Teachers and librarians: would you like me to come and talk to your students?
What’s in a visit?
I’m pretty flexible when it comes to events, and during a day’s visit, I’m happy to do a pick-and-mix of AUTHOR TALKS and WORKSHOPS to suit your needs.
Here’s what my main AUTHOR TALK and WORKSHOPS look like…
• AUTHOR TALK
(One hour, suitable for any size group)
High-energy talk, with PPT, outlining the random places I get my inspiration from, which in turn can open students’ eyes to their OWN potential when it comes to creative writing, as well as stimulate an interest in reading for pleasure. As well as this, I touch on my initial struggles with reading as a child, which can strike a chord with reluctant/struggling readers. For older students, I also outline the realities of being an author, busting some common myths about what the job is all about!
The AUTHOR TALK lasts for around three-quarters of an hour, leaving time for a Q&A session with the students at the end.
(One hour, works best with class-sized groups, ie around 30)
Here’s a brief outline of the four I run…
– WORKSHOP 1: ‘BECOME YOUR OWN EDITOR’ – simple, easy-to-remember pointers to help children improve/edit their own writing.
– WORKSHOP 2: ‘HOW TO WRITE SUSPENSE’ – step-by-step tips to get edge and drama into a scene.
– WORKSHOP 3: ‘WW2 Evacuee’ – based on the research I’ve done for evacuee novel ‘Catching Falling Stars’, this workshop gets students thinking and writing about the impact of the evacuee experience. (Downloadable classroom resource sheets are available for this novel on my Freebies page)
– WORKSHOP 4: ‘BRINGING HISTORICAL VOICES TO LIFE’ – based around my novel ‘Little Bird Flies’ (‘Sunday Times’ Children’s Book of the Week), this workshop gets students thinking about how to make a character from the past sound alive to a present-day reader. (Downloadable classroom resource sheets will soon be available for this novel on my Freebies page)
• BOOK SIGNINGS
Having a personally signed book from a visiting author can mean a lot to a student, and really engage them in reading. So during a visit – either directly after a TALK, or at some convenient point during the course of the day – ideally a short slot should be scheduled for a book signing (it’s also a good opportunity for any students too shy to ask a question in front of a large group to come chat!). Schools or libraries can either arrange for a local bookshop to come in with a selection of my books to sell, OR my various publishers can advise on alternative ways to order books.
Who do I talk to?
• AT PRIMARY SCHOOL LEVEL: Children aged 8-11 for my talk and workshops. As an example, I often I do one hour-long main author talk for Yrs 5&6 plus a slightly shorter main author talk for Yrs 3&4.
• AT SECONDARY SCHOOL LEVEL: Students aged 11-13.
Where do I go?
• I live in north London, so it’s relatively easy for me to travel to, well, lots of cities, towns and villages which are easily reached by train within the space of a day.
• For anywhere further afield, accommodation might be needed. (It can be worthwhile getting together with other schools/libraries in this instance, to share costs.)
Get in touch!
• For more details, please contact Authors Aloud UK at
mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org who arrange my visits and events.