Eric Berlin loves to visit schools, libraries, bookstores, and even companies.
The School Visit
Schools can pick and choose from among the following options:
1) Make Your Own Puzzles! Eric teaches the kids how to make a variety of different puzzles, from anacrostics to word seeks. They're all of easy-to-medium difficulty to create, and just tricky enough for friends and siblings to solve. A great introduction to the world of puzzles, and best for grades 3 and 4.
2) NEW!Flexible Thinking and How To Get It. A fast-paced discussion about creative thinking and problem solving -- and how solving puzzles on paper can help you solve "real-life" puzzles as well. With lots of riveting examples. Ideal for grades 4 and up.
3) Game Show. Eric takes on the role of game show host, and the kids are the contestants! Kids try their hand at solving dozens of quick, fun wordplay puzzles -- chosen with an emphasis on language skills and flexible thinking. With prizes for the winners! Fine for all ages, the game show is generally the second half of every large presentation.
4) How to Be a Writer. For smaller groups or separate workshops outside the main assembly. Eric leads an informal discussion of the "writer's toolkit," and gives advice on how to be a professional writer. Best for kids who choose to be a part of the session, rather than requiring it for all students.
5) The Puzzle Hunt. Eric will lead the kids through a specially made puzzle hunt, designed for teams of two or three to solve in about ninety minutes. If your kids liked Winston, they will love solving a puzzle hunt of their own!
Eric can do up to four presentations over the course of a full school day, and will be happy to customize his visit to your specific needs.
Right now, checking Eric's availability is as simple as e-mailing him to see if he's free on a certain date. (Note to students: While Eric loves getting fan mail, you'll need to have an adult arrange a school visit — check with your teacher, principal, or school librarian.)
If you're far away from Connecticut (Eric's home base), it might be a good idea to coordinate with other schools or libraries in your area, so that Eric can make multiple visits on a single trip.
Selling and Autographing Books
It is a good idea, though not required, that students read one of the Winston Breen books before Eric's arrival. Books can be ordered directly from Eric's publisher, or, often, from a local bookstore. You may want to order some extra copies, for sales on the day of the visit.
Eric will be happy to participate in an autograph session as part of his visit.
Phoning It In
If you're using Winston Breen in your book club or classroom, Eric will be happy to call in for a phone interview with your kids. (And yes, I use Skype and Google Chat!) There is no charge for a twenty minute Q&A. If you want to schedule Eric for a chat, please do give him enough lead time (a couple of weeks should be sufficient) so he can make sure to be available.
Eric also does events for large and small companies. A typical event includes the following:
1) A team-building puzzle event. Customized to your office environment (or wherever the event is to be held), with an emphasis on problem solving, flexible thinking, and teamwork.
2) "What I've Learned Watching People Solve Puzzles." After the puzzle event, Eric goes over the answers, gives out prizes, and then discusses the right and wrong ways that people go about solving puzzles, and what people can learn as a result about problem solving and working together.
As with his school visits, Eric is happy to customize his visits to your specific needs. Please contact Eric to learn about pricing options and to check on availability.