I was a teacher for many years before becoming an author, and I love doing author visits. I offer a talk on reading, the power of story and my books, and a creative writing workshop - or a combination of both.
I give talks and run workshops at many different events including literary festivals, conferences, libraries, creative writing groups, adult education classes, book groups, literary lunches, women’s groups, and health and healing events.
Many people feel they have a book inside them, and I explain how I turned my life around by self-publishing my books initially, before signing a major publishing deal. My talks are inspirational and uplifting, and I also run creative workshops for adults of all levels of writing experience.
I’ve been interviewed many times for local radio, newspapers and magazines, and enjoy taking part in discussion panels.
I tailor my visit to the group and prefer a single class at a time, although I can speak to larger audiences if required. I’m experienced with pupils from Years 5 - 6 in primary, Years 7 – 11 in secondary, and A level and under-graduate students in higher education. I aim to motivate young people, creating excitement and enthusiasm about reading and writing. I discuss how our primeval love of story fits into the modern world, and why reading fiction can make you more intelligent.
My sessions are lively, stimulating and interactive. I’m completely flexible, but usually aim for a 50 minute talk to fit in the school timetable. This includes a discussion about reading, writing and story, my own experiences of writing, and the unusual and rather magical inspiration for my Stonewylde series. I also read from my books and do a Q&A session.
In my creative writing workshops I demonstrate how the most mundane life experiences and personal anecdotes can be harvested, and used as inspiration. Pupils will come away with plenty of ideas for future writing, which class teachers can build upon. My workshops are successful with even the most reluctant writer as the emphasis is on fun – we all have a wealth of stories locked away inside us just waiting to be released.
I can combine my talk on books, reading and Stonewylde with my workshop on creative writing for an action-packed single session. I'm also open to alternative ideas and suggestions - just ask!
Rates and availability:
I’m happy to discuss my fee, which tends to be in line with the Society of Authors’ guidelines. These are £150 for a single session, £250 for a half day and £350 for a full day. I’ll do as many sessions as you like within the time available.
I live in Reading, Berkshire, and am willing to travel long distances (including other countries) so long as reasonable travel expenses and accommodation are provided. I prefer to drive wherever possible, and will stay with friends if I can, to keep costs down.
If coming by car I can bring copies of my books to sell at a discounted price, and I always give away book marks and badges. Alternatively I’d be glad for a bookseller to provide this service.
I am happy to dedicate and sign my books after a session. I’ll donate a copy for the school library, and will not rush off if anyone wants a chat with me after the event.
I can also offer a Skype session, which works particularly well for book groups.
Some testimonials for my talks and workshops:
‘Kit Berry is a highly engaging and informative speaker. My students learned much about the craft of writing, and also about the life of a writer in the changing circumstances of the new century.’ Dr Mark Rutter, Dept of Creative Writing, University of Winchester
'The children were fascinated by Kit's visit - her ability to relate to them at their level was first-class. She mixed personal anecdote with believable mystery so that by the end of the session they were mesmerised with the magical possibilities that they had suddenly realised were all around them - and I was left determined to read all her books!' Freda Ellis, Y6 teacher, St Andrew’s School, Weymouth
‘We were delighted to welcome author Kit Berry to re-launch our Library. Kit spoke to several classes of Year 8/9 students about writing the ‘Stonewylde’ series, followed by a creative writing exercise with each class. Kit’s books have been so popular with staff and students that Librarians were inundated with requests for all titles in the series since her visit. Kit was a resounding success!’ Lyn Friend – head librarian Pilton Community College, Devon
‘We all found your talk very inspiring. The young people could really relate to your stories and they were very interested indeed.’ Jane Hensen, Berkshire Adolescent Unit, Wokingham Hospital – Therapeutic Storytelling Group
‘The students were thoroughly engaged throughout their sessions with Kit and focussed on the learning activity. The morning was relaxed, fun, informative and inspirational - enjoyed by students and staff alike. We were all very excited to meet her – she spent time talking and listening to everyone. We would thoroughly recommend schools and libraries to invite Kit in to share a little bit of her Stonewylde magic with them.’ Maddi Heinrich, Thomas Hardye School, Dorchester (Yrs 10 & 11)
I’ve written a five book series – Stonewylde – which appeals to teens and young adults as well as older readers. The story is about a girl and her mother, who leave behind their unhealthy inner-city lives and move to a hidden walled estate in Dorset – Stonewylde. Here they find a paradise of traditional crafts, ancient magic and rural beauty – but all is not as it seems. There’s a sinister side, where cruelty and darkness hold sway. Although there is romance in the books, there's a great deal more, and boys love the series as much as girls. Readers say that Stonewylde gets under their skin and takes root somewhere inside. And because the story deals with archetypal themes and deep issues, it stays with you. Do take a look at the many reviews on Amazon. The first book in the series is Magus of Stonewylde - please start with this one.
‘Powerful stuff - disturbing and dramatic. Allow this story to grab hold and it may not let you go!’ (Kevin Crossley-Holland, children’s author)
‘Kit Berry is a talented writer; her ideas and imagination are absolutely brilliant. (Guardian)
‘Dramatic and exciting story with a brilliant, original setting. Difficult to put down once you've begun.’ (The Bookbag)
Kit Berry is an amazing natural storyteller. Her people, her places and her plots are so vivid as to establish her as a major novelist. (Professor Ronald Hutton, TV historian and author)
Work in progress:
I’m currently writing historical fiction for adults, set on the Island of Portland during the Civil War (and can talk to adults about research and writing historical fiction). I’m also in the early stages of writing a mystery series for 8 – 12 year olds.
My five book Stonewylde series is published by Orion and also available in omnibus e-book