MegKearney.com

NOTE: Meg has been on haitus from school visits while finishing the last book in the Lizzie McLane Trilogy, When You Never Said Goodbye (due out March 21, 2017). She’s now back to booking for 2017-18!

School Visits

Meg school visit, 11/2011
Meg with K-2 students at the James Evans Elementary School, Wappingers Falls, NY (March 2016)
Dear Meg,
Thanks so much to YOU! You are truly wonderful and an excellent writer. The children (and their teacher) learned so much during your visit, and truly enjoyed every minute of your time spent with us. Thank you so much! Best of luck in all that you do!
Sincerely,
Mrs. Papineau (3rd grade, St. Martin De Porres School, Poughkeepsie, NY)


What a pleasure it was to have Meg Kearney visit our school and present to our students.
It’s no easy task to present to such a wide age range, but whether Meg was working with our K-2 kids or our 7th and 8th graders (and all the grades in between), the students were engaged and interested. Meg’s presentation was fun, informative and moved along at a nice pace. Students enjoyed being able to ask her questions about writing and being a poet and really enjoyed trying to write a poem together as a group. It’s always fun when you can write a poem about your principal! It’s been several weeks since her visit and our students are still buzzing with excitement from it.
—Jennifer Herrick, Librarian, Bolton Center School, Bolton, CT


“Ms. Kearney joined us this year as a part of our school wide PTA arts in education program. As a published author and poet, she worked with all of our classes by sharing her writing process. She also shared her poetry and recent published books, notably Trouper about her 3-legged rescue dog. Since our entire school is focusing on using the Lucy Calkins writing program, having an author share her exciting approach to writing in such a dynamic manner quickly engaged and inspired our students. She also adjusted her sessions with classes to accommodate students with special needs and displaced her expertise in facilitating excellent discussions with classes. Feedback from our teachers was very positive and she was well received by our entire school community.”
—Dan Shornstein, principal, Titusville Intermediate School, LaGrange, NY


“We are so thankful our students had the distinct opportunity to meet Mrs. Meg Kearney! She was engaging, informative, and a pleasure to listen to. Students will treasure this memory for many years to come!”

—Tina Schuessler Library Media Specialist, Blanchard Elementary, Cape Girardeau, MO


Hi, Meg,
I can't thank you enough for your visit with my students last week. For the rest of the week, they continued to speak enthusiastically about your time here. The AP kids felt that you opened a door for them in terms of making poetry accessible, a lift that will really benefit them as they go into their exam Thursday. My creative writing students are continuing to work on the poem they started with you and will submit it for credit by semester's end. Both classes expressed how glad they were that you came. I emphatically echo that sentiment. I will announce your Thursday library talk and anticipate that you will see some students there. I'd go myself, but for a prior commitment.
Thanks again, and let's keep in touch.
—Jeff (Jeff Delois, Mascenic High School, New Ipswich, NH, May 2013)

 

GENERAL INFORMATION

The summer before I was old enough to go to kindergarten, I used to sneak over to the elementary school—which meant crossing our quiet road, then cutting through the neighbor’s yard—and voila, I was on the playground. I’d peek into the window of the custodian’s office, and if Mr. Baright or Campbell were there, one of them would reach through the open window and lift me inside. Then, Campbell would let me ride around on his work cart while he cleaned the classrooms or shined the gym floor. The principal would eventually catch us, and I would be sent home. The principal was my father. He was gentle in his reprimands but firm in his directions: go home, and tell your mother to call me when you get there.

These days, I still enjoy going to schools but no longer have to sneak. One of my favorite things is talking with young people about books and writing.

I have three requirements for school visits:

1) Students read (or have read to them) at least one of my books before I visit. If students and their teachers are familiar with my work, they will get so much more out of our conversations about writing!

2) The library should have a copy of at least one of my books on its shelves. Please know that I will donate a copy to schools with no book budgets.

3) Students take home a book order *form so that they have the opportunity to order a book before or after I visit. I’m glad to sign books for students and teachers while at a school! Students are not required to buy my books, but I do ask that the school sends home an order form with everyone I’ll have the opportunity to meet.

» *Here’s a sample book order form to make things easy.

Targeted Grades:

My picture book, Trouper, works well with grades K-6. My verse novels work best with students in grades 6 through 12. While The Secret of Me is great for grades 6 (or even savvy fifth graders) and up, The Girl in the Mirror is appropriate for grades 9 through 12.

I hope my novels-in-verse speak to people young and old, and that they also serve to help teachers introduce students to poetry in the classroom. Click here to read educator David Capella’s take on the “teachability” of The Secret of Me and The Girl in the Mirror.

FEES & SCHEDULING

A one-day visit includes up to 3 presentations. Ideally, each presentation lasts 1 hour, though I can accommodate shorter sessions.

To determine the driving distance between your school and my town, simply use MapQuest. (Type in “New Ipswich, New Hampshire” as the starting point.)

Very Local Visits (up to a 1-hour drive)
$850/day

Local Visits (up to a 2-hour drive)
$850/day + mileage

Generally New England Visits (3- to 4-hour drive)
$850/day + mileage, overnight accommodations, and meals.

Long-Distance Visits (requiring air travel)
(Please note: There is a 2-day minimum for these visits.)
$850/day + mileage, overnight accommodations, meals, airfare, and local transportation.

For more information or to book a visit, contact: megkearney@myfairpoint.net

SAMPLE PRESENTATIONS, GRADES  K-4

What Trouper Has to Say About Poetry     

This interactive presentation includes a reading of Trouper; a mini-talk (with slides) about how the book was made and what it was like to work with its illustrator, E.B. Lewis; and an exploration of ideas like rhyme, abstract vs. concrete words, and metaphor. With grades K-1, we work together to create fresh metaphors, and children are encouraged to write their own metaphor poem and tell their own stories using the tools discussed. With grades 2-4, we also write a poem together, and children are left with a writing prompt. Handouts are provided for all grades. Librarians & teachers: if possible, please show students the three-minute video, “Trouper’s Story,” before my visit. (Available on this Web site and on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTXE2vpakBU.)

SAMPLE PRESENTATIONS: Grades 5 & 6

Trouper, The Secret of Me, & Poetry

This interactive presentation includes a reading of Trouper in addition to poems from my middle-grade verse novel, The Secret of Me. We exploration of ideas like rhyme, abstract vs. concrete words, and metaphor. We work together to create fresh metaphors and children are encouraged to write their own portrait poems. Librarians & teachers: if possible, please show students the three-minute video, “Trouper’s Story,” before my visit. (Available on this Web site and on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTXE2vpakBU.)

SAMPLE PRESENTATIONS: Grades 7-12

What It’s Like Workshop (no more than 14 students/session; need at least one hour)
As Stanley Kunitz has said, poetry “is ultimately mythology, the telling of the stories of the soul.” Using poems from The Secret of Me, The Girl in the Mirror, and poets I admire, we will explore how diction, image, and metaphor can work to create poems that express the otherwise inexpressible. Students will draft poems in class and we’ll discuss and celebrate them as a group. They'll be given a writing challenge to take home as well.

A Writer’s Life Conversation, Reading, and Q&A (for a small class on up to school-wide assembly)
Using slides of photographs and poems, I talk about my journey as a writer and how poetry helped me to battle silence, and how following my passion in college served me well and landed me some fascinating and unexpected careers--throughout I mix in poems (from my books for adults as well as my novels-in-verse for teens, as appropriate). Then I gladly take questions and engage students and teachers in what I hope is a lively dialogue.