In a Nutshell: Who I am and What I Offer
- Author of 20 books, educational materials, and hundreds of children’s magazine pieces
- Story developer and author for STEM-based comic book series
- Classroom writing workshops
- Teacher workshop on puzzle making
- Family afternoon/evening programs
- Events for schools, libraries, conferences, organizations that want to reach kids, and more
- In person and via Skype, Zoom, or other virtual platform
- Dedicated user of the serial comma
Alaska, Reading, Writing, Idea Generation, and More
Science- and literacy-based programs showcase the differences between Alaska and your state (for out-of-state schools), how I work as an author and how this is similar to students’ work. These programs support curriculum standards while exciting students about reading, writing, publishing, and science.
Program options for your Author Event
Whole-school or Leveled assemblies, grades K-2 and 3-6
A Writer in Alaska
For schools outside Alaska, we’ll compare Alaska to your state, touching on geography, climate, wildlife, and more. We’ll discover how real-life experiences became the picture book Been There, Done That: Reading Animal Signs. We also touch on what it means to be a writer, how my work is similar to students’ work, writing processes, and tips. This program has a strong science focus.
For Alaska schools, we delve into what writers do: the many kinds of writing (letters, blogs, comics, fiction, nonfiction, puzzles), writing processes (idea generation, first drafts, critiques, revisions), how students’ work is like my work, and tips for making it fun. Finally, we’ll walk step-by-step through the writing of a book. I emphasize persistence, revision, and seeking joy in the process.
Idea Generation Workshop, for one or two classrooms
We tackle the biggest writing hurdle kids face, arming students with dozens of ideas for future assignments as well as techniques for coming up with more ideas on their own.
Mentor Writing Workshop, for one or two classrooms
Following the format of Been There, Done That: Reading Animal Signs, we’ll create an original story together.
Author Walkabout Q&A
I will visit individual classrooms to answer any questions students have about Alaska or writing.
Alaska Artifacts Show-and-Tell (available in WA, OH, and PA)
See antlers, fur, plaster casts of tracks, scat, and more collected on hikes in Alaska. Yes, they’re all real.
A full-day visit = 4 programs ~ 40-60 minutes each, $800 plus travel expenses
Add a Family Event
Expand the learning and the fun with an afternoon or evening family event.
Meet the Author Solve puzzles and play games while discovering how my varied interests have led to a career as a writer of letters, journals, blog columns, magazine articles, educational texts, stories, and puzzles. Experience the fun and surprise of being a reader and a writer. ~ 45-60 minutes, $200
Watch a sample of such a program hosted by the Anchorage Museum.
Winter in Alaska Alaska is a popular tourist destination. Remote lodges provide hunting, fishing, and sightseeing services. But the vast majority of people want to visit Alaska in the summer, so lodges close during the long winter. Windows are boarded up, water pipes drained, and generators shut off. Guides, cooks, and service staff leave. All that remains at these remote lodges is, perhaps, a caretaker or two.
Jen Funk Weber (along with husband Mike) spent ten years as winter caretakers for remote lodges in Alaska. They shoveled roofs and airplane wings, kept animals out of buildings, and re-stocked wood sheds. Perhaps the biggest job, however, was just taking care of themselves: living without electricity, running water, telephones, neighbors, easy access to medical care, or sources of entertainment.
Come see what few visitors to Alaska ever see: Winter in Alaska. ~ 60 minutes, $200
Armchair Travel These programs entertain and educate a wide variety of audiences—adults and children—and can support social studies, nature, and wildlife units.
- No Phone, No Power, No plumbing — No Problem! Alaskan Winter in the Bush
- Self-drive Safariers in Africa: Botswana & Namibia
- Unguided Galapagos: A Month in a Pink House on Isla Isabela
Further details on the Armchair Travel page.
Funding an Event
If event funding isn’t built into your budget, download this PDF of funding ideas and resources assembled by the Alaska chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
Schedule a Visit
Each visit is different. Let me know what might work for you.