Sue Upton

Sue Upton

Hi! This is Sue here!
Booking enquiry
Sue Upton - author tools

Available for

Workshop, Talk, Reading, Interview


Age 11 to 14, Age 14 to 16, Age 16 to 18+


Adventure, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery

Book types

Fiction for young-adults




Hi. Thank you for taking a look at my page. I am based in Buckinghamshire but happy to travel anywhere in the UK. I was a teacher for many years so I have lots of experience teaching in primary and secondary. I am also very happy to talk to clubs and societies as well as schools. I have run drama classes with cubs, I run our local Holiday Bible Club drama group and I was the main organiser for DanceXchange - a dance show at Milton Keynes Theatre for 400 children from local schools - for three years.

I am due to travel to The Netherlands in January to do several days of workshops so I am happy to travel abroad again. Just drop me a line and I will be happy to chat about what I can offer.



"Where do I start? Paper boats and Butterflies from the front cover to the content inside provides the reader (of all ages) to become a creative, critical thinker.

I contacted Sue because I was blown away with the ability to draw readers from all ages and interests into the book with relevant themes and imagery that our year 8 students could relate to. Initially, I contacted Sue to be a guest speaker at my school as a local author and once in contact I learnt that she was incredibly flexible with what she could offer us and also had a range of resources on offer. The beauty of the resources is that you can pick and choose what you would like to use, and you have the set text to support the quality of the content of the resource.

Sue was able to work with us from the beginning of our project to the end. Our project was run through our project based learning sessions so she provided us with a launch video and also completed a Q and A session for us based on questions our students had asked (this couldn’t be live because we were in the depths of covid). But, completely adaptable, this did not stop Sue in supporting our project. Our students were writing 500-word stories and she offered to judge and present awards to the successful students.

Sue is personable and uses her experiences as a teacher and leader to meet the needs of the school and the project. I highly recommend the book, resources and Sue. Our students are now inspired to write, and it is thanks to Sue for making it such an authentic project for them.

Sue, I cannot thank you enough. You are an inspiration to many and clearly have the needs of all students at the heart of what you do. I look forward to working with you again soon."

"We have had the pleasure of working with Sue Upton this term and l have found her book and accompanying resources to be fantastic and incredibly helpful. As a busy teacher l appreciate the ease with which l could access and utilise the resources available on the website. The book is pitched perfectly to engage the audience and be used as a stimulus for learning.

My students were enthusiastic from the outset and asked if they could buy the book for themselves, so high praise indeed. The chapters recorded on YouTube were also useful to analyse as the students have created audio books, so we examined the expression, pace and tone when reading.

The scheme of work is amazing and offers lots of cross-curricular and stimulating activities, it saved me lots of time and offers motivating and engaging tasks for the students. I am incredibly grateful for all of Sue's hard work." 



Creative writing, reading and drama workshops for key stage 2 students will be based on a book the class is studying at the time or a topic suggested by the school, or on Sue’s unpublished book for children – Fergus Jones and the Black Star.


Creative writing, analytical writing and drama workshops for key stage 3 and 4 students will be based on Paper Boats & Butterflies: Unfolding the Truth. The scheme of work that accompanies book one, Unfolding the Truth, is available to purchase online and comes as a power point document to download instantly. 



Example workshop for year 7

Learning Objectives

To predict the subject of a novel by using clues.

To understand the use of symbolism in a novel.

Main Activities

Analyse the cover and the blurb.

Discuss symbolism and find clues in the cover and the blurb.

Read an extract from the beginning of the book. Predict what might happen next

Write the next bit of the story – who is the girl, why is she there?

Example workshop for year 8

Learning Objectives

To confidently make inferences about a literary character.

To create a character to develop creative writing skills.

Main Activities

Study an extract from chapter 4 using inference and deduction to explore the character of Beryl Citrine.

Answer the question - How has the writer presented the character of Beryl Citrine?

Using Role on the Wall, create a character. Various pictures of people will be shared to inspire ideas. Write the opening of a story using this character.

Example workshop for year 9

Learning Objectives

To use descriptive writing to develop creative skills.

Main Activities

Read an extract regarding Erin’s safe place – The Seven Spirits

Write a piece about your safe place – real or imaginary.

Read the extract about Z89 visiting The Garden of Perception.

Write a detailed description of a place where what we see is perceived as good but is really masking evil beneath the surface.


Key Stage 3 drama

Learning Objectives:

To develop drama skills.

To use drama to explore the storyline.

Main Activities:

Using five key points in the play create a series of freeze frames.

Add thought tracking.

Split screen can be used to develop ideas further.

Key Stage 3 drama

Learning Objective:

To develop play writing and/or story boarding skills.

Main Activities:

Write a play script of a scene in the novel.

Create a story board or perform the script.


Presentations can be made to individual classes or clubs, whole year groups or whole school.

Power Point presentation including:

Information about life as an author

The author’s inspiration

Advice on creative writing

If several books are purchased by the school, the talk is complementary.

Books by Sue Upton

I began writing several years ago and with the aid of many mugs of tea and plenty of cake, I’m proud to say, I have finally written and published my YA trilogy - Paper Boats & Butterflies. I started writing back in 2017 when the need to get pen to paper was so overwhelming I made a start and then never looked back. The characters have become constant companions over the years and it’s wonderful to know people of all ages are loving getting to know them too. As well as being a writer I have my own tutoring business - Lighthouse Learning, where I use the Scheme of Work based on book 1 to help bring English lessons to life. My collaboration with schools is helping to bring the story of Z89 and Erin to hundreds of children across the UK, encouraging our young people to read, to love literature and to develop their own creative writing skills. I am currently working on a new novel inspired by the natural world and unnatural phenomena… Watch this space!
Paper Boats & Butterflies: Unfolding the Truth

Paper Boats & Butterflies: Unfolding the Truth

You discover your family have lied. What do you do? Erin, an ordinary 15-year-old girl searches for the truth, while Z89 just tries to stay alive. What Erin finds will change her life for ever. What Z89 learns will, one day, change her world. 
Paper Boats & Butterflies: True Tears

Paper Boats & Butterflies: True Tears

Miranda has found her family, yet Z84 has been abandoned by hers. Miranda is finally free while Z84 is incarcerated within the confines of Zephyr; escape is the only option. The Teardrops can help, but who are they and can they be trusted? Zephyr and Trefoil hold many secrets – can they be unlocked in time to stop more tears from falling? 
Paper Boats & Butterflies: Igniting the Truth

Paper Boats & Butterflies: Igniting the Truth

How do you fight against a highly respected company and unfold the real truth to the world? Now is not the time for tears. Now is the time to remember. Friendships will be rekindled, yet flames of passion may engulf the path to freedom. Can Erin and Miranda ignite the truth before it is too late?