“‘It was so fun, EXCITING and inspired me to write my own book.” – Participant
“‘At school so much is about adjectives and grammar. It was great that the kids got to be creative, express themselves and have fun writing.” – Emily Jewell, Director, Upper Norwood Library Hub
I give author talks and workshops that are fun, engaging and inspiring. With over three decades facilitation experience empowering children and young people I’m great at engaging reluctant and passionate readers alike.
I helped found and run award-winning charity DreamArts which transforms young lives fusing arts and therapy so I’ve been lucky to work with thousands of young people living in some of the most deprived parts of London, helping them share their stories, express themselves and achieve their potential.
“DreamArts has a profound impact on the lives of young people” – The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
My sessions can be tailored to the needs and interests of your group. I can work with small groups or full school assemblies (I’ve facilitated 80 kids from inner-city secondary schools to write their own musical performed at The Royal Opera House!)
My Crystal Palace Chronicles series is a rollercoaster adventure bringing Victorian history to life whilst exploring questions of friendship, resilience and self-esteem.
Teenager Joe time-travels back to 1888 meeting exciting, diverse real-life characters connected with the Crystal Palace. Did you know when it moved to South London it was three times bigger than St Paul’s Cathedral, was the worlds first theme park recreating from scratch Ancient Egypt, Rome and Assyria, entertained millions of people of all classes with sell-out shows from artists like arial daredevil Blondin, displayed full-size dinosaur models only 30 years after they were discovered, and hosted the first FA Cup finals?
“It’s a story about realising what true friends area. What I found really good was the way Joe met up with famous people that were to become successful like Samuel Coleridge Taylor and Bertie was to become H. G. Wells. I can relate to it and it taught me much more about Crystal Palace.” - Abdurehman aged 13
My visit will bring Victorian history to life in a way that’s inclusive, interactive and fun and can be adapted to suit students from Years 4-9.
And my workshops can inspire storytelling, tackling characters and writing top tips and turning fact to fiction, and/or can be drama-based which are ideal for students less confident with writing.
Plus I include interactive evaluations to find out what participants have learned.
My experience and training working with young people includes being Attachment Regulation Competency (ARC) trauma-informed trained helping me to understand and respond to young people who have experienced trauma in their lives. I also practice the therapeutic attachment approach PACE which means being Playful, Accepting, Curious and Empathetic, helping engage those with complex needs.
Professional writing credits include editing the award-winning Dev and Olli children’s books by Shweta Aggarwal and adapting for the stage the Shane Meadows film 24/7 and the UKs first immersive musical based on the classic Ealing Studio comedy Passport to Pimlico.
I live around the corner from Crystal Palace (my granddad sold programmes at the Palace!) and I’m happy to travel anywhere to share the fascinating history of the ‘people’s palace’ and inspire children and young people to read and tell their own stories.
Get in touch - email@example.com
‘Zephy is writing away right now and Bryah was taking notes throughout. Genius work by a fab author. Thank you.’ -Parent
I’d be very happy to make the session bespoke to the needs and interests of your school. Sessions I’ve been running themed around my book The Crystal Palace Chronicles, Star of Nimrod have been posing the question - if the Crystal Palace rose again today, what YOU show inside? It includes;
Reading from the book
How finding out about local heritage inspired me to write it and how to weave facts into fiction
Entwines the history of Victorian Crystal Palace as the world’s first theme park.
Explores children’s ideas for their own Crystal Palace – no idea too big, small or crazy!
How they might structure this into a story - who is the special guest visiting their palace? The Queen? Someone from the past time-travelling to see it?
How do they feel about your palace? What do the millions of visitors think?
‘Macy was so enthused by the whole idea of the Crystal Palace coming back again she has so many ideas for her next story. A great workshop, really fun and relaxed.’ Parent