Author Visits

  • I travel extensively to speak about my books, both with young people and at library gatherings for children and adults. Click the accompanying links to find more information about my programs, fees, and other details. Feel free to contact me with special requests for modified programs or alternative topics. All of my presentations—from old favorites to one-time creations—are paced and constructed to meet the individual needs of each audience.

    Audience feedback on Ann Bausum's programs:

    "Great nonfiction author!"
    —Middle school librarian, New York

    "The program was one of the best we have attended."
    —Public library board member, Wisconsin

    "Excellent program. I had students stopping me the rest of the week to tell me how much they liked it."
    —Middle school librarian, Tennessee

    "[The program] was great, and the kids enjoyed it very much!"
    —Elementary school librarian, South Dakota

    "Ann was the most organized author we've had the pleasure to work with."
    —Middle school librarian, Tennessee

    "It doesn't get better than this!"
    —Participant in workshop for educators, Illinois

    "Ann knows her audience well and can adapt when needed. She obviously enjoys interacting with students and is first-rate with middle school students...Ann was so accommodating...When the threat of bad weather arose, she contacted us immediately and was very flexible in planning...She did four presentations, which I'm sure was exhausting, but she was full of energy for each one of them!"
    —Middle school librarian, Wisconsin

    "I loved how both presentations fused humor and the writing process and appealed to audience members of all ages!"
    —Literacy coach, Wisconsin

  • On the Trail of History

    A program for children grades 3-8
    by Ann Bausum

    What is it like to be an author? How is writing nonfiction different from writing fiction? What goes on behind-the-scenes in order to make a finished book?

    Children gain an insider's look at the process of making a history book from the perspective of the book author. I talk about how I became an author, where I get my ideas, and how I do my research. Children learn about the personal connection I bring to my topics, the hundreds of hours of research that take place before I write a single word of a book, and how I go about finding the historical photographs that illustrate my works.

    I use personal stories about the creation of each of my books, including works in progress, to help students understand my life as an author. The program concludes with some basic advice for budding writers (including a pitch for spelling practice) and the opportunity for children to ask questions about my books and the process of writing. Each presentation is targeted to best serve the grade level of the audience.

    Length: about 40 minutes for program, 10-15 minutes for questions

    Technical requirements: LCD projector and projection screen

    Audience feedback on this program:

    "Ann is very knowledgeable and a great presenter. She was patient with students and answered all questions. Her PowerPoints were well done and complimented her topics. Great non-fiction author!"
    —Middle school librarian, New York

    "Thank you for your emails prior to the visit and following up after your visit. Just yesterday, in a staff meeting, a fifth-grade teacher made a connection with your presentation. I continue to receive positive feedback!"
    —Elementary school librarian, South Dakota

    "The program was well matched to the [11th-grade] audience because you know the curriculum needs for the variety of age groups addressed. The pictures provided strong visual focus to maintain interest in the topic."
    —High school librarian, South Dakota

    "...well-planned and presented. It was interesting and engaging. Using one of her books to illustrate each step in the process created a lot of interest in reading more of them for the students."
    —Middle school librarian, Wisconsin

    "[This] excellent presentation takes audience through the research, writing, and publication process. Students were engaged, and are making connections with their own writing now!"
    —Middle school librarian, Wisconsin

  • Sharing Themes of Social Justice with Young People

    A program for educators and children's book authors
    by Ann Bausum

    Books like Freedom Riders and With Courage and Cloth present themes of social justice to young readers. I'll provide background on my passion for this genre of social history and share my strategies for bringing these stories alive. What techniques can be used to introduce disturbing content—such as violence and intolerance—to children? How can the use of illustrations enhance the telling of history? What challenges does an author face in conveying the risks and hopes of individuals who have fought for social justice? How can these stories inspire today's young people to stand up for tolerance and understanding?

    Length: minimum of 50 minutes, 10-15 minutes for questions

    Technical requirements: LCD projector and projection screen

    Audience feedback:

    "Great insights into how to share themes of social justice with students."
    —Participant in workshop for educators, Illinois

    "Ann is incredible—what a treat to have her share her own awesome history and her personal journeys as an adult."
    —Participant in workshop for educators, Illinois

    "Excellent! [Ann] definitely knows what she is talking about!"
    —Participant in workshop for educators, Illinois

  • Making History Matter for Young People

    A program for educators, librarians, and children's book authors
    by Ann Bausum

    Why does history matter so much to me, and why should it matter to young people? This program reveals the personal connection I have to American history and to the topics of my books. I offer five practical steps that I follow—and you can, too—in the effort to connect young readers with the relevance and drama of our nation's past.

    This program makes an excellent keynote address for conferences and will inspire participants to sweep away the cobwebs from history and bring the past alive for the young people in their lives.

