SCHOOL VISIT FAQs
How would you structure a successful visit to our school?
Although every school has different needs, I would suggest a combination of large- and small-group presentations. I would speak and show slides or a PowerPoint presentation at an assembly, plus lead one or two writers’ workshops and perhaps visit one or two classrooms for a question-and-answer session. For more information on my presentations, click here.
Do you need any equipment?
I often use PowerPoint in my presentations. I bring my laptop computer, but need your projector and screen. Some of my writers’ workshops require students to come prepared with photographs or other items. If you choose to have me present any workshops, I will give you a heads-up as to the materials required.
Will you eat lunch with students?
I will be happy to eat lunch with a select group of students. One school that I visited ran a contest in which students had to write why they wanted to have lunch with the “Author of the Day.” The staff chose eight winners, and we shared chicken nuggets and Tater Tots.
You often speak about women’s sports. Will boys be interested in your programs?
I have found that boys are very interested in my presentations because they relate to the material as athletes or sports fans. They can appreciate the challenges faced by athletes, whether those athletes are male or female.
How can we prepare for your visit?
An author visit is an investment of time and money for your school, but if handled correctly, it can provide an unparalleled educational experience. Here are six ways to get ready for my visit:
- Make several copies of my books available in the school library,
and encourage students to read them. For a complete list of my books, click here.
- Have teachers and students surf the material on my Web site, suemacy.com.
- Show a film or video on the subject matter. If I will be speaking about the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, show A League of Their Own. For an Annie Oakley talk, show Annie Get Your Gun. The 1999 HBO film, Dare To Compete, provides excellent background for a general talk on women’s sports history.
- If you’re planning a classroom question-and-answer session, brainstorm possible questions before the visit. Assign students to ask specific questions to make sure all of them are covered.
- Create bulletin boards on sports heroes of the past, such as Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Wilma Rudolph, Billie Jean King, Althea Gibson, and Mia Hamm (as well as men such as Jim Thorpe, Jesse Owens, Babe Ruth, Muhammad Ali, and Michael Jordan).
- Publicize the visit in parent-teacher newsletters and other community publications. Have a school or local reporter cover the visit. The coverage might help when you campaign for funding for future author visits.
How can we arrange for students to purchase your books?
Four weeks before my visit, send a letter and an order form home with students. (I can provide samples if you like.) Order the books directly from my publishers, and have them shipped to you. (I will provide contact numbers for the publishers.) Most publishers offer a 40 percent discount to schools, so your parent-teachers organization may want to organize the book purchase as a fundraiser. I will be happy to autograph the books during my visit. Just make sure to leave time for an autograph session.
How much do you charge?
My fee for a full day is $1,500. That includes up to five presentations, usually a mixture of large assemblies, writers’ workshops, and more intimate visits to individual classrooms. I also do a half-day program for $800. That includes up to two presentations, workshops, or class visits. If I need to travel more than 100 miles to a location from my home in northern New Jersey, I request that you book me for a full day and put me up in a motel the night before. If I need to fly or take a train to your location, I ask that you pay the round-trip fare.
What’s the best way to contact you?
Use the form on the Contact Me page with your request and I will get back to you, usually within a day.
How far in advance should we book your visit?
I need approximately three months notice for most speaking engagements. Since I often focus on women’s history, March is a particularly busy month. If you’re interested in a March visit, I suggest contacting me as early as you can!
What happens after we have booked your visit?
Once we have worked out the details, I will prepare a letter of agreement that includes the dates, fees, equipment needed, grade levels expected, number of presentations, types of presentations (i.e., large assemblies, writers’ workshops, individual class visits), topics to be covered, and any other important information. I will sign the letter and forward it to you for your signature. About a month before the visit, I’ll check in to confirm the visit and to see if there are any last-minute changes.
Do you make electronic classroom visits via Skype?
Yes! E-mail me with your request and I will respond with information regarding my rates and availability.