Welcome to the Schools Page! To schedule Jenny for churches, writer's conferences, book clubs, literary societies, historical interest or other groups, see the Groups page for additonal presentation options.
Award winning author Jenny L. Cote opens up the world of creative writing for students of all ages and reading levels through fun, highly interactive workshops. Students are certain to laugh, be surprised, and have fun learning (without realizing it!) Above all students will be inspired to write colorful, creative stories and will want to read. Jenny has appeared to over 40,000 students at lower, middle, high school, homeschool groups and universities in the US and abroad. Jenny patterns her workshops after specific books she has written, showing students exactly how she crafts her books, from research to character development to imagery. It gives students real hands-on tools used by an author, with a behind the scenes look at how a book comes together, and what fun it can be. Surprising grand entrances, fun props, and humorous questions keep students engaged from the first minute, with smiles and hands raised to be chosen to do the next fun thing!
EPIC SCHOOL VISITS
WRITING WORKSHOP OPTIONS
Opening with the popular “Black Coat Story,” Jenny humorously illustrates a really lame story, followed by a really colorful story. She explains how creative writing is like painting a picture in your mind and writing what you see. Animating animal figurines, Jenny brings colorful characters to life, and describes the importance and, yes, FUN of doing research! Learn how to weave in surprises, action, tension and end well.
“Pharaoh Cote” makes a grand costumed entrance and engages the students on the subject of dreams. She’ll be joined by costumed Joseph volunteers who act out the different stages in the life of Joseph for a vibrant discussion on the evolving arc of a character, complete with dynamite dialogue, reality checks for writing historical fiction, and how to use artistic license.
Peanuts’ Linus opens the workshop with his video monologue about the Christmas story. Although this workshop’s theme centers on Christmas, it is applicable for any writing season. Many “wow moments” come from understanding the meaning of words and the impact they have on stories. Learn how incredible secrets are revealed from solid research, setting the state for imaginative writing to soar. Unpack two sharp tools that Jenny uses for organizing the writing process.
Go with Jenny back in time to London to sit in Handel's composing room, and to Israel and Rome to sit in the chairs of those who brought the story of Messiah into being. The focus of this workshop will help students with assignments on writing about characters at any point in history. Learn how to choose the perfect character to write about, how to trace their history through FUN research, discover the actionable events to relay in an exciting way, inspire your readers by retelling the character's story, organize your writing before you write a word, and stretch your writing beyond what you thought you could achieve.
Jenny will discuss her process to develop a book from beginning to end, from writing to publishing. She uses the acrostic as well as metaphor of following a road to reach the destination. Route (mapping out a story, developing an outline from point A to Point B), Obstacles (writer’s block, research, distractions and dead ends), Attractions (fun things to see along the road for the writer as well as the reader) and Destination (editing, illustrations, typesetting, advance readers, publishing, and distribution for a new book).
Set your students' writing ablaze with FIRE! Jenny will kindle your imagination and fan the flames of your pen by showing you how to use the tools of foreshadowing and plot development. Using her antagonist (evil Emperor Nero) and her protagonist (Leonitus the Gladiator), she'll explain how rubbing two character "sticks" together can set your story ablaze with excitement. She'll share how she investigated the history of Rome and its gladiators while weaving in a fictional story for an intriguing, heart-pounding read. This workshop is one fire you won't want to extinguish!
“GIVE ME LIBERTY, OR GIVE ME ANOTHER PLOT LINE!” will cover Jenny’s research for her novel on Patrick Henry: The Voice, the Revolution, and the Key Go behind the scenes of Patrick Henry’s famous speech that rallied a nation to independence, and discover how it actually all started in Rome. Jenny will share how she is weaving together one fun plot line for this famous speech across two novels, and a second plot line across seven novels.
Playing on one of Patrick Henry’s impassioned quotes, “IF THIS BE FICTION, MAKE THE MOST OF IT!” will cover how to write historical fiction, including choosing a character, doing the crucial research (and having fun with it!), organizing the story, and then writing it to keep your reader eagerly turning the pages.
Using some “CLOAK & DAGGER” Jenny will show you how to weave an exciting story with mystery, intrigue, and bad guys to propel the triumph of the good guys, leaving your reader cheering, “HUZZAH!” and begging for more.
Santayana famously said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Jenny L. Cote less-famously said, “The next generation needs to learn the good, the bad and the ugly of history in order to repeat the good, avoid the ugly and never repeat the bad.” For non-history geeks, history can get, well, old. But history is anything but old when you know how to study it and pull from it the nuggets that make it relate to YOUR story. Jenny shares her research behind her eighth novel, The Declaration, the Sword, and the Spy, and how she makes the American Revolution come alive for readers of all ages. Learn how to preserve historical accuracy while storytelling through fantasy fiction in a digital age where history is being rewritten and pushed to the margins. Fall in love with history, so that history will never get old.