    Length: 40 minutes for the program, 10-15 minutes for questions

    Technical requirements: None

    Audience feedback:

    "People were absolutely delighted with your presentation—teachers, historians, planners! You were on target with topic [and] mixed your presentation style with slides and examples. Top notch!"
    —Director of an education resource center, Delaware

    "This workshop was inspiring! I can't wait to share this with my students!"
    —Participant in workshop for educators, Illinois

    "It doesn't get better than this!"
    —Participant in workshop for educators, Illinois

    "Appropriate, organized well, [and] relatable because recounting your journey [and] editing process [are] enlightening. . . . Attendees commented that they were inspired by your keynote address."
    —Conference host, Illinois

    "I found the PowerPoint and the resources very helpful."
    —Participant in workshop for educators, Illinois

    "Enjoyed concept of research [and] not knowing what you are looking for [until you find it]."
    —Participant in workshop for educators, Illinois

  • Writing Nonfiction for Young People

    A workshop for children's book authors
    by Ann Bausum

    Immerse yourself in the realities of writing nonfiction for young people during this day-long workshop. I explore four essential themes during a series of illustrated, interactive sessions that examine:

    •  Techniques for identifying book-worthy topics
    •  Research methods, including how to construct a bibliography of credible sources
    •  An introduction to photo research techniques
    •  A discussion of the logistical and financial realities of writing nonfiction.

    This workshop is geared for intermediate-level writers who are committed to working with nonfiction topics but may not yet have been published. Enrollment is limited to 20.

    Length, options, and additional fees: Full program requires eight hours and the expanded program fee of $4,500.

    Any one of the four sub-topics may be presented in a two-hour session for the standard conference fee of $2,000.

    An optional manuscript critique (up to 25 pages) may be offered to workshop participants for an additional fee of $250 per submission. A written critique will be provided to participants following the workshop with the option for one follow-up phone consulation, as needed.

    Technical requirements: LCD projector and projection screen; Internet access (for photo research presentation)

    Audience feedback on this program:

    "...[Ann] presented an absorbing and instructive look at the breadth of her research, how she organizes it, and how she applies it and cites it. Very useful for teachers, students, writers, and booktalkers. Ann is an interesting and eloquent speaker."
    —Host, Minnesota forum for authors

  • Stubby's 101 Workshop for Researching and Writing Nonfiction

    A workshop for students from upper elementary grades through middle school and up
    Led by Ann Bausum

    This versatile workshop introduces writers from a wide range of ages and skill sets to the basic principles of researching and writing narrative nonfiction. Using modeled examples, I share my own research and writing process, breaking it down into elementary steps that can be attempted at age-appropriate levels during the workshop portion of the session. I help students learn to differentiate between facts, rumor, conjecture, and opinion so that they develop a nuanced understanding of the nature of nonfiction. Students will practice skills that can serve them for the rest of their educational careers, even into college.

    The workshop is anchored by the note card method for gathering and organizing research. All students share the same subject— the true life adventures of Stubby, a stray dog turned national hero due to his World War I service—but opportunities diverge from there. Stubby's history offers research avenues for every student, even the reluctant reader, whether considering his rescue from homelessness, combat experiences, work as a service dog, status as a celebrity, or his loyalty and friendship with humans. I have yet to meet a student who can resist the urge to find out more about this loveable dog and share what they've learned.

    Depending on the amount of available time for the workshop, students will review preprinted note cards (see details below), research additional notes on their own, organize their notes to fit their chosen research focus, develop a story arc for their essay, write an opening hook, develop the rest of the essay, critique each other's writing, and share excerpts from their work with the group.

    Contact me directly to brainstorm how to adapt this program to meet the needs of your students and educational setting.

    Recommended grades: This workshop can be targeted to serve groups of students from upper elementary grades (using Stubby the War Dog) into high school (using Sergeant Stubby and other sources).

    Length: This workshop will be tailored to fit the needs of the specific setting. I have presented it in an abbreviated form using a single 90-minute period. Alternatively I have expanded it into an in-depth immersion in the research and writing process that builds during designated blocks of time over a period of days.

    Technical requirements, supplies, and staffing: In addition to an LCD projector, projection screen, and cordless microphone, we will need appropriate work stations (folding tables work well), writing supplies, highlighters, and handouts (provided reproduction-ready by me in advance). A manageable number of copies of one or both of my Stubby books should be available for shared use. Educators should be on hand to collaborate on guided work with students during the workshop.

    Advance preparation: School staff will be required to reproduce, cut, and bundle individual sets of prewritten note cards for each workshop participant (master copy of the cards and instructions are provided in advance by me). Although not essential, it is helpful for students to have read some or all of Stubby the War Dog (or Sergeant Stubby for older students). Even a brief book talk by an educator or librarian will be helpful.

