I do many school visits each year, as well as speaking at conferences and libraries. A day-long school visit consists of up to three 50-minute large group presentations or smaller writing workshops and book signings. I prefer to stay within a three hour drive from northwest NJ, but if it’s a few days in a row of schools I’m open to talking about it.
If you are a teacher, school media specialist, or librarian, please email me directly at [email protected], preferably between 8 months and a year of when you’d like to schedule a visit (although do check in if it’s last minute, I’ve found that can work well if the timing’s right). Please note, I don’t list my school visits since they are not open to the public, but feel free to ask if there are any coming up in your area if you’d like to add onto one, or come watch a presentation.
Find some tips on planning a successful school visit here.
I’ve also begun to offer Skype “virtual visits,” which may be a more budget-friendly alternative. These run 30 minutes and are fairly easy to schedule at shorter notice. I have recently begun offering to sign books from my local independent bookstore who would ship them to your school with free shipping following the Skype. So if you’re interested in that, just let me know and we will arrange it.
Comments on My School Visits
“We all had a wonderful time yesterday. You connected with students and teachers alike, making the kids relaxed and secure. I loved seeing how many boys, in every session, wanted to ask you questions. The teachers feel you were the best author we have had. Thanks for finding the time to visit with us and I hope we can do this again in a few years.
—Virginia Connolly, Librarian, Chatham Middle School, Chatham, NJ
“When you visited my school I was in “in class support” English class, which is basically like a special education class mixed with an average English class. Your book, A Mango Shaped Space, was the first book I have EVER, believe it or not, read the whole thing of. I am now in High School, in an Honor’s class, a long jump from where I was before, and have a B+ average. You just inspired me so much that I started writing. It has been a big part of my life since, and when people ask who my writing role model is I’d always start off by saying, “Well last year we had a author named Wendy Mass…”
—Student, Morris County, NJ
“As teachers and students, we love books. We not only read them, but we get lost in the stories. We love meeting the author through the pages of a book. We bring their characters into our hearts as friends, and into our homes as cherished guests. Every once in a while, an author creates a book that sweeps through a school and a community, carrying all of us into their story. It becomes a cherished experience, a journey of the world around us, and within us, that brings us closer together. This story reminds us why we love reading, and of the precious nature of life. For us, that book was Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life.
Such a rare book can only come from an equally gifted author. As teachers and students, we can tell you that Wendy Mass accomplished a rare feat with her visit. She was even better in person than we could have hoped for or imagined. Her passion for writing was equaled by her down-to-earth nature as she brought us inside the creative process of penning stories.
To put a spin on what Jeremy’s dad told him: “Life is short. Read (a Wendy Mass book!) first.”
—Mr. Armamentos, Teacher, Frank C. Whiteley School, Hoffman Estates, IL.
Comments on Skype Visits
“Thank you, thank you, thank you! Our kids absolutely loved you and our teachers were so excited about it, they want to Skype with authors all of the time now. Thanks so much for talking to our kids; even though only one student could tell you, many consider you their favorite author. This was very special for them and for all of us teachers. The kids were definitely feeling a connection to you and your story. The roll of rejection letters was great, and a great lesson to our kids that hard times can happen, but perseverance is the answer to getting through them. Thanks so much for a great visit and making a difference in their lives!”
—Ann Cullinane, LMC Director, Fischer Middle School
“In April, 2010, Wendy Mass visited with Portland Public Schools library staff via Skype to introduce us to the world of authors and illustrators available for school visits on the Net. It’s time for school libraries to make full use of the technology that is carrying schools into the 21st century!
Ms. Mass was completely charming, engaging, scintillating, and helpful. She read from her new work, and answered our questions frankly and sincerely. We were as spellbound as we would have been had she visitedus in person, and it cost much less! We encountered no technical difficulties and were more than satisfied. I highly recommend you beam Wendy in today!”
—Betsy Tighe, Teacher, Librarian, Portland, OR
Some great projects based on FINALLY from a school in Massachusetts!
Gotta love dioramas! The one below from Ross Kaufman in NJ shows Jeremy and Lizzy’s rooms from Jeremy Fink & The Meaning of Life. Love the candy touches!