Author Visits & Speaking

EVENTS BRING BOOKS TO LIFE

Let’s Do This!

Hearing from authors is more about just talking about books—although that’s fun! Here are some benefits of author events:

• better writing skills
• inspired attendees
• building confidence.

Scroll down for my presentations, rates and resources.

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Presentations for Children

I love to talk about writing almost as much as writing itself. I’ve got lots of presentations I’ve prepared, but I’m always happy to tailor a session to your students’ or event’s needs. Here are some examples…

MAKE YOUR OWN COURAGE: OR HOW DREAMS COME TRUE

This twist on the author’s journey shows your students how the fantasy story in THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST parallels my own life. I was a shy child who moved around a lot, never felt like I fit in, and plagued by self doubt, but I used stories to make my own courage, just like the Boy in my book. Students also see the real-life inspirations for parts of my book and how they can use stories to banish the bullies in their head and their dreams come true.

WORD GAMES: FUN WITH FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE

Some of my favorite parts of writing comes from playing with words and figurative language, using sounds to speed up action and poetic phrases to deliver emotion. In this workshop, I’ll show your students my favorite figurative language techniques and how they can use them in stories to make their friends laugh, cry or scream in terror. Bwah ha ha ha ha! 🙂 Start your students with these Creative Writing Exercises.

HOW STORIES ARE TOLD: FROM CAMPFIRES TO NEWSPAPERS TO BOOKS TO MOVIES

People have been telling stories since we lived in caves. As a former journalist, I’ve worked and studied writing for newspapers, magazines, the screen and — my favorite — books. In this workshop, your students will learn the  parts of a story (character, conflict, situation, conclusion, etc.), come up with those parts for their own joint story, then see how that story would be told in different ways, like in a conversation between friends, in a newspaper article, in a magazine, in a book, in a stage play, in a movie, and even in a videogame.

WHOSE STORY IS IT? CREATING A WORLD OF CHARACTERS

In this workshop, I’ll teach your students techniques to create characters that will draw in readers, whether they’re the protagonist, the antagonist, or secondary characters. We’ll also look at point of view, and how it teaches us about our characters and helps us tell our stories in the most compelling ways. By the end of the workshop, we’ll have created a world full of characters with flaws, likes, dislikes, challenges, and strengths that readers will love to care about.

IN THE BEGINNING, MIDDLE & END: HOW STORIES HAVE STRUCTURE

Stories start out as fun, shiny ideas, but writers often get stuck in the middle. How do they get from the fun beginning to the thrilling climax? In this workshop, I’ll show your students that the middles of stories don’t have to be scary. We’ll look at character and story arcs in some well known stories, and jointly create our own, including a middle that will excite any reader.

FROM IDEA TO BOOK: THE PROCESS OF PUBLICATION

Writing a manuscript is just the beginning of the publication process. After a story has been sold to an editor, there are many, MANY, steps before it’ll become a book on shelves. In this presentation, I’ll go through those steps, including copy edits, first pass pages, bound copies, ARCs and more. Students will be able to see first hand examples from THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST.

I also do FREE 20-minute virtual Q&As with classrooms and book clubs that have read my book. Contact me to schedule one.

Plus I’m part of the Spooky Middle Grade group, which does FREE 20-minute Skype Q&As with multiple authors.

Do you use StorySeer? You can book me through there too.

If you’re at a school in Austin, Texas, you can get a FREE school visit with me through the Writers League of Texas Project WISE.

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Presentations for Adults

From webinars, to workshops, to keynotes, I can teach and inspire writers at all levels. Here are some suggested presentations, but I’m also happy to talk about plot and structure, finding the heart of your story, marketing and cracking conference proposals, and any other topic you’d like.

YOUR WORDS, YOUR VOICE: HOW LANGUAGE BUILDS CHARACTER AND STORY TO BREATHE LIFE INTO YOUR BOOK

Voice is something of an enigma in writing. Agents and editors say they want “fresh voices”, but also say “they know it when they see it”. Teachers talk about the “author’s voice” but also staying true to the “character’s voice”.

 Where does voice come in when you’re writing in third person, second or first? And can your voice be recognizable throughout a career if your books are very different?

