Visit Success Stories

Authors, send your picture and summary of author visit to sachauncey@gmail.com and your visit will be highlighted here!


Marsha Diane Arnold The Pumpkin RunnerAuthor: Marsha Diane Arnold wrote...

"I have goosebumps and I don't think it's the weather. Just got a request from a librarian in Alabama to Skype on October 31st as the students and principal loved my book The Pumpkin Runner so much they are having their very own Pumpkin Run /Pumpkin Day on October 31st. He apologized for it being short notice. I wouldn't have cared if it were tomorrow. I'm Skyping! Don't think I've ever had a day in honor of one of my books before."
Bruce Hale Visits Elmhurst Public Library

We had a Skype visit with Bruce Hale at the Elmhurst Public Library, and it was great! Bruce is an engaging author and illustrator, and he is very skilled at making a Skype visit successful, even for us first-timers. The kids and parents enjoyed his humorous presentation, and the kids were thrilled to ask questions and share their own Chet Gecko drawings. Bruce's manner was friendly and interactive, and he kept the conversation moving and the kids interested.

I highly recommend a Skype author visit with Bruce Hale. We thought he was wonderful!.

Gloria Walsh-Rock
Kids' Programming and Readers' Advisory Librarian
Elmhurst Public Library
TinaRileyLooksOnAuthor: Marsha Diane Arnold

In June 2011, I chatted with second, third, and fourth graders in a rural part of West Virginia via Skype.

Tina Riley, Technology Integration Specialist extraordinaire for Roane County Schools, had worked a year on the project, researching 16 authors. I was the lucky author she selected to skype with and we had a grand time. In September, Tina contacted me by e-mail, with the subject heading "News...better than I imagined". One of the teachers at Reedy Elementary is also part of the Read Aloud committee for West Virginia. She contacted the state director about our Skype visit. The next thing Tina knew the visit had made statewide news.

Seehttp://www.readaloudwestvirginia.org/RoaneSkype.php for the whole story. Now Tina is arranging for three more West Virginia schools to Skype with me, this time with an honorarium and organized activities at each school. She's also had contact with a college that's interested in learning more about Skype visits with educators and authors. Congratulations to Tina Riley, a special person and tireless educator and all the educators involved in connecting students with authors and illustrators. May the Skyping continue on.

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Joe Cepeda
Author Joe Cepeda In the News

News Center 1 story about author Joe Cepeda who gives "...students an inside look at how the books they read come to life."

Watch the video and read more here...
http://www.newscenter1.tv/stories/10905.aspx
AMarsha Arnolduthor: Marsha Diane Arnold

Sparked by training received as a result of winning a grant through the Professional School Library System at PNW BOCES, library media specialist Susan McCormack worked with the BV PTA enrichment coordinator Mrs. Andrea O’Malley to make this first virtual author visit a reality.

Throughout the month of May, students in kindergarten and first grade spent their library class listening to books by author Marsha Diane Arnold. They learned about her life as a child growing up on a farm in Kansas and about the redwood forest that inspires her in her current home in northern California. Students connected to the curriculum as they discussed life in rural communities as compared to urban and suburban ones. Through the use of satellite images, students got a sense of the space and isolation between the great farms of the Midwest Great Plains states compared to the homes spread throughout the communities of Buchanan, Verplanck and the lower Hudson Valley. Students began to make connections between how life experiences inform fiction writing. They learned about tornadoes and bravery while listening to Mrs. Arnold’s story: The Bravest of Us All. They heard how stories based on farm life and animals can be fictionalized and infused with humor in: Roar of and Snore and Prancing, Dancing Lily. Students prepared questions for the author ranging from how she gets ideas for her stories, to how she chooses an illustrator to more personal questions such as does she have any pets?

Using web cameras and Skype, students visited with author Marsha Diane Arnold via computer screen split in three: the author, themselves on camera and the author’s presentation. At the end of her presentation, the kindergarten students called out, “Goodbye, we will miss you!” as the author, Ms. Arnold, signed off.

Thanks to the tremendous support of the BV PTA, we hope to make virtual author visits a regular annual occurrence.

