You can! Read on to find out how easy it can be to set up author visits to schools.
From preschools all the way to colleges; and private, charter, magnet, and standard public schools all need guest speakers and presenters. Every school has to fill speaking slots and educate and entertain students (and faculty and staff). Budget is always a consideration in all but the most affluent of institutions, and many districts are struggling these days. Struggling or not, many are finding it hard to source speakers and other presenters that are appropriate.
If you’re grappling with anything relating to that problem, you can relax right now. You can easily get an author to speak to your school.
Author, editor, educator, and writing coach Jennifer Harshman is available to talk to your students, faculty, and staff on a variety of topics. As a formerly licensed teacher and as a parent of special needs children, she understands the importance of keeping the topic appropriate and student/family friendly. She appears in costume as The Book Baker to make things more fun. With everything she does, Jennifer shows that writing is exciting and that if someone can follow a recipe to bake a cake, they can write a book.
Here are just a few of the topics Jennifer is available to talk about in your school:
- The Adventure of Authorship
- Reading and Writing as Superpowers
- How Books Saved My Life
- Writing a Book with Your Class
Whether it’s about the adventures of reading and writing, how to become an author, or overcoming abuse and adversity, Jennifer is available to speak at schools and colleges. Having her travel to your school would require covering expenses plus her speaking fee of $2,500, but she will appear via Zoom for a small honorarium ($300), and she does make some appearances pro bono (for free).
Since 2000, Jennifer Harshman has been reading aloud to classrooms full of students. As a formerly licensed teacher who specialized in language arts, she found that reading and writing were areas where she excelled. From daycares to colleges, from podcasts to radio broadcasts, people have always loved hearing Jennifer read aloud.
In the summer of 2022, she began appearing in The Book Baker costume, which fits her persona as The Book Baker. Over her years of helping people write books, she began comparing the process of writing a book to following a recipe to bake a cake. Participants in her writing program, Your Book Bakery, started calling her “The Book Baker” because of that.
For many years now, Jennifer has presented to groups of adults, including masterminds and group coaching programs. It’s still teaching and educating, although it’s not in a classroom.
Then, in the month of October of 2022, Jennifer was invited to read to a first grade classroom in Pennsylvania via Zoom from her home in Illinois. She read The Man Who Cooked for Himself. Here she is reading that book aloud.
The students loved her animated delivery and peppered her with questions about being an author and editor and helping others with their books. They also shared with her the things they love to read and write about.
That experience reawakened her love of presenting to classrooms of students. She thought about offering author visits for elementary schools.
What you need
It doesn’t have to be reading aloud. You could get an author to speak to your school and present on a topic. You could even have Jennifer help your class to write and publish a book! Talk about changing lives. The students would remember that forever. Let’s get you what you need.
What sparked this
Yes, Jennifer Harshman has been involved in this world for decades now. But what sparked this exact offer, and why now?
One particular monthly challenge issued by Platform Launchers, a group Jennifer is a founding member of, was to create and launch a product or service from start to finish in three days. The goal of that tight deadline is to prevent overthinking, procrastination, and so on.
Jennifer decided to do this for that challenge. She would offer to appear in other schools via Zoom or in person to read aloud, talk about being an author, or present on appropriate topics to the students, faculty, or staff members.
You can book here to get an author to speak to your school. If you have no budget, choose the Free Focus Meeting, and in the form that asks what you’d like to get out of the meeting, say you want Jennifer to read/speak to your school and what about. Also, please be aware that only four free sessions per month will be approved. If the slots are full, we may contact you to reschedule or take the option of booking a paid session.
If you have a budget for paying honorariums for speakers/presenters, use the Paid Consultation option. Up to 20 virtual presentations and 10 in-person presentations are available each month so you can get an author to speak to your school.
At least one day before the scheduled date (when you’d like to get an author to speak to your school), you and Jennifer will get on Zoom and do a tech check. This will ensure that you have the equipment and settings selected properly.
On the day of the appearance, you and Jennifer will get on Zoom a few minutes before the presentation is set to begin, do a quick mic check, and proceed to have fun.