school visit

School visits

Steve's nature and writing programs for schools

"Education, engagement, enthusiasm, energy, and excitement for EVERYONE! This is what you can expect when you invite Steve Swinburne to your school for either an author’s presentation, a writer’s workshop or best of all, BOTH."

Bev Bjorklund
Library Media Specialist
Head O’Meadow Elementary School
Newtown, CT

School visit and conference information

PLEASE don’t hesitate to contact us as we can often add you to our schedule.




Note: Please feel free to inquire. We are happy to work within your budget.



Cell phone: 802 379 0535

or Write:
Heather Swinburne
P.O. Box 2005
South Londonderry, Vermont 05155

During a full day school visit, I make three 45-60 minute presentations at one school. Here is a sample full day schedule:

  • 8:30 AM arrive and set up
  • 9:00 - 9:45 1st presentation (K-1)
  • 10:00 - 11 2nd presentation (2-3)
  • 11:00 - 1:30 lunch/sign books
  • 1:30 - 2:30 3rd presentation (4-5)
  • 2:30 - ? finish signing books

I tailor each session to fit the age level attending, therefore it is important to keep the groups at the same approximate age level. I have spoken to students from preK to 12th grade. IDEAL group size ranges from 50 - 150 students ( but I will speak to larger groups).

NOTE: Teacher and aide attendance is a must! It insures appropriate behavior and enables effective follow-up discussions and activities with the students.

In each session I plan to:

-focus on the importance of research, journal keeping, writing first drafts, writing second drafts, and the passion of storytelling

-take students on an adventure with manatees, wolves, black bears, sea turtles through a lively power point presentation

  • inspire young authors to strengthen their own writing by highlighting the use of strong verbs, interesting details and crafting a good lead
  • talk about the creative process and where ideas come from
  • have plenty of laughs!
  • answer questions from students and teachers

- lead sing-a-long with my ukulele (if time permits)

Supplies Needed:

  • *AV cart with 3 plug-ins and extension cord
  • *computer speakers
  • *large screen
  • *2 display tables upfront or a stage
  • *wireless microphone with stand
  • *water to drink
  • *a copy of each book to display

The success of the visit hinges on how well the students are prepared. Familiarity with the books generates excitement and invites student participation during a presentation. Involve the teachers by encouraging them to use the books in the classroom.

Most schools order books so that students can buy them and have them autographed during the visit. We are happy to supply you with books. Please email Heather Swinburne for the most up-to-date availability of titles. You can reach Heather at:

I will be happy to sign any books during break times. Please have a slip of paper or post-it note in each book with the first name to be inscribed printed legibly. Unfortunately, I cannot autograph slips of paper, t-shirts or hands.

Download a pdf of Author visit handout

Download a pdf of Author visit timetable


If you do not have the funds for an author visit and you have already checked your school’s library budget, consider asking the PTA or PTO to support the event or inquire if there are District Title I monies that can be used for a literacy program that meets curriculum standards. You can also apply for a grant. Possible sources include your State Humanities Council or State Council on the Arts, your State Reading Association or local Reading Council, local service organizations (Kiwanis, Lions, Rotary Clubs) The National Endowment for the Arts, and or a local business.

Steve showing class a picture from a book


Visit with Steve via ZOOM, Google, or other magical software for a live presentation. Virtual visit includes a chat topic of your choice and Q’s and A’s.

"Steve Swinburne's visit was the best author visit Stevens School has had, in large part because he displayed an unusual sensitivity to children's ages and development levels which made his connection to the audience exceptional."

Jane B. Harvey
Library Media Specialist
Stevens Elementary School, Wallingford, Connecticut

Texas loves Steve!

Check out this wonderful recommendation from a Texas teacher:

Dear Librarians,

It is with genuine pleasure that I recommend author, Stephen Swinburne, for school programs for elementary school students and staff! His From Blank Page to Book program is customized to meet the developmental needs of elementary students. His presentation targets an integrated curriculum. These are examples:

· Writing – use of strong introductory paragraphs with examples of ways to create them.

· Writing – use of strong verbs to enhance meaning.

· Science – conservation and life cycles of wild animals.

· Music – rhythms of animal life and sounds.

· Graphic Organizers – an example is the “cats” chart in his Bobcat…book

At our February presentation, the students and staff were equally attentive with the animal life exploration, the writing information, and the crowd management skills that Steve built into the program. There were numerous positive comments from students and staff following the presentation. To all teaching librarians I give this advice, “Make it a priority one budget item to include Steve’s presentation as part of your quality library programming for next year”.

Should funding be a concern, due to the writing elements that he includes in his program, local, state, or federal funding such as Title V could be proposed, approved and allocated to pay for some or all of his presentation and expenses. You would be totally justified in making such a proposal due to the content of the program.

Aileen Kirkham,
Librarian & Author of the Collaborative Bridges Series, Grades 3-5



Cell phone: 802 379 0535

or Write:
Heather Swinburne
P.O. Box 2005
South Londonderry, Vermont 05155

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