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Brian Swain World HungerAuthor: Brian Kenneth Swain

In recent weeks I have had the pleasure of working closely with a large group of seniors at Brophy College Preparatory School in Phoenix, Arizona, and their teacher, John Damaso. As part of the school’s Honors English program, the group conducted in-depth studies into the fields of nutrition and global food supplies. As an integral component of that work, the class read my novel World Hunger, which is a fictional story built around genetically modified (GMO) agriculture.

World Hunger then became the focal point for a lengthy series of online discussions, including questions provided by the class which I answered in considerable depth on my web site (www.briankennethswain.com). In addition, I worked directly with the class via a series of Skype video conferences—doing readings, answering questions, and debating various GMO issues—an experience that was extremely informative for all of us. Further, the students thoroughly enjoyed the unique opportunity to interact directly with the author of one of their assigned books.


Some of the issues we discussed included:


  • The role of public policy in managing and growing world food supplies
  • Safety and marketing issues around GMO
  • The science and technology behind GMO development
  • The future of publishing and books (paper vs. electronic)

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Marsha ArnoldAuthor: Marsha Diane Arnold

Tina Riley is such an enthusiastic Technology Integration Specialist. She worked much of the year to make this Skype visit a reality. Here's what Tina said about our June 1st skype with a group of 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders.

"The students and teachers absolutely loved this opportunity. It was awesome. I could have listened to you much longer. You did a fantastic job with the kids. I will be trying to get some funding to have you back!

I work in four elementary schools and this group was my experiment. They really enjoyed it. If it inspires one child to write or illustrate, it has all been worth it. Students are already creating thank you cards for you.

The students and teachers were still buzzing about our experience when I left yesterday. The principal was very impressed by the experience and your professionalism.

One teacher stated, “Your research paid off. You found a great author to experiment with!”


Marsha Arnold OfficeAuthor: Marsha Diane Arnold

The first graders at Prairie Grove Elementary in Crystal Lake, Illinois are writing stories and having their own books made. So first grade teachers, Cassy Mate and Niki Webb, wanted them to meet a published author.
Luckily, that published author was me!

What a delightful morning visit on May 19th. I t
Heart of a Tigerold the students about my first book Heart of a Tiger, shared my story magician rap, and showed them my office. The students love it when I move my computer around, showing them my shelves of books, my illustrator's gifts of original paintings, and my garden outside the office windows.

I always appreciate kind words after the visit, like Niki Webb's:
"Thank you so much. The students were so excited after your visit that they could hardly contain themselves! We just read your blog (www.storymagician.blogspot.com.) after lunch and they were thrilled that you mentioned them on it. Thank you so much. It was truly a memorable event."

Natasha WingAuthor: Natasha Wing

May 13, 2011 - A teacher from Manatee Elementary School in Florida contacted me about Skyping because her aunt used to purchase my books when I lived in California. Now that I’m in Colorado, I’m closer, but not close enough. So we Skyped instead. (May 3, 2011) The kids asked great questions, and were so polite! They made sure they said their name and asked their question clearly into the camera. At the end of my visit they turned the camera so I could see the kids standing on either side of the screen to have their picture taken with me. I love this form of classroom visit because I can still get across what it’s like to be an author by showing them my office and props from my books, but then they can also ask me questions. I like the casualness of our interactions and that the kids get to see my workspace. The school wants to Skype again next school year!





Barbara Techel 2Author: Barbara Techel

May 2, 2011 - I recently did a Skype visit (4/7/11) with Mrs. Kim Burd’s early childhood class at John. L. Hensey school in Washington, IL. Mrs. Burd invited a reporter from the Washington Times Reporter to cover the exciting new technology they implemented into their classroom. The children loved asking questions about my disabled dogs life. The highlight for them was seeing the fashion show with the many hats Frankie loves to wear and the highlight for us was seeing the pictures they colored of Frankie.

Thank you to Brandon Schatsick of the Washington Times Reporter for covering this story and to Skype an Author Network for providing the platform for authors to connect with classrooms like Mrs. Burd's!

Link to story covered by the Washington Times Reporter

Attached photos courtesy of Washington Times Reporter.

