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January 10, 2013


Ken Baker

Shannon, great post! Everything you've said is spot on and appreciated.


I had no idea authors were paid for school visits or that you could do SO MANY. That's incredible. Great post!

Tyler Whitesides

To a T, Shannon! This was an awesome post. Love what you had to say.


I have a question: what do you say when you go and do school visits, and how do you prepare for it?


Awesome, Shannon! Great information -- you totally nailed it.


That makes a lot of sense.


I'm with hwalk--I'd love to know more about what you talk about. Do you have a presentation? Is it more focused on Q&A, or is there a set plot of things you talk about?

And also: THANK YOU! Love this post!

Ashley R.

So, just to clarify, the schools pay for it right?
This was so interesting to hear the inside story of school visits. Thank you!


This was really cool, I was kind of wondering how it all worked. I didn't know you could get paid? What exactly do you do when you go to these schools? I mean, I know you talk about your book and reading and maybe even Writting, but the schools I've been too never really had one if these meetings, except one really small one, but it was such a long time ago, I can't even remember it. Also, what age group do you teach?

Pamela Klinger-Horn

I have had over 20 authors visit the school book club program that I facilitate. As a small parochial school, there is no additional money to pay an author for their time. We do, however, always do a pre-sale of the authors current title and their entire back list. The book club students have read the novel and prepared some questions for the author's 1 hour visit. We also give the author a "thank you" gift, and I try to promote their work on social media. If you are ever in the Twin Cities area, I would love to host you at our book club. I have thoroughly enjoyed both your children's and adult novels. I think there is a lot of merit to doing school visits even if it is without pay. It is an incredible memory for these young readers.

Christine M.

Great post, Shannon.

I'm with beth and hwalk, How do you prepare? What do you say? What do you bring with you? What was your first school assembly like?


I went to a school assembly of yours when I was in Junior High. And I absolutely loved it. I don't know if it was paid or not, but no one in my school knew about it, unless they were in "special" English classes. My friend was going and when I heard about it, I begged my English teacher to give me permission to go. It completely changed my life and ever since, I've known exactly what I wanted my career to be. :) And I already loved your books, so I was thrilled when you talked about your writing process.


How can homeschoolers get involved in stuff like this? It's AWESOME!


This is excellent advice, and I think most of it could be applied to any speaker or presentation visiting a school. I work as a teaching assistant at a school that seems to have frequent assemblies. However, I rarely see any kind of preparation for the students beforehand. The teachers often complain that the assemblies interrupt their plans for the day. I'm always wishing we could have built lessons around the assembly. grrr.

I'm in a teaching licensure program and I'm going to share this post with my classmates.

As a few others have asked, I'd like to know what you do at your assemblies/classroom visits. I think it would be great to have an author come and share how the writing process works for them...and how many drafts/revisions/edits they go through.

Amber Argyle

I've been building my resume by doing free visits (as long as they sell the books), but I'm to the point where I feel I can start charging. Problem is, how much?

Also, I struggled with mentioning my books as well, but I'm getting better!


Have you ever asked to do a visit, or has it always started with the school or the publisher?


This post was amazing, as always! I didn't know that authors were paid to do school visits either. It just makes it even sadder when teachers forget that you or any one else is coming, especially when it's free! I hope you've had better experiences since then. Thanks again for the post!


Hi again! It turns out that my website address for the above post was copied wrong. I have fixed it on this comment. Great post again, Mrs. Hale! I just can't get enough of your books or your blog! Your advice is amazing!


Shannon is right on; the best events are when everyone (school, bookstore, and author) is well prepared. Schools do not always understand how fortunate they are when a bookstore (or in this case an author) offers to bring an author to their school. Our community is lucky to have such an eloquent and talented author as Shannon Hale!

Pierce Minor

This was extremely insightful. I have my first school visit (as an author) next week in Los Angeles, and I'm both nervous and excited. But hearing your experience has put me at ease. Thanks Shannon!

Pierce Minor


Shannon, I have heard you speak many times and I have never laughed so hard! I would never miss one of your author visits. You are intelligent, witty, hilarious, and kind. Thanks!

Hannah B

This is so true. I loved the assemblies we had when I was in elementary school. They were exciting, you were meeting someone famous! The best assembly, in truth, was the one we had with Mike Knudsen, where all the teachers had read to their classes Raymond and Graham books. My fifth grade class just laughed and laughed at those books and I was so excited that I bought his books and got them signed so my siblings and friends could read them too. If I could have one wish, it would be to have authors come to high schools too. Not sure how many of my PEERS would enjoy that, but honestly, if you came to my high school I would be counting down the days!!

Julie Sondra Decker

This is pretty great! I've heard some authors do "visits" through Skype and whatnot too, which is incredibly special to the kids AND doesn't require the author to leave her cozy home. :)

Vanessa M.

Nine years ago a certain author that I had never heard of - I think her name was Shannon Hale - came to my school to talk about her book, The Goose Girl. She was funny and incouraging, had a huge chain of rejection letters that convinced a little second grader that if you keep trying, you can succeed. That day I decided I wanted to be an author, and that day I never looked back. Thank you so much for being the inspiration that I needed for nine years.

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Cindy Hale

Fantastic post! I knew pretty much NOTHING about author school visits before reading this, and now I'm excited to learn more!

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