Cynthia Cotten, Virginia Childrens Author, fiction and poetry

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I love getting together with kids and talking about books and writing. My current fees are:

* Full Day, local (within a 30-mile radius): $600.
* Full day, non-local: $900, plus travel expenses.
* Single library or evening program (60-90 minutes) locally
or in conjunction with other school and library visits: $300.

A full day includes up to four presentations, the size of each group to be determined by the school. Combined classes are great, but it's easier for me (and the kids) if the presentation can be done in a library or multipurpose room setting, where I can have eye contact with them and not feel far away from them. (I've spoken to anywhere from 60 to 200 students in such a setting.) I prefer the younger kids (K-2) be in a separate group so that I can gear my presentation to their level of understanding and attention span. Sessions for the younger students would be approximately 30 minutes, including time for questions, and for the older ones, 45-60 minutes, including time for questions.

Possible presentations include:

* "From Idea to Printed Page" (behind the scenes of one of my books)--suitable for all ages, and for large or small groups
* "Where Did You Get That Idea?" (where ideas come from and what to do with them)--grade 3 and up, maximum 25 students
* "Writing CAN Be Fun!" (group writing exercises to loosen up those brain cells and spark creativity)--grade 3 and up; grouping to be decided on; maximum 25 students

I can also do an after-school presentation for teachers, either on kids and writing or children's books, or an evening session for a parent of community group. There would be an extra charge for either of these.

I am happy to sign books during the day.

If a couple of different schools want to split the cost of a day, I could do one school in the morning (two presentations) and one in the afternoon (two presentations).

Many schools often have a book sale to help offset the honorarium. If a school chooses to do this, books can be ordered through a local bookstore or through the publisher. I do not sell my books myself.

Funding Sources: Schools and libraries use a variety of sources to sponsor author visits, including Title 1, district, PTA/PTO, grants from local organizations or business groups, and funds from the sale of the author's books.


For suggestions on planning a school visit that's great for both the author and the students, take a look at the book, Terrific Connections, by Toni Buzzeo and Jane Kurtz. It includes an author wish list compiled by the Pod, and online group of children's writers.

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