About my school and library presentations

My jam-packed primary school visit is a behind-the-scenes look at the everyday experiences that I write stories about. During my author talk, I include props, class participation, writing prompts and video clips sure to keep students engaged and glued to their seats. I have three “how-to” writing topics from my latest books to choose from. I’d love to visit your class in-person or virtually!

For grades K-3: SENSES. My new picture book, The Better Tree Fort, features a father/son relationship. I also share an interest in birding with the characters in this story. I will include a fun mini-lesson about local bird songs during my presentation that encourages young writers to use all their senses.

For grades 4-6: DETAILS. My new novel, Clear Skies, is a historic novel that depicts the 1960s space race to the Moon while exploring the theme of mental health. I will also use this story to demonstrate the importance of including accurate facts and engaging details for better fiction.

For grades 4-6: FUNNY STORY IDEAS. In this presentation, I share where I come up with ideas for funny stories and how to write them using my favorite types of humour. I also include some pitfalls to avoid.

Requirements for virtual presentations with me (and Ivy)

I am a Halifax, Nova Scotia-based author. If distance is an issue, I frequently chat with classrooms through online platforms such as Google Meet and Zoom. With virtual presentations, everyone gets a front row seat! Sometimes my dog Ivy makes a guest appearance. The host school or library serves as the moderator for these visits. See what you can expect during my virtual presentation by watching this short video.

Requirements for in-person presentations

Maximum number of students per session: 40 – 200 (flexible)

Preferred venues: library or auditorium work best

Equipment requirements: The venue will provide a table for my equipment, a microphone for groups over 100, and a screen or whiteboard. I bring the rest (my own projector, speakers, and laptop)

Curriculum outcomes

Students will

  • identify sources for creative inspiration
  • understand how brainstorming works to launch a writing assignment
  • discover how to take an idea and shape it into a story
  • and, develop an appreciation for all the stages of editing and good writing habits

Book tours

I regularly present to elementary schools across Canada and the United States. I enjoy book tours, especially in remote locations, organized by groups such as children’s literature round tables. I am often asked to return to schools for repeat visits, which I am happy to do.

Reported outcomes following my book tours include

  • an increase in library borrowing
  • an enhanced understanding of the writing process
  • a surge in creativity
  • and, the application of new techniques for creative writing.

Often, students will declare that they’ll be writers when they grow up, too!

Fees for presentations

For schools and libraries in Nova Scotia, I can be booked through the Writers in the Schools Program offered by the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia.

For all other schools and libraries outside of Nova Scotia, please contact me directly. As a member of the Writers’ Union of Canada, I have access to travel subsidies to deliver author presentations and workshops outside of my province.

Classroom feedback about virtual presentations

“This program is so appreciated by the local schools, teachers, and students. It’s a special experience with Jessica, who they wouldn’t necessarily otherwise be able to meet. The students made drawings for her and were very interested in her presentation and learning about the life of an author. Thank you.” Beaconsfield Public Library, Quebec

“The kids were excited about the writing process. This helped them understand all the work that should be put into writing/ how easy it is to get ideas.” Cyberstone Virtual School, Saskatchewan

“It was amazing, and so appreciated. It encouraged reading, families coming together to appreciate literacy and inspired youth to begin writing. Thank you so much from our communities in Gaspesie!” Gaspesie Literacy Council, Quebec

“It was an absolute pleasure to host and work with Jessica. The kids were excited to be given their own book. A first and rare thing for many of our students. Thank you! Elizabeth Ballantyne School, Montreal, Quebec

“Jessica’s presentation was informative and fun for our students, and the audio and visual clips throughout kept them engaged.” Trafalgar Elementary School, Vancouver, BC

Classroom feedback about in-person presentations

“Jessica Scott Kerrin’s presentation was fantastic. Her content was definitely on a level that students could understand and relate to. They were all engaged and focused the whole time. Her presentation was very interactive. After her presentation, the whole class felt like they could be authors!” Bras d’Or Elementary School, Nova Scotia

