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A podcast dedicated to demystifying the art and business of school author visits for authors, illustrators, educators, librarians, parents, and booksellers.

Hosts: Author, Bonnie Clark and Author-illustrator, Shanda McCloskey

Record a book review here! Use this handy guide if you'd like!

Produced by Ben McCloskey • Sponsored by

Aug 4, 2022

Shanda picks the brain of author and teacher, Lola Schaefer, about how to put on writer's workshops for kids. (Bonnie Clark is on vacation).

(Shanda) Welcome to the Author Visit Podcast! I’m author-illustrator, Shanda McCloskey. And our topic today is all about putting on writer’s workshops with kids, with our special guest, author, and writing teacher - Lola Schaefer! Welcome, Lola!

(Shanda) We always start by telling how we’ve been doing for the past few weeks, so I'll start.

(Shanda) Finished a reeeeally rough sketch dummy for the Rube Goldberg book, Visited my sister in Greensboro, NC, and now I’m working on my first keynote for the Arkansas Literary Association’s Annual Literacy Conference (Doll-E 1.0 won 2nd place in the Arkansas Diamond Children's book award)... How’ve you been, Lola?

(Lola) Lola tells about how busy she’s been incredibly busy with gardening and books lately.

(Shanda) Lola, I’m excited to pick your brain about putting on writing workshops for students! First, can you tell us a little about yourself, the books you make, and your experience with writing workshops?

(Lola) Lola tells how she began as a classroom teacher and learned on the job how to get students writing!

During this talk, Shanda and Lola discuss the following…

  • What exactly is a writing workshop?
  • How does a regular classroom writing workshop differ from an author visit writing workshop?
  • How long do they last? One session? Multiple?
  • What ages do best in writing workshops?
  • How does a writer-in-residence differ from a writing workshop?
  • What do you write in a writing workshop?
  • How many students per session?
  • What are some nuances that authors/educators might need to know or think about if they’ve never done a workshop before?
  • How can authors tailor their writing with students' experiences so they complement what the teacher is currently doing in the writing workshop?
  • What should authors charge for this sort of thing? Who is the contact you deal with most of the time at schools (or other) to set these events up?
  • What about virtual workshops?
  • Any special memories or funny stories from a workshop you’ve done in the past?
  • What do you wish we had asked?
  • Can schools book YOU for writing workshops now?

(Shanda) That wraps up our 21st episode all about writing workshops for kids with Lola Shcaefer!  This was a truly awesome talk! You can find me at, on Twitter: @ShandaMcCloskey, and on Instagram: @shandamccloskeydraws. Lola, where can you be found?

(Lola) and on Twitter and Facebook.

(Shanda) And here’s a kid book review… by Beni M.

(Shanda) This podcast is sponsored by and produced by Ben McCloskey of And if you enjoyed this episode, pleeeease rate-and-review us! We may even read your written review (on Apple Podcasts) on the next episode!

(Shanda) We love to hear from our listeners. Feel free to leave comments, ideas, and even have your kid record a kid book review on We might use it as the kid book review on the next episode!

(Shanda) Thanks for listening to this episode of the Author Visit Podcast. Bye!!!

Resources and books mentioned in this episode (with affiliate links that help support this podcast):


This podcast is sponsored by and produced by Ben McCloskey of And if you enjoyed this episode, we would surely appreciate it if you would rate and review us and please share with others who might like it too! And if our podcast is helpful to you, please consider making a donation to help keep us going!

If you have comments or even ideas for future topics to cover on an episode let us know on the contact form at With your help, kids can record a book review there too and it might get used as the Kid Book Review on one of our future episodes! There’s even a printable book review template there to help guide you if needed.

Thanks for listening to the 21st episode of the Author Visit Podcast!