Thank you! Joyfully, Barbara Techel
BarbRosenstockAuthor: Barbara Rosenstock
April 26, 2011 - Children in the Tale Spinners creative writing program at the Geneva Public Library, Geneva, Illinois had an inspiring cyber visit with author Barbara Rosenstock. The elementary school-aged children meet at the library to write and illustrate their own stories for the monthly newsletter The Junior Journal. This is the first Skype author visit held at the Library and the students felt very special to be part of the inaugural event. After I read Barbara’s book, Fearless, to the class I just pressed the call button on Skype and there she was! I felt a little like Edward R. Murrow going right into her studio. Barbara was terrific! She showed us around her studio and displayed two car race car helmets, one from Louise Smith’s era and one for today’s NASCAR drivers. The students had prepared several questions for her about her writing and the publishing process. Barbara was as enthusiastic as the students. The interview ended with some very good advice for the budding authors: READ, READ, READ! Nancy Bell, Youth Services Librarian, Geneva Public Library

April 22, 2011 - Thanks Skype an Author Network! Both my virtual visits this month went off without a hitch! I was first contacted by Lisa Rodkey from the Media Center at Ideal School in Illinois to talk to a mixed grade group of students. The Ideal students were, well...ideal! They were thoughfully prepared with questions about nonfiction writing and research regarding my picture book
FEARLESS: the story of racing legend Louise Smith. Skype made it easy to show the antique racing equipment I've been given from people who knew Louise, the stages of a book's development and my own grade school writing. My writing partners (two big poodles) even nosed in on the visit! Lisa wrote me the following,"We so enjoyed your visit with us. I am on my way to the website to write you a glowing review!!! Thanks so much for your time. It was a great treat for us." It was a great treat for me to meet such excited, prepared students!

My second visit was to a small creative writing group that meets at the Geneva Library in Illinois. Ms. Nancy Bell is leading a weekly class there for elementary students who love to write. Boy, did those young writers keep me on my toes! We talked about the craft of writing... What writing advice did I find helpful? How long does it take to write a book and have it published? Where do I go to get research? And the all important...Can we see your dogs? They were finishing up their own stories for their publication "The Junior Journal" and asked if I'd like a copy. I can't wait to read these enthusiastic young writer's stories. Here's what Nancy Bell wrote, "You were awesome yesterday!! The kids were very excited and so were my colleagues. You are the first author to visit our department from cyberspace and I know we will do more."

I know I will be doing more Skype visits also! Thanks for this terrific resource! B.


Suzanne SladeSuzanne in the GymAuthor: Suzanne Slade

March 2011: I just wanted to express the wonderful experience I've had with an author, Suzanne Slade, that I linked with through the Skype An Author Network.

Mrs. Slade has truly inspired somany students in our school. Our class, along with over 800 students in our school, participated in a Read Across America Event Skype, on March 2nd, with Suzanne Slade!
I can't even begin to express how impressed our teachers and principal were with this event!

The kids and teachers are still talking about it. She's truly encouraged so many children in so many ways to believe that they could one day be an author. I'm am so grateful to have had such wonderful opportunity,

Tiffany Maronpot,

3rd Grade Teacher, S.I.E.S.

Marsha Arnold March 2011Author: Marsha Diane Arnold

In February, I helped Birch Grove Elementary students celebrate I LOVE TO READ month. I'm so glad they had as much fun as I did on our Skype visit. Thank you so much for sharing your talent and love of reading with our students this week. You had them in the palm of your hand from the time you sang out the first lines of PRANCING, DANCING LILY. You did a great job of involving the students, even from 2,000 miles away via Skype. We enjoyed your sharing a bit of your world with the students, showing us your office and gardens. The students loved getting the “inside scoop” on the illustrations in HEART OF A TIGER. Thank you for your generosity and enthusiasm for writing and books.
Joan Magnuson- LMS - Birch Grove Elementary School for the Arts
Suzanne SladeAuthor: Suzanne Slade

February 28, 2011: Dear Suzanne, Our video conference experience this morning was a valuable learning experience for the students. It is quite encouraging for them to hear directly from an author that they can succeed at something if they keep trying. As a teacher, it is nice to have an author reinforce the idea that it is important to read and write every day, and I try to incorporate this into my technology lessons. Technology is making it easier and more enjoyable for the students to do this, while teaching students important 21st century skills that they will need to learn to succeed in school and in their future careers. Thank you so much for your willingness to conference with us. Sincerely, Jill Hockemeyer
Author: Barbara Mahler
Watch the video on YouTube

In the middle of December I received a letter in the mail from a student at Roger Ludlowe Middle School in Connecticut. The first few lines read, “The second I picked up your book, The Hole in the Sky, it didn’t move from my hands. I was always wondering what would happen next. I also thought of how cool it would be if what happened to Kaela and Shawn happened to me.”

