Monday, May 24, 2010

My first school visit!

Authors and illustrators do school visits all the time, but how often to editors do school visits? Uh, never? Well, a few weeks ago, as a favor to two friends of mine, I spoke at a school out in Newark, NJ to help them kick off their Literacy Week. I was a little nervous about it, because although I'm used to speaking in front of adults, I can't remember the last time I had to speak to a roomful of kids--if ever! But I had a wonderful time, and the kids were well behaved. I spoke to two different groups, one large group of sixth, seventh, and eighth graders, and then a slightly smaller group of fifth and sixth graders.
I was asked to talk about what my job as a children's book editor entails. I talked about my company, and started off by showing some slides of the books that we publish. When I showed a slide for the Twilight books, the uproar in the room lasted a good five minutes. I have to say, it was really wonderful to see kids get so excited about books!
The kids also got excited when I showed the cover of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, because it was one of four finalists for the school's book award, voted on by 5th to 7th graders.
I talked a little bit about how I became an editor and the steps they all could take if they wanted to be an editor, too (read a lot, go to college, work at a bookstore or library, do internships, etc.). I also showed some videos, including both the official and unofficial trailers for Shark vs Train (they all applauded at the end of the official trailer), as well as a video of Grace showing off the interior of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.

I hope that there were some future editors, authors, illustrators, designers, etc. in the room!

Read about my visit on the school library's blog here.

5 comments:

Meghan said...

Congrats on doing it! Glad it went well. It's the little kids - kindergarten - that's a little hit or miss sometimes.

julieeshbaugh said...

How great! The kids in the pics looked completely focused on your presentation, so I'd say you were a definite success. Congratulations on your first school visit!

stacy said...

How fun! I did a school visit once myself--a career day presentation to several classes in a row at a middle school in Seattle. It was a lot of fun to see the light go on re: possible career (wow, I could do that, too!). I agree, though--kids are tougher than adults!

Anna Alter said...

Cool! Editors should do more school visits!

Sangeeta said...

What a great idea - and post!