WINNER  2013 RED MAPLE Non-fiction Ontario Library Association
School Visits
Bill loves to visit schools for readings, signings, and any chance to talk to students about reading and writing. Special sessions can be planned for all ages groups, from Grades 4 through high school and college (although his sessions for senior high school and college students are very practical, in delve into writing for journalism and the writing of business reports. Much of this can be very, very boring and thus dangerous for the unprepared. Don’t try this at home.) To set up a school visit, go to Preparing for a visit: Students gain the most from author readings when they are familiar with the author’s work, and have spent some time preparing questions for the author. This can take the form of queries about the characters in the books, descriptions of settings, and the line between fiction and real life. TV talk show: As part of many readings, Bill likes to pretend he is on a TV talk show (which he sometimes is), and give several students an opportunity to play the role of TV host. For schools with a video camera this can also be a great opportunity to create a record of the author’s visit. How many? Bill has given many readings in a school gym with three or four classes combined (up to 120 students!) This works only if the students are familiar with the author’s books, and well prepared with questions. The best setting is a carpeted library, with seats for all, and only one class involved. Bill is happy to discuss the possibilities and to adjust to meet the school’s needs. Book sales: Handling book sales and a reading at the same time gets complicated. However, if a school council wishes to take on the sales of books (sending out order forms, collecting money, and all that boring part) Bill will sign every book sold with a personalized message. This can be a good school fund-raiser, with 20% of the cover price returned in cash. Or, for every three books sold at cover price, the school can chose one book free from the Lorimer Sports Series list. How do we arrange it? Visit
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