids) starts at $125. For a large group (a whole grade level/up to 150 kids), the price is $250 per presentation. My half-hour readings/author Q&A sessions start at $40. The cost of the presentations can then increase based on your school’s distance from my home in central Indiana and may include additional travel and lodging costs, if necessary. If you book multiple presentations in the same day or even in the same school year, you will receive a significant discount on the speaking fee.
(These fees are current for the 2017-2018 school year. Fees for the 2018-2019 school year will be updated in July 2018.)
BOOK AN AUTHOR VISIT (in 5 easy steps)
- Complete the form below. That way, I’ll have a basic idea of what you’re looking for in an author visit.
- I’ll email you, and we’ll chat a bit. At this point, I’ll answer any initial questions you may have, and I’ll ask for your mailing address.
- You’ll receive a hard copy of my Author Visit Packet in the mail. Inside this packet is everything you ever wanted to know about a Mandy Davis Author Visit–policies, payment info, book signing info, detailed presentation descriptions, a booking form, etc.
- Complete the booking form. Once I receive it, I’ll draw up a contract so we can make the visit official.
- Sign the contract and return it to me. I’ll be seeing you soon!
OTHER SPEAKING APPEARANCES
In addition to school visits, I am also available to speak at reading/writing/literacy nights, libraries, conferences, and other group meetings. If you are interested, please use the form below to contact me, and I will email you to discuss specifics. Under “Grade Level” please describe the approximate size and make up of your group. (Ex: 50 teachers, 75 librarians, a mixed group of 100 parents and fourth graders, etc.)