Tips for making your Author Day a success:

2 MONTHS AHEAD:
Prepare an event schedule. Discuss it with the author and school staff.  Schedule presentations for consecutive grades (K-2, 3-5, etc.). Allow time for a break between presentations, and for an Autograph Party. Provide written confirmation on all details discussed. Include a map with directions to your school and parking information.

Recruit students and PTA volunteers. You will need: 1) an Author’s Day Coordinator and committee 2) a Media Liaison to publicize the event.

Order advance copies of books for teachers and the library.

1 MONTH AHEAD:
Media Liaison announces the author’s visit and availability of books for autographing in the school newspaper, PTA Bulletin, and other publications read by students, teachers, and parents.

Complete, copy, and send home an Order Form for Autographed Books with each student.

Plan a time for signing Autographs.

Copy and distribute author information to teachers to share with their classes. Students should read at least one of the author’s books prior to the visit.

2 WEEKS AHEAD:
Collect and count book order forms. Order books online.

1 WEEK AHEAD: 
Announce the author event over your school’s public announcement system. Send students home with a written reminder.

Test all equipment requested by the author (projector, screen, microphone). Make sure that the room can be adequately darkened if slides will be used. Have a back-up projector and bulb.

1 DAY AHEAD:
If your school has a marquee, use it to welcome your author.

Remind students about the author’s visit and last minute book orders.

AUTHOR DAY:
Set-up and retest all equipment.

Reserve a parking place for your author for convenient unloading of equipment.

Greet your author one-half hour prior to the first presentation. Introduce the principal and librarian to your author. Students receive an important message when the principal and administrators attend the presentation.

  • Grading papers during the presentation is distracting to your author. Please respect the author’s efforts to create a memorable event for your students and staff.
  • Authors enjoy hearing from students. Encourage authentic writing experiences. Have students express their reactions through letters to the author.

Have fun!

FOLLOW-UP:
Write a thank you note on school letterhead to the author. Be specific about what worked. Include news clippings, photos, student letters, and artwork.

Confirm that your author received payment.

Payment is due on the day of the event. If another arrangement is necessary, discuss it with your author in advance.

HOW CAN STUDENTS BE INVOLVED?

  • Read the author’s book(s) in advance
  • Contribute to the planning
  • Help decorate to welcome the author
  • Prepare questions for the author
  • Write letters following the author’s visit

 

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