The Balkin Buddies Blog Catherine Balkin's Facebook



AGE OF AUDIENCE: M.E. Kerr's books are geared towards grades 4 to YA, and those are generally the grades she speaks to when she does school visits. She also speaks to adults (teachers, librarians, booksellers, parents, writers, etc.)


NUMBER OF DAYS SHE CAN BE AWAY: Ms. Kerr prefers to arrive the night before, give morning talks, autograph, and depart for home the same day. No more than one overnight stay, please.


LOCATION OF APPEARANCES: She especially prefers Long Island, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Anywhere on the east coast is fine. She'll go as far as the Midwest, but only for adult conferences. She is unable to do visits on the west coast.


THE SIZE OF EACH SESSION: The size of the audience doesn't matter, as long as there is a good PA system for large groups.


EQUIPMENT NEEDED: A microphone if the group is large, a table and chair might be helpful, and plenty of water.


NUMBER OF SESSIONS PER DAY: She prefers to do no more than two presentations a day.


CONTENT OF PRESENTATIONS: M.E. Kerr usually doesn't have a prepared speech. In general, she talks about her books, especially her latest book, where she got her ideas, etc. If she is asked to address a specific topic, this should be requested as far in advance as possible so she can think about it and prepare.


For adult groups, she sometimes gives what she calls 'my mother's speech,' which actually gives a lot of information about her and her books but is quite funny. But again, she can tailor her talk to fit the needs of the group.


WRITING WORKSHOPS: She does these on a limited basis. She prefers it if students could hand in their writing ahead of time so that she can read these works the night before the workshop, then offer comments the next day.


FURTHER SPECIFICS: Once the visit is set up, Ms. Kerr likes the teacher or organizer to call her so that she can find out the expectations and needs of each audience. She also has material that she will send to the teacher or organizer to help prepare for the visit well in advance.


HONORARIUM Generally speaking, her fee is $1,500 a day, plus expenses. The honorarium should be presented as soon as the author appearance has reached its conclusion. For further information, especially about the expenses (travel, hotel, and meals), click the "Arrange An Appearance" button and see "General Information on the Cost of an Author Appearance" as well as the 'Honorariums' section near the bottom of "How to Plan an Author Appearance."