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School & Library Author Appearances

How to Plan an Author Appearance


Welcome to the home for Penguin Young Readers Group’s author and illustrator appearances! We want to help you bring great authors to your school or library. Below is a step-by-step guide to planning your next event. Please feel free to reach out to our Author Appearance Coordinator at penguinauthorvisits@gmail.comwith any questions.

  1. Learn the Basics
  2. Choose Your Authors Please visit our Author Appearance Roster to see a list of authors who make school and library appearances. Keep in mind that many of them do virtual Skype visits as well! Feel free to also peruse our website o discover any of our authors who would be best for your event. We suggest checking out our interactive State Awards Map to find an author perfect for your area.
  3. Request Your Author(s)It’s easy! Send an inquiry email to our Author Appearance Coordinator with your contact information as well as the details of your event and which author(s) you are interested in hosting.Don’t see the author selection you’re looking for? Feel free to also for information on any Penguin author you have in mind or for guidance on choosing and inviting an author to your event.
  4. Prepare for your EventOnce you have scheduled your event and you have a finalized and signed the event contract, you’ll need do the following to get ready:
    • organize transportation
    • have equipment ready for the presentation depending on the technical needs of the author you are hosting
    • provide a schedule to the author/illustrator
    • prepare the payment
    You should also have books available to sell — we encourage you to go through a local bookseller, an institutional wholesaler (if you use one), or you may order directly from Penguin.
Best wishes for a successful event! —The Penguin School and Library Marketing Team

Author Access with Dori Hillestad Butler, Author of The Haunted Library series

  1. How do you typically format your Skype visits with classrooms and libraries?
I don’t usually do a formal presentation via skype. I ask that the group have read or heard at least one of my books before the session and then come prepared with questions. It’s very informal. I answer questions, show them around my office, and introduce them to my dog.
  1. What is your favorite part of the visits?
I love the questions they ask…especially if they ask a question I’ve never been asked before. I also enjoy the informality of the experience. I don’t dress up like I would for an in-person school visit. They get a look at who I really am. It’s like they’ve knocked on my door and I’m just taking a 15-20 minute break from my day to have a little conversation.
  1. What words of advice do you have for aspiring young writers?
You learn by doing, so this may sound trite but the best advice I have for young writers is to WRITE. A lot. If you want to play basketball, you’re going to shoot a lot of hoops, right? Well, if you want to be a writer, you need to write. Malcolm Gladwell talks about “the 10,000 hour rule.” You need to put in 10,000 hours to really get good at something. I believe in that.
  1. Is there anything teachers and librarians should know before you visit?
I’m in the Pacific Time Zone. It’s amazing how many people will ask me if I can skype at such-and-such time without giving me any indication of where they are or what time zone they’re in. I need to walk my dog before I start my day, so 9:00 am is about the earliest I like to schedule a skype session. 9:00am Pacific Time is noon Eastern Time.    

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