Skype An Author Network

It all started when author Mona Kerby visited Grandview Library in 2008 to talk to 2nd graders about her book Owney, The Mail Pouch Pooch. In 2009, Ms. Kerby visited the class via Skype. The children and their teachers cheered when Ms. Kerby "appeared" on the Smart Board. Ms. Kerby talked about Owney and the process she went through to research, write, and publish the book. Several of the children asked Ms. Kerby questions and the whole group enjoyed waving at and thanking Ms. Kerby for "visiting".

The mission of the Skype an Author Network is to provide K-12 teachers and librarians with a way to connect authors, books, and young readers through virtual visits. Wouldn't it be great to invite authors into your classroom or library to video chat with students before, during, and/or after reading their books? We are growing a list of authors who want to make that connection with you via Skype. Visit our Skype Overview page to learn more about Skype.

Lori Degman-September2016


On January2016, I had a skype visit with Kindergarteners at Tallwood Elementary School in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Here's what the Reading Specialist, Ms. Kaas, had to say about the visit:

"Lori was a fantastic author to Skype with. Our kindergarten students really enjoyed asking her questions and hearing her read 1 Zany Zoo. They all loved the book ****-a-Doodle Oops and wanted us to read it over and over again. Altogether the experience was one our teachers and students will not forget."

Marsha Diane Arnold- May 2016

Marsha Arnold May 2016

Marsha Diane Arnold Skyped with Bridges to Learning PreSchool in Kansas on May 11th.

The children had recently performed a Mother’s Day play of their favorite “Marsha” book,Roar of a Snore.

After the Skype visit, the children enjoyed another favorite “Marsha “ book,Prancing Dancing Lily. It was especially fun for Marsha as Kingman, Kansas is her home town and the teacher is her cousin’s daughter-in-law.

Bruce Hale- March 2015

TheBruce Hale Skype Visit3rd graders at Bethesda Elementary participated in their very first Skype session today with the author Bruce Hale and we could not be happier about choosing him to be our "pilot program" author. Bruce Hale has a great balance of humor and information in his presentation of how he became an author. The students were completely engaged in the full lesson listening,laughing and learning the whole time.

He has a great message for students about perseverance and using your imagination to create stories. We 100%recommend contacting Bruce for a Skype or school visit and hope to be able to do so again ourselves in the future!

Megan Despot
Bethesda Elementary School

Marsha Diane Arnold- January 2015

Marsha Diane Arnold India Skype

I look so delighted here. And I was! Skyping with a school in Hyderabad, India. Before questions, the students all greeted me: Good Morning, Miss Marsha.

Abhinesh says: Good Morning Marsha Madam. My name is Abhinesh from PP2F. I am happy that I met an author on the screen. I also wrote 3 stories, I told you when my turn came during the session. I forgot to tell that I am only the illustrator for my books. You gave me the idea of choosing the name for my character in my stories. I told my mom to search on the computer and internet for the character name. I want to listen to your story Heart of a Tiger. I want to talk to you again. Thank you.

Nikitha says: Good Morning Madam.I am Nikitha. I was so happy when you answered my doubts regarding stories and the story you shared with us was real fun.

Garrett Burke- January 2014

Garrett Burke Quarterama
Garrett Burke's coin idea became half a billion California State Quarters honoring John Muir in Yosemite Valley. Now, as the creator of the award-winning book "Quarterama," he reveals the surprising histories, innovative people, and natural wonders seen atop all 50 State Quarters.

Teacher Reviews

"My 3rd Grade students were focused throughout this high-interest lesson. They LOVE the book and it made for some very interesting pre-teaching. The discussion continued long after the lesson was complete and I am positive it has continued at home too. I had parents who said they wished they could have sat in on the lesson as well." -

"We just had parent/teacher conferences and several parents mentioned how much their child talked about what they had learned. Two told me that their children are now collecting coins! Mr. Burke is wonderful with children. My students want to meet with him again!" - MAINE -

"Mr. Burke was gracious enough to address my 30 freshmen students in U.S. History and it was a GREAT experience from start to finish! They were amazed at the relevancy of symbolism in currency and how it impacts their world." - WISCONSIN -

"Thirty minutes went by so quickly, it was a mix of him, pictures, and video. I would highly recommend this lesson, it was fabulous!" - OKLAHOMA -

"Mr. Burke's presentation was out of this world! I loved the "Screen Sharing", which enabled him to show us various video clips and snippets from his book 'Quarterama', all the while narrating over them." - NEW YORK

Martha Rodriguez- July 2013

Martha Rodriguez July2013

We had the pleasure of Skyping with Martha Rodriguez, and found her to be a dynamic and special person. She is flexible and accommodating, aligning her schedule to match the needs of our school. We were fortunate to have her meet with our third graders during five class sessions. For each group of students, she devised separate engaging and creative activities. Not only did we laugh when we read her humorous story, but we were again entertained and inspired by her games, which were designed to get our creative juices flowing.

