One of my favorite parts of being a writer is sharing my books and stories with readers and aspiring writers of all ages. I enjoy visiting schools and shining a light on the dark mysteries of writing and publishing.
Employing a variety of high-energy interactive programs, I speak about my own experiences, with a focus on where authors find their stories and where students might find their own.
I have spoken to small and large groups at elementary and middle schools, public libraries, educators' and writers' conferences. I also enjoy taking the writing workshop model I learned in college and graduate school and applying it to younger writers.
Prior to every visit, I work closely with the school to determine which talk/presentation/workshop would work best. I am always happy to incorporate suggestions from faculty.
A sampling of presentations I offer:
Where's My Story?
This is a broad overview, usually done in an auditorium/gym setting, for grades one through five. It includes everything from how I came to write the stories I have written to where students can find good ideas to turn into their own stories. I discuss the difference between writing fiction and nonfiction, and how good writing emerges from rewriting. This presentation always includes a question and answer session.
Everything You Need To Remember About Writing
This presentation, best suited to the older grades, is chock-full of the best writing advice I've learned in my decades as a professional writer. We'll discuss beginnings, middles and endings; what to do when writer's block strikes; plot and pacing; how to use fresh language and weed clichés out of your prose; and finding your story in the revision process.
Book Group Discussions
Available as an in-person or Skype discussion for school, library, or private book clubs. Contact Audrey for more details
"The lessons you taught our students are already surfacing in their writing. The teachers all loved the highlighting trick for revision. You were energetic, well-spoken and funny. The website has tons of information and teachers' guides which were very helpful to prepare for the visit. It was fantastic!"
--Laura Healy, media specialist
Randall Carter Elementary School, Wayne, NJ
"The way you engaged both our younger AND middle school students was absolutely inspiring. I do hope that that was just your FIRST visit to VCS."
Ellen Caruso, creator and chair of Author/Speaker Series
Village Charter School, Trenton, NJ
"The teachers have been stopping me in the halls to tell me how much they enjoyed your visit. Your presentations were informative, engaging, and most of all, enjoyable! The children loved listening to you and your stories ~ and so did I!
Susan Soroko, school media specialist
Stephen J. Gerace School, Pequannock, NJ
"I want to thank you for such a wonderful workshop. The students and staff alike were so impressed with your teaching style and knowledge. You really supplied us with so many excellent writing techniques. I can't wait to try out some new ideas with my students in the classroom. No more boring beginnings or flat endings!"
--Susan March, fifth-grade teacher
Kingwood Township School, NJ
"The author was very enthusiastic and entertaining and easy to work with. I have already recommended Mrs. Vernick to other librarians in the district and South Jersey."
--Kim Laskey, librarian
Cherry Hill School District, NJ
"The visit was fantastic. The presentation was organized, entertaining and informative. It was beneficial to give our input about what would be meaningful for our kids. The students learned to follow what you love and to revise!"
--Ellen Raupp, fourth-grade teacher
Hawes Elementary School, Ridgefield, NJ
"The students were encouraged to keep a journal, to never give up on an idea they love, to find the kind of books they enjoy reading, and to pay attention to a potentially good story...Mrs. Vernick is an excellent communicator."
--Colleen Muldowney, second-grade teacher
Fairview Elementary, Red Bank, NJ
"Mrs. Vernick met with children in grades preK-4 and kept all of them engaged and entertained. Teachers were impressed with her ability to keep the children focused and the fact that she reinforced everything our teachers present in their writing instruction ... Students loved the fact that inspiration can come from so many places."
--Lorri Ann Wahlgren, librarian
Wanamassa Elementary School, Wanamassa, NJ
"I wish we could bottle you and share you with all our students!"
--Karen Petillo, reading specialist
Wayside Elementary School, Wayside, NJ