Encourage reading for fun
When an author discusses writing and the creative process, students connect with the written word in entirely new ways. Books become living things, not abstract artifacts, as kids identify with the journey from idea to publication as told by the human person who brought it all together. This generates an enthusiasm not only for reading more books, but also a greater variety of books.
Motivate reluctant and struggling readers
There’s nothing quite like hearing about the behind-the-scenes process of putting a book together to engage struggling readers and generate interest in the creative process. Hearing from an author in person puts a human face on one book in particular, which often snowballs into an increased interest in books in general.
Support classroom learning
When an author discusses how she has to incorporate her editor’s feedback or rewrite a scene that doesn’t support the plot, students recognize how authors have to use the same skills that they are learning in class. Authors also emphasize the importance of goal-setting, discipline, and perseverance, traits that will help students succeed in school and in life. Students who see a real-world application for these skills are often more receptive to teachers presenting them throughout their educational careers.
Improve writing confidence
It’s easy to read a published book and believe it came into the world perfect. Authors introduce the idea that writing is a messy, uneven process for everyone – even them. Students are often shocked to learn that their favorite books start as bad first drafts and become better through revision and feedback, and kids develop an understanding that their own writing can improve this way as well.
Make creativity accessible & inspire students
It’s not uncommon for people (of all ages) to think that books just happen, that an author simply whips up powerful and engaging stories out of nowhere and with little effort. This often means that writing – whether as a career or just for fun – seems out of reach for “ordinary” people, especially kids. Seeing a real person talking about his creative career in an honest way disrupts this idea of the writer on a pedestal and puts all creativity within reach, whether it’s writing, painting, coding, sketching, knitting, or cooking. Students who meet an author in person are exposed to the idea that writing is a career available to anyone willing to put in the work, and this can inspire them to pursue their own goals, no matter how unlikely they currently seem.