Workshops, Talks & Visits
“I was just wondering where your next conference is because I really want to see you again.” –Aiden, 3rd grade
To find out where you can see Suzy, click on “Suzy's Schedule.” To schedule Suzy to speak to your group or school, please contact Janet Zade .
Some of Suzy’s school/library programs:
“Suzy engages students in a way that honors the budding artist/writer within them, giving real-life information and helping students implement advice as if it were already so for them. What an affirming way to work with kids!”
–Stonewall Elementary School, Dallas, TX
“Suzy Becker’s presentation yesterday flicked on a switch I thought had been permanently fixed in the ‘off’ position. I want to write! Thank you, Suzy Becker!”
–Laura, 11th Grade
Suzy’s presentations include: a complete set of books for your school/library; book-signing (with up to 50% of proceeds donated back to your school); drawing demonstration drawings (where noted); original art and artifacts (including pieces from Suzy’s school days); reinforcement of Common Core State Standards, and Six (plus one) Traits of Writing.
NEW! Building Great (like Kate) Characters (Grades 3 - 6) Interactive Assembly: Students learn how developing a character develops a story, which can become the basis for a book, or in Suzy's and Kate's case, a series. Suzy shares her process including actual revisions, sketches, final art, with a Q&A and drawing demonstration. Then students create the beginnings of profiles for well-known characters (themselves). Workshop (up to 25): The small group setting allows students to share their work.
Manny’s Cowapalooza! (Pre-K – 2) Assembly: Students learn how an idea (that Suzy got from a former student) grew into a book, Manny’s Cows. Then they listen and sing along to the “hilarious” cow-fact-filled “What I Did for My Vacation” story, with a Q&A and drawing demonstration at the end. Workshop (up to 25): Students also get to make butter (and tell their best cow jokes while the butter is being made) with a butter-tasting at the very end. Two days (or follow-up activity): Students create an illustrated cow joke book for the classroom. Writing workshop (Grade 2, up to 25): Students write their own fiction or nonfiction vacation stories with emphasis on ideas, character, plot and setting development. Social Studies workshop (Grade 2, up to 25): Students create cow tours of their town or famous destinations (past or present) with emphasis on ideas, basic research and organization.
See Me Draw! (Pre-K – 2) Workshop (up to 25): Students develop a “can-draw” attitude and the skills to go with it. They learn let go of perfectionism, to “see” or simplify forms into shapes they can draw, and to understand the expressive power of dots and lines. Suzy shares drawings she did when she was five, as well as drawings from her books that she did and redid (and they’re still not perfect).
Kids Make It Better (Grades 1 – 4) Interactive Assembly: Students learn how an idea became the Kids Make It Better book. Along the way, they find out what motivates Suzy and some of their peer-activists to make the world better. Then they write and draw their solutions to a world problem. Inspired by the work they have done and heard about, students make individual commitments (big or small) to change their world. Workshop (up to 25): In a classroom setting, students get to share their solutions and Suzy incorporates them into a drawing. Students earn Certificates of Honor to commemorate the commitments they made in the workshop. Character education/service learning workshop (up to 25): Students and teachers or youth leaders work together to put their ideas and commitments into group action. Suzy facilitates the creation of a “Make It Better Action Plan.”
All You Need to Know (Grades 1 – 3) Assembly: Students learn how an idea (someone in publishing told Suzy it was a bad idea!) turned into the international bestseller All I Need to Know I Learned from My Cat. Suzy shares sketches, revisions and finished art, along with her cat’s best advice, plus tips for getting good stories out of your pets or other things you observe, with a Q&A and drawing demonstration at the end. Workshop (up to 25): Students write and illustrate their own advice books.
Cartoon-Along (Grades 3 – 8) Interactive Assembly: With the help of dueling projectors (PowerPoint and an old-fashioned overhead) and a series of creative exercises, Suzy gets students thinking like cartoonists. Then they imagine their own characters and finally create their own panel or strip cartoons using the thinking and characters they have developed. Writing-cartooning workshop (up to 25, one to three days): Students create character stick-puppets to help them focus on dialog, character and plot development as they create their own comics. Comics are collected in a classroom comic book. Over three days, students can create individual comic books or graphic novellas.
Narrative Writing Workshops (Grades 3 – 12) Autobiography: Everybody has a story! Suzy helps students find their voices using an icebreaker exercise and a longer writing session. Critique and revision are introduced and practiced. Biography: How do biographers tell other peoples’ stories? Students discover what makes nonfiction creative. Through examples, discussion and writing exercises, they learn how to formulate good research questions and write compelling biographies. Critique and revision are introduced and practiced.
Some of Suzy’s keynotes:
“Live Every Day Like Your Hair Is On Fire: On Creativity, Courage and Resilience” • “Parenthood and Daughterhood” • “I Had Brain Surgery, What’s Your Excuse?” • “Composing a Life, Being True to Ourselves”
“Laughter is the best medicine and Suzy Becker was just the right shot in the arm for a large group in need of an inspirational and creative session.”
–Sally Gore, Chair, MAHSLIN Conference, 2011
“Our audience ranged in age from 2 to 85-- you did a masterful job providing entertainment and insights for all. Thanks for making me look like a star!”
–John Nee, Chair, Lions Club Father/Daughter Night 2011
To schedule a fresh (never canned) Suzy Becker keynote, please contact Janet Zade .