Although I studied English Literature at Oxford, I never imagined I would become an author. Until I had a dream that changed everything...
Shortly after the birth of my fourth child, I had a weird and wonderful dream about a boy who fell down a massive vertical tunnel in the Earth's crust, lined with golden ladders and peppered with luminous green algae. This dream became the basis for my first novel, The Boy Who Fell Down Exit 43, which I wrote in ten minutes a day over eight months, entirely in longhand and in secret. It went on to be shortlisted for the 2010 Blue Peter Book of the Year Award ("Book I Couldn't Put Down"), and I've been writing novels and visiting schools ever since.
During my presentations I chart my unusual journey to becoming an author, talk my audience through the plots of my books with the help of a box of props and answer questions. I can speak to any number of students and particularly love BIG audiences (450 at one school!).
I also offer interactive creative writing workshops, in which I show students how to get their writing to spring off the page (show-not-tell), explore story structure and openings and look at characterisation.
I enjoy working with all ages, from KS2 Primary and KS3 Secondary pupils through to GCSE students and Sixth Formers. I am also happy to spend some time with the very youngest members of a school, reading to them and having an informal chat.
Also a classically-trained singer (I was nominated for the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition), I can (if desired!) treat my audience to a brief blast of opera during a presentation.
All my sessions are guaranteed to fire students' imaginations and leave them bursting with an enthusiasm to read and write.
Endorsement from Joy Court - National Coordinator, CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals:
"Rarely have I come across a writer who has the presence and performance skills to engage children from all backgrounds and abilities as Harriet Goodwin does so brilliantly: her thoughtful analysis of the writing process ensures that she is able to hit all the creative writing trigger points for children and the result is a huge enthusiasm for writing and, of course, for devouring their own precious copies of her books."
Endorsements from schools:
"You have brought the magic of reading and writing back into our classroom: thank you!" (Mrs Bailey: St John's Primary, Stafford)
"There is no substitute for inspirational teaching like this." (Frank Chapman: county councillor)
"It's not every day you get to meet an author and be so creatively inspired. It was an honour to have Harriet visit our school and a pleasure to watch the rapt expressions on our students' faces." (Anita Baker, Librarian at Weston Road High School)
"A huge thank you for visiting our school. You soon embraced the hearts and minds of our children. Your presentation captured all our imaginations and left us with a wealth of understanding about yourself and your love of writing. Please come again!" (Neale Chesters, Bishop Lonsdale Primary)
"Your sessions created a palpable sense of buzz and excitement...your energy, enthusiasm and good humour made the day a real delight." (Jake Hope, Lancashire Libraries)
"Our creative writing session with Harriet was amazing. She showed us how to get our writing to spring off the page and then we did lots of fun work on characters. Now I want to be an author myself." (Jamie H)
“Listening to Harriet this morning has made me realise that I can do it, I can do what I’ve dreamt of and become an author.” (Y6 pupil, Florendine Primary, Tamworth)