Hello! I'm an Irish children's book illustrator and author and I live in Bristol with my husband and our black and white cat, Odysseus.(Ody for short)
When I was younger I wanted to be a palaeontologist and travel the world drawing dinosaurs and making up names for my discoveries. But I'm very happy to be writing and illustrating books such as my Jasper and Scruff book series and getting to illustrate books like the Fizzy series by Irish children's laureate, Sarah Crossan. Maybe one day, I'll write a book about a dinosaur and all my dreams will come true.
I absolutely love facilitating workshops with young readers and cater for ages 4-12. It would be brilliant to be booked for a visit to your school, library or festival. My sessions involve storytelling, draw-a-longs, story-building and character creation.
I encourage students to make mistakes and have fun, there is no right or wrong way to draw. The beauty of illustration is that everyone has a different style/way of drawing.
I also like to leave a good chunk of time at the end of a session for a Show and Tell so that children can share their stories and drawings. These workshops are really about the participants and it's so important that they have the time to show what they have created, share a joke, tell me about their hamster or just say something out loud. I really want them to have that moment and to have fun.
I always like to leave my participants with something that they can take back to class/home with them. A little extra something to spark their imagination, usually it's an activity sheet with a story starter, draw-a-long or a craft they can try at home/with their teacher.
Sessions are typically 35-60 min long and can be anything from a small class group session to a larger assembly.
Here are a few examples of a typical session/event:
StoryTime with props, followed by a draw-a-long and/or craft activity and Show & Tell at the end (suitable for Reception & KS1) (ages 4-7)
StoryTime with props & draw a long and character creation workshop with a Show & Tell at the end (suitable for KS1) (ages 5-7)
Story discussion with props. Character design and story building session. Show & Tell at the end (suitable for KS2) (ages 7-11)
I am very flexible and the options above can always be adapted to suit your event needs. Let me know what your ideal author visit would look like!
I am based in Bristol but willing to travel.
I am also very happy to facilitate an online event and I have done quite a few Zoom events with schools and festivals which were lots of fun!
• One Hour Session: £150*
• Half-Day Event: £250*
• Full Day Event: £350*
* Fees may change according to what is required for the event, please get in touch to get a full quote.
* Please note that travel and accommodation costs are charged on top of the event fee. I am based in Bristol.
• 35 minute Zoom session: £75*
Story Time, Draw-a-long, Q&A & (If my cat Odysseus is awake, you'll get to meet him! )
*This is a fixed example but if you would like a more bespoke session and quote, please get in touch!
Praise for Jasper & Scruff:
“…newly independent readers will lap up the cat-and-dog tale of Jasper and Scruff… Adorable illustrations, snappy dialogue and outrageous puns make it the cat’s pyjamas for bedtime reading, too.” Imogen Russell Williams, The Guardian
“Irish writer/illustrator Nicola Colton has produced a wonderfully warm and funny book about two unlikely friends… I can’t wait to read more Jasper and Scruff tales in the future” Sarah Webb, Irish Independent