Helen Watts


Children's author, Young adults' author, Author of books for adults, Journalist

Available for:
Interview
Talk
Workshop
Commission


Website: http://www.helenwattsauthor.com

Contact: Email:
Landline: 01789 292112
Mobile 07967 307231
Skype: helen.watts5
Twitter: @HWattsAuthor

Awards:
One Day In Oradour:
Nominated for the 2014 Carnegie Medal
Winner of the Extraordinary Award, Southern Schools Book Awards 2014.
Finalist, Education Resources Award (Secondary Non-IT) 2014.
Longlisted for the Hampshire Independent Schools Book Award 2014.

No Stone Unturned:
Shortlisted for the Warwickshire Junior Book Award 2015, the Historical Association's Young Quills Award 2015 and runner-up in the 2015 Alcester Schools Book Awards.

Audiences:
Adults, 8-11 (Key stage 2), 11-13 (Key stage 3), 14-16 (Key stage 4), 11-16 (Key stages 3 and 4)


Details

I began writing fiction for children and adults in 2012 after a 25-year career in educational publishing. I have now had four books published and I specialise in historical fiction.

I am available for author talks, creative writing workshops and commissions for audiences age 7 to adult. I have experience of running sessions in schools and libraries and have also spoken to adult audiences ranging from local writers' groups to the Women's Institute. I have appeared at a number of literary festival events, such as the Stratford-upon-Avon Literary Festival and Warwickshire Libraries' Fantastic Fun With Words festival, and recently ran half-term writing workshops at the wonderful new visitor centre at The National Memorial Arboretum.

My talks and workshops can be tailored to suit individual needs, the age of the audience, group size, venue and the time available. However all of my sessions are designed to be interactive, informal and fun and include plenty of opportunity for the audience to share ideas and to ask questions.

Author Talks usually last between 1 hour and 90 minutes and explore the inspiration for my writing, the true stories that lie behind my novels, and my writing process.

Creative Writing Workshops usually run for at least 2 hours but I can also take bookings for half- or full-day events. I am happy to discuss and tweak the focus of the workshop, but topics that have worked well in the past include:

  • Creating historical fiction - spotting a good story, blending fact with fiction and the effective use of historical sources;
  • Writing a story in the style of a legend;
  • Using places as a starting point for a story
  • The writer's toolbox.

I usually start a workshop by giving a presentation designed to inspire the audience and spark ideas. Participants then have the chance to plan and draft their own story ideas and receive some one-to-one feedback.

All events include the opportunity to buy books and have them dedicated and signed.

Commissions: Please email or call me to discuss writing and editorial commissions. For more information on my past projects, visit http://www.helenwattsauthor.com/biography.html.

What have people been saying about my talks and workshops?
Read some of the feedback I have received here.

Books
I have written four fiction books to date, including
One Day In Oradour (isbn:9781408182017)
On a hot summer afternoon in 1944, SS troops wiped out an entire French village. 644 men, women and children died Just one child survived. This powerful, moving book retells the story of what happened that day.
View in Amazon
The Ghost of the Trenches and other stories from the First World War (isbn:9781472907875)
As the Great War raged and in its aftermath, people created hundreds of legends and stories to speak of the sadness, the heroism and the loss. Helen Watts joins up with storyteller Taffy Thomas to bring together this compelling collection.
View in Amazon
No Stone Unturned (isbn:9781472905406)
Two teenagers explore an abandoned quarry linked to a devastating fire that destroyed the Palace of Westminster 170 years ago. But they unearth more than they bargained for, including a shocking tragedy in which families were torn apart.
View in Amazon
First World War Folk Tales (isbn:9780750958325)
A collection of legends and folk tales from the First World War, showing how truth can become legend, how people try to explain the strange and the mysterious through stories and tales, and how storytelling can ease the pain and burden of war
View in Amazon
Organisations:
National Association of Writer’s in Education (NAWE)

Other search criteria:

Genres:
History and Biography

Book Type:
Fiction for adults, Fiction for children (any age), Fiction 8-13, Young Adult, Educational books

Keywords:
fiction, historical fiction, legends, traditional tales, folk tales, world war I, first world war, second world war, world war II, mystery, adventure, Skype, creative writing, writing workshop, author talk, primary, secondary, Carnegie, workshop