“Jessica Scott Kerrin asked our class ‘Who wants to be an author when they grow up?’ She planted a seed by asking a question and now several of my students see that as a goal for themselves. One girl is even asking for a typewriter for Christmas, how cool is that!” Bras d’Or Elementary School, Nova Scotia

“Jessica was well prepared for all of our age groups. She captivated our students with real-life experiences that she developed into stories. Students were totally engaged and inspired to continue writing every day!” Boularderie Elementary, Nova Scotia

“My students and I thoroughly enjoyed the presentation. The personal touch and visual components that Ms. Kerrin used in her presentation combined to create a very worthwhile session that prompted great discussion with my class afterwards.” St. Brigid CES, Ontario

“The students loved seeing your writing space, your pictures of your friendly writing companion, and learning more about a day in the life of an author. They are already discussing new writing ideas and plans to write letters to you.” Annapolis East Elementary, Nova Scotia

“Jessica shared her approach to having ideas for writing in a manner that my Grade Ones could connect with and understand.” McCulloch Educational Centre, Pictou, Nova Scotia

“What a treat it was for our kindergarten class to meet the author of a Blue Spruce nominated book! Jessica Kerrin did an excellent job of not only explaining the writing process and where she got her book ideas from, she also read her book, The Better Tree Fort, and took the time to answer all of our many questions. What a memorable experience for our students.” Ross R. Mackay, Hillsburgh, Ontario

“A lively, interactive presentation highlighting the importance of reading and writing for pleasure. Passionate, personable, and creative, Ms. Kerrin used visuals and humour to engage students meaningfully in learning about the writing process!” LaSalle Elementary, Montreal, Quebec

“I can honestly say that every student and teacher who I spoke with enjoyed Jessica’s presentation very much. Many students in my grade six class wanted to borrow her books from our school library including some very reluctant readers. It was a great day for my kids and Jessica made a difference in their education.” Colby Village Elementary, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

“Jessica gave one of the best presentations we have had at the school. It was amazing, it kept the attention of the children, and they were able to make connections with her real life pictures. Showing them her revisions was great. They said she rocked!” Dutch Settlement Elementary School, Elmsdale, Nova Scotia

“Our Grades 2 to 5 classes were treated to outstanding presentations by author Jessica Scott Kerrin. The presentations focused on how Jessica decided to become a writer, what it was like to be a writer and where she gets her ideas from.” L.T. Westlake School, Taber, Alberta

“Jessica was informative and friendly. The students listened very attentively to her. Our school is a special needs school and I was worried about the attention span of our students. I was thrilled when they remained interested to the very end.” Dr. Oakley School, Calgary, Alberta

“All of the students begged me to read more each day as I read one of your novels. Thank you for inspiring my students. You have a way of writing that gets into the minds of young readers. Many of them have chosen more Martin Bridge books and decided to do a book report on them.” Springvale Elementary, Nova Scotia

“Grade 3 students and staff attended and very much enjoyed Jessica’s hour-long presentation. Her reading and PowerPoint slides were very clear and kept the students’ interest. Some quotes from the attendees were: ‘awesome!’, ‘lots of fun’ and ‘really good’.” Coaldale Public Library, Coaldale, Alberta

“Jessica Scott Kerrin was one of the best authors we have had at the school. She successfully motivated our students to want to read her books and provided them with tools to write about their own life experiences, sparking interest for both students and teachers.” John MacNeil School, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

My class was enthralled with Jessica’s presentation and keenly interested in what writers do and how they do it. They could relate, very well, to her crafting a story from idea (and one they could relate well to through her interesting real life experience) to ending (that is finishing a rough draft). They’re just learning that ‘the end’ is only the beginning of their job as writers. Her wonderful slide show presentation added so much to the telling! It truly made what she had to say more powerful and gave all of us encouragement!” LeMarchant St. Thomas, Halifax, Nova Scotia

“I loved to find out about new ideas and the ways to present information to my students about the writing process. The fact that you were able to show them how often you edited and revised the first sentence of your story, highlighted that writing is a process and that making changes and revising are so very important not only to the writer, but also to the reader.” West Northfield Eastern Shore Elementary, Nova Scotia