School Visits


Author Life (any grade):

Shannon will walk students through her early life, including writing samples as an elementary student and pictures, until getting published. She will talk about how teaching English and coaching swim teams led her to write for tweens and teens. 45 mins.

Evolution of a Story (any grade):

Starting with an idea, up through publication, Shannon will talk about how a book is made. Shannon will use Mary Underwater as an example, providing the song that inspired the book, deleted scenes, and revision examples. Students will see the behind the scenes aspects of publishing. 45 mins.


Heroes (5th – 8th grade):

Mary Underwater features five non-fiction sections about Joan of Arc. Students will learn about the difference between writing fiction and non-fiction and then pick their own hero to write about in a break-out session. Best for small groups or a classroom. 30 mins.

Setting as Character (5th – 8th grade):

Students will analyze the setting of the Chesapeake Bay in Mary Underwater and then create their own character from a setting of their choice. Individual or classroom activity. Best for small groups or a classroom. 30 mins.

Character (5th-8th grade):

Shannon will show students how she decides on character, providing examples of characterization notes, mood boards, and playlists. Students will have an opportunity to create a character using similar techniques. Can be done individually or as a class. Best for small groups or a classroom. Computer access needed. 30 mins.

QUESTION & ANSWER (any grade):

Students in any grade can invite Shannon in for a classroom or full grade question and answer session. Shannon will do a brief introduction and then open up the floor for questions. This goes really well when the students have researched Shannon ahead of time, either by visiting her website or watching her book trailer for Mary Underwater. 30 to 45 mins.

VIRTUAL VISITS (any grade):

Shannon will visit with any group or classroom that reads Mary Underwater FOR FREE! Contact her about your 20 minute visit with her over any of the following apps: Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts, or Meet.