Saturday, July 8, 2017

Miranda Paul's workshop: How to write a proposal to speak at schools, conferences, and festivals

Miranda Paul is an award-winning children’s author of both fiction and nonfiction. Her creative nonfiction picture books One Plastic Bag and Water is Water were both named Junior Library Guild selections, and her bedtime romp 10 Little Ninjas was an Amazon Best Book of the Month. Her titles have received starred reviews from School Library Journal and Publisher’s Weekly in addition to being named to several award and state reading lists. Forthcoming titles in 2017 include Blobfish Throws a Party, Are We Pears Yet? and The Great Pasta Escape. Miranda is a co-founding member and current mentorship chair for We Need Diverse Books™. Learn more at

Miranda's session is packed with information.

Some highlights:

You published a book. Great!
But what is your "so what?"

Why should they have you and your book at their festival? Why your book? Why you?

What will people get out of your book? And more than that, what will the attendees of the conference get out of your presentation?

Submit, but don't even expect a response. If you expect nothing, you'll only be pleasantly surprised when you do get a response. And note that for most conferences, they're booking speakers and presenters 6-12 months ahead.

She tells us the story of putting herself on tour for her debut book,

One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia. (Eight states in eight weeks, seeing tens of thousands of kids!)

She challenges us to think about ourselves and our book, and consider what is unique, what is different, what is surprising?

One slide of her tips:

great advice

We gather in small groups for a quick exercise, and then, with a handout, and lists, and lots of examples, everyone leaves Miranda's session with a much better sense of how to write our own proposals!

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