School and Library Visits

Henry loves to visit schools. As a former teacher, he’s very comfortable in the classroom and can tailor his visit to meet a school’s particular needs. Whether you want a traditional presentation or interactive workshops, Henry’s happy to work with you to make the day as fun and rewarding as it can be.

Curriculum Options:

(Choose up to 3 sessions. Sessions can be selected more than once)

  • SESSION A: From Passion to Page
  • A lively presentation in which Henry shares how he became an author, his approach to writing and illustration, and how students can apply these lessons to their own lives. While Henry uses his books and characters as examples, the goal is to inspire and empower students to pursue their own creative interests.
    • Audience: Any—can be tailored for audiences young or old, by the dozen or hundreds.
    • Time: 45-60 minutes, depending on Q&A.
    • Equipment: LCD projector + screen. Microphone if set within a gymnasium or auditorium.
  • SESSION B: Writing Workshop – Supercharged Storytelling
  • An interactive session in which Henry and the students deconstruct a fairy tale and brainstorm ways to improve it. Students see how writers develop more interesting characters, storylines, and settings. It’s always fun and you’ll be amazed by what the students come up with…What if Prince Charming was six? What if Fairy Godmother had a secret agenda? What if the glass slipper fit hundreds of women??? So many possibilities…
    • Audience: Limit of 30 students
    • Time: 45-50 minutes
    • Equipment: A whiteboard. Attendees need paper, a pen, and any handouts Henry has emailed
  • SESSION C: Writing Workshop – Story Starter
  • Henry tackles opening scenes and story structure to help students craft tales that not only grab a reader’s attention but maintain pace, purpose, and momentum. Students should come ready to begin a new story, or have a work in progress.
    • Audience: Ideal for creative writing students or English classes tackling a writing unit.
    • Time: 45-50 minutes
    • Equipment: A whiteboard. Attendees need paper, a pen, and any handouts Henry has emailed
  • SESSION D: Drawing Workshop – Amazing Art with Simple Shapes
  • Great for younger audiences as Henry shows how the humble line, oval, rectangle, and triangle can be used to draw just anything. Henry explains concepts like composition while sharing tips and techniques to improve one’s drawing skills. It’s a lot of fun and will inspire even reluctant artists to embrace their inner DaVinci.
    • Recommended audience: 3rd-5th graders
    • Time: 40 minutes
    • Equipment: A whiteboard or flip pad for Henry. Attendees need drawing paper and a pencil
  • SESSION E: Drawing Workshop – Heroes, Monsters, and Villains
  • Students dive into character design and learn how to portray not only basic appearance but convey aspects of the subject’s mood, personality, and history. Students work on their own creations while Henry shares tips and tricks to bring those heroes, monsters, and villains to life.
    • Audience: 4th grade and up
    • Time: 45-50 minutes
    • Equipment: A whiteboard or flip pad for Henry. Attendees need drawing paper and a pencil

Visit Guidelines

    • Contact: Please arrange visits at least six months in advance.
    • Prep: Prepared students = awesome visits. Please have students read Henry’s work and explore his website before his arrival. It builds excitement and makes for a more meaningful visit.
    • Book Sales: Please encourage students to order Henry’s books through a local bookseller. Order forms should be sent home at least 3 weeks in advance to ensure that students have their copies on hand when Henry arrives. Note: All students receive signed bookmarks so no one is left out. Schools that order at least 40 books receive a discount for the visit.
    • Publicity: Please let local media know about the upcoming visit. It makes the visit a community event and Henry’s happy to give interviews so long as no one asks about “The Incident.”
    • Travel: If the visit takes place outside the Tri-State area (NJ, NY, or CT) please work with Henry to arrange travel and hotel accommodations.
    • Special Requests: If you have special requests or fun ideas, please let Henry know in advance. Assuming it’s legal and costs less than a burrito, he’s usually game.
    • Arrival: Please tell Henry exactly where to go so that he doesn’t wander aimlessly around your campus. If parking is scarce, please make a convenient spot available.
    • Signing: Depending on the schedule, it’s usually easiest to sign books immediately after a presentation. Please have books flagged to the title page with the recipient’s name printed clearly on a sticky note. If students purchase books after the visit, email Henry a list of names and he’ll mail the school personalized bookplates. No books will go unsigned.
    • Handouts: Please have enough copies of any handouts that Henry has emailed prior to the visit.
    • Scheduling: Allow at least 10 minutes between sessions. Henry may need to do his hair.
    • Recording: Please don’t unless Henry has agreed. Extremely flattering photos are permitted.
    • Refreshments: Henry enjoys bottled water. He does not enjoy Tab or Yoo-Hoo, but will always accept a crisp, delicious Fresca. He is honored to have lunch with his hosts and is perfectly content with a turkey sandwich.
    • Payment: Please have payment ready in the form of a check made out to Henry Neff. If you don’t, the author has no choice but to place a call. You do not want him to place that call. The call may, or may not, go to Liam Neeson. Ever hear of P.S 986? No, you haven’t. And you won’t…
    • Late Orders: If students purchased books after Henry’s visit, please let him know so he can send personalized bookplates.
    • Feedback: Henry’s always looking to make his visits more fun and productive. If you have suggestions, pass them along. Also, if you enjoyed the visit, please let Henry know and perhaps recommend him to colleagues at other schools. He appreciates it.

Contact the author about availability and fees