Skype Author Visits

READ THIS FIRST: If you’re hoping to book a Skype visit, there’s a specific set of questions I need you to answer so that I have the information I need to book your visit. Please read all of the information on this page before you email me, and please do not send a request that doesn’t answer all of those questions. I’m not able to respond to incomplete requests.

About My Skype Author Visits…

One of the best things about technology is the way it brings people together, even when they’re far away. Each year, I meet thousands of kids in their classrooms via Skype, to talk about books, research, and the writing process. I’ve Skyped with hundreds of classrooms around the world. Some of them have blogged about their experiences to share what my Skype visits are all about:

PES Library in Maine
Mrs. Sarchet’s Grade One Class
Maria Selke’s Fifth Grade
Laurie Morrison’s Seventh Grade
Curtis Elementary Morning Book Club

Directions for requesting a Skype visit are below. Please read all of the information before you email.

15-minute Skype Q and A Sessions

In early September and early January of each year, I set aside a number of upcoming days for Skype Q and A sessions with public school classes in which every student has read one or more of my books and prepared questions in advance. I schedule schools every fifteen minutes during the selected time period. These sessions are available using Skype only and are offered on a first come, first served basis to public schools each season until my schedule is full.

Please note that at this time, my free Skype sessions are for public schools only – a decision that I made because I’m unable to accommodate all of the requests I receive, and it’s important to me that the sessions I offer at no charge are able to reach the greatest number of students from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds, at schools that everyone attends for free. I’m happy to schedule paid visits with public, private, and parochial schools as well as home-school groups. 

Cost – FREE (one per public school, per year – additional sessions may be scheduled as paid visits)

Available dates:

September 26

November 15 (Reserved for One Book, One School programs & other community reads)

Skype Author Visits – Full Presentation Plus Q & A

These longer Skype sessions are similar to my in-person author visits and writing workshops. They’re 40-45 minute sessions that begin with a 20-25 minute presentation on the writing process, using a book of your choice as a focus title and discussing writer’s notebooks, brainstorming, outlining and planning, research, drafting, revision, and the publishing process. We wrap up with 20-25 minutes of Q and A with students. These sessions are available to all schools and home-school groups.

Cost: $400

Available dates:

October 16

November 1

(Available dates for Winter/Spring 2020 will be added in early January.)


 To request a Skype author visit, please review ALL of the information above, especially available dates for the type of visit you wish to request. Then send me email  – katemessnerbooks at g mail dot com (no spaces) – answering ALL of the following eight questions in a numbered list.  I will not schedule a session until I have a complete request  with answers to all eight questions. (Yes, this is very specific, and yes, it is required. I’ve found that having a strict format for these emails saves loads of time, which leaves me with more hours to write books & connect with your students, too.)

1. What’s your name and where do you teach? Include your school, city, & time zone, please.

2. Which type of Skype visit would you like to schedule? (Free Q&A or Full presentation)

3. What are ALL the dates & times that would work for you, based on my availability above? It’s fine to give a first-choice option, but the more flexible you are, the more likely it is that I’ll be able to accommodate your request.  (i.e. “Any time between 10-2 on these two days” or “1st choice is 11am, but any time EXCEPT 12-1 works on this day)  If one of your requested times is available, I’ll reply within a week or so to confirm and schedule your visit. Please note that my life runs on Eastern Standard Time, so if you request a 2pm visit, I’ll assume you mean 2pm EST. If you live in another time zone, please be clear about the time you’re requesting. Please note that once your visit is scheduled, it is not usually possible to reschedule, so it’s important to check your school schedule carefully before you request.

4. How many students will be in the group, and what grade(s) will be included? Please note if this is an all-school read.

5. What book(s) will the students have read prior to our Skype visit? This is required for free Q and A sessions and optional but recommended for full visits.

6. What is your username on Skype? If you do not have a username yet please go to the Skype website, sign up for Skype, and get one before you email me.

7. Please provide a classroom or cell phone number where you can be reached on the day of our scheduled visit. This needs to be a phone that is with you and turned on at the time of our chat. It’s the number I’ll call if we have any technical difficulties.

8. Do you plan to distribute book order forms to give your students the opportunity to order personalized, signed books through The Bookstore Plus after our Skype visit? This isn’t required, but it’s very much appreciated and also helps add to student excitement. If you do not know if your school allows this or if your teachers are willing to participate, please find out before you email me.

I think I’ve covered everything here, but if you have questions, feel free to email. I’m looking forward to talking books and writing with you and your students!

2 Replies on “Skype Author Visits

  1. First of all I would like to say superb blog! I had a quick
    question that I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.

    I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your thoughts prior to writing.

    I’ve had a tough time clearing my mind in getting my ideas out.
    I do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like
    the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be lost just trying
    to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or
    tips? Appreciate it!