Naturally I wanted to respond as soon as possible. My publisher decided to contact the teacher and see if we could arrange a Skype visit so that the student could ask me questions in person (or would that be in Skyping?). This was on a Thursday and a visit was arranged for the following Monday (so cool).

During the session the student asked interesting questions about where the heroes found the courage to embark on such a dangerous journey. Some the of the classmates also took the hotseat and asked me questions about writing. Being able to respond to a fan of my book so quickly and personally made this was one of the best Skype
Suzanne WilliamsDecember 2010

My latest visit, just before Christmas, was with a super second grade class in Wyckoff, N. J. They had great questions to ask and were very attentive. I could see them as well as they could see me, and I got a "mini-tour" of their classroom at the end of our visit.





Author: Suzanne Will
Marsha ArnoldNovember 22nd I did two skype visits in one morning, one with first graders in Minnesota and another with second graders in Missouri. I love connecting across the miles. It's especially fun when there is a special connection. Literacy coach Crystal Church is from Manhattan, Kansas where I and my husband went to college. When she asked if I'd been back, I got to tell her my husband was visiting Manhattan and Kansas City at that very moment. Here's the sweet note I got from her today: Thank you so much for being such a wonderful host for our 2nd graders here at Hanna Woods. You were lovely. We certainly enjoyed you. It was really cool that you were from Manhattan, Kansas as well. Wow! What a small world. I must tell you that the children loved all of your books and we couldn't be more thrilled with our Skyping experience. Thank you again. Sincerely, Crystal Church, Literacy Coach,Hanna Woods


Skype Visit Suzanne Williams11/12/2010
Author Suzanne Williams Skyping with Mrs. Weis' 2nd Grade. Watch the movie. Click Here

CyntheaLiuVisit10/14/2010 - One might wonder if it’s possible to have an author visit without him/her physically being in the room … the answer is YES! Our virtual visit with Cynthea Liu was amazing! She maintained kids’ involvement by asking group questions and then even encouraged students to participate individually by asking them to raise their hands to answer questions she had (teachers throughout the room would call on one of the students to respond).

The virtual visit also offered the opportunity for students to see where Cynthea worked … it allowed them to “be there with her,” and they LOVED the chance to meet one of her best listeners – her pet bunny. It was a perfect mixture of talking and interaction!” Dawn Lewallan, Stuart Middle School Librarian

Author: Cynthea Liu
Bruce Hale7/9/2010 - I just spent a few short minutes with author/illustrator Bruce Hale on SKYPE - Bruce chatting with my 5th grade reading students. We had just completed Chet Gecko THIS GUM FOR HIRE and OMGosh. Hale was BRILLIANT! The atmosphere he created in that room of 9 and 10 years olds was that of a rock concert. The excitement and energy were palpable. After talking with Bruce, those students walked out of my classroom nothing short of giddy. (Their teacher was a little giddy too.) We'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Dang, Bruce. Thank you & hearts.
J.Zimmermann, Honolulu Hawai'i
Author: Bruce Hale
Marsha Arnold5/27/10 - What a glorious three days I had at Demmitt Elementary in Vandalia, Ohio. The main reason this visit was a success was librarian Beth Green and a team of talented educators who organized a welcome assembly, Family Night, presentations, and two days of writing "funshops". Another thing Beth planned was skyping with each class prior to my in-person visit. This allowed the students and I the opportunity to get to know each other; I also gave suggestions to each class for writing projects. With the second graders, for example, I explained how to use my book ROAR OF A SNORE as a model for their ROAR OF A SNORE II, using the same plot, but a new character and setting. When I arrived at Demmitt, the halls were filled with the various classes' projects. Skyping as a supplement to in-person visits wasn't something I anticipated when I joined Skype an Author, but it works beautifully. I plan to include skyping as a preliminary to my in-person school visits in the future.
SSlade5/22/10 - As you are the facilitator of the Skype an Author website, I would like to let you know about a recent event. A 4th grade class I am working with Skyped with Suzanne Slade begin_of_the_skype_highlightingend_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlightingend_of_the_skype_highlighting on Friday morning (May 21). This was a wonderful experience. Suzanne did an excellent job of discussing being an author at the students' level. She was very engaging and motivating. She gave detailed answers to the students' questions. A large part of the reason her presentation and the question and answer session was so well received by the students was because of how personable she was. Suzanne treated the entire class like they were old friends sitting down to have a conversation about being an author. After the event, one boy said, "I can't believe I just talked to a real live author. I still have chills." Thank you, Jamey Stanosz Library Media Specialist Portage Community School District
Ireland Visit05/20/2010 - I recently chatted to Franklin Middle School and attach a picture from the Home News Tribune, the caption of which gives the full details. We spoke for about 40mins mostly in the form of question and answer. Ms. Tara-Lynn Walter has been using Epic in her classroom and has teachers' notes for the book which she is willing to share. To contact her, please go through me. Thanks for the good work you are doing, Warm regards, Conor

