School Visits: What You Didn’t Know You’d Be Asked

schoolvisitNotes for Writers Visiting Elementary Schools:


If anyone under the age of seven introduces you, be prepared for the school to learn surprising things about you.

Niece: “This is Kelly. She’s a vegetarian. She lives in Seattle.”

Teacher-Librarian (stage whisper): “She wrote a book!”

school_visitPertinent information:

Student: “How many pages is your book?”

Me: “Uh…” *grabs book and checks*

On revision:

Me: “How many drafts do you think this book took?”
Student: “A million!”
Me: “Lower number”
Student: “A hundred!”
Me: “No” (thinking to self: thank goodness!!)
Student: “Ten!”
Me: “Yes!”

On how long it takes:

Student: “How old are you?”
Me: “39”
Student: “Whoa. This is your first book??”

On whether your book is available:

Student: “Do they only have popular books in libraries?”
Me: “Uh, I think my book is popular enough. Ask your librarian!”

Things kids know:

Me: “Does anyone know what telekinesis is?”
Students: *all hands shoot up”


Student, *looking at the photo of me in my slideshow*: “Did you get a haircut since then?”

On how to make a book:

Student: “How did you make a book?”
Me: *explanation of writing*
Student: “No, how do the pages stick together?”
Me: “Ah. Bookbinding. Ask your librarian for more information.”

Rural School Questions:

Student: “I have a pregnant cow. Do you?”
Me: “No, but my agent used to.”
*explanation of agents.*

Still not really sure:

Student: “Do you like bacon?”
Me: “I’m a vegetarian.”
Student: “Oh.”

Note: I love school visits! I am fascinated by students’ questions, and delighted to talk about writing with them. Thanks, Liberty Bay Books, for arranging the visits that prompted this post! 

Interested in a presentation for your school or library? See here!

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