I LOVE SCHOOL VISITS!
I would love to visit your school in person or via Skype and meet your students! I offer a variety of programs and am open to mixing and matching and brainstorming with you. My goal is to work with you on aligning my books and presentation with your goals or to have my presentation be in sync with topics you are working with your students on, as well as tying into Common Core initiatives. Many of my books have teacher or activity guides (see below), and cover subjects including using your imagination, resilience, inventing, facing fears, overcoming obstacles, STEM, and problem-solving, while others include an overview of opposites, wordplay, letter-writing, or involve a craft that you could do with your kids. Most of my books are written in rhyme, which is key for children learning how to read. I want you to come away feeling good about my visit to your school. I also do readings of my books for preschools. Just ask me! Use the contact form on this website to reach me.
Please visit my individual book pages here to find book activity guides, book trailers, and more.
Please go to my contact me form to request a school or library visit, or speaking engagement today!
(I DO FREE SKYPE VISITS, TOO!)
I also do free virtual Skype visits, the first Tuesday of each month! Please fill out the Contact Me form on my website if you are interested in scheduling a Skype. Skype visits are typically about 20 minutes. I don’t charge for them, but I do ask that you buy 10 copies of my books (any books)—keep 5 for your library or classroom, and give 5 to a neighboring school. During free visits, I'll read one of my books, talk about the book or being an author, and then take questions your class has prepared for me. It's a great way to start a dialogue about books and writing!
Create buzz around the visit by, for example, making the day about shoes with a “Favorite Shoes Day” or “Crazy Laces Day". It could be "Dress like a Pirate Day", "Young Inventors", "Future Leaders", or "Superhero Day" to give you a few themes.
It adds excitement to the visit if the children are familiar with my books. You can order a few copies for the school and share them with the classes with which I’ll be visiting. (I’m happy to sign them for you that day)
Tips for a successful visit:
"Listening to the book "Shoes for Me" brought a smile to my face! The rhythmic and melodic words flowed like a song. Children everywhere will enjoy hearing and reading the story over and over."
—Mary Dietrich, Principal, Bubb School
"My fellow teachers and I loved your presentation - they loved your down to earth and clear advice. They especially enjoyed the number game too. We all felt it was great to let the kids know that you had to deal with rejection and keep on changing your writing to become better. The kids loved meeting you! It was a great sign that they felt comfortable to ask so many questions. Thanks for coming to inspire our kids!"
—Tanya Yates, 2nd Grade Teacher, West Valley Elementary School
“Sue Fliess was a wonderful presenter for our preschoolers--her books were fun and the rhymes and clever word plays delighted both the students and the teachers. Sue was able to engage with the students and get them excited about reading and storytelling."
—Betsy Fenzel, Chevy Chase Bethesda Children’s Center
"Sue was fantastic! She differentiated her presentations for our kindergarten through fifth grade students so the content was appropriately engaging. Sue taught the children about the writing process and how important it is for students to persevere through writing challenges to create their best work. Her visit is still being talked about months later!"
—Lauren Mihalik, Reading Specialist, Rolling Ridge Elementary School
Partial List of Schools Visited:
Sully Elementary, Sterling, VA
Chester Elementary, Chester, NY
Potowmack Elementary, Sterling, VA
St. Albans, Washington, D.C.
Cedar Lane Elementary School, Ashburn, VA
Flocktown-Kossmann Elementary, Long Valley, NJ
Sleepy Hollow Elementary, Falls Church, VA
George C. Round Elementary, Manassas, VA
St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School, Alexandria, VA
Archivist St. Andrews Episcopal School, Potomac, MD
Steuart Weller Elementary, Ashburn, VA
Rolling Ridge Elementary, Sterling, VA
Lowell School, Washington, D.C.
Jamestown Elementary, Arlington, VA
Abingdon Elementary, Arlington, VA
St. Albans, Washington, D.C.
General Assembly Presentations
(30-45 minutes includes a preso, reading, q & a)
Write What You Know (Research what you don't!)
We'll discuss fiction and non-fiction, how to research for both, and a closer look at my process behind Robots, Robots Everywhere!