The opportunity to meet with an authentic author is truly inspiring for our young writers, and Martha was a blessing to our school.

Carrie Stepeck, Librarian, Bungay School, Seymour, Connecticut

May 2013

Martha's Skype Visit
Martha helped the students aspire towards becoming authors themselves. Every singlestudentwas actively engaged in her Q & A session and her fun writing activities that sparked the students’ imaginations.

This was her second year of visiting our school and each time thestudentslove to hear from her. They always comment on how much they enjoy her books. We are so fortunate to have found such a wonderful author to help our third graders with their author study project by Skyping with us from Florida to Hawaii. She enriched our students’ learning with her wealth of ideas and inspiration.

Thankyou Martha!Laurel Taylor, Library Media Specialist/Tech Coordinator JK-6

Martha's Books

Bruce Hale-March 2013

Bruce Hale - Great Oaks Elementary 1Last week we had a Skype visit with Bruce Hale and he was fantastic. I loved the way he engaged thestudents. It was almost like he was in the room. Thestudentsfelt like he was there and had a great time interacting with him. He shared a Slideshow with me to show students so they could see what he was talking about and how he became a writer. He was funny, entertaining and very informative. The students loved that he drew pictures as well. My son was in the audience and he even tried to draw ChetBruce Hale - Great Oaks Elementary 2Gecko thenextday after watching Bruce.

I highly recommend him to any school. He was so easy to work with, so kind and so on target. He was as good with Kindergarten as he was with the older grades and he saw every grade except 5th because we could not fit it in theirschedule. I would certainly have himagain. Way to go Bruce!

Clarissa Grindle, Librarian
Great Oaks Elementary
Round Rock Independent School District

Marsha Diane Arnold- February2013

In celebration of Lily's new adventure, I'm offering a special price for Skype visits if booked by the first day of spring, March 20th. For those who take advantage of the Lily Special, I will Skype withyourclass or school for a "song". Just $90 for 45 minutes to 1 hour, which can include a slideshow, reading a story with your students, showing them around my office, answering questions, and more!Email meat to book today.

Fright Flight by Lisa ArdLisa Ard- February 2013

"I can'tthankyou enough for taking the time to speak with our fifth graders. We had over one hundred 10 and 11 year-olds in attendance, all of whom had been anticipating your visit for weeks, since we began reading FrightFlight.

I wish you could have heard the discussions we had after the session. The students were inspired with a new excitement for writing as they shared their favorite piece of advice from you.

I overheard a couple of students discussing how they were going to buy little notebooks over the weekend, so that they couldstartrecording their ideas. When students are able to learn from an expert in a field, it takes their learning to a new level.Thankyou for seeing the value in that and taking the time to help develop young writers."

Michele Colebrook,
5th gradeteacher, Timberline Elementary

Marsha Arnold Feb 2013Dear Marsha,

You are such a delightful person! The children just beamed during our follow-up conversation. They just couldn't believe that they were actually talking to you! I am confident that we made a memory for them that will have an impact for years to come!Thankyou for sharing your experience with us. Perhaps we can do itagainnextyear! I will be in touch.

PleasecontinueSkyping! Our students may never experience talking to a published author without this kind of opportunity as we are unable to afford the fees that are incurred when an author has to travel to be here. It is truly invaluable. I appreciate your willingness toparticipatein this type of experience to expose our students to the wonderful world of reading and writing.

Thankyouagainfor such a lovely conversation!
Carla Laney
ManningEarly ChildhoodCenter
Manning, South Carolina

ProfessorMarilyn Arnone&Curiosity Creekshares her delightful Nature Booktalks
Wouldn't they make great ticklers for a Skype Visit!
If you've written a children's picture book with a nature theme,
let me know
Professor Arnone may be interested in creating a talk for your book!

Our goal is to set upa networkof authorswho are willing toparticipatein Skype conversations withstudentsin classrooms and libraries. This wiki provides a page for each author who joins the network. Our author template ensures consistency of content and keeps things simple for authors, teachers, and librarians. The author pages provide procedural and contactinformation.Take a lookatMona Kerby'spage as an example.

Arrangements for Skype visitsare initiated via email and/orphonebetween the author and the teacher and/or librarian.

Authors offer two types of visits:
  • No Charge - Meet the Author Visits - 10 to 15 minutes
  • In-Depth Visits - Time and fee determined by each author
Next Steps
Once you are comfortable with "Skyping" you can try additional web-based technologies to enhance your visits, for example:

The possibilities forcollaborationare many. If you have used other tools during your sessions, please start a "Discussion" to share with all of our members.

Authors Who are Interested May Email
Pinterest Experiment

Illustrators & Author Illustrators
to Visit

Writer on the Side

Skype An Author
Columbia News Service

Education Week
Web Conferencing...

Joyce Valenza Interview for SLJ 7/11/09

Skype Interview by Howard Wolinsky - 7/25/09

Author/Illustrator Mike Artell
Shares a Skype Visit

Enjoy More
Video Clips Here