Monday, May 24, 2010

My first school visit!

Authors and illustrators do school visits all the time, but how often to editors do school visits? Uh, never? Well, a few weeks ago, as a favor to two friends of mine, I spoke at a school out in Newark, NJ to help them kick off their Literacy Week. I was a little nervous about it, because although I'm used to speaking in front of adults, I can't remember the last time I had to speak to a roomful of kids--if ever! But I had a wonderful time, and the kids were well behaved. I spoke to two different groups, one large group of sixth, seventh, and eighth graders, and then a slightly smaller group of fifth and sixth graders.
I was asked to talk about what my job as a children's book editor entails. I talked about my company, and started off by showing some slides of the books that we publish. When I showed a slide for the Twilight books, the uproar in the room lasted a good five minutes. I have to say, it was really wonderful to see kids get so excited about books!
The kids also got excited when I showed the cover of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, because it was one of four finalists for the school's book award, voted on by 5th to 7th graders.
I talked a little bit about how I became an editor and the steps they all could take if they wanted to be an editor, too (read a lot, go to college, work at a bookstore or library, do internships, etc.). I also showed some videos, including both the official and unofficial trailers for Shark vs Train (they all applauded at the end of the official trailer), as well as a video of Grace showing off the interior of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.

I hope that there were some future editors, authors, illustrators, designers, etc. in the room!

Read about my visit on the school library's blog here.


Meghan said...

Congrats on doing it! Glad it went well. It's the little kids - kindergarten - that's a little hit or miss sometimes.

julieeshbaugh said...

How great! The kids in the pics looked completely focused on your presentation, so I'd say you were a definite success. Congratulations on your first school visit!

stacy said...

How fun! I did a school visit once myself--a career day presentation to several classes in a row at a middle school in Seattle. It was a lot of fun to see the light go on re: possible career (wow, I could do that, too!). I agree, though--kids are tougher than adults!

Anna Alter said...

Cool! Editors should do more school visits!

Sangeeta said...

What a great idea - and post!