The Truth About Writing
A fun interactive true or false quiz that inspires kids to write. Discusses the life of a writer, idea generation, different ways to be a writer, and more.
An interactive discussion about rhyme and meter and I talk about the different types of rhyme schemes in my books.
We'll discuss fractured fairy tales, nursery rhymes, and even fractured songs. Sue will talk about her own fractured stories and together the group will learn how to spark ideas for their own to write later.
Leaving Room for the Illustrator
Sue will discuss how, while writing picture books, it's important to think about what to leave out. When writers leave room for the illustrators, the stories take on more depth and imagination, and it makes for a better book. She will show many examples of her own work.
The Big Deal about Little Golden Books
Sue will talk about traditional Little Golden Books, 2-3 of her own and how they came to be, and what makes these iconic stories have lasting readability.
From My Brain to the Bookstore
The publishing process, from the idea to manuscript submission, all the way to the bookstore.
Top 10 Burning Questions about Publishing a Children's Book--and Answers!
(for older students and/ or adults/ staff)
Making "Sense" of Your Story
The importance of writing with detail, using all of the senses, and using "juicy" words.
Getting to Know Your Character
I'll share tips on creating a believable character.
Get Ready to Write!
Discuss the elements of the story, sensory details, and give a writing challenge (prompt, write a prequel or sequel to a book, or letter to a main character). (gr 2-5)
Making rhymes in this fun interactive session where kids help create a rhyming poem. (gr K-2)
We'll discuss fractured fairy tales, nursery rhymes, and even fractured songs. Sue will talk about her own fractured stories and together the group will learn how to spark ideas for their own and write them with Sue's guidance during the workshop.
Every Word Counts
The editing process: how making little changes can make your work better. (gr 2-5, but can tailor for a younger audience)
Reading of my books followed by an open Q & A from students
Add-ons upon request...
Brown-bag lunch with the Author Author will share lunch (in library or other quiet setting) and chat with a small group of students (~10) These students are usually aspiring writers or avid readers chosen by their teachers for this more personal author event.
30 minute Breakout Session for Grades K-5 (see session topics above)
Open Q & A with teachers and staff Discuss children's publishing, my writing process, my path to publication.
What about older kids?
I can tailor any of my presentations or breakouts for older students as well – please ask me about it! Although my books are suited for younger audiences, I’ve spoken to middle school and high school students about many aspects of the writing process. (And I discovered they love being read picture books at any age!)
Other Details about my visit:
I request 10-15 minutes between sessions to prepare for the next group of students.
Travel expenses for distant or out of state visits to be discussed on a school by school basis. I'm open to sharing time between nearby schools and am happy to help make that happen!
I love to sign books! I also understand that not all families can afford them. That’s why I would prefer that the books are ordered ahead of time through the school (I’ll provide a pre-order form upon request). I ask that you please put a sticky note on the title page of the book with the child’s name so I can personalize it for him/ her for the classes (or provide on the order form). I will sign them and teachers will be responsible for distributing them to the students later. This way, those students who were unable to purchase a book don’t feel left out.
Sample Visiting Author Agreement: Download
Sample Book Order Form: Download
I would love to visit your school!
Full Day visits (3 presentations or 2 general assembly presentations plus a breakout session)
Half Day visits (2 general assembly presentations)
1 General Assembly Presentation
Please contact me for my fees.
I'm happy to mix and match breakouts and assembly presentations--just ask!
*travel expenses apply where applicable (airfare, mileage, hotel, meals)
Ideas for funding a visit:
1. Apply for an Amber Brown Grant
(Nov. 1 - April 15) for a chance to win a free author visit + $500
2. Check Sue’s event calendar and book her when she’s already in your area to save on travel costs
3. Share travel costs with other schools, libraries, or daycares in your district and book multiple events in the same day/week for discounted daily rates
4. Raise funds through book sales - schools may get a discount when ordering through Sue’s publishers
5. Ask the Parent/Teacher Association or other special interest club/fund for assistance
6. Apply for a community or educational grant from local organizations (Rotary, Kiwanis, etc.)
8. Choose a low-cost (or no-cost) Skype visit