Abie Longstaff

Children's author

Available for:
After dinner speaking

Website: http://www.abielongstaff.com


Coventry Inspiration Book Award for The Mummy Shop

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


I’m an experienced speaker at schools, lit fests, universities and conferences.

I can provide a range of options from large, interactive readings to small hands-on workshops.

I’m very happy to tailor my visits to suit your needs.


'Abie's talk was thoughtful, fun and informative. All the features that make her books accessible to children - an awareness of their everyday lives - shopping and haircuts etc! - also make them very appealing to our students, whilst they also appreciate the imaginative approach to challenging stereotypes about girls.'
Joy Mower, Senior Lecturer, Primary Education, Canterbury Christ Church University


‘Abie came to do a session with our year 1 and 2 pupils, and was enthusiastically received. Her presentations are full of energy, with plenty of audience interaction, and the pupils really enjoyed listening to the stories; so much so that they were happy to hear Rapunzel twice in the same week.

Abie also spoke to our sixth form, and I have heard her present to adults as well, so she is very versatile.

I can thoroughly recommend her as a speaker, and her books which are clever fairytale retellings with lots of detail and humour.

Elizabeth Howard, Librarian, St Helen’s School, Northwood



The Fairytale Hairdresser series (for ages 4-6) is a modern retelling of a fairy tale world where brave heroine Kittie Lacey faces up to wicked witches to save the day. There are lots of well-known characters to spot in the pages, and the books help familiarise children with fairy tales as well as teaching them to identify traditional story-telling themes. Many of the stories contain other examples of writing styles such as a diary or a newspaper spread.

See here for more about The Fairytale Hairdresser.

The Magic Potions Shop series (for ages 5-8) follows a pixie learning to be a potions master, and making all kinds of mistakes along the way. Although it is funny and filled with exciting characters and adventures, at its heart it is a series about learning, and about the environment. It covers many of the areas of PSHE, including the intra- and inter-personal skills children have to develop towards their work, such as confidence, resilience, team-work and self-reflection as well as ecology and nature issues. The books have a glossary, and fantasy recipes at the back, teaching children about data-collection and analysis within a fun, mythological setting.

See here for more about The Magic Potions Shop.


I can do cosy classroom storytelling, or big events in the hall with an overhead projector. Children are often daunted by the idea of ‘writing’ as if it’s a very scary complicated thing and they sometimes have a fear of the blank page, so I talk about how ’mistakes’ are an important part of the creative process and I show them how I come up with an idea and develop it into a book. My sessions are interactive and fun, with lots of characters to spot.


Fun joint plotting sessions (which work very well for reluctant writers), story boarding, and talks about fairy tales or world-building (the children love inventing their own fantasy characters or potions and this suits both boys and girls.)


I give talks and presentations to suit all ages; from small children up to adults. Examples include talking to Year 12/13 about modernising the fairy tale world, addressing trainee teachers on using fairy tales to inspire reading and writing, seminars at the FCBG conference, speaking at the National Day Nurseries Conference.

See me on Channel 5 news talking about the importance of fairy tales here

and talking about Fairytale Hairdresser here

Read my light-hearted article about human rights in fairy tales in the Guardian here


My visits are £450 for a day, plus travel; or £300 for half a day, plus travel.

I live in Hove and am willing to travel widely, including abroad, if expenses are covered.

I write The Fairytale Hairdresser picture book series, as well as The Magic Potions Shop series for 5-7 year olds
The Fairytale Hairdresser (isbn:978-0552561860)
Brave heroine Kittie Lacey owns the salon in fairytale land. She faces up to wicked witches and more, to solve everyone's problems. See who you can spot in the pages!
View in Amazon
The Fairytale Hairdresser and the Little Mermaid (isbn:978-0552570541)
Can Kittie save the Little Mermaid from the sea witch?
View in Amazon
The Magic Potions Shop - The Young Apprentice (isbn:978-1782951896)
Tibben the pixie is desperate to become a Potions Master! But there's a lot to learn along the way. A magical series filled with dragons, mermaids, elves and more
View in Amazon
Just the Job for Dad (isbn:978-1407115641)
Dad's job is so dull! Surely there's a more exciting one out there for him?
View in Amazon
Society of Authors
Scattered Authors' Society

Other search criteria:

Sci-fi and Fantasy

Book Type:
Fiction for children (any age), Picture books, Fiction 5-9, Educational books

fairy tales, myths, mythology, dragon, cinderella, rapunzel, hair, curriculum, PSHE, ecology, potion, magic, fantasy, imagination, pixie, elf, learning, little mermaid, mermaids, fairies, princess, prince, nature