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.


Toby Speed said...

I love what Angela's doing. What a terrific way to do an interview!

Angela L. said...

Aww, thanks Alice! and Toby!

Alice, you missed my interview with Janni Sim.....ner. I mean, Janni Lee Simner. Those long last names are killer, aren't they?

Janni and I talk about the important issues, such as who would be better in a battle with zombies, Norse Gods or Greek Gods. We might talk about drafting too, I think it has to do with writing?

Here's the link.


Carmela Martino said...

Thanks so much, Alice. I didn't know about what Angela is doing. I have to go check out her site now.

Natalie Aguirre said...

That's a great idea what Angela is doing. Skype seems such a great way for authors to interact with kids in school. It's cheaper for the schools who may not be able to afford school visits anymore and gives the author a less time consuming way to connect. Thanks for posting this.

April Halprin Wayland said...

We are honored that you've mentioned our contest, Alice! Thank you so much ~

Esther Hershenhorn said...

Thanks, Alice, for getting out the word about - and - our ongoing TeachingAuthors Giveaway of a Skype visit with a TA - or - a basket of our autographed books.
Here's a hint re the Getting-to-know-you Back-to-School writing exercise I'll be sharing in my Wednesday, Sept. 15 post.
Esther Hershenhorn
"It's never too late, in fiction or in life, to revise." (Nancy Thayer).
If you need another hint I'll sign my name again using another quote.
Esther Hershenhorn
"Go, Cubs, Go!" (Steve Goodman, "Go, Cubs, Go!"