Author visits give readers a chance to learn from working (living, breathing, flesh-and-blood!) writers.
My presentations include:
Your Life, 150 Years Ago
Come time-travel with me! This is a lively overview of English society in the 1860s and what a young person’s life might have been like at the time. I’ve performed this talk successfully for large and small groups from Grades 3 to 12.
The Publication Process
Publishing can seem mysterious and opaque. In this presentation, I walk through the various steps to publication: writing (and re-writing, and re-writing…), substantive editing, copy-editing, art design, proofreading, and printing. This presentation is especially relevant for English classes studying the writing process.
Workshop: Writing Dialogue
Designed for smaller groups, this is a hands-on creative writing workshop. We’ll act out scenes, explore the principles of writing strong dialogue, and develop our own scenes using secret writing prompts.
I also present my creative work in the traditional way: a few short readings from the Agency novels, interspersed with images of cover art and time for audience questions on all writing- and publishing-related topics.
My speaker’s fee is $300 for one presentation or $500 for two presentations, plus travel expenses for locations outside Kingston, Ontario. In my experience, every visit is unique and I encourage teachers and librarians to contact me (ying [at] yslee.com) to discuss their aims.
Reviews & Recommendations
We were delighted to have Y.S. Lee come to visit our library. Several of our book clubs, including our intergenerational book club, had the opportunity to read the first book in the Agency series prior to her visit. Everyone, young and old, was looking forward to her presentation. Third graders through adults attended her presentation – “Your Life 150 Years Ago” and they all loved it. The talk was interactive, informative, and fun.
Her writing workshop for 5th graders through high school was also well received. The attendees, members of various writing groups and clubs at the library, commented on how much fun the workshop was and how much they learned. The teens, old hands at writing workshops, were delighted to have Ms. Lee do something a little different from other workshops we’ve had in the past.
It’s always a great experience to have an author come to the library and have patrons get to meet someone whose books they’ve read, but Y.S. Lee was a particularly wonderful presenter and workshop leader and everyone enjoyed her visit.
Priscilla Berggren-Thomas, Director
Phillips Free Library, Homer, NY
As the Youth Services Librarian (Cybrarian) at Calgary Public Library, I was Ms. Lee’s host for two author readings on November 28th, 2013. Her professional attitude and ability to handle unexpected situations were much appreciated, and I would definitely invite her back in the future.
At the first reading, Ms. Lee showed an excellent sense of her audience; we had invited a class from the local high school, and she understood that many of them had likely not encountered her work before. She introduced her novels, did a short reading, and then held a question and answer period. The students were highly engaged and had many questions about the books, Victorian London, and the writing process, from research to the inner workings of the publishing industry. Ms. Lee answered every question with patience and insight. Afterwards, she did a signing and had come prepared with a variety of bookmarks and stickers to hand out to those who did not have books to be signed.
The second reading was more challenging, as unavoidable circumstances led to a late arrival at the library branch. Many people would have been flustered by this stressful situation, particularly with 130 restless grade eight students waiting. Ms. Lee handled the challenge admirably, modifying her reading on the fly to fit into a much shorter time frame, and managed to charm both the students and their teachers. Under difficult circumstances, she was still able to deliver an interesting and engaging presentation, and a number of students stayed behind to ask questions afterwards.
Many authors can deliver an excellent reading when things go smoothly; I imagine there are not many who can do the same when they do not. I was already impressed after the first reading, and Ms. Lee’s calm demeanor and levelheadedness during the second only added to my favourable impression. I would recommend her highly for an author reading, and hope to have her at Calgary Public Library again someday.Carrie Kitchen
Calgary Public Library December 2013
We had the pleasure of listening to a presentation by Ms Lee with our grade 5 to 8 students. She had the attention of the students right from the beginning, and kept it through the presentation. She involved the students in the presentation as well, and easily remembered their names.
Ms Lee spoke about life in Victorian England and was very knowledgeable. She was easily able to answer the many questions the children had. Listening to her speak, it was easy to imagine yourself living in that time, and she related the events to her books. I really enjoyed the presentation and would recommend it to others.Fabienne Doloughery Amherstview Public School September 2014