I have over 120 books published and I love writing! I am a bit of a serial series writer with series such as 'School Friends', 'Ballerina Dreams', Families in a Step-Chain... I have also written stand-alone books, such as 'Billie and the Parent Plan', and, released last year, 'Code Breaker.'
When Mr Clark, the Year 6 teacher, announces that this term every student will be writing a Daily Status report about their life and hobbies, Joe panics. What can he write about? His life is boring and he has zero hobbies. But Mr Clark sees to have the idea that Joe likes making and breaking codes. Result! Joe can run with that. Before he knows it, he's finding out about the Enigma machine, that was famously used by the British to crack German secret codes during WW2.The trouble is, it's still not enough to fill up a daily status for forty whole days, so pretty soon, Joe is making things up. The fantasy world that Joe creates in each Daily Status is followed by the hilarious and, at times, poignant truth of what is actually happening in his real life.
My latest picture books are Hey,You! Gordon Goat! (2018) and Peter and the Timber Wolf (2017) ,which is a re-telling in contemporary verse of Prokoviev's famous story. Then I have first chapter books such as 'Dragon's V Dinos' and 'Fantasy Football Wall', as well as a series of books called 'Introducing Classical Music Through Stories', with titles such as 'The Dragon's Tale', William the Crack-Shot Kid and 'The Crazy Alien Ball.' I have also e-published a book called 'Too Close' for 10+ girls. I am currently in the latter stages of writing a novel for adults. I have completed three years as Patron of Reading for all the primary schools on Guernsey and am about to become patron of Reading for a school in Margate. I am also working with two different animation companies on ideas for kids' TV.
SCHOOL AUTHOR VISITS (timetabled to suit the school)
Fully comprehensive information about my school author visits appears on this page of my website:
I offer three different packages.
1. Presentation/Workshop based day
RECEPTION: Bringing stories to life through music and drama (40 mins)
YEARS 1 AND 2: Based around Peter and the Timber Wolf (1 hour)
YEARS 3 AND 4: Including plotting and pacing (1 hour)
YEARS 5 AND 6: Including an interactive story and codes and readings from my book 'Code Breaker' (75 mins)
WHOLE SCHOOL ASSEMBLY ON POETRY WITH MUSIC (optional) (20 mins)
SHORT TALK TO PARENTS: (optional)
SIGNING SESSION (optional) dedicating books to individual children as a memento of the day. (I will send you posters to advertise this, and a book list for pre-orders)
I like to work in a hall with a piano/keyboard and a CD player. There is a strong music and drama element in the presentations and they are all interactive and fun but with literacy initiatives that can be implemented immediately in the classroom. I also show how a book evolves, and talk about how an author works, as well as reading from some of my books.My presentations are all age appropriate. Here's what some teachers have said...
'I have been responsible for booking 8 authors over the years and Ann is definitely my number 1!'
Helen Clarke, Librarian, St Teresa's, Effingham
'We were entranced, enthralled and mesmerised!"
Sally Simm, Literacy Coordinator and Yr 5 Teacher, Beechwood Sacred Heart School
The children were absolutely enthralled. There were so many initiatives, stories and tips about engaging with the children to help with reading and writing.'
Danielle Neville, Yr 3 Teacher, Vauvert School, Guernsey.
'I cannot begin to tell you, Ann, how many teachers and staff have come to me since your visit and told me what a totally inspirational day they had.'
Carol Burman, Librarian, Welholme Academy, Grimsby
'Ann has no idea just how much she has done for these children. There is such a buzz right now.'
Sarah Sammut Librarian and Learnng Support, John Wallis C of E Academy, Kingsnorth
'Ann Bryant's visit was great! She had the children captivated from the word go. Despite having a few 'characters' in both Yrs 5 and 6, there was no problem with behaviour as they were all engaged with Ann. She also inspired my teaching! '
Sian Wilson, St Francis Catholic Primary School
'We have been lucky enough to have had many authors over the years, but Ann is the most dynamic author I have had the privelege to listen to. She is an inspiration to all of us!'
