S.L. Rottman has spoken at numerous conferences (IRA, NCTE, ALA, are a few), and at over 50 schools in seven states. Here are a few things teachers, librarians, and students have had to say about the visits:
Dear Mrs. Rottman,
I wanted you to know what you have done for me. You came to our school just about a few months ago and you changed my life. I always hated reading since I was about six years old. Coming into Newton, I knew about the AR system, and fought to find ways around it, yet finding nothing, I purely didn't get any points. When you visited our school, everyone was reading your books. I didn't get a chance until after you came, and the first book I read was Head Above Water. Usually, it took me weeks to read books, sometimes even months. I read your book in about one week flat. It was probably one of the best books I had ever read. That was how it started. I then read Hero and then Stetson. All in very short time periods, unlike the usual me. I am writing this email mostly to tell you that you have inspired me. Inspired me to read, and maybe even to write. I write mostly poems, but I do have stories in my mind for writing about, although i doubt I will ever get to writing them. I have read many books since then and I read faster, and understand more now. I know have more points than I need for AR. I actually go home, wanting to read my book. So thank you. I also think that you should write sequels to many of your books, and I am awaiting you new book to come out. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
~ Lera (8th grade student)
The ultimate author experience occurred in February, 2005 at Edmond Central Middle School . S. L. Rottman visited our school and interacted with over 600 seventh and eighth grade students. She informed, motivated, and inspired our students to read, write, and discuss young adult literature. Ms. Rottman presented two dynamic assemblies focusing on the writing process, conducted two creative writing workshops that produced original stories from every participant, and joined us for an unforgettable luncheon with over fifty students, parents, and teachers participating. We were surrounded by student-created artwork representing her novels. Students presented readers’ theater presentations based on two of her novels and sang a song inspired by her novel, Hero. The highlight of the luncheon was Susan’s spontaneous sharing of personal anecdotes about her writing experiences.
We were all impressed with her captivating presentation style, her warmth, and her sincere interest in our students. My favorite moment happened after one of the sessions in the media center. When I looked over, she was literally surrounded by students “chatting” and laughing with her as though she were one of them. They truly enjoyed just being in her presence. The often repeated comment after her visit was, “Wow! She was great! She’s the best author we’ve ever had. When is she coming back?” Our principal congratulated our students over the intercom the next day on the way they prepared for and participated in the author activities. She told them this was our most successful author visit, and she looked forward to future books and visits from Ms. Rottman. I second that emotion. We loved reading her books, preparing for her visit, and sharing a day with this gifted author and dynamic presenter.
~ Caradith Craven, Media Specialist
S.L. Rottman is an amazingly compassionate and open speaker. She shares with students the craziness and dedication it takes to become a successful author while talking about the bigger picture of finding your own voice as a writer. She connected to teens in our community on so many levels, I constantly have teens asking for her books or listing her as their favorite author. I highly recommend her as a guest artist at your school or library.
Manager, Youth and Outreach Services
Laramie County Library System
Dear S.L. Rottman:
I wanted to let you know how much our students appreciated your visit to East Bakersfield High School earlier this month. The teachers whose classes participated in your presentation have commented on their students' new appreciation for the process and the hurdles of writing and publishing fiction.
We have had a steady stream of requests for your books ever since your visit and have had to order additional copies to keep up with the demands. And teachers are talking about continuing to use Hero and Stetson with their classes as their supplemental reading in the coming school years.
Thank you for sharing your ideas and experiences with our students.
Library Media Teacher
East Bakersfield High School