Harriet Goodwin

Harriet Goodwin

Children's author

07905 935775
Booking enquiry
Harriet Goodwin - author tools

Available for

Workshop, Talk, Reading, Interview


Age 3 to 5, Age 5 to 7, Age 7 to 11, Age 11 to 14, Age 14 to 16, Age 16 to 18+


Adventure, Fantasy, Fiction, Magical realism, Mystery


  • Nominated for Red House Children's Book Award 2012 (Pick of the Year)
  • Shortlisted for Lancashire Libraries Services Fantastic Book Award
  • Shortlisted for New Horizons Dorset Young People's Book Award 2010
  • Shortlisted for Brilliant Books: The Oldham Book Award 2012
  • Shortlisted for Stockton Children's Book of the Year 2010
  • Shortlisted for Nottinghamshire Brilliant Book Award 2011
  • Shortlisted for Hillingdon School Book of the Year 2012
  • Winner of Bedfordshire Children's Book of the Year 2010
  • Shortlisted for Warwickshire Children's Book Award 2011
  • Shortlisted for Stockport Schools' Book Award 2010
  • Shortlisted for Cheshire Schools' Book Award 2012
  • Shortlisted for West Sussex Children's Book Award
  • Shortlisted for Coventry Inspiration Awards
  • Shortlisted for Blue Peter Book Award 2010
  • Shortlisted for North East Book Award 2010
  • Shortlisted for Southwark Book Award 2010
  • Longlisted for Branford Boase Award 2010
  • Shortlisted for Tower Hamlets Book Award
  • Shortlisted for East Sussex Book Award
  • Shortlisted for Leeds Book Award 2012
  • Undiscovered Voices Winner 2008


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)

Books by Harriet Goodwin


The Boy Who Fell Down Exit 43




The Hex Factor


Dark Tide


The Black Dog