Thursday, September 9, 2010
Fun with Skype: TeachingAuthors Giveaway, School Visits & Blog Interviews
The TeachingAuthors are currently offering a contest via their blog to encourage teachers, writers and librarians to try a six-word memoir writing workout and then comment about the experience. The winning commenter/teacher gets the choice of a 30-minute Skype author visit from one of the TeachingAuthors or a prize package of 6 of their books, autographed. (The TeachingAuthors include April Halprin Wayland, Carmela Martino, Esther Hershenhorn, Jeanne Marie Grunwell Ford, JoAnn Early Macken, and Mary Ann Rodman.)
I love the fact that these authors are encouraging teachers to engage students in writing, giving a group of students the chance to engage with an author, and, in turn helping the authors build their audience among teachers, librarians and students. Win, win, and win. (If you know teachers or librarians who would be interested, be sure to send them to the blog.)
I also dig the idea of the virtual school visit via Skype. This is nothing new idea, of course--there are authors who've been doing it successfully for some time now. (TeachingAuthors offer a couple of cool links in their contest post--one with tips on conducting virtual visits, and another that links to a Skype Author Network.) But I still think it's pretty cool that authors can visit any classroom that's techy enough to host them, anywhere, at any time. It's less travel for authors, less expense for schools, and more opportunities for students and authors to connect. Again win, win, and win. (And something to explore for you authors and illustrator who haven't done so. Check out the Skype site for more info. You may already have all the equipment you need.)
I also like what Angela Fox is doing on her blog The Amused Critic. She's got a series of Skype interview with authors and editors (including Elizabeth Law, Lisa Yee, Paula Yoo, and Adam Rex. Angela seems to have a bias toward interview subjects who also have 3-letter last names. Hmmm.) Here's an interview with E-Law swiped from The Amused Critic. Check out the blog for more and enjoy the wonders of Skype.