John Dougherty

Children's author, Poet

Available for:



5-7 (Key stage 1), 8-11 (Key stage 2), 5-11 (Key stages 1 and 2)


"A natural entertainer, with a guitar-strumming comedy routine that would go down well on kids' TV."

That's how one local newspaper described me after a reporter sat in on a session. It's a lovely description, and one I'm very proud of, but I like to think there's more to what I do, too!

In my school visits, I aim to enthuse the children about reading and writing by involving them, interacting with them, and keeping them engaged. A standard visit from me will include sessions taking in every class in the school from Nursery to Year 6. I'll read to the children from my stories and poems, sing to them, answer their questions, and talk to them about what it's really like to be a writer. The feedback from the schools in which I have worked has been extremely positive.

My first poetry collection, Dinosaurs & Dinner-Ladies, was published in 2016 by Otter-Barry Books, so if you'd like a visit with a poetry focus please get in touch too.

"Amazing... without a doubt one of the best author events that I have experienced"- Tamara Linke, Tales on Moon Lane children's bookshop, London.

"John is one of the very best authors for schools we've had... certainly at the front rank of authors that I'd recommend for both schools and festival events" - Teresa Lowe, Glasgow West End Festival

I live in Gloucestershire, but am willing to travel just about anywhere in the country. A visit costs £400 plus expenses and VAT.

Although I normally only do primary school visits, I am happy to work with KS3 if required.

I have a lot of experience not just in schools' work, but also with the media , having appeared as both interviewee and performer on local and national TV and radio, including BBC1 and Radios 2 & 4. 

Please see my website for more details!



John's first three books were all shortlisted for major awards. Since then he's written several more including Zeus Sorts It Out, chosen by The Times as a children's book of the year..
Stinkbomb & Ketchup-Face and the Badness of Badgers (isbn:978-0192734495)
"I laughed so hard my head fell off!" - Megan (aged 8)
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Dinosaurs & Dinner-Ladies (isbn:978-1910959565)
My first poetry collection. "A collection of sheer brilliance, wit and charm... [will] have readers on the floor with laughter in one moment, and deeply moved in another" - Lovereading4kids
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Zeus on the Loose (isbn:0552550817)
The Greek god Zeus turns up in Alex’s classroom, borrows his mum’s nightie, and causes mayhem!
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Zeus Sorts It Out (isbn:0552558079)
Chosen by The Times as one of the Best Children's Books of 2011
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Bansi O'Hara and the Bloodline Prophecy (isbn:0440867878)
A funny, exciting fantasy adventure featuring a determined heroine, two bonkers old ladies, a villainous boy who can turn into a wolf, a grumpy brownie, and the threat of a human sacrifice...
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Niteracy Hour (isbn:0552550825)
Can a heroic headlouse avoid the Comb, defeat a bully, and find out what happens in Treasure Island?
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Jack Slater, Monster Investigator (isbn:0552553727)
Armed with only a torch and a teddy, Jack must stop the monsters under the bed before it’s too late!
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Society of Authors, Scattered Authors' Society

Other search criteria:

Humour, Poetry

Book Type:
Fiction for children (any age), Fiction 5-9, Fiction 8-13

funny, adventure, fantasy, ancient, greece, greek, gods, ireland, irish, legend, faeries, faery, monsters, nits, head, lice, books, stories, school