Hello! I'm Damien. Thank you for making it this far. Let me tell you a little bit about what I offer. I love engaging schools and getting out there to inspire young minds. It was my dream as a child to become an author so I love sharing my story and showing that dreams really can come true.
I have over a decade of experience working with young people so I am quite comfortable with Key Stages 1 through 5 and like to speak with schools in planning their events so that I can tailor my approach to their specific needs and context. Previous schools have reported their students are left "electrified" with a love for reading and writing.
Outside of speaking at schools, I have had the pleasure of speaking at various writing conferences as well as on the radio.
My approach is simple. I agree a certain number of hours with the school and then am at your disposal for the duration of that time. I can deliver assemblies, workshops, creative writing lessons, live readings, author Q&A, seminars and, of course, book signings. I am also happy working with SEND students.
The most popular sessions I offer are:
A talk about my work and how I came to be an author. This can 45 minutes to an hour and I will tailor it to the age group. For instance, with a Key Stage 1 group, we might break out into a creative activity while with a larger group there might be more time for the live reading and Q&A.
Workshops based on topics such as how to create fascinating characters, how to plot your story, creative writing techniques, building worlds, etc. I also have a workshop all about writing riddles and poetry which students love where they also get the opportunity to design their own riddles.
Career talks (typically for KS4 and 5) going over more of the specifics of the publishing industry and how to launch out.
World Book Day! A massive event for schools to capitalise on. For many English departments, it will be the highlight of the year. Students can dress up, authors can come in and the whole day can be spent celebrating books and the imagination. On World Book Days in the past, I have spoken to hundreds of students at a time, delivered seminars and workshops and done book sales / signings.
I am based in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, and am willing to travel up to 75 miles if transport is included in the costs of the visit or more if accommodation is paid for / provided. I am DBS-checked and have a thorough understanding of safeguarding issues.
Damien has been an absolute pleasure to work with! I would recommend him for any event for young people.