Monday, October 27, 2014

School Visit Raffle

If you work or send your kid to a school (other than the one I go to every day ;) please pass on this info about the raffle for a school visit from me! I can't wait to visit an Orlando area school to talk about writing YA!

Here's the link, and some more info below.

School Visit Raffle-J.J. Howard

J.J.Howard -School Visits


Presentations can be tailored to fit the needs of the school, but here are some samples of J.J. Howard’s programs:

The “Who Am I” program - J.J. talks about her background, how she came to be both a teacher and a writer, how she manages to structure both careers, what in her teacher’s life lends itself to writing, and what her literary influences are. She also discusses her inner world: how she develops ideas, where her imagination takes her and how she decides which imaginings she would like to explore in her books.  

Exploring different types of writing/different types of books - She explores different kinds of writing: fiction, including various genres such as SF, mystery, and dystopian, as well as non-fiction writing. She discusses differences between short stories and novels as well as differences in formats (novels and graphic novels, books and e-books). She may even talk about the differences between poetry, short stories and full length books. These topics can just be touched upon in a 45 to 60 minute program or broken down into several different programs, depending on the needs of the school.

Common Core - As a teacher, J.J. can connect to specific Common Core benchmarks or exemplars upon request. In addition to being an ELA person, her master's is in Humanities, and she teaches a Humanities elective which focuses on Art History, Music, and Theater. She also teaches Media Studies, with units on Journalism, Documentary Film, Film History and Film Studies, Television History, and special effects. Also, she teaches AP Literature and Composition (a fiction course) and AP Language and Composition (nonfiction).

Programs for Adults - She is available to speak to adult groups of teachers, librarians, parents or really any type of audience. She can speak on any subject mentioned above and below or any topic of your choice.

Writing Workshops – J.J. teaches English and writing, and has taught from grades 6-12 and run summer classes for younger kids, so is very comfortable teaching writing.

Mini-writing workshops or full length writing workshops (45-60 minutes) may include:

Voice Lessons - Imagine wearing a blindfold. Could you still recognize your friends’ voices the moment they walked into the room? How about if their voice was disguised? You would probably know instantly when your best friend walked in: her voice is so well known to you. Maybe she always makes a sarcastic comment. Or maybe she punctuates every comment with a giggle. When we write, our voice should be just as distinct as when we speak, but because we use different tools (and much less giggling) sometimes it’s a bit more challenging to develop a distinctive writing voice. But with some tips and tricks, everyone can develop their own unique writing voice – one that’s easy for everyone to recognize!

Word Funeral - “Her heart was beating so fast it seemed that it might jump out of her chest!” Some phrases are just plain tired, and need to be put to rest. We’ll explore some of these old, worn-out words and phrases and explore some new, fresh ways to paint a picture with our words.  We’ll select the words and phrases that need to be put to rest, and work in groups in a challenge to find new ways to tell our stories.

All Talk - Do you love to write dialogue? Or do you try to find ways to skip over the talking parts? Whether you love or loathe the process, putting words into your characters’ mouths is one of the most important skills in writing. We’ll explore how people really talk, as well as working on speech tags, dialect, and interior monologues.


She is also available for Skype or Facetime chats. She would give a short talk (10 to 15 minutes) and the rest of the 45 to 50 minutes would be Q&A. It would be most helpful if schools could have the students prepare questions in advance of the chat.

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