Thanks for looking at my “blurb”! I hope that I will be able to offer you an author visit that will inspire and enthuse your students. I am an ex-teacher and understand both what makes a successful author visit and what you want to achieve by inviting me to talk to and work with your students.
I have been writing books together for over twenty years with Steve Barlow(The 2 Steves) and have produced over 220 titles. I began writing in order to produce material that engaged and enthused the students I taught and this continues to be my mission!
I travel the world visiting schools and libraries delivering talks, workshops and INSET sessions across the age ranges. I spend over 120 days a year working with schools, libraries, universities, colleges, The British Council, The Reading Agency - in fact anyone who wants to use me to help inspire a love of reading and writing.
I have also appeared regularly at the major literary festivals (Edinburgh, Hay, Bath, Cheltenham, NCBF etc.) and the not-so-major ones!
I am asked back on a regular basis to schools which have found that my visits to have been successful. I am a Patron of Reading at several schools and I also run writer-in-residence workshops and writing squads for a range of abilities, from Gifted and Talented students to the struggling and reluctant writer.
I offer a wide range of sessions, so please do visit my 2 Steves website for more details. There is far too much to put down here! Please do also get in touch if you have a specific need for a visit – I am very flexible in what I can offer!
With regard to numbers, I can talk to small groups or large audiences (1000 + is the current record!)
Why invite me?
So, are my visits successful?
I get hundreds of emails and letters expressing thanks for the visits I have undertaken. Some are incredibly touching and prove that all the effort is very worthwhile.
Here are some of the most recent messages we have received:
From Alex, a primary pupil:
Thank-you for the best day of my life and I hope you come back to west croft one day.
From a teacher:
The children’s enthusiasm following their sessions with you continued beyond the day. One parent said her son sat and read one of your books that evening – the first time she’d ever seen him reading without being made to.
From a mum:
I just wanted to drop you a quick line to say thank you. My son, Joseph, attended one of your workshops this week and has thoroughly enjoyed himself. He is not an enthusiastic reader (he really dislikes it) or writer, but this week has shown him what he can do and he wants to expand on the story he has written. I’m really proud of what he has achieved this week and can only thank you once again for your enthusiasm. A very happy and grateful mum.
From an LEA English advisor:
Had two more lovely comments about last week. A St Mark's mum rang the school to thank them for sending her son. It's the first time he's got up on time and wanted to go to school every morning!
Another LSA said how the boys at Spittal had been really enthusiastic and hadn't stopped talking about it. Thanks.
From a librarian:
The kids haven't stopped talking about your performances, they were blown away! The teachers too haven't stopped talking about it!
Thank you, will book you again as soon as we have the calendar fixed...
My biggest compliment was wow that was the best presentation we have ever had in school, well done......... thank you!
From trainee teachers:
I’d recommend to any school that wanted to liven up literacy.
From a year 5 pupil:
From your visit I have learned that writing is fun and adventurous, not just boring and rubbish like I used to think it was.
From a year 7 student:
When my form tutor told me that I had to go to see two authors period 3, I was happy because I missed geography but I thought it was going to be boring. After break when I went into the library I was amazed at how wrong I was because they were really funny and I learnt a lot from them. I really enjoyed it because they made me laugh.
They have also made me think about the positive side of writing and that writing can be how you want it to go. Thank you very much for this opportunity.
I look forward to visiting you!
I have written over 200 books for children and young adults with Steve Barlow, including the following series: