I would love to visit your school or library!
I have a few set programs described below. If these are not exactly what you’re looking for, I would be happy to work with you to modify them into a program appropriate for your student group.
At present, I am only traveling to schools and libraries in and around Vermont. But if you live farther afield, never fear! I am also available for Skype visits.
I charge a modest honorarium for all events, save for the 20-minute book chats over Skype. Please email me if you are interested in setting up an author event!
Creating a Dog’s-Eye-View (Fourth through Eighth grades):
Using The Storm, the first book in my Dogs of the Drowned City series, as an example, I take students through how I created my narrator’s dog’s-eye-view of his world. I talk about how dogs experience the world differently from us humans, and then lead the students in a writing exercise where they can try their imaginations at looking at the world as a dog might.
Turning Research Into Writing (Fourth through Twelfth grades):
Using either The Storm, the first book in my middle-grade series, or No Safety in Numbers, the first book in my YA trilogy, I share with students the research behind the stories, and how it influenced my writing of them. I explore with them some of the quirks of writing research-based fiction: How much research is enough? What do you do when your story conflicts with your research? I then lead students in a writing exercise based on some of the research I’ve presented in my talk.
Strategies for Revision (Eighth through Twelfth grades):
Using my experience writing No Safety in Numbers, the first book in my YA trilogy, I talk students through my process, from first draft through revision, and then through the steps to publication. I will present several different strategies and techniques for revision, including ideas on both the story and structure level and for line editing and close reading.
I can adapt any of the above programs for a Skype visit.
I also offer a free 20-minute book talk over Skype with classes that have read one of my books.
If you’re looking for teaching materials related to my books, check out this amazing Common Core-aligned resource guide for The Storm created by teacher, writer, and lecturer extraordinaire, Kate Messner!
What Teachers and Students are Saying:
“Dayna not only invited but taught her grades 4-6 audience here at Mater Christi School what it meant to ‘think like a dog’….something she said she had to develop herself, ‘a dog brain’, to write her Dogs of the Drowned City series. Her questions she initiated kids to think about were definite hooks: How do dogs communicate? How would a dog describe the world?”
– J. Booraem, Librarian, Mater Christi School, Burlington, VT
” Thank you, Dayna Lorentz, for making a reading assignment so meaningful for my students and for me. Katie, a student in my sixth grade class, chose your novel for her book report. She read it, enjoyed it and recommended it to her classmates and teacher. She also wrote you a letter to which you responded with the offer of a Skype visit. How exciting! The rest of the class eagerly read the novel and loved the opportunity to see the world through the eyes of dogs. The Skype visit was the high point. It gave us the opportunity to learn how you selected the setting, researched information, and developed the plot and characters. Seeing you in our classroom, being able to ask questions and share our experiences was so special. You are truly skilled not only as a writer, but also as a teacher of writing. You have sparked a desire in my students, not only to read, but also to write and to revise what they have written!!! Thank you for making my job easier and so much more enjoyable!!!”
– L. Bradunas, Teacher, Our Lady of Hope/ St. Luke School, Baltimore, MD
“How she developed her characters was my favorite part. She asked us to write a story about the picture and my sense of imagination popped up and came alive.”
“Suddenly it wasn’t about her, but us, too!”
“We connected with a book. She had us actually write.”