Author Visits

Author visits are the best part of being a writer!

Kat is a teacher with a doctorate in Education and 20+ years of experience writing with kids of all ages. Her school visits are designed with the specific needs of each school in mind, so whether you’d like a virtual or in-person visit, reach out to discuss how to create an engaging visit for your school community!

Kat offers… Young Author Festival presentation, whole school assemblies, single class visits, teacher professional development, adult writing sessions, book club visits, writer-in-residence, and so much more!

See below for sample topics:

Writing with Kids: Real Writers Write!
Classroom Visits for K-8

Nothing energizes a writer like being around other writers. When Kat is invited into classrooms she shares her passion for writing with students, most often writing with them on high interest topics that motivate even reluctant writers. Below are some samples of possible programs, but as a former classroom teacher and teacher educator, Kat understand the value of instructional time and prefers to structure her visits based on the individual needs of each school. 

The Writer’s Life
What is it like to be a working writer? Kat gives kids a backstage pass into the life of a writer, discussing a writer’s tools, her own writing process, and the joy that can come from revision and even rejection.

50 minute presentation, may be individual classrooms or combined groups.

The Writer’s Muse
We all know writers create poems and stories, but HOW? Kat shares her insights into where writers get their ideas and guides young writers through several fun exercises designed to stretch their creative muscles and awaken their own personal muses.
50 minute presentation, may be individual classrooms or combined groups.

When real writers revise, it’s for one reason and one reason alone: to clarify the writing for the intended audience. Revision in the classroom often fails because students approach it as another assignment, a set of rules to obey. In this fun hands-on workshop, Kat helps students begin to see the necessity of revision and gives them practical guidelines to apply in their own writing.
May be scheduled as one 50 minute presentation, or as a series of workshops in which students work with Kat on revising actual pieces.

The Secret Knowledge of Kids
Based on the hilarious book, The Secret Knowledge of Grown-Ups, this fun day of writing challenges classes to create their own book of knowledge.
Can be used as an introductory writing exercise that is then turned over to the teachers to finish, or as a series of three or four visits in which Kat guides students through the whole process.

Fiction Fun!
A Classroom Writing Workshop Residency 
For Students Grades K-8
Everyone loves to read a good story, but writing a good story is not as easy as it looks. Young children are often frustrated when their own stories don’t sound like the rich literature they read in published books. Likewise, older students struggle to find their own unique voice and to create the depth necessary to make readers care about what happens to their characters.

As your school’s writer-in-residence, Kat Higgs-Coulthard comes into the classrooms to work directly with students on their own fiction writing. Students explore a variety of writing tools and techniques, with opportunities to try each strategy in their own pieces, rather than applying a set of rules to a standardized prompt. Students whose classrooms participate in a multiple day program also have the opportunity to share their writing with Kat, receiving encouragement and feedback.

Teachers are encouraged to stay in the room and write with students during Kat’s visit, turning the writing workshop into a writing workshop inservice for educators as well. 

Writing Workshop Residencies can be booked for 1-5 consecutive days.* Because there is an infinite number of ways a writing workshop can be planned, Kat is very flexible, and will work with your school to meet its specific needs. The following will help you determine how many days your school will need to schedule:
** Up to four 50-minute sessions may be scheduled per day, shorter sessions for K-1. 
* For elementary schools, a 50-minute large group assembly style introductory session for all participating classes is required prior to the first classroom writing session. Depending on the number of students participating, more than one introductory session may be necessary. Often, an introductory session is scheduled for each grade level. 
* The introductory session is not required at middle or junior high schools. 
* What grade levels do you want to target? You may want to target only one grade level, several grade levels, or all grades. 
* How many classroom writing sessions do you want your students to have? A classroom may have as many as five writing sessions for an intensive program, or may have only one. Obviously, the more sessions scheduled per class, the more the students will benefit. 
* Schools within 50 miles of South Bend, Indiana may schedule a full day of classroom writing workshops once a week for several consecutive weeks or on a monthly basis.