"I love it when teachers share stories of how their students have caught 'writing fever' from me. There's no higher praise than that!
To me, playing with words is the same as playing with toys ina sandbox - there are endless possibilities for creative fun,as long as a few basic rules are followed. the first step is to let your imagination run wold! The second is to learn the tricks that every good writer knows, strategies which allow a student's work to soar. I stress structure,dialogue and the ability to create characters so alive they breathe form the page. Story Starters are used to spur new writing techniques,while the student's actual work is edited in class to show how alternate word choices can give maximum creative impact.
Nothing fires me up more than the process of writing, a passion I try to impart to students whenever I have the privilege to speak to them. My general assembly begins with a four-pronged presentation: how I started on my path to become a writer; where I get my ideas; how I research both about national parks and forensic science. Then comes the slide show, which includes location shots of these national parks: ellowstone, Hawaii, Mesa Verde, Everglades,Glacier, Zion, theVirgin Islands and more. I then finish with a question and answer period - this is where the kids realize that I'mjust thike they are, only I write books. I watch as it draws on them that if I can do it, they can do it too!
"Please consider using me for your next assembly or classroom workshop." AF
AUTHOR APPEARANCE QUESTIONNAIRE
$1,000.00 - $2,000 per day plus expenses. This depends on the number of talks I do per day.
$1,000 - Two talks (one hour each) $2,000 Four talks (one hour each)
- Willingness to visit schools, libraries, and bookstores for presentations and/or workshops/conferences
Very willing - the more venues the better!
- Willingness to travel
- Target age/ grade level range of audience
I have 13 books available for elementary school ages (National Geographic Mysteries) and three YA forensic mystery books (soon to be four) geared to middle and high school. The YA forensic mysteries are published by Penguin Putnam.
- Maximum number of presentations per day
Four maximum per day.
- Preferred audience size maximum or minimum
Any number is fine - I've spoken to as many as 3,000 at a time in my general presentation. The writing workshop, however, should top out at approximately 30, since I review the student's writing.
- Any equipment required for presentations
Power Point projector and microphone for the general presentation, a white board and markers for the workshops.
- Synopsis of presentation/ presentation topics/objectives
I share how I became a writer, where I get my ideas, how I do research, and I share tips that make every student's writing even better. The writing workshop dovetails into the general presentation. In the workshop, I focus on how to create a plot, characters and dialogue as well as the best ways to use adjectives and adverbs, tags, and a plethora of other writing tips. I then edit their story starters, demonstrating how small tweaks in writing can make a huge impact.
- Current contact information (including mailing address, telephone number and email address)
Alane Ferguson, 1460 Conifer Trail, Elizabeth, Colorado, 80107; (303) 646-9236; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.alaneferguson.com
Sebring Florida -Sebring High School April 2008
Last week was a very busy week. I set up speakers for our two lunch periods and worked with the science teachers to advertise it to the students. We called it the "First Annual Science Week" and used Alane's forensic mystery series as the theme. We had a forensic detective from our sheriff's department, the medical examiner for our county and a forensic pathologist from one of our local hospitals to come and speak. I had sent them all one of Alane's books with selections marked. The detective told us that after he read the book he passed it on to others in his office. The medical examiner explained that the system we use in Florida is different and does not use a coroner, but all the basic information was just as you would find it in the book. The pathologist quoted several passages and said " this author has done her home work. She knows how things really are." He had brought a collection of human tissues to share. He talked about the autopsy scene and the brain bucket. You should have seen the reaction when he had a female student come up front and demonstrated how Dr. Moore handed the brain from the brain bucket to Cameryn in The Circle of Blood. The students were so excited that each day the attendance grew until the last day the seats were full and we had to close the doors. The adults are also getting excited about the ways they can use the books in their area of the curriculum. They are eager to meet Alane.
The story of the first day of "Science Week with focus on Alane's books made it to the front page of one of our newspapers and 2nd page in the other one.
Sandra Rankhorn - Media Specialist Sebring High School
Alane with Highlands County Sheriff's Office Crime Scene Unit - Sebring Florida
Tippecanoe Middle School - "Teens Read" class Tip City, Ohio Mrs. Hughes - teacher