Like many authors, I visited schools for years to talk about my books and the writing process. I have spoken to around half a million high school students and maybe half as many elementary school students.
Yeah, that’s a lot of kids.
I loved visiting schools, loved meeting the teachers and librarians, and really learned a lot from the students. I did not love how much energy the visits drained from me, and how much time it took away from writing. I also found that every day spent visiting a school generally took two days of preparation, not to mention travel time and time away from my family. So I decided to take a very long sabbatical (at least two years) from visiting schools.
But many of my friends are still out there. And several of them have written this week about a strange new requirement. Suddenly, school districts are requiring them to show proof of insurance… an insurance that would kick into effect if anyone decides that the author’s presence at the school somehow harmed them. In addition, one author has been asked to sign an 8-page Hold Harmless agreement, in which the author states the 50 million ways she will not pursue the district in any kind of lawsuit.
Several of these friends have consulted with lawyers and brokers and are preparing to pay close to $500/year in the required insurance.
Does anyone else have experience with this?
I have to say, it makes the decision to stay home and write even more attractive.