Venue: Upper Elementary or Middle School Classrooms, Libraries, or Assemblies
Using a personal, humorous slide show, Mitali shares candidly about her experience of growing up between two cultures, exploring some of the tensions immigrant kids face, and introducing some of the richness of Bengali culture. Students are encouraged to ask questions, and discussion throughout sparks lively responses from participants. Read some wonderful letters from kids responding to "Life Between Cultures."
Venue: Middle and High School Large Group Assemblies
During the teen years, one thing's for sure: your life story gets much more interesting. Of course, that might mean your heart ends up a bit scorched in places. Good stories have the power to heal those burns. In this personal, engaging presentation, students reflect on the power of stories as they listen to funny and poignant memories from Mitali's teen years. Read some wonderful thank you notes from students.
Weaving the Magic Carpet of Place
Venue: Workshop for Middle School, High School, or Adult Writers
Writing well about place intensifies plot and brings characters to life. In this workshop, students consider how good writing engages all five senses, underlines a literary theme, and takes readers on journeys to other places. A directed exercise allows participants to apply and demonstrate what they've gained from the workshop. Read samples of great writing produced by eighth-graders during the workshop, and enthusiastic student responses to the presentation.
Without Losing Your Mind
Venue: Workshop for Elementary, Middle School, High School, or Adult Writers
Using modern-day examples of a hero's journey as well as a memory from her own life, Mitali Perkins uses slides, stories, and revision examples to inspire students to dig deep, tap into all five senses, and craft an unforgettable personal narrative of a childhood memory.
Venue: Elementary Classrooms
During this one-hour session, students learn about the author's Bengali heritage as featured in Rickshaw Girl, and how the lives of girls in Bangladesh are changing for the better. They participate in an alpana art in lesson prepared by the author's mother, Madhusree Bose, a California Teacher of the Year and expert alpana painter. Teachers may prepare for the visit by using this study guide.
Exploring the Powerful Relationship Between Mothers and Daughters
Venue: Mother-Daughter Book Clubs
In an informal, intimate setting, participants come up with three "traveler's tips" for mothers and daughters who want to journey together through the years. If the group chooses to read one of Mitali's books before the event, discussion and sharing may circle around the novel.
Ten Tips For Writers and Teachers
Venue: Workshop or Plenary
Should a book for kids include descriptions of a character's race? Listen to Mitali present her top ten tips about describing the race of characters with examples and stories, helpful both for authors and for educators evaluating books for young readers.
Using Social Media to Generate Buzz About Your Books
Venue: Workshop or Seminar
Pajama Promotion introduces the basics of online book promotion for authors without big publicity budgets. This could cover a range of topics, depending on the audience's need—how to spruce up your site, write a good blog, use social networks, partner with bookstores big and small, plan a blog tour, and/or exploit the power of film, all from the comfort of your preferred writing nook. Gained: time to write, a reputation as a savvy promoter, buzz about your books. Lost: a fear of being overwhelmed by the Big Wired Unknown.
How Stories Help Kids Keep Their Balance
Venue: Workshop or Plenary for Educators, High School
What are the tensions facing kids growing up on the margins of race and culture? How does pop culture squeeze against them? What can stories offer and why? What questions should we ask about books as teachers, parents, and librarians when it comes to race and culture? Get equipped and inspired. This popular talk was presented at the American Association of School Librarian's National Convention, the Public Library Association's National Convention, YALSA's Teen Lit Symposium, and the American Library Association's Annual Convention, among others.
Venue: Plenary or Seminar
"How can I brand myself?"
"How can I promote myself and my work?"
"How can I write or illustrate an award-winning bestseller?"
Today's publishing world is changing so fast, our heads spin with questions like these. Mitali Perkins leads writers through a session showing them that these really aren't the right questions to ask, and why and how a vision statement is crucial to surviving--and succeeding--as a writer.