Elizabeth Raum05/13/2010 - Thanks for setting up SKYPE AN AUTHOR. On May 13, 2010, I visited with Mr. Terry Mullen's 5th grade students at Oak Creek Elementary in New Braunfels, Texas. They had read my book, German Immigrants in America: An Interactive History Adventure. One chapter is set in New Braunfels and other Texas communities settled by Germans in the 1840s. The students not only asked me excellent questions, but they told me about their community. (I had written about New Braunfels, but never visited.) We talked about research, writing, and German bakeries. It was great fun for me, and I hope it was informative for the 5th graders. This was my first SKYPE visit. I hope it is the first of many.


Mike Artell in Skype Visit05/12/2010 I am writing in regard to a Skype session my class had today with Mike Artell. It was the first such endeavor my district has done and our superintendent as well as the head of our technology department and my principal were present to observe. I am happy to say it was a wonderful experience. Mr. Artell kept the students engaged and got them excited about writing and illustrating. All administrators were impressed and have indicated they are willing to allow me to pursue additional sessions in the future as well as expand these sessions district wide. Thank you for providing information that allows educators to make contact with authors and allows our students to interact with them in a way that was not possible before Skype. I would highly recommend Mr. Artell to any teachers interested in conducting a Skype session with an author.
Sincerely, Lynn Baglio Oxhead Road Elementary School
Author: Mike Artell

Marsha ArnoldMy rhyme for the day is "Skyping, skyping: it's to my liking". Well, I may not be an expert poet, but I am getting pretty good at skyping!

April 19th, I did my first Skype visit with classes outside of the United States. I felt very honored by their invitation. The Kindergartners, 1st, and 2nd graders at Shigawake Port Daniel School visited with me. Shigawake (don't you love the way that rolls off the tongue?) is a small town in remote eastern Quebec. I love that Skype makes it possible for out-of-the-way places to connect with others more easily.

Today I skyped with four different classes in Vandalia, Ohio, as a preliminary visit to my in-person visit coming up in May. I introduced a writing activity for each class to do prior to my visit. I'm looking forward to seeing their writing on the hallway walls or in their classroom when I visit in mid-May.


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March 29th I was in Chicago, Illinois and Pennsylvania, all in the same hour! How did I do it? Skype, of course. At St. Agnes School in Chicago, I gave a brief introduction about myself and my books, then Ally Nowak's second graders proudly held up the books they'd read: HEART OF A TIGER, ROAR OF A SNORE, and more. Then the questions began.

Heidi Culp's kindergarteners in Pennsylvania were a delight, each in turn coming to the screen and asking their question about my books. Kindergarten questions always surprise me. They wanted to know if I liked to sing. That question was inspired by PRANCING, DANCING LILY, who is a dancing cow. I guess singing and dancing should go together, though.


Author: Marsha Arnold

The story of author Barbara Mahler's Skype visit to Cosgrove Middle School in Spencerport, NY on December 4, 2009. The students were reading her book The Hole in the Sky, and had questions prepared.