#11 EPIC CHARACTERS
Writing memorable characters is the most important part of crafting a great story. In this hands-on writing workshop, Jenny L. Cote will guide students through the process of creating characters that will live, breathe and come to life on the written page. Students will be actively engaged in writing exercises, and can use this seminar for their own works in process or to simply learn new writing skills. Whether the desire is to create “good guys” or “bad guys,” students will come away with characters that are unforgettable. Perfect for a small group session of advanced writers (grades 4-12), and especially for writing clubs or students interested in becoming authors. Time: one hour. Students need to bring paper, pen and an enthusiastic mind.
#12 THE EPIC JOURNEY
How exactly does one become an author anyway? Are you born with a pen in your hand, or does it take a little more than that? Jenny shares her amazing journey to become an author and the process required to make it work as a full-time profession in the crazy world of publishing. Jenny's is an EPIC journey, filled with unexpected encounters, international adventures and non-stop fun. As God's "little dictation girl" you'll get a glimpse into the joy of one who discovered exactly what she was wired to do, and lives out her passion by never working a day in her life. Perfect for school Chapel sessions.
WHAT SCHOOLS & KIDS THINK
ABOUT JENNY'S VISITS
"Your enthusiasm caught the children's attention. Teachers said they saw an immediate improvement in the children's journal writing, starting the day you were with us! It was a WONDERFUL day!"
-Jeanne Borders, Administrator. Cornerstone Prep, Acworth, GA
"We just LOVED your writer's workshops! The students were chomping at the bit to get their hands on the books they ordered! Parents and teachers can't stop talking about the great improvement they have seen in their students' writing abilities and the new enthusiasm the kids have to put their thoughts on paper. Thank you for sharing your passion!" - F.I.S.H. Homeschool, Tampa, FLA
"I had to email you to say that 2 of my children (2nd & 3rd graders, Erin and Ryan) heard you speak at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School yesterday and could hardly wait to tell me about your book! Literally, they could not get the words out fast enough when they got in the car yesterday afternoon. They begged me to go to your website and buy the book for them...the one signed by Max and Liz, of course! It thrills me to see my children so excited about not just literature, but about Christian literature. Needless to say, I just ordered two books which I will give them at Christmas. Based on the reviews, I will probably be ordering more as gifts for friends. Thank you for sharing your gift of writing and God's word. I look forward to reading the book myself!”
-A Grateful Mom in Atlanta, Ga
Jenny can speak to students K-12, modifying the workshops based on the audience. K-2 will benefit primarily from workshops #1 and #2, as the other workshops are more advanced in writing content. Grade groupings for lower, middle or high school can be tailor made to meet the needs of your school or homeschool group. There is no minimum or maximum group size.
All workshops are 60 minutes to allow plenty of time for Q&A and interaction/signing/pictures with Jenny and the students following the workshop.
$150 per workshop plus travel expenses. Full Day Option: $500. Jenny will spend the entire day at your school, providing a maximum of three workshops plus small group meetings with students at lunch, classroom or library settings. A great option is for several schools/groups in an area/city to pool together to split expenses to make this an affordable opportunity. Please check Jenny's calendar for availability and to see if she will be in your area.
Your school/group will be provided with a custom flyer/book pre-order form to send home with students 3-4 weeks prior to the event. Parents will be able to pre-order personalized copies of desired books which Jenny will bring pre-signed and ready for distribution. Jenny will also bring a limited number of books with her on the day of the event. You will also be provided with a post-order form to allow students to order books after the event (as they'll want them!), and Jenny will ship the books back to your school.
Jenny will need a screen and projector for PowerPoint presentations for workshops #2 - #7, and internet access for sharing specific videos for workshops #1 and #4. She will need a small prop table for all workshops, and a dry erase board or flip chart/markers for workshop #1. Jenny will bring her laptop or provide her presentation on a thumb drive, and she will also bring a wireless remote. Depending on the venue, Jenny will likely need a mic, preferably a headset over hand held.
For questions, information, or to schedule Jenny, please send your desired dates, desired workshop (s), and information about your school or group to email@example.com.
Mrs. Cote, I just want to take the time to thank you for such an amazing book series. I have been reading The Prophet, The Shepherd & The Star to my Grade 3 & 4 class at school to prepare them for the Christmas season. How you wove this book together is outstanding. I can't imagine the amount of research that must go into writing each one of these books. Thank you so much for sharing your gifts with us. We have been blessed through reading this series.
-Mrs. Season Hoogstad, Wallaceburg Christian School, Ontario, Canada