Programs and Presentations for Educators
Candice has visited hundreds of schools and libraries in the last 30 years. She has given keynote addresses and workshops at international, state, and local reading teacher and library media conferences. She is in demand as a speaker at reading conferences.
“The Big Green Pocketbook/The Old Blue Pick-up Truck/Tractor Day” – Three autobiographical picture books—one based on a fun day with my mother, one based on a fun day with my father, the last on a family tradition—help young children realize it’s okay to “write what you know.” I show the actual Big Green Pocketbook! PowerPoint. Grades K–1. 45 minutes
“Iva Honeysuckle Discovers the World” - In this program I discuss how I created the rambunctious Iva, a character that demanded I buy her presents. Iva may live in Uncertain, Virginia, but she knows exactly what she wants to do: be a famous discoverer. While giggling over Iva’s antics, students will learn how to use the five senses in writing. Descriptive details sharpen all types of writing and help young writers focus. PowerPoint. Grades 2–3. 50 minutes.
“Rebel McKenzie” - In this program, students will be introduced to Rebel McKenzie, a character drawn from my life. Rebel, who longs to be a paleontologist, digs a big hole for herself when she befriends a bully, alienates the trailer park beauty queen, teaches her nephew to belch, and enters a beauty pageant to earn money for Ice Age camp. Partly told through comic strips, field notebooks, beauty newsletters, the book surprised me by requiring these non-narrative forms to advance plot and develop character. Students will be encouraged to create their own traditional narrative stories augmented with newspapers, cartoons, journal and diary entries, etc. PowerPoint. Grades 4–8. 50 minutes.
“Write Where You Are: Large-group Student Writing Workshops”
In response to teachers asking how to motivate their students to write more, I have created large-group workshops based on my own writing process. My graduate students and writers in my weekend retreats learn how to ground fiction and nonfiction using personal geography and image versus idea.
- Three programs per day for grades K-1, 2-3, 4-8. Each workshop is geared to meet the curriculum needs of these age/grade groups.
- I use my own childhood stories to show how my stories fizzled out (lack of planning!). I also use my published texts to demonstrate how picture books, chapter books, and novels grew from my own personal stories.
- PowerPoint slides provide images and writing cues.
- Students will bring notebooks and pencils, prepared to write. They’ll leave with at least one focused topic, opening sentence, lists of strong verbs and nouns to replace “weasel words,” questions to propel narrative, and the energy to write completed pieces from their own personal place.
- I use my own books to demonstrate the process. To get the most out of these programs, students need to be familiar with my work. For K-1: The Big Green Pocketbook, Tractor Day, The Old Blue Pickup Truck. For 2-3: Iva Honeysuckle Discovers the World, Seeing Sky-Blue Pink. For 4-5: Rebel McKenzie, Finding Day’s Bottom. I will see that you have the books in advance.
PROGRAMS FOR EDUCATORS AND MEDIA SPECIALISTS:
I often give after-school or evening programs (such as PTO/PTA meetings) in conjunction with school visits.
- In-service for teachers, “You Are Here: Personal Geography and Maps as Story Starters.” This workshop focuses on helping students write based on place and image, not ideas. They learn to create personal maps that serve as the foundation for memoirs, stories, and nonfiction. Through “deep-mapping,” students access memories and learn to observe. Exercises, handouts, bibliography. PowerPoint, 1 hour.
Experience: I have an MFA in writing and an MA in children’s literature. I have taught graduate level creative writing at Spalding University and currently teach in Hollins University’s MA/MFA children’s literature program. I’ve also given weekend retreats in memoir, place-based writing, and journaling.