Why should my school invite an author to talk to my students?
Darleen Bailey Beard is an inspiring and motivational speaker whose visit will continue to reap benefits long after she’s gone.
Teachers have said that after hearing her speak, their students couldn’t wait to go back to their rooms and start writing.
Parents have said that their children were excited about reading her books at home and that meeting a ‘real live’ author was an experience they’ll never forget.
Librarians have said that they can’t keep her books on their shelves.
Perhaps a visit by Darleen is best summed up by the students’ words themselves:
Dear Ms. Bird, You expired me to be a better writter.
Dear Darleen Barley Beard, I use to not like reading and writting before you came to our school. But now I LOVE it. Thank you for showing me that I have the powwer to make my dreams come true! You ROCK!!!!!
Mrs. Darleen, Your like a rainbow, your #1 fan, Malik
I love your books. You have a lot of good stuff in your heart and I'm glad that you share it. Stacy
Ms. Berd, you came to my school the other day. I was the girl in the fith row wearing a green stripped shirt and a green hairband. I have bland hair and my name is Kayley. Do you remember me? I will ALWAYS remember you! From Kayley PS Write me back and tell me everything you told me the other day because I want to hear it all over again!!!!!!
ms. darleen, your heart flows with good stuff
What size groups does Darleen speak to?
It doesn't matter. Darleen has spoken to as many as three thousand to as little as four. Her average size group in most settings is around 100 - 150 students.
Do teachers need to be present?
YES. Darleen speaks to both students AND teachers. She has a special story about her fifth grade teacher that touches teachers’ hearts. She want teachers to know how important and precious they are. If it wasn’t for her fifth grade teacher, she wouldn't be writing books today.
She asks that teachers come and be prepared to be inspired. Also, that teachers please be good role models for their students by not grading papers, talking, or reading while she is speaking.
What is the difference between an “Author Visit” and the “Author in Residence program”?
An “Author Visit” is when Darleen comes for one or more days to speak, inspire, and share information about how she became an author, do a book talk and slide show presentation, discuss the books she is currently writing, Q&A, and if asked, will do a fun writing workshop. Click here for more information on her author visits.
An “Author-in-residence” program is when Darleen visits for a long period of time doing hands-on writing workshops. She can visit for up to eight weeks at a time. Her workshops focus on the skills required to pass statewide writing tests: narrative, persuasive, descriptive, and expository writing. She brings costumes, food, music and/or props for her lessons and the students look forward to finding out what fun thing they’ll be writing about next! Click here for more information about her author in residence program.
When Darleen’s school visits require an overnight stay, she’s not picky about hotels as long as the room is nonsmoking, clean, and close to where she is speaking. She prefers a hotel that has breakfast so that she can save time in the morning by eating at the hotel rather than driving around looking for a place to eat. She also enjoys staying in librarians’ or teachers’ homes. So if you have an extra bedroom, she'll take it! She has met so many kindred spirits this way and continues to enjoy friendships long after her visit.
In the past, many hotels have donated a free room to the school for an author visit, so check with your local hotel/motel to find out details. If they can't donate a room, then perhaps they can offer a special school discount.
Does Darleen have any dietary requirements?
No. She'll eat whatever is in front of her. Well, almost. She really appreciates when she does NOT have to eat cafeteria food!
Once I've scheduled an author visit or author-in-residence program, what happens next?
Darleen will send you a confirmation letter in the mail. It will direct you to this web site, where you can find sample schedules, tips, activities, ready-made announcement letters to send home with your students which take book orders, book ordering information, writing workshops, and everything you need to make your author visit a pleasant experience for your students and as “hassle free” as possible for you. She’ll also send you her phone number so you can contact her with any concerns or questions.
What if I need to cancel or reschedule Darleen’s visit?
If the date you have picked out for the author visit doesn’t work out, just call or email and reschedule. (Try to let her know asap, though.) If weather is a problem and it starts snowing and the roads are icy, you can reschedule at a more convenient time.
If Darleen gets sick and cannot make it, she will try to let you know as soon as possible and reschedule at a convenient time. If you get sick, let Darleen know as soon as possible and you can reschedule for a better day so that you can enjoy her visit, also. Rescheduling is no problem.
How do I contact Darleen?
Make initial query by email. Or you can call her at 405-808-4355. If she doesn't answer, just leave a message and she'll get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks for your interest!