Alison Beauchamp-Ward, Frith Manor Primary School
'Not only were the children completely under Ann's spell as she read and talked about her books, but they learnt so much about books at the same time. The visit far exceeded our expectations and has also acted as a source of inspiration for children who are not keen readers.'
'Ann's visit was one of the highlights of our year. The Year Four children and staff were enraptured by her storytelling and didn't want the session to end. The CD books (Introducing Classical Music Through Stories) were a revelation, the children being completely spellbound by the mixture of music with fabulous words and pictures'
Jackie Mizon Sherrardswood School
'To keep the whole of Yr 6, who were sitting on a hard floor, engaged and inspired for over an hour, was quite something!'
Steve Elliott (Head Teacher)
2. Bring a book to life through drama - A Play in a Day!
I take two classes (Yr 5 or 6) and spend an hour and a quarter with each, then work with both classes together for an hour and a quarter. We explore drama techniques such as chant, rap, song, dance-action, improvisation, percussion, to convey the theme bullying. When the production is 'ready', the rest of the school are invited to watch. (approx 25 mins)
'Ann, got more out of our Yr 5 and 6s than I think myself or my colleagues have ever got!'
Dallas Courtenay-Warren, Notre Dame School, Guernsey
'The benefits were countless but I'll try to cover some of the key ones. It was a fantastic opportunity for our learners to develop their confidence and explore a social story that for them was very relevant. They all did a wonderful job but it was extra special to hear the loud, clear voice of one of my very shy girls, and to see my trickiest boy making positive choices and really standing out for all the right reasons. The children were able to work as a team and develop the skills needed to work under pressure. They needed to be principled, listen actively and show real focus, supporting each other to ensure the performance worked. They enjoyed the opportunity to learn new songs and choreography, and to put a bit of themselves into the performance. It covered many of the elements of learning in our new curriculum - creativity, resilience, teamwork, and an opportunity to reflect on the day and the show. They were able to perform for an audience and be seen by the rest of the school in a very positive light. I'm very thankful to Ann for her amazing magical work with the kids. They are still buzzing today!
Year 5 Teacher, Guernsey (May 2018)
'A massive thank you for a brilliant day. I know all the teachers were very impressed with the work you got out of the children in such a short space of time and I know all the children loved it! It was incredibly powerful.'
Paul Cox, Head Teacher, Dallington Primary School
3. Poetry Workshops
Exploring poetry through music, action and drama. I have two large books of poetry published called 'Pictures, Poetry and Percussion'. After enjoying selected poems from these books, the children go on to create their own poetry. There are 4 workshops in a day - for Reception, Years 1 and 2, Years 3 and 4, Years 5 and 6.
If you are interested in a Q and A session on Skype, this can be arranged and customised. I recently Skyped with the infants at the school in Alderney, followed by the Yr 8/9s, with whom I did poetry technique. Contact me in advance to schedule an exact time and to discuss any questions you might be asking. I find that this works best if the class and the teacher work together and come up with a limited number of questions on which the whole class agree. Try to anticipate my answers and reward children who guessed correctly! In this way the children really listen to the answers rather than waiting for the next question each time!l If you want to combine this with hearing the results of a writing competition which I have will have judged in advance, that also maximises the use of the Skype call. The fee for this would cover the Skype call as well as any advance judging and preparation of answers.
JUDGING POETRY READING COMPETITIONS
I have a great deal of experience of this kind of work and like to provide very positive feedback.
I offer inset/CPD for teachers of all the year groups in the Primary age range, as follows:
1. 'FROM STORY TO STAGE'
This is designed to give confidence and tips to teachers of Early Years and/KS1 so they can easily and effectively adapt a story into a short drama for e.g. an assembly
2. 'COOKING THE BOOKS!'
This is designed for teachers of the whole primary age range and deals with children who often lack comprehension whilst being able decoders, and how we can help them.
I am based in Kent but travel all over the UK. Contact me through my website or my email address for more info including fees.
I also do talks for creative writing workshops, groups such as the WI, and sixth form colleges, as well as after-dinner and after-lunch speaking.
I have written about 120 books, of which 80% are children's fiction, including illustrated books for young children, and books about emotions, families and friendships for older children.