Beth Shepherd

Beth Shepherd

The Determined Dreamer

Booking enquiry
Beth Shepherd - author tools

Available for

Workshop, Reading


Age 7 to 11


Adventure, Fantasy, Fiction, Humour, Mystery, Picture book

Book types

Fiction for children


Author of the Ernie Gonzales series and Creative Writing tutor for key stage 2 

What I am about and what I can bring to your school;

I have a passion for creativity and a huge heart for kids. I believe in the possibility of dreams/goals and the power of the right attitude; determination, perseverance, teamwork and encouragement. I like to bring this to the schools I visit and hopefully inspire and encourage the pupils I meet.

What my books are about, and what they can bring to your school;

Ernie Gonzales Series; Wholesome, humours, adventure stories with strong morals, great for rights respecting schools, building self belief, determination, friendship, teamwork, aimed at ages 7-11 but can be used for year 6 leavers, and good for on going schemes of work and lessons. 

The Well of Dreams; for African themes, believing in a dream, understanding different cultures, empathising with those loving in poverty, believing in the impossible. 


What I can offer schools; 

  • Fun and engaging book readings and question & answer session. Plus meet the author book signings. 
  • Free comprehension worksheets for on going work leading on from my visit. Plus colouring sheets and posters.
  • Free signed copy of each of my books for the school. 
  • Free stickers, bookmarks as stock allows. 


What I offer;

(prices upon enquiry, I aim to keep prices reasonable to accommodate the needs of your school)

  • School author visit;
  • - Book reading, Q & A and book signing; approximately 1- 2 hours, (this depends on distance, and is at my discretion) however, I ask you cover petrol cost if your school is more than 5 miles from harrow, and pupils are given the opportunity to buy copies of my books.
  • - Meet the author classroom visits: full day. Includes a visit to each class/year group, book reading, question and answer sessions and depending on time I can include a short comprehension activity or talk on story writing. Plus books sales and signing.
  • - Workshops £250 - £350 per day (depending on amount of workshops required). Plus books sales and petrol. 
  • Skype reading and question sessions; £60 per hour.
  • Expenses;
  • I may charge for travel cost (petrol), if your school is more than 5 miles from Harrow. Also, for journeys of an hour or more I may request accommodation in the area. These will be billed accordingly and agreed in advance.
  • Note;
  • I am based in Harrow, London
  • Book sales; I do require all schools to offer children the opportunity to purchase a copy of my book/s on the day. (Currently I would prefer schools to pre-order copies of my books which I can hand out and sign on the day, I will bring extra copies on the day for pupils who have forgotten to pre-order.)
  • All prices above are subject to change depending on the requirements of the school, please enquire for more info.
  • Any cancelations must be made 2 weeks before the date of my visit, otherwise the visit must be paid in full.


My experience

I currently tutor creative writing privately in my local area and online. I really love my work, it is a joy to be able to use my skills to teach, encourage and empower children to express their voice through their own writing. I focus on breaking down how to write a story using the story hill template to build a basic plot and then work with pupils to identify the ‘ingredients’ that are needed in their story, such as action descriptions, setting the scene etc. My previous school visits include both creative writing and determined dreamer workshops, plus weekly sessions spread over 4 weeks on being determined which also included comprehension activities and which lead to a final persuasive writing piece.

Previously, I have worked as a teaching assistant, and a drama teacher in a college for young adults with learning difficulties. Also as an outdoors activity leaders for NST (similar to PGL), where I lead team building activities for primary aged pupils, and variety of summer camp, including Camp America, where I ran creative drama activities which focused on team building, self confidence. During this time I created plays from books which was the beginning of my passion writing and working with kids.


My passion and vision; 

Using words to communicate a picture in the form of a story. I love the power of words and how they can create a picture in our minds, take us on journeys and stir our emotions. I think kids are amazing and my vision is to not only share with them my own passion for creative writing in the hope that it inspires them to enjoy this art, but to also share my own journey to achieve my dreams, teaching them that nothing is impossible if they put their mind to it, work hard and believe they can do it.


What other schools say;

'Beth is an enthusiastic author who is passionate about children’s learning. Her workshops focused on the themes of determination and overcoming adversity which are invaluable life lessons for our pupils.  The children have thoroughly enjoyed the workshops and learning about the creative process of fictional writing.' Nikki Gooden, Field End Primary School, Aldemham 

'Exciting workshop that inspired all learners. The children used their imagination to create the shared ideas and the teaching improved their outcome' R. Harkin, Norbury School Harrow

'This book delights and entertains children, whilst showing what can be achieved with ambition, patience and perseverance.' Maggie Crawford, English Advisor, Harrow

Ernie holds a wealth of morