Sue Hardy-Dawson

Sue Hardy-Dawson

Academic, Article, Author of books, Children's author, Illustrator, Non-fiction, Poet, YA author
01423 502 857 or 07817841598
Booking enquiry
Sue Hardy-Dawson - author tools

Available for

Commission, Educational, General enquiry, Interview, Reading, Speech, Talk, Workshop


Age 5 to 7, Age 7 to 11, Age 11 to 14, Age 14 to 16, Age 16 to 18+, Further Education, Adult


Art, Humour, Non-Fiction, Poetry



  • A member of NAWE the National Association of Writers in Education.


I'm a Yorkshire born poet, artist, and illustrator, and my first solo collection 'Where Zebras Go', has been shortlisted for the CLiPPA prize for poetry have been widely published in children’s poetry anthologies. Before becoming a poet I had worked with children for over twenty years. In 2014 I was highly commended for the Manchester Writing for Children Prize. I also have an Open First Class Honours Degree in Creative Writing, Literature and Supporting Teaching and Learning.

When not writing or drawing I love to visit schools and also have been commissioned to provide workshops for the Prince of Wales Foundation for Children and the Arts. I have dyslexia and take a special interest in encouraging reluctant readers and writers. I have appearedd on the Blue Peter website as part of the CLiPPA, performed at the Olivier Theatre at the Award ceremony and also opened the Harrogate YLG/SLA conference. I have a background in SEN and have worked with children of all ages. I have also provided talks and workshops at adult writing groups, after school groups. 


Solo collection 'Where Zebras Go' Otter-Barry Books February 2017 Shortlisted for the CLiPPA 2018 (Centre for Litracy in Primary, Poetry Award).

Three up collection with Poetry Ambassadors Roger Stevens and Liz Brownlee 'Apes to Zebras' An A to Z of Shape Poems, Bloomsburry March 2018.

Solo collection, 'If I Were Other Than Myself' Troika, due out sprin 2019


A typical day would start with a 30 minute poetry performance in the hall to introduce myself to everyone before any talks or workshops.

Year 3-6: 7-11 Talks and Workshops

Workshops: ideally would be a minimum of 50-60 minutes, per class

My workshops are usually multisensory and aimed at getting children to think more abstractly. I will need either a CD player or similar facility on a computer.

Talks: 30-60 minutes depending on the ages of children and allowing time for some questions.

Talks will cover writing a poem from first draft to final piece/shape poems. Being a poet/illustrator. I prefer to work with individual classes if possible so I can show them actual examples and make it more fun and informal. However, I can also do this as a PowerPoint presentation for a larger group with prior arrangement.

I’m happy to stay behind after school to meet parents/sell/sign my books if they have been told of my visit in advance. I can provide a book order form if required.

Charges: £250 for a full day plus travel and where required accomodation expenses. I'm happy to quote an all-in price if preferred. 


Sue Hardy Dawson’s debut collection is a celebration of the magic of language. Playful yet sensitive, it is sure to challenge, amuse and enchant its reader. CLPE Award winner Rachel Rooney:

‘One of my favourite poets. A brilliant collection. Up there with the very best.’ Founder of the Poetry Zone Roger Stevens

‘Sue's poems are objects of heartfelt beauty and artistry, and her workshops are inspirational in encouraging students to access their creativity and imaginations.’ Award winning poet and Educator Joshua Seigal:

Sue Hardy-Dawson's poems are lyrical and surprising - she builds new worlds with words.  Whether funny or sad they never fail to be interesting as she uses language to engage and delight. She is also an experienced educator and workshop leader. What's not to like?Poet, Educator and Fiction writer Jan Dean

‘Sue Hardy Dawson is the most poetic of poets -  she uses a language rarely seen in children’s poetry today and intersperses this with such original ideas that she is fast becoming one of the freshest and most exciting voices on the scene.’ Poet, Musician and Poetry Postie Sally Crabtree


Sue worked with us during our school poetry week and it was a real hit with the children.  She happily worked from Year One through to Year Six, capturing and engaging them at an appropriate level in the workshops that she delivered. Her enthusiasm and passion for her work and children’s writing came through in the practical activities in which the children used their senses to create their own poems. She also made a fantastic judge critiquing performance poetry throughout the school as a culmination to Poetry week.

Thank you Sue for an inspirational learning experience for the children at Willow Tree.

Willow Tree Community Primary School, Yorkshire, UK

Sue visited Rossett School for a Poetry Workshop with our Creative Writing and Book Groups. Our students loved hearing her poems and the inspiration for them. Sue got everybody crafting their own poems inspired by objects she’d brought with her. Despite the workshop having a mix of ages and abilities she created a very supportive and encouraging atmosphere and her gentle approach was a great success. She showed us different ways of thinking about the objects and everyone had a go and created some lovely poetry. It was great to hear how Sue works and very encouraging for aspiring writers to hear of her success. The students thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and we would love Sue to visit us again.

Rosset School Library, Yorkshire, UK


Praise for 'Where Zebras Go'


"A celebration of the magic of language. Sure to challenge, amaze and enchant." -- Rachel Rooney

"A strong sense of inventive joy and verbal beauty characterise Where Zebras Go. Remarkably, this is Sue Hardy-Dawson's debut solo collection ... and as such leaves me excited and hopeful. I know my kids and I will eagerly be looking out for more of her work in the future." * Playing by the Book *

"Sue Hardy-Dawson's poems have appeared widely in anthologies and she performs regularly in schools but this is her first solo poetry collection. She is also an artist and has provided the illustrations to the poems." * Achuka *

"Join a talented poet in her first solo collection celebrating the diversity of the animal kingdom...This diverse collection of poems makes excellent use of many different ways of presenting poetry, with a wide and varied vocabulary to enjoy. It will also inspire children by its variety of form." * Parents in Touch *

"Sue Hardy-Dawson ranges across a variety of themes and poetic forms in her first solo collection. ..the poems are narrated in a variety of voices, especially effective in a section which riffs on fairy tales." * CLPE Book of the Week *

"Will lead you on a magical journey across the savannah, into fairytale realms, back into the playground and through the seasons, introducing a whole host of animals along the way. This is a diverse and exciting debut collection by a poet who performs regularly in schools across the country, and in fact it's the sort of poetry book that would be perfect for stimulating brilliant classroom discussions and activities based around children's favourite wild animals." * Read it, Daddy *

"This is a little book full of magic. Sue Hardy-Dawson's exciting debut solo collection is a triumph. The language is so clever it weaves wonderful images in your mind; the poems make us laugh, cry, wonder and dream. Here is a seriously good poet, who knows exactly how to use words to evoke different emotions, producing seriously beautiful work. In time she should be recognised as an important writer. And her illustrations are lovely, too." * Poetry Zone *

"A must-get for primary classes and individuals in particular with a taste for the slightly quirky - the latter will, after dipping into this treat of a book, surely become poetry lovers." * Red Reading Hub *

"Wide-ranging selection of humorous poems playing with animals and celebrating language." * Armadillo *

"It's always exciting to discover a new voice in children's poetry - and this debut collection reveals a talent that is very special indeed...quite simply, a triumph." * Teach Primary *

"It is this attention to the visual nature of poetry that makes the collection so distinctive and gives it special child appeal." * The Reading Zone * "A terrific set of poems...Everyone of every age will enjoy these poems and spot-on accompanying illustrations." * IBBY Link *

"One of those books that children will love reading and all primary school teachers should have in their personal collection. Sue Hardy-Dawson has written a collection of poems to rival any of the well-known anthologies. Animal poems feature heavily and this of course will ensure its appeal with children." * School Librarian *

"Sue Hardy-Dawson is both a poet and an artist, and Where Zebras Go is a perfect marriage of these two disciplines. An accomplished collection. * Carousel *

"Infused in places with a wry unusual debut that can genuinely be described as a page-turner." * Book Trust * "Fantastic and thoughtful. I guarantee every teacher and student will find a verse within its pages to share, perform or marvel at." * North Somerset Teachers Book Award *

"Get ready to join in the Poetry Olympics, question a snake, talk to a toad and learn 20 ways to avoid monsters and mythical beasts. Where Zebras Go will lead you on a magical journey across the Savannah, into fairytale realms, back into the playground and through the seasons, introducing a whole host of animals along the way." * National Literacy Trust *

Books by Sue Hardy-Dawson

I have been widely published in children’s anthologies including Macmillan, Bloomsbury, Oxford University and A&C Black. Where Zebras Go is my first solo collection 2017 with Otter-Barry Books and Has been shortlisted for the CLiPPA 2018. 'Apes to Zebras' an A to Z of Shape Poems is a book with myself, and Poetry Ambassadors Roger Stevens and Liz Brownlee and won the poetry category of the 'North Somerset Teachers' Book Awards. My next solo collection, 'If I Were Other Than Myself' is due out in spring 2019 with Troika Books.

Where Zebras Go

Where Zebras Go

Question a snake, talk to a toad and learn how to avoid monsters and mythical beasts. This is a magical journey across savannahs, into fairytale realms, back to the playground and through the seasons, meeting hosts of animals along the way. 
Apes to Zebras

Apes to Zebras

An A to Z of shape poems with Roger Stevens and Liz Brownlee Bloomsbury, from wopping whales to tiny plankton, all the amazing animals te earth has to offer, hardback 


Sue Hardy-Dawson - first image
Sue Hardy-Dawson - second image
Sue Hardy-Dawson - second image