I love visiting schools, it’s one of the best parts of my job - to inspire children and encourage creativity through drawing and writing. As well as being very active doing talks and workshops in schools, I run creative after-school Illustration Clubs for KS1 and KS2 to help children gain confidence in drawing, developing characters and developing engaging stories and comics which gives them an essential creative outlet outside the school curriculum.
I can run workshops from Nursery up to Y6, but I can also visit secondary schools, 6th Form colleges, libraries and literary festivals. I am a part-time illustration tutor at Chelsea College of Arts and Putney School of Art and Design on their Book Illustration courses. I'm very happy to do assemblies and talks too. I've even been on Channel 5 news to talk about the importance of reading at bedtime, so I'm certainly not phased by speaking to a crowd!
Workshops can be catered to individual class needs, usually in class-sized groups. For Reception and Y1, after reading some of my books and Q&As, we usually do a creative drawing session which helps them explore their imagination. From Y2-Y6 we can look more into character creation, planning a story using methods I use, or making a mini comic, all of which can be developed into longer stories using words and pictures if time allows. For the older classes I can also show how a book dummy is made and bring in my first sketches and show how they developed into published stories so they can see and understand the process.
"Zehra came to Horsham to work with a group of thirty able writers from local schools. The children were fascinated by the process of producing a picture book story for younger children. Zehra’s ideas and drawings were an inspiration to them. They planned, and started to create, their own picture books, which they were keen to take home to finish. I would thoroughly recommend a visit from Zehra."
Vee Willis, North Heath School, Horsham
“Our children enjoyed planning stories with Zehra and it lead to the children enthusiastically writing their own stories. Some of our reluctant boy writers were most inspired as they were enthused by the idea of planning their work through drawings.”
Maureen Basford, Abbots Ripton Primary School
“Zehra delighted the pupils in Reception, Year 1 and 2 with her wonderful illustrations, fantastic stories and inspirational ideas to get them started on writing their own stories.”
Anisa Lewis, Surbiton High Boys’ Preparatory School
"Year 1 loved Zehra's books and the classes had lots of questions to ask her about how she wrote and illustrated her stories. Her enthusiastic manner inspired the children to develop their own ideas and they learnt about the importance of drafting in the process of authorship. An exciting and valuable learning experience!"
Helen Vidal, Stamford Green Primary School
I live just outside London in Epsom in Surrey, and I'd be happy to do events within 100 miles. I am also very happy to do signings either over lunch or after the event. For further information including my fees, please email me above.