'Great Chicago Fire' Nominated for Bluestem
The Great Chicago Fire: Rising From the Ashes has made the 2023 Illinois Bluestem Award list! So let's talk! I love sharing what I learned about 1871 history, who was to blame, how Chicago recovered, and how good things can emerge from terrible times. And we can talk about graphic novels too!
Visits in-person or online
Visits can be tailored to teacher's topics
Books for kindergarten to fifth grade
Writing workshops available upon request
Kindergarten - 5th Grade
It's not always easy to justify bringing in an author to speak. But author visits are exciting ways to get kids pumped up about reading and writing. With schools under pressure to perform and devote so much classroom time to assessments, I have put together talks and writing workshops that focus on the fundamentals of writing, reading & research.
Virtual classroom visits
"Kate was so engaging with my students and asked them in-depth questions about the book that really made them think critically about what was happening . . . This literary experience is one that my students will always treasure and remember, and I am so thrilled to have been able to provide it for them!"
— Keely P'Pool, Bowling Green (KY) City Schools
Surprise virtual book-club visit
Using more descriptive language
Basic elements of storytelling, voice & point of view
How to open with a BANG & tools for getting started
Research and how it can add color to creative writing
Outlining & building the skeleton of a story
The Scroll of Doom
I have students help me with "The Scroll of Doom," a 65-foot long roll of laminated rejection letters I accumulated over the years. I heard quite a few "no's" before landing that first book contract! And the scroll helps demonstrate what resilience and perseverance look like.
Students unfurling The Scroll of Doom in school's library
Topics for K to 5th Grade
Kindergarten - 1st grade
I can present on the basics of storytelling and how ideas turn into books, sharing examples from my own books and writing life. We celebrate being curious people and asking great questions!
2nd - 3rd grades
We discuss curiosity and asking questions, and the role of reading in helping us collect words. And we talk about what research looks like. Because graphic novels are so popular, I can also present a talk on how to write one!
4th - 5th grades
I get into the specifics of storytelling, from POV to voice to plotting, as well as the Three Rs of Writing – reading, revising & resilience. We can talk about inventors, detectives, superheroes, graphic novels, and more.
Virtual visits are a fun way to energize a class. And I have a lot of fun dropping into book clubs and classrooms for a surprise visit and low-key conversation. Even better when we take time for questions & answers