Storymaking Grades K-1
Who knew learning about story structure could be so much fun? The Magic Threes, Story Song, and Deb’s Story Recipe inspire kids to think as writers and use traits of good readers.
You’re a Writer! Grades 2-3
From their own ideas and characters to creating stories together, young writers begin to understand the messy choices an author makes. A better understanding of the writing process means more mortivated writers!
Be a Troublemaker! Grades 4-8
You have to be a troublemaker to write stories. Writers create characters—then get them in trouble! Tips and techniques like Quieting the Critic and Taking the Writers Oath will keep your troublemakers making the right kind of trouble!
Got an idea? Work with Deb to design a tailor-made experience for your students.
Short on funding or want to extend your reach? Take these options online!
What do students say?
“That inner critic kept saying, ‘That’s no good! Scrap that!’ But I heard your presentation and I told that critic no, and moved on! I will always keep writing now that you have shown me ways to improve!” Sixth grader
“I loved how you included Miss Midge, someone or a voice in your head, which is something i can relate to. I have no specific name for him/her, but they are in my head. It drives me crazy with your story on how you over came that and gave me motivation to do something about that.” Fifth grader
“Thx for helping a lot of my class mates to be brave, also thank you for me wanting to be an author!” Third grader
“To: the person who inspired my class. From: the person who is inspired. Thank you!” Third grader
“Thank you for filling me and my friends brains with great ideas. I wrote this letter for coming here.” Second grader
“I wish you could live with me.” First grader
Choose Young Authors’ events, week-long, ongoing, and tailor-made residencies, online or hybrid writing workshops, or design an experience that best fits your needs. All writers—from the most reluctant to the most gifted—deserve increased inspiration, confidence and enjoyment in writing!
What do students say?
“Thank you for teaching us! My favorite thing with you was when we could make our stories. That was awesome! You were the best person who could have explained that. Also, I liked how you told us about Miss Midge and how you said it with your voice. Then when you said authors edit their rough draft I was shocked! I enjoyed learning with you. I hope I can see you next year. Third grader
“Thank you for coming to teach us about writing. I feel so improved! My favorite part was writing as fast as I could and not stop to think ‘Is this good enough?’ I wish you could stay longer to teach us more. I love writing a lot now! Now I know that I am a writer too!” Fourth grader
“Thank you for encouraging us to write. The best part was doing the writing map. I wished you could come here more often. Your a great author. I loved learning with you. Please come next year. I would like to learn more about writing. I also enjoyed talking aloud the funny stories we made up. I can’t wait to do this again next year!” Fourth grader
“It was really cool how you can just get very into writing your story with your starter cards. I liked the emotion acting, and the story interruption game was also fun. I liked making up our characters. I have become a more creative writer. The activities were really awesome!” Fifth grader
What do teachers say?
Deb Lund is a creative writer and speaker who brings her storytelling gifts into the classroom. She has kids on their feet, acting out parts, making up stories, and having a fun time, all in preparation for writing activities. I appreciate the way she understands both the teachers’ and the students’ needs. Deb is easy to work with and is willing to interact with a variety of age groups. Merry T., Librarian
Wow! As I arrived back today and visited with students, they all could not stop talking about all the fun writing they got to do during their annual residency with you. From kindergarten to fifth grade, they went on and on about the comics, stories, and fun they had! We look forward to having you back… Thanks so much for a memorable week. Melissa L., Librarian
Want to reach more students? Try an online residency and reach a whole grade level at the same time!
Each of the presentations above can be shared online, including PowerPoint and live author interaction. Other presentation options include single class or whole school events, teacher workshops, or ongoing writing and writing workshop support for teachers, schools, or districts.
Invite Deb into your classroom for writing workshops! Watch your students get inspired and motivated to write. Receive all materials, strategies, and follow-up opportunities as if she were there in person.
Have you ever wanted to let someone else do the teaching? Have you wished you could have the time and space to write for yourself? Invite Deb to your private group or staff meeting and let's write!
Co-create a program with Deb with your own theme, school-wide focus, and plan. This could include presentations, classroom residencies, teacher training, or on-going classroom writing workshops or teacher support.
