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.
EPIC AUTHOR VISITS: In-Person, Video or Virtual
Award winning author Jenny L. Cote opens up the world of creative writing and history 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 research and read. Jenny has appeared to over 75,000 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!
At long last, Jenny's workshops have been professionally filmed for your school, homeschool or group to stream and view at your convenience for half the in-person rate. Add on a 30-minute Q&A Zoom session with Jenny for a complete workshop experience to have Jenny visit with your group anywhere in the world. All workshops below will eventually be available, so check back frequently for video availability. Click here to learn more and to access streaming videos.
Jenny also has a Virtual workshop option.The Workshop Options below will indicate which workshops are available for a Zoom/Virtual platform. Virtual visits are offered at a reduced rate, and offer new opportunities for school groups anywhere on the planet to now have Jenny for an Author Visit! See the SCHEDULING JENNY box below for information.
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. In-Person, Video or Virtual
“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. In-Person Only
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. In-Person or Virtual
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. In-Person or Virtual
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). In-Person or Virtual
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! In-Person Only
“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. In-Person or Virtual
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. In-Person or Virtual
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. In-Person or Virtual
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 dive in and pull out the nuggets that make it relate to YOUR story. Jenny shares her research behind her eighth novel, The Declaration, the Sword, and the Spy (2020), and how she makes the American Revolution come alive for readers of all ages. She will highlight the historical locations featured in the book: Boston, Lexington & Concord, Paris, Bunker Hill, Philadelphia, Williamsburg, and Fort Ticonderoga. Fall in love with history, so that history will never get old. In-Person or Virtual
Escape into writing historical fiction by making it a fun adventure! Learn how to experiment with your “quill” by trying new writing styles, genres, or methods. We’ll do a hands-on writing experiment to get your ideas flowing. Jenny will show you how to seek the unknowns of history for an entirely new vantage point. Learn how to chase colorful characters who work behind the scenes in history and played a minor role resulting in a major impact. Try anthropomorphizing an idea with an animal character to endear your reader. See how Jenny plots out history with a detailed outline to get solid chronological order while mapping out fictional ideas. Expect the unexpected with history that’s even better than fiction, by beginning your story with an ending, or ending with a beginning. Features Jenny's newest release, The Marquis, the Escape, and the Fox. Talk can be modified to focus on just the history covered in this title.) In-Person or Virtual
NO HISTORY, NO FUTURE. KNOW HISTORY, KNOW FUTURE
History isn't just what it used to be. It's gotten old. It isn't taught, revered, or given the attention it used to receive in America's educational landscape. So, what will happen to our future if we lose our past? Author Jenny L. Cote will share a report card for history education as well as anecdotal results from "The State of America's History" survey of kids, parents, teachers, authors, historians, and even a governor on what they know and think. Take a quick pop quiz to see how you fare as well. Jenny will unpack how to make history fun, relevant and come alive for the next generation so they will not only know their history, but they'll know their future.
#12 NO HISTORY
#13 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. In-Person or Virtual
#14 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. In-Person or Virtual
Zoom with Jenny!
Jenny has a Q&A Zoom with Providence Classical School in Williamsburg, VA
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
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
Thank you Ms Jenny, you made my homeschooling experience so very delightful, exciting, and memorable. You helped and molded us into the amazing young man and women we are today. You are the reason my brother and I LOVE reading. You are a God Send, an Amazing Blessing from Our Father. Please continue touching and shaping young hearts and minds. No matter how old I get (presently I am 19) I will continue reading and studying your work. You are a modern day C. S. Lewis! - Joelie Hurley
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.
$250 per workshop plus travel expenses. Full Day Option: $1,000. 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, and a book signing. A great option is for several schools/groups in an area/city to pool together to split expenses to make this an affordable opportunity.
$125 per video workshop available for your group to view anytime for three months from Jenny's on-demand streaming Vimeo site. Click here to access.
Single School/Group: $175 per workshop. Full Day Option: $600 with a maximum of three workshops plus small group meetings with students, teachers, or parents.
Multiple Schools/Groups: If you can secure a minimum of two groups to join the virtual visit, cost per school/group is $85 per workshop and $300 for a Full Day. This is a great option to reduce costs.
Your school/group will be provided with a custom flyer/book pre-order form to email, post on social media or send home with students 3-4 weeks prior to the event. Parents will be able to pre-order personalized copies of desired books online using a unique discount code for your school/group. All orders/payments will be handled for you, so this is an effortless process for the host school/group. (Please note: for schools/groups outside the continental US, signed book plates will be provided for your students due to costly international shipping.)
Jenny will bring books pre-signed and ready for distribution. Jenny will also bring a limited number of books with her on the day of the event. Parents will also be able to place post-orders (with added shipping) to allow students to order books after the event (as they'll want them!), and Jenny will ship the books back to your school.
Your group will have the option to have books shipped in bulk to your school for reduced shipping cost, or to each individual student. If you prefer to handle all book orders independently and receive signed book plates, we can provide those for your students for a nominal fee. (International shipping may be cost-prohibitive.)
Jenny will need a screen and HDMI connected projector with sound for PowerPoint presentations, 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.
Jenny uses Zoom as a hosting platform, and will work with you if you wish to host on a different platform.
For questions, information, or to schedule Jenny, please send your desired dates, desired workshop (s), and information about your school or group to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jenny visits her Alma Mater Elementary School in Norfolk, Va!
You can also hear Jenny at:
This is an intro video that Jenny made for the Homeschool Connect Expo (a FREE resource for Homeschool Families with speakers, exhibits and resources. She'll give you an overview of the books as well as her background and approach to writing.
Every once in a while I'm so overwhelmed with what God has done with my pen that I cannot truly grasp it, nor do I feel worthy of it. This dear boy, Andreas, wow. He was struggling to read in 2nd grade - his family moved from Mexico and he could not read English. He would not read anything. The family and the media specialist at St. Catherine of Sienna Catholic School just didn't know what to do anymore. Then one day I visited his school. And he picked up The Ark, the Reed, and the Fire Cloud. Something magical happened. A door in his mind was unlocked and he started to read. But not just my book. He started to read EVERYTHING. He proceeded to read all six of my novels. Tonight he came to my book signing for his school at Barnes and Noble, and his father openly wept as he snapped this picture. He gushed forth such gratitude that I was stunned. I cannot recall ever seeing a father weep with joy over the impact of my books on a child. It was a beautiful moment for me. So Andreas wants to come volunteer at VBS Heroes of History so he can be part of the exciting new adventure. Thank you, God, for this privilege. And thank you Andreas...for making my millennium.