In this workshop, you’ll…
· Explore voice in all its forms,
· Understand how voice works with story and character,
· Look at how voice is affected by a story’s POV,
· Learn how to create your own voice as an author,
· And harness the power of language to propel not only your author’s voice, but also your characters, your pacing, and your entire book into the hearts of readers.

THROW MORE STONES: HOW TO BUILD CHARACTER THROUGH CONFLICT

No matter whether you’re writing a character-driven or plot-driven story, comedy, drama or tragedy, it’s the characters that readers follow. And to keep those characters moving and growing, you need conflict.

Conflict can be big or small, come from outside or inside, but it must be challenging. When story gurus tell students to chase their characters up a tree then throw stones at them, they’re talking about conflict. Conflict not only drives stories forward, it helps readers learn who the characters are by the decisions and actions they make. Conflict makes the story go round!

In this class, you’ll learn…
· About developing well-rounded, fully realized characters,
· The importance of conflict ,
· The types of conflict ,
· And how to use it to make your stories better.

What People Say About My Presentations…

Samantha’s presentation “made our students feel empowered. … That anyone can accomplish great things.”

Lisa Henson, Librarian

Anderson Mill Elementary,
Austin, TX

“This was possibly the best guest presentation we’ve ever had.”

Cathy Lewis, Librarian

Long-View Micro School,
Austin, TX

“Samantha Clark is a great instructor, very enthusiastic and organized. I liked that she made the class interactive with short exercises. Very helpful!”

Workshop attendee

The Writing Barn, Austin, TX

Samantha’s presentation “helped students connect books and stories to real people. They were able to see how life experience can be used to make an impact as a writer and turn negatives experiences into a positive outcome. … Sharing the writing journey including having ideas, the endless revisions and multiple submissions and rejections finally ending in success was inspiring to the teachers and students.”

Amy Colicher, Librarian

Ada Mae Faubion Elementary,
Cedar Park, TX

“Samantha Clark was delightful and engaging to Skype with. My students interacted with her by asking questions about THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST and learned about what it’s like to be a writer. Samantha’s responses to our questions were interesting and informative. It was such a fun way to celebrate books and learning!”

Dawn Giordano & PVC’s Mock Newbery Crew, Teacher of 6th Grade ELA

Pierre Van Cortlandt Middle School,
Croton on Hudson, NY

“After [Samantha’s] presentation, our lesson centered around teaching the learners that writers think and rethink the structure of their writing to make it the best it can be. To do this they study the work of mentor authors for possibilities. Our learners certainly soaked up all Samantha said as they each went off to write and determine a structure to let their own writing grow into.”

Rebecca Andersson, Literacy teacher

Long-View Micro School,
Austin, TX

Author Visit Rates

Below are my base speaking rates for schools and libraries.

Local (within 50 miles of 78613)

SINGLE SESSION

$250

  • Single in-person session
  • Upto 1 hour presentation
  • Book signing
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FULL-DAY

$750

  • Upto 4 1-hour sessions
  • Lunch with students & librarian
  • Book signing
Get Started

Out of Town (50 miles or more outside of 78613) and Virtual Visits

Rates are for presentations only. For out-of-town rates, also budget for travel expenses. I give discounts for multi-day bookings, so partner with other schools and libraries in your area to get lower rates. Virtual sessions can be done through Skype, Google Hangout or other services.

half-day

$600

  • Upto 2 1-hour presentations
  • Lunch with students & librarian
  • Book signing
Get Started

virtual

$150

  • Single session
  • Up to 1-hour presentation
  • Discount for multiple bookings
Get Started

Tips & Resources

We all want the best experience for your students. Here are some ways we can achieve that…

1

How can I prepare?

Making an author visit go smoothly takes a lot of planning. After your booking, I’ll be in touch to work out the details, but there are other ways you and your school administrators can prepare. 

GET AUTHOR VISIT TIPS

2

How can I get students excited?

Whether I’ll be talking about my book or teaching about writing, your students will be more excited and engaged if they know about me and my work. I’ve got fun downloadables you can do together.

GET FUN DOWNLOADABLES

3

How can I raise funds?

Authors would love to present at schools and events for free, but the time away from our families and writing is precious. If your budget is tight, there are lots of ways you can raise funds—and excitement.

GET FUNDRAISING IDEAS

Want to Win Books and School Visits?

Then you want to get my enewsletter! Almost every one has a giveaway of some kind, whether a school visit, a discount, books or more.

YES, I DO!