Scotti Cohn3/05/10 What an amazing thing to be able to do! Thanks to Magi Henderson, Youth Services Director at Glen Carbon Centennial Library (Glen Carbon, Illinois), I had an opportunity to do a SKYPE author visit with children in grades K-2 at Glen Carbon Elementary School. The students were participants in the Illinois Young Authors competition, an event sponsored every year by the Illinois Language and Literacy Council, in conjunction with the Illinois State Board of Education. After I did a brief presentation, the children asked wonderful questions about my book One Wolf Howls and about writing and wolves in general. I am looking forward to doing more of these visits!

Marsha Arnold3/03/10 Kelli B. Murphy, Supervisor of Instructional Technology & Cyber/Home Education in the Gettysburg, PA, is quite a go-getter and tech maven. I have skyped twice with her and classroom teachers to 1) introduce the teachers to video conferencing with Skype and 2) identify relevant uses in the classroom. She emailed me today that my participation had such positive feedback that one district increased their budget to include webcams and funds for next year. Thanks to Skype an Author and people like Kelli for spreading the news.

MaribethBoelts3/03/10 What a thrill it was to connect with 5th grade students attending an international school in Korea! Their teacher, Miss Kim had been using my picture book, "THOSE SHOES" in her classroom, and inquired about a Skype visit. It was such a fun experience, as I worked through the questions the students had sent me the previous week. To be able to interact with children so far away, encouraging them to write, read and love books is absolutely amazing. Thank you, Mona Kerby and Sarah Chauncey for helping make these connections between authors, teachers and children.
Toni Buzzeo2/14/10 Wow, Sandi Roelle, librarian at Peetz Elementary School in Colorado knows how to woo an author. Our correspondence pre-visit is a hoot.She started with a rhymed poetic invitation that was irresistible and we continued all of our correspondence in rhyme.We then had two fabulous visits, one half hour of Q&A after her third grade students had read ALL of my books, and then a half hour slide show follow-up. Both were so enjoyable because her students were so thoroughly familiar with my work. Of course, the thank you note came in verse, as well:

Do you know you are magnificent?
It couldn’t have been better!
The kids loved you and learned a lot.
From each sentence, word & letter.
Now they’re fired up to write
They’re researching myriad books
Third graders think you’re awesome—
What you say and how your glasses look.
Thank you for Skyping today with us,
And although our school is small
We have a big desire to learn
And your wisdom gave us the call.

Read more about our visit in this article in the Sterling Journal Advocate

Author: Toni Buzzeo
Barbara Techel2/11/10 Frankie (walk n roll dog) and I had a FANTASTIC visit with Bicentennial School in Eastern Canada with kindergarten and first grade this past Wednesday. A friend of the teacher's was in the room and had this to share: Enjoyed an inspiring Skype presentation with Barbara & Frankie today! Cute kids + an incredible dachshund? LOVE.When asked what a therapy dog is, a little boy in the first grade said, "A therapy dog makes people happy when they are sad." Could not have said it better myself! Perfect. The kids loved the visit so much that each and every one of them had a question at the end. Then they all waived, yelling loudly and so sweetly, "Bye Frankie! Thank you!" Priceless. The impact Skype can have for all authors to share with children their inspiring messages, I think, is incredible. www.joyfulpaws.com
Katia2/10/10 I recently visited a school in Dubai, sitting in my office in South India ! 1588 miles, and 1 hour and half of time difference... The visit went smoothly, with no technical glitches, and the children, the teachers and I had a great time talking to each other. Afterwards, the teachers asked the children to write about the experience (these were 4th and 5th graders.) Here are a couple of responses I received

"Thanks for your time and information during our skype interview! It was very interesting and I learned a lot about an authors' work. I hope I will be able to write a book myself in the future."

"I really enjoyed the Skype interview!! It was very cool the way we got to see the original illustrations for Amadi's snowman. I really enjoyed the way you told us how it started and why you wrote it. I had a great time listening to all the interesting questions and all your answers." Click to Read More:
SSlade2/9/10 I've had a blast visiting classrooms around the country (from my dining room office) the past few months. In November I talked with students from my home grade school in Indiana. I was honored to be the first author visit for a Texas school in December. Next month I'm scheduled to read my latest picture book for a school in Illinois, and then in March I'm talking to schools in Florida and Ohio on the same day (with no jet lag!) It doesn't get any easier than this! Suzanne Slade begin_of_the_skype_highlightingend_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlightingend_of_the_skype_highlighting is the author of 70 children's books.
www.suzanneslade.com

