- Group or private one-on-one
- Creative writing, songwriting, ukulele, and more
- 30-minute workshops/presentations.
- Free skype day each semester for 15-minute Q&A sessions only.
- Signed copies of books available to order through Politics & Prose, a DC bookstore. If interested, a Politics & Prose coordinator will contact you with more information.
Reservations for paid skype sessions can be made at anytime. Email me with two preferred dates/times. I’ll invoice only after the session (no payment will be required if technical difficulties prevent the session from taking place).
- The Writing Process. I take students on a journey through the writing process. Where do ideas come from? How do writer’s notebooks, webs, and outlines help? Why is revising so important? 30 minutes. $150.
- The Writer’s Notebook. What is the difference between a writer’s notebook and a diary? I share my childhood diaries and my current writer’s notebooks with students and explain how and why I use my writer’s notebooks in the writing process. $150.
- Creating Character. This is an actual writing workshop with two 30-min sessions. I’ll lead students through an improve exercise to get their imaginations in gear. Then I’ll take them through a pre-writing exercise. Finally I’ll ask them to write a short piece. We’ll reconvene via skype and students will share their work with me. $300.
- Songwriting. I share a rough draft of a song and then the final song and discuss the process, from brainstorming to revision.STEM songwriting sessions are also available. $150.
- “First Lines” Critique. Students will be extra-motivated to polish a piece of writing if they know an author will read their work. You can schedule a Skype critique session with me anytime throughout the year. First you schedule the Skype, then ask students to work on a piece of writing (fiction or essay), focusing especially on “hooking the reader” with a great opening. Teachers collect the first page from each student and send it to me via good old-fashioned snail mail. I’ll read each piece and then during our 30-minute Skype session, I’ll give feedback on what I’ve read. Depending on size of class I may not be able to comment on every student’s work; however students and teachers can learn a lot by listening to my feedback overall. $300.
- Poem/Song Critique. Students will be extra-motivated to polish a piece of writing if they know an author will read their work. You can schedule a Skype poem critique session with me anytime throughout the year.Teachers collect a poem from each student and send it to me via good old-fashioned snail mail. I’ll read each poem and then during our 30-minute Skype session, I’ll give feedback on what I’ve read. Depending on size of class I may not be able to comment on every student’s work; however students and teachers can learn a lot by listening to my feedback overall. $300.
Free 15-min Q&A Session: November 7, 2016
I take reservations for time slots for free 15-minute Q-andA on a first-come, first-served basis.
To schedule a free Q&A session, teachers/librarians, please contact me with all of the following info listed in one message:
- Preferred time (listing your time zone, please)
- Your name and your skype name.
- Name of school, snail mail address, and phone number of school or library
- Grade level(s), size of audience, and book(s) on which you’d like the Q/A to focus.
Once your session has been approved, you will receive guidelines via email and your school name will be added to this schedule.
- “WOW… All the kids are in the hallway buzzing about how cool it is that we talked to Mary Amato. Everything you talked about was so relevant to us as writers.”–Tara Ethridge, Saudi Aramco Expatriate School, Udhailiyah, Saudi Arabia
- “We had a very successful Skype experience with Mary Amato. We did the two-part character creation workshop. We would like to schedule for the same time next February!” –Hope Preston, Gill St. Bernard’s School, NJ
- “My students loved her and I loved the way she subtly got across the message of ‘grit.’ She told students how important it is to revise written work… and how mistakes can be a fabulous opportunity for learning. Patricia London, Media Specialist Avon Middle-High School, MA
- Author Visit: I take students on a journey through the writing process and share my personal story of how and why writing has been powerful in my life. Also covered: Where do ideas come from? How do journals, webs, and outlines help? Why is revising so important? How does a book get published? I conclude with an improvisational “revision” game.
- Creating Characters: How does a novelist create and develop characters? I show strategies for developing characters and uses improvisational games to help students create and give voice to a character. Literary elements that are covered: voice, point of view, character traits, pre-writing, webbing, and self-questioning.
- Songwriting: I share my process for songwriting from brainstorming to revision and participants learn how to craft a song. No experience or instrument necessary. STEM Songwriting workshops are also available.
- Writing for Voice: What is “voice”? Why is it so important? How do you find it? How do you write with it? I analyze and explore the concept of voice, using samples from my own work and the work of others.
Especially for Teachers
- Who Wants to Revise? When asked to revise work, many students groan or panic. Join me as I share of series of fun, concrete strategies for helping writers to actually look forward to tackling revisions. I’ll also share stories and examples from recent work. You’ll want to pass these tips along to your students (and be inspired to use them in your own writing).
- Creating Character: How does a novelist create and develop characters? I show strategies for developing characters and demonstrates improvisational games to help students create and give voice to a character.
I’m available for short and long term teaching residencies in songwriting, STEM songwriting, fiction, and poetry. These sessions can be designed to support and complement specific objectives in your language arts curriculum. Contact me directly for more information.
In conjunction with an author visit, many schools and libraries like to offer book sales/signing. You can order books in quantity at a discount from the publisher, work with your local bookseller, or a book-selling agent. I can pass on information regarding this once a visit is booked.
I offer workshops for adults and teens privately. The best way to stay up-to-date on my workshop offerings is through Facebook or Twitter. Or use the search engine at the bottom and search for private workshops.
For more information or to schedule a visit, please contact me.
- Songwriting Skype Session Flyer
- Assembly Flyer for Grades 6-12
- Creative Ways to Make Your Author Visit a Success
- Schedule of Appearances
- Recent Presentations
- Information about Residencies
- Skype with Mary Amato
- Award and Honors