Rob Parkinson


Children's author, Author of books for adults, Poet

Available for:
Interview
Talk
Workshop
After dinner speaking


Website: http://www.imaginaryjourneys.co.uk

Contact: 01732 362356 07977 599525

Audiences:
Adults, 5-7 (Key stage 1), 8-11 (Key stage 2), 5-11 (Key stages 1 and 2), 11-13 (Key stage 3), 14-16 (Key stage 4), 11-16 (Key stages 3 and 4), 6th Form and college


Details

It's my  pleasure and professional skill to thoroughly engage audiences and workshop groups of all ages in the power of  words in stories and poetry - and the power of music to bring words to life too.  I've visited many hundreds of schools since I began to work professionally as a kind of modern minstrel/storyteller/bard in 1984, both in the UK and internationally. I've also worked with many adult groups and audiences too, both in workshops and in performance - in education, at festivals, in libraries and even on TV and radio. There's a lot you can confidently ask me to do.

I'm very flexible in the way I work - if you're not sure, just ask .  Here's a rough idea:-

  • Performances for children of all ages. I'm very experienced with all ages (including nursery) and abilities and sessions are interactive, improvisational and (I'm told) inspiring - and even funny too. Alongside traditional stories and original yarns created for telling, I present original poetry and fun fantasy songs and the music of a dozen instruments, from guitar and lute to saz, gumbri, lute, cittern, medieval harp to various other ancient and ethmic strings and percussion, plus jokes and riddles and audience participation. A series of special themed performances are available or may be created to order or you can leave the choice to me. I'm happy with both very large assembly groups and much smaller numbers.
  • Workshops for children:  Short workshops for larger groups focus on ways to create and/or tell stories or to write and perform poetry (in age appropriate ways). Longer workshops (half and full day) such as those on the Able Writers and Reluctant Writers scheme lead children through the process of writing, from inspiration to practical effort and pass on many practical tips. Please contact me for the many themes and styles available.
  • Performances and workshops for teenagers: some of the same remarks apply, but the repertoire and style is adapted to suit the changing needs of different age teenagers, still featuring an exciting blend of genres.
  • Performances for special needs groups:  again material is adapted to suit following discussion with organisers.
  • Performances for family groups:  the emphasis is on imaginative entertainment through words. I reckon to get in touch with the child in the adult and the adult in the child - but if that doesn't work, it's fun anyway.
  • Performances for adults:  Again I blend oral stories and poetry performance with the music of my various instruments and sometimes readings from other published work. Various themes and 'mini-repertoires are avaialbe or may be created on request - please ask. 
  • Workshops for adults:  I have run many full day and half day trainings for adult groups focusing on the general the skill of telling stories or with applircation to specialist professional groups in education, therapy, healthcare and other caring professions and have specialised in the power of story in creating positive change
  • Talks and speeches:  The various kinds of talk I give are both entertaining, informative and thought provoking TED style presentations. Speeches are not dissimilar, depending on the brief and the context.
Unsolicited quotes:
 

'They roared with laughter at times and were silent as the story became 'serious' - fantastic value for money...'  Mrs E Kirland, Literacy Co-ordinator, Tenterden Infants School, Kent

'I loved the dramatic but very friendly style. It was great for our children - they are mostly not first language English speakers but you really got through to them. They were just spellbound...' Karen Brunt, Headteacher, Atlantic International School, Moscow Easter 2012

'It was amazing to watch Rob moving from class to class in our school, from four year olds to fourteen year olds to all of our staff in the training session, drawing in listeners in worlds of incredible imagining with huge skill and energy. Whether in small classrooms or on stage in our auditorium, he was literally spellbinding '  Terry Maguire, AISL Lusaka October 2014.

 

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Books
I'm maybe best known as a storyteller/musician and songwriter, but I've published books of stories and poetry for children, as well as collections of songs and books about how to tell tales and how to use the power of stories, includng
My Dad's not a Dog (and other family fantasies) (isbn:9780956523952)
poems, lyrics and tall tales
Transforming Tales (isbn:9781843109747)
How Stories Can Change People (A book about the power of story to affect people of all ages, including over 90 stories and many practical techniques)
Storytelling & Imagination (isbn:9780415571876)
A book for teachers and pupils that suggests many ways to make use of stories and storytelling ideas in and beyond literacy, as part of a larger creative curriculum.
Powerful Stories (isbn:9781902892092)
A double CD audio book, describing how stories change minds and hearts and presenting a set of stories that can do just that.
Will's Clogs (isbn:9780954900144)
Another audio book, featuring humorous tales told in traditional style, with music of lute, guitar, psaltery and various effects.
Organisations:
National Association of Writers in Education; Human Givens Institute

Other search criteria:

Genres:
Health and Psychology, Mind, Body and Spirit, Poetry

Book Type:
Non fiction for adults, Fiction for adults, Fiction 8-13

Keywords:
storytelling, stories, story games, music, songs, educational ideas, therapy, counselling, children's poetry, songwriting, fantasy verse, Skype, disability, performance, workshop, school visits, book week