Mike Artell12/18/09 Just a quick note to let you know that I recently did some Skype visits with a school in North Carolina and it went very well. I read some of my books, answered questions and then used the Whiteboard Meeting tool in Skype to give the kids step-by-step drawing instructions. They drew along and it went very well. If you are interested in using the WhiteBoard, just log into Skype, go to the "Tools" menu, scroll down to "Extras" and there you'll find the free WhiteBoard Meeting" tool.
Barbara Mahler12/11/09 Dec. 4th Skype visit with 42 sixth grade students from Coswell School in Rochester, NY. This was so much fun. The students had completed the fifth chapter of my recently released fantasy novel, 'The Hole in the Skye' and they prepared some questions in advance of my visit. After a tech rehearsal we went 'live' and it took the students a moment to realize we could actually interact with one another. They had interesting and thoughtful questions and I read a "cliff hanger" from my book. They gave me some great feedback afterwards. Here are some of their thoughts: "I like skyping, my favorite part is when the author reads from the book;" " I think one thing that should be done is have kids read their favorite parts out of the book;" "It's great to see the author and get to know their thoughts;" "I love skyping because it's live and you can actually talk to the author;" "I like that if you don't understand a part of the book, you can ask;" "I like skyping, especially with the author of; The Hole in the Sky." I am very much looking forward to another opportunity like this one.
Suzanne Williams12-4-09 I had a fun visit on Wednesday with a group of fifth graders and their kindergarten reading buddies clear across the country from me at JFK Elementary in West Babylon, New York. The students had read several of my books and prepared questions in advance. The school had a bit of trouble getting their webcam to work at first, but we were up and running in no time. I enjoyed being able to see the whole group as individual students stood to ask their questions. I also shared a poem I'd written when I was in fifth grade, and the first couple pages of the first book in a new series called "Goddess Girls" (to be published by Simon & Schuster with co-author Joan Holub in April). Afterward the teacher who set up the visit emailed me the following: "I just wanted to write a quick note to thank you for yesterday's Skype session. The children really got a lot out of the discussion with you. The whole school was buzzing about the experience." Music to my ears!

Marsha Arnold12/03/09 Last week, I visited Nebraska and North Carolina, all in the same morning! All done through the magic of Skype and the brilliant sharing of skypeanauthor.wikifoundry.com. The Nebraska third graders helped me read ROAR OF A SNORE and the North Carolina fourth graders had lots of great questions about THE PUMPKIN RUNNER, which is one of the stories in their fourth grade reader. I love traveling around the word with Skype. Thanks to Skype An Author Network for connecting authors and educators.

Virtual Author Visits in Your Library or Classroom - Skype An Author Network11/20/09 I had a wonderful visit last week to the Margetts School in New York.
The teachers (Judith Norelli and Lori Narlinger) were very well prepared and organized: the kids were familiar with my books, "Uh-oh, Cleo" and "Underpants On My Head." The children were thoughtful, well-behaved, and adorable, as they approached the camera one at a time with their questions. The teachers were very appreciative of my time. Overall, a perfect visit!
Allan Stratton11/9/09 - I was delighted when Buffy Hamilton asked me to do a SKYPE Author Visit about "Chanda's Secrets" and "Chanda's Wars". As a former actor and teacher, I love public readings and question and answer sessions. Unfortunately, travel costs too often make such presentations prohibitively expensive. So when Buffy told me about this website, and how I could use SKYPE to talk with her students in Georgia, I signed up right away. How terrific to be able to connect in a virtual face-to-face with students, book clubs, and readers no matter where they live!
SSlade9/11/09 - I had two great Skype author visits today--and they were both outstanding! No technical glitches--only smooth video and good sound. My dog, Corduroy, even stopped by to say hello to one kindergarten class! On the other end, the superintendent, principal, and head of elementary schools attended one of my sessions to see this new technology at work. It was so much easier than a traditional visit, and I felt like I connected with the children. An administrator from the school called later to report the children were really engaged. The media specialist emailed and asked me to "come back" and visit more classes this year. I so appreciate having Skype an Author Network to help guide and support me with this great new resource for authors!







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