School Visits

Pandemic Update: Eileen is happy to take part in Zoom author presentations at schools and libraries during the pandemic. The rates mentioned below for in-person presentations apply for Zoom presentations. A 30-minute or 45-minute Zoom presentation about Sophie Trophy Too with readings, friendship discussions, and loads of humour (think flashlights!) is recommended. Set-up of Zoom by the school is requested.

Eileen would love to visit your school or library! As a former teacher with 33 years of experience, she feels at home speaking to people of any age, but particularly children. Eileen has done speaking presentations for children in schools, libraries, gifted programs, and at the Vancouver International Children’s Festival, as well as creative writing classes for teachers at pro-d days. Eileen discusses the qualities of a writer, the funny side of writing funny books, and the process involved in the creation of a book, from getting the idea right through to the finished book. She talks about her early love of books and writing, and her struggles in school in the primary grades. She shows a book she created as a child, encourages children to read and write, and reads from her book. Eileen is a skilled storyteller, and reads with lively spirit. Her writing classes blend important writing skills with the use of drama to nurture the students’ descriptive writing. Students will find themselves up out of their seats and involved.

Her fee per 60 minute presentation, which includes a question period at the end, is the Canada Council for the Arts standard fee of $250.00 ($175.00 per 45 minute presentation; $150.00 per 40 minute presentation, $125.00 per 30 minute presentation). There will be a 10-15% discount for multiple presentations in the same school, same day. The higher the number of presentations, the higher the discount.

Group sizes vary according to the group or presentation venue. In a gym, groups of up to 90 students work well, as long as a microphone and speakers are provided. In a quieter location, such as a school library, you may fit in as many students as possible, as long as Eileen has room for her displays. To promote interaction, she would prefer to meet with groups of up to 90 students of a similar grade level: eg. 2-3, 3-4 or 4-5). A short power point can be part of the presentation if preferred. The book is best suited to 7-9 year olds but 10 year olds in a split class may be included. There is no tax added to the author presentation fee.

For a full day in a school, Eileen can make up to 4 presentations. For example, she could start with a half hour reading to a grade 1/2 class, followed by a book talk later in the morning. In the afternoon, she could do another book talk and a writers’ workshop, or two writers’ workshops, with the children putting pencil to paper on a dramatic or humorous theme, after an inspiring talk about what brings writing alive. For workshops, she would need each child to be able to sit at a table or a desk, either in a classroom or the library, and have a pencil and paper. The maximum number of students for the workshops would be 30. Feel free to make suggestions that suit your school. As a former teacher, Eileen understands that every school is different.

Note: Kindergarten and grade one students should not be combined with older students for presentations.

Please email Eileen if you have any questions.