Author Talks

Testimonials:

"You were a great hit! Here are some of the comments:

'...excellent presentation'

'Superior workshop, excellent speaker'

'dynamic and informed'

- Association of Teachers In Independent Schools in New York City and Vicinity, New York, NY

"Dr. Janice Cohn has conducted a number of programs for some of the corporations for which I coordinate EAP programming, and the audience response has been consistently positive. She is a charming, warm and personable speaker who is a born storyteller. She is able to hold an audience in a state of rapt attentiveness and at the same time weave in teaching points that help to expand skills and awareness"

- Ida Welsh, Ph.D.

"[We] wish to thank you for making such a superb presentation."

- New York City Board of Education New York, NY

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Following is a general outline of the author talks I give which focus on  The Christmas Menorahs: How a Town Fought Hate.  They have been presented at schools, houses of worship, conferences, etc. Presentations are modified for the needs of each audience.

  • I ask participants:  Has anything ever happened to you – or have you heard of anything that ever happened to anyone else – that made you think about things in a different way?  Think about yourself in a different way?

  • I give background information about the Billings, Montana, events and ask students:

  • What happens when a community says and does nothing to try to stop haters and/or bullies?  I emphasize that a “community” can be a town, a neighborhood, a club or a classroom. 

  • I talk about seeing the original article in The New York Times about Billings and recount calling Chief Inman on the phone and:

  • Realizing I wanted to write about what happened and trying to figure out the best way to do that

  • Speaking with Tammie Schnitzer (one of the book’s characters) on the phone and deciding I wanted to write a book especially for children

  • I describe visiting the town of Billings and: 

  • Finding out how the other children in the town were affected by the events.

 

  • Meeting Isaac and Teresa, hearing their story, and listening to what they hoped the book would do for other young people

  • I talk about coming home and thinking about what would be the best way of writing the book and:

  • Going to schools to read early versions of the book to different classes.

  • Hearing students critique the book chapters and use their own experiences to offer suggestions about what to include in the book

  • I talk about the process of transforming the book into a play and working with a lyricist and composer. 

  • I talk with participants about their own writing experiences, i.e.:

  • What kind of things excite and interest them – and make them want to write?

  • Have they ever experienced – or witnessed – prejudice and/or injustice?  Have they ever witnessed bullying?  How did that make them feel?  How can they use words to fight back? 

  • Have they every wanted to write (or have written) a book, play, poem, etc.?  What about other art forms?