I’m partnering with YA author Danielle Stinson to offer school visits. We are local to northern Virginia.
School Visit Offerings
Developing Voice: Voice is a hard-to-define quality in writing. Olivia and Danielle will talk about the differences between character voices and a writer’s individual voice, stressing that every student has their own unique word fingerprint. Olivia and Danielle will share excerpts from their books showcasing “voice.” They will also find similar scenes/events in various classic and contemporary novels that read differently due to the character’s voice. Students will practice writing a paragraph trying to capture a unique voice. Olivia and Danielle will also discuss that in the absence of a clear voice, writers can always strive to tell the truth, and from there, authentic voice will shine through.
Character Development: Great concepts and storylines can draw in an audience, but it is the characters that keep readers invested in those stories. Olivia and Danielle will discuss the process of character development and character arcs. They will use examples from their own books and other popular novels to illustrate these facets of character development. The visit will conclude with an exercise in which the students will create characters sketches.
Book Club: Danielle and Olivia would love to talk about the nitty-gritty of their novels. Leading thoughtful discussions about the content in the books as well as the process from draft to publication. The focus here is on the books, so we ask that students are given ample opportunity to read them to get the most out of this visit. Discussion questions will be provided ahead of time that stress key themes and critical thinking. Olivia and Danielle can speak specifically to writing both contemporary novels and science fiction.
Rewriting is Writing: Much of the real work of writing occurs between the first and final draft stages. Olivia and Danielle will share specific examples of feedback they received and how they used that feedback to improve their novels during revisions. Critique partners for many years, they will also discuss how to share your work with others and give/receive helpful critical feedback. The emphasis here is on looking at your own work with an open mind and realizing there is always room for improvement. Olivia and Danielle will conduct an exercise in which the students read short segments of each other’s work and provide feedback. This can be tailored to college essays, creative nonfiction, or fiction.
Path to Publication: Danielle and Olivia will talk about their paths from high school through publication. Emphasis on how dreams, goals and skills change over time. The two most important attributes that have served them well are: persistence in the face of rejection and being lifelong learners. This presentation will be low-key and interactive, talking about interests and high school stressors and the ways the students have already shown resilience.
Build Your Own Visit: Olivia and Danielle are happy to tailor their presentations to the needs of the schools or the students. If your class is digging deep into literary devices, or if you’re learning how to research a topic, we’d love to discuss that! We also can do visits tailored to larger audiences.
When scheduling, preference is given to schools offering an honorarium or advance book sales.
We also ask that you try to make these visits accessible and inclusives to as many students as you can. We’re happy to work with accomodations!
Get in touch!