Visits and Workshops

Workshops“From Brown Bag to Picture Book”

Thank you for your interest in scheduling me for an author appearance! I am available for presentations at schools, libraries, and bookstores.

One of my favorite aspects of being a children’s book writer/illustrator is getting the chance to share my work and my love of books with children of all ages.

Using storyboards, collage materials, and a PowerPoint display, I demonstrate how I create my books – starting with simple brown paper bags.  In an inspiring, interactive, visual presentation, I talk about my writing process from initial idea through story and picture development, to published book.  Q & A is always included to round out the educational experience.

Enjoy the storytime readings and find out how picture books are created. Every child receives a picture to take home and color, and I am available to sign my books before or after the presentation.

My fees are flexible. I am happy to work with teachers and administrators to design the program best suited to your current needs and your curriculum.

Please contact me at jjmerz@yahoo.com.

Centenary“Creating a Picture Book”

Did you ever consider writing or illustrating a children’s picture book?  I offer an introductory, workshop-style course for those who would like to discover how to express that vision.

Together, starting with an exploration of what makes a successful picture book, we look at how to pace words and link them with images to create a satisfying storytelling.  We walk through the steps of picture book-making from initial concept to publication; we create thumbnails and book dummies, discuss voice and pacing.  You will be encouraged to develop your own ideas for stories and illustrations, and will be coached on the various ways to submit work to publishers.  All skill levels welcomed!

This course is available both privately and in adult education settings.  Please contact me at jjmerz@yahoo.com for more information.  Thank you!

workshopart“The Art of Collage in Children’s Book Illustration”

Program Description
What is collage? How, why, when, and where did it develop? This program covers the rise of collage from its historical roots in Cubism to its emergence in the picture book. A review of the major collage artists of the last century is included, as well as a discussion of today’s leading picture book collage illustrators.

Program Set-Up
A PowerPoint display provides clear, tangible examples of all the art discussed. If desired, a collage workshop can be added to enhance the learning experience. Presentations include Q & A. I am happy to work with you to provide a one-time presentation or multiweek course that suits your needs and budget.

“Testimonials”

“I’m happy to provide a recommendation for illustrator/author Jennifer Merz. Ms. Merz joined the Centenary College Children’s Literature students and Kappa Delta Epsilon Education Honor Society members for a children’s literature event; her presentation was very effective and well-received. She was responsive to the college students’ age and interests in her preparation and presentation, well-organized and easy to work with, and engaging in her detailed narration of the evolution of her work. With an attractive visual presentation and accompanying physical display, Ms. Merz took the audience through the creative mental and physical process from idea to finished book. Her manner encouraged questions from the audience, to which she replied knowledgably. It’s easy to imagine her manner and presentation being adaptable (and of interest) to any age group.

I think you will find Ms. Merz an appealing visitor to your group, and recommend her highly.”
Sincerely,
Kerry Barnett, Instructor, English and Foreign Languages Department, Centenary College, Hackettstown, NJ

“Jennifer made a PowerPoint presentation to an eager group of five to eight-year-olds at my library. They learned where inspiration comes from and how to progress from the idea to finished art….The children remained rapt throughout. Jenn really connected with the children and her thoroughness and commitment to making it a fun and exciting experience was reflected in their art.”
Director of Youth Services, River Edge Library, NJ

“Your participation helped make our Book Week a great success! Thanks again!”
The Little Red School House, New York, NY

“The students and teachers enjoyed your presentation, complete with slide show, dummy books, and props. It was great to have a “real” author visit our school and share her book and creative process!”
Principal, Hillside School, Allendale, NJ

“Thank you once more for a truly memorable program,”
Ridgewood, NJ Public Library

“It was fascinating to discover how your book evolved!”
Archer Nursery School, Allendale, NJ