Check out Deb's continuing education courses for clock hours or credits at The Heritage Institute..
Just as I always leave room for questions and answers in all my interactions with students and teachers, I want to give you the same opportunity here. Got a question? Don't hesitate to ask!
ONE DAY IN-PERSON VISITS with three presentations and “teacher time” to discuss writing with students (usually during lunch) is $1400. One or two additional presentations can be added for $200 each. Please contact Deb for other options.
A half-day with two presentations is $950 or $800 each when the day is shared with a nearby school.
A single presentation is $600.
For multiple-day writing residencies, it's best to begin with a day of large group presentations. On additional days, allow up to five classroom sessions each day at $1400 per day, with discounts for return visits. Some schools choose a week or two while others plan for once-a-month ongoing visits or other schedules that best fit their needs.
Event fees, such as literacy nights or student celebrations vary but are generally $800 to $1600.
ONLINE LIVE VISITS are an excellent way to save money and reach more students. A single classroom visit is $175 for up to 40 minutes, and $275 for multiple classrooms at the same grade level in the same school. That's a huge savings, and you get me larger than life! Contact Deb for whole-school, event, or multiple-session rates.
Passion is contagious. Let me help. Got an idea? Let’s talk!
by Deb Lund
There is nothing quite like school author visits to get kids reading, writing, and understanding the creative process. It’s not magic. It’s not talent. It’s not even the books the author has written that make these visits so successful. It’s because meeting authors makes the writing process, books, and the authors themselves accessible and real to students. Here is what school author visits can do:
When students learn the “inside stories” and ideas behind books, they can’t help but be drawn to them. Students identify with the struggles and joys of the writing and publication process because they hear about it directly from the author. Authors become real to students, opening up relationships with the books they read. Because they have a new understanding of what goes on while an author writes, students can start recognizing the choices made by authors of the books they read, which helps them develop the ability to make predictions, inferences, and associations, and other traits of good readers.
When authors visit classrooms with their favorite tips and tricks for teaching writing, students are eager to give writing a try. Hearing from published writers about their real-‐life process, from ideas to publication, often gets kids cranking out manuscripts long after the author visit is over. The cost of an author visit per child is low, especially when it has the potential to affect students’ future success. If I had met an author as a child, I would have been on this path decades earlier.
Authors are ordinary people. We’re often put on pedestals, as if a magic genie granted us the author wish. We often spend time alone writing, wait in post office lines, and do our household chores like everyone else. Authors become authors by being persistent. Talent just means that something comes easy for someone, but writing is rarely easy. It never comes out the way you plan. You hit walls and want to quit. Every new story makes you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing.
That’s all part of the creative process, and an author can tell kids how it is.
Encourage Risk Taking
When students write specific assignments in school, their audience is the teacher. They do what they need to do for the grade and shy away from anything extra that might not please their teacher. There are exceptions to this, of course, but exposure to authors who communicate their processes and who offer support for classroom writing through their ideas, philosophies, and materials, students may learn to take risks and discover their unique voices.
A school author visit has the potential for jumpstarting not only writing projects, but for following any dream. I’ve heard from students and teachers who pursued passions they had resisted because of something I said during school author visits.
After talking about my inner critic, a teacher came to me in tears saying she figured out why she hadn’t let herself paint and couldn’t wait to pull out her watercolors.
There is power in hearing about someone else’s path.
Teachers often tell me how they’ve said something over and over to their students, but it doesn’t sink in until they hear it from me during a school author visit.
Teachers become like family to kids. The students use selective listening, or what is said goes through a filter they’ve developed. But, when heard with new ears from an author they admire, the information becomes real. As a past teacher, I’m thrilled to validate classroom teachers.
I’ve made wonderful friends during school author visits. Teachers and students email me. They find me on Facebook, Twitter, and other online sources. Kids grow up and continue to share their writing, artwork, and personal news with me. Some teachers have become creativity-‐coaching clients, and others have consulted with me about writing workshops or signed up for continuing education classes from me. But greater than this community that enriches my life are the relationships kids form through their writing. Students have organized writing clubs, critique groups, or found writing partners. They find their tribe through passion, and passion is contagious.
Isn’t this what we want for all students?