I have been visiting schools in the UK and abroad for over a decade, running writing workshops and interactive events. My foremost aim as a writer is to get kids excited about reading and writing their own stories. To this end, I have created 4 tailor-made events that focus on writing, reading, and exploring genre. I have specialist knowledge of Gothic literature and have been performing workshops in this area for many years. Any combination of the following events can be booked.
(For commendations from teachers and librarians, see below.)
This exciting workshop takes children on an interactive journey through the writing process. With a few tips of the trade, pupils come up with their own idea for a story, which we then develop into a narrative plot driven by a strong main character. In groups, we discuss how to break the tyranny of the blank page, how to use evocative description and how to build a plot. At the end of a PowerPoint presentation and a batch of fun exercises, the class will have collaborated on a plan for a full story, and should be ready to start writing!
A fun and educational exploration of the Gothic genre, from its origins and its place in literature to core texts and the great writers. After an overview of the genre, complete with thrilling PowerPoint presentation and a reading from my own gothic novel Haunted, pupils will participate in the Dracula vs Van Helsing Quiz. With appropriate props and costume, children will be selected from the audience to battle it out, answering entertaining questions about the presentation, thereby reinforcing the lessons of the event.
This event is suitable for all students studying English, and has been found to be particularly useful for those in Year 9 who are beginning to study elements of Gothic literature. More advanced versions of the workshop are available for GCSE and A Level students.
Designed for assembly-size audiences, this Horrible Histories-style event includes a memorable reading from the Witchfinder books and an introduction to the life of a writer. We then move on to a fully interactive recreation of a 17th Century Witch Trial in which students play major roles. Funny and informative, the session provides a great introduction to Civil War history and, in the final moments, draws parallels with the modern issue of bullying. It also provides rich material for English and creative writing classes. The session concludes with a Q&A.
Open to all years, this after-school event has been designed in collaboration with several teachers to achieve the important goal of involving parents more in school life. Based on a flexible format, ‘An Evening of Ghost Stories’ includes three dramatic readings from classic tales, as well as stories from my own pen. This exciting family event helps to bring parents into school on an informal basis. It then provides a rare face-to-face opportunity for staff to inform parents of other exciting events in the school year, to run charity raffles, to show off pupils’ work (including students’ own dramatic readings and drama projects), and to provide a relaxed environment in which parents, teachers and pupils can interact. (NB suitable for Years 7 and over).
‘‘I wanted to thank you so much for the event you held at our school. It was much appreciated by the students and me. Year 7 and I are reading the first book and having amazing conversations about it. It is so refreshing to have these types of interactions in the lunch queue and around the school! You have inspired a new generation of authors.’’
Lesley Baker, Assistant Head Teacher, Rokeby School
‘‘The events to coincide with the launch of the second book in the Witchfinder series were well prepared and flawlessly “executed”. It was a pleasure to see such enthused and engaged pupils. William Hussey comes highly recommended!’’
John Newman, Newham Bookshop
'A hush descended on the audience within seconds of William’s opening words, and by the time he began reading a passage from one of his novels, there was not a sound to be heard in the College Chapel. I have never seen so many 11 & 12 year olds quite so engaged before, and the clichéd phrase that ‘they were on the edge of their seats’ could not be more apt. The Witchfinder Event sparked a sequence of intelligent and thoughtful questions from the students, all of which William was able to answer in a way that provided useful insights to the writer’s craft and his own background. We will certainly be booking him again next year; the students are already anticipating the possibility of attending William’s creative writing workshop!”
Nik Waight, St George’s College, Surrey
Up to 2 hours of talks / workshops - £300
Up to 4 hours of talks / workshops - £400
Travel expenses and overnight accommodation (when required) are charged on top of the fee. I will be travelling from my home in Lincolnshire. I am willing to travel to any part of the UK and internationally.