School & Library Visits

I'd love to visit your school or library!

 

I host engaging workshops and assembly presentations about a variety of writing- and publishing-related topics. 

 

Offerings

FREE 20 min. virtual visits (one per school)

45-60 min. presentation

Half-day and full-day presentations

 

For more information and rates contact:

melissa.sarno@gmail.com

If you have a specific budget you are working with, please let me know, I can be flexible with rates, especially if you are a Title I school.

 

Popular Presentations

 

Story is Everywhere: How an idea becomes a book

 

Finding the Seeds of A Story: Research in writing

 

Custom presentations and writing workshops available!

Discussion Guides 

Complete with journal activities, games, and discussion questions, these guides can be used in classrooms, small counseling groups, and book groups for kids to develop empathy and a deeper understanding of themselves and each other.

 

Click the image below to download a PDF.

The backyard Project

It seems that so much of a writer's job is to notice. To pay attention. To understand what, say, sadness looks like. We might see it in someone's eyes. We might understand where it is hidden. We might sense it in brushwood left behind after a storm.

 

I've lately thought if you and I could notice what was right in front of us, we might better understand where we are and, with that, who we are. When I cycle through the seasons, I think how much my life mirrors what I see and how I see it. Sometimes I see possibility in the bud of a flower in spring. Sometimes, I'll see the same bud and feel a sense of sadness for all it will endure in its short life. (Wind. Heat. A hungry deer.) I guess the way I see it just depends on the day. I guess it just depends on me.

 

Every day, I see my backyard through the french doors. We have two sets of them. (I remember reading the real estate listing for our home before we bought it. It said the home had "flow" because of its multiple entry points.) I think if I could notice something every day in the same place, I might understand something about myself in that moment. So I'm calling it the backyard project. I'm not going to capitalize it or anything like that. That's just what it is.

 

If you have a window, or a door, if you are a writer in the world, you have the task of noticing what's beyond it. You have a backyard project, too.

 

Take a Virtual Walking Tour

Here are some photos that inspired Just Under the Clouds. I took them in Brooklyn, where the novel is set. Do you recognize any of these images from the book?

Climbing Trees in Prospect Park
Crocuses
Carroll Gardens
Outside Miss Li's Grocery
Carroll Park
Carroll Gardens
Walking Bridge
Chain Link Fence
Stray Cat
Red Hook Sunset
Gowanus Canal
Reflection of the Foundry
Tree of Heaven
The Banks of the Gowanus Canal
Gowanus
Gowanus Canal Canoe