Appearances and School Visits

Inspire your audience with the magic of story, by inviting Guest Author, Susan Forest, to your school or function.

Susan Forest teaches grade three students at Chaparral Elementary School, December 2011

Guest Author with Grade 3 students

School Visits

In addition to being an author and editor, Susan has 28 years’ experience as classroom teacher and will work with your staff to develop age-appropriate book talks or workshops on the topic of your choice. Some possibilities include:

  • Book talks / lecture / discussion / Q&A
  • Revision: how to add depth and detail, eliminate the irrelevant, and build action, setting and character in prose
  • Using drama to deepen students’ experience of story, sensory detail, and structure, in preparation for writing
  • Planning and storyboarding fiction
  • Dialogue: interweaving action, description and thoughts to show setting and character while forwarding meaningful dialogue and furthering plot

From M. Veronese, teacher at Chaparral School in Calgary: “Thank you again for today and ALL of the sessions you planned and worked through with my class. The students are so motivated. You really have a talent inspiring young writers.”

From H Lytwyn, teacher at William Reid School in Calgary: “Having a published author was an inspiration for the students.”

From L Iverson, student of “A Novel Approach” the year-long novel-writing course at the Alexandra Writers’ Centre: You have an amazing talent to see things clearer than I ever do. I can not even put words to it, but I appreciate it so much, especially when it’s my work your talking about. It’s like you bring a new lens and focus to things I have not yet learned how to see. It was because of you that I re-wrote a turning point chapter. I had Arie removing her gloves because I knew it needed to happen, but until you pointed out that finally her character was being pressed to change, I sincerely did not see it that way. It changed how I proceeded – great!

From J. Thompson, student of “A Novel Idea,” the ten-week novel-writing course at the Alexandra Writers’ Center: I really wanted to thank you for a fantastic ten weeks. I’ve learned so much and had a great time at every single class (even, to my surprise, when it was my turn to submit!), and I really appreciate all of the time and effort you put into making sure it was such a wonderful experience for all of us,

From Anonymous, student of “Backstory Secrets,” a one-day workshop at the Alexandra Writers’ Centre: The course was far exceeding my expectations. Extremely helpful. The best feature was the openness and conversation that specifically related to each manuscript. I will definitely be back to take part in future courses.

From D. L. Wybert, student of “Editing 101″: I thought you were masterful in fielding all the questions and comments at the talk on Saturday.

Readings and Conventions

Invite Susan to read aloud from her published or upcoming works, or to join your convention as a speaker or panelist.

Adult Education

Susan is available to teach in either lecture or workshop-style classes. Topics can include:

  • Basics of writing: structure of the short story or novel; character, setting, plot and theme
  • Self-editing and revision for strong prose: language choice; point-of-view; voice; balancing action, description and internal monologue
  • Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror: conventions and techniques
  • Support for your writing: finding time; working with writers’ groups; working with editors
  • Business of Writing: cover letters, organizing submissions, synopses, meeting agents and editors, pitching, contracts, taxes and self-promotion

Past Appearances

  • Calgary Young Writers’ Conference: guest author (student category) annually since 1990
  • Schools: Vista Heights Elementary School, Kingsland Elementary School, Montgomery Junior High School, Dr. E. P. Scarlett High School,Chaparral Elementary School, William Reid School (French Immersion–I can do presentations to young students in fairly fluent French), and Erin Woods School, in Calgary, Canada.
  • Writers’ Conventions: World Science Fiction Convention (Denver, Montreal, Reno, Chicago); World Fantasy Convention (Calgary, Columbus, San Diego, Toronto), When Words Collide (Calgary), ConVersion (Calgary), KeyCon (Winnipeg), SF Contario (Toronto)


Fee Schedule (School Visits)

  • $200.00
  • Planning sessions with teachers are free.
One Response to “Appearances and School Visits”
  1. Cynthia B says:

    Hi Susan,

    We have heard some great things about you and are wondering if you would be able to come to our school, William Reid, and work with our staff and students sometime in the next year (2012-2013). We also heard that you might be able to work some French into your program which would be great as we are a French Immersion school. Would you be able to send me some information and prices as we are working through our budget for next year. Thank you very much!

    Cynthia B

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