    Educator feedback on this program:

    "Ann does a wonderful job making the story of Stubby real and applicable to today's stories. She lights a fire within the students to have the courage to write and express their ideas."
    —School principal, Wisconsin

    "Excellent preparation. Ann's presentation kept her audience engaged. She provided a great balance of question and answer and information. Her PowerPoint was phenomenal."
    —K-12 reading specialist, Wisconsin

    "Great writer's residency for middle school students to learn the art of writing nonfiction narratives. . . .My students learned a lot, and I believe that this introduction will give them a great skill base for their future writings."
    —Middle school educator, Wisconsin

    "It was great!"
    —Elementary school educator, Virginia

    Student feedback on this program:

    ". . .[Ms. Bausum] really tried to include and engage the students when she spoke. . . ."
    —Middle school student

    ". . .I learned to be confident in my work."
    —Middle school student

    "My favorite thing was that she would help me with my note cards. . . .I think [workshops like this] help me decide what I would want to do when I grow up. . ."
    —Middle school student

    ". . .I also enjoyed asking her questions about the book, which we couldn't have done without this opportunity. . . .The most important thing I learned was that you can express what you like in different ways."
    —Middle school student

    "I liked when we shared our [own] narrative nonfiction [writing] with our class. . ."
    —Middle school student

  • Sharing Hard Truths in Children's Nonfiction

    A program for educators, librarians, and children's book authors
    by Ann Bausum

    I fell in love with American history as a schoolchild in the South only to discover years later that my lessons had been laced with lies. When I became an author of nonfiction, I set my compass by the facts. For more than two decades I have respected the rights of readers to form their own opinions about the nuances of history, and I have helped students acquire the insights and knowledge required to become informed citizens. In this presentation I share stories from my work with social justice history, examine the challenges presented by an era where everyday facts are in dispute, and explore how best to prepare young people to think perceptively about a complex world.

    Length: Approximately 45 minutes, 10-15 minutes for questions

    Technical requirements: LCD projector and projection screen

    Feedback from event sponsors:

    "Your content was perfect for the subject of this workshop. You effectively set up the group for the four [breakout] sessions while leading the group through an entertaining and historically significant presentation. . ."
    —Host and public librarian, California

    "You brought richness and reality to our workshop. You accepted, adapted to, and amplified the [format we] envisioned and really did make all our wildest dreams come true. . . .It was such a pleasure to meet and work with you. . . .Your books open windows onto landscapes of history, hardship, and understanding. . ."
    —Host and public librarian, California

    Feedback from author attendees, librarians, and educators:

    "Fantastic. Wonderful. Wow!" . . . "A perfect choice." . . . "Amazing." . . . "Powerful and helpful." . . . "Inspiring, outstanding, courageous." . . . "[Your presentation was] emotional as well as intellectual." . . . "Wonderful. I teared up a couple of times and loved hearing about the writing process." . . . "Your nonfiction is some of my favorite to share with children and teens."
    —Excerpts compiled from evaluations submitted by workshop attendees, California

  • Fees and other logistics

    School visits:
    All-day visit (three presentations), $3,500
    Multi-day visit, per day, $3,000
    Single program: $1,600
    Travel expenses are additional.

    Adult programs, library visits, book festivals, and conferences:
    Single program, $1,600
    Book festivals, per day, $2,500
    Conferences, per day, $3,500
    Travel expenses are additional.

    Virtual visits (using Zoom or other platforms):
    Single program, one viewing: $800
    Additional fee to license single program for school-year rebroadcast: $250
    Additional fee to license single program for a future school year (per year): $500
    Contact me directly for programming needs to fit other circumstances.

    Contact Information:
    Ann Bausum

  • Book Signings

    I will happily sign books following any author program. When possible I encourage event sponsors to partner with their local independent booksellers to obtain stock. Local booksellers often are willing to coordinate sales during events and may be willing to share a portion of proceeds with the sponsoring organization.

    Readers seeking signed individual copies of my books may contact Book World at 608-756-4331 to coordinate purchases and shipping. I will inscribe and sign books as requested through this vendor. Please allow several weeks, at least, for orders to be fulfilled.

  • Speaker Requirements

    All bookings must be confirmed with the author's written speaking contract. All obligations should be set forth in this agreement. Additional last-minute requests may not be accommodated. Should overnight accommodations be necessary, they should be in commercial establishments, not private homes. Author will supply background information as needed, and sponsor will handle all promotional efforts. All technical requirements, as noted for specific programs, must be met. A microphone is required at all full-day bookings.

    Payment for appearances is expected in advance of all events—no exceptions. No recordings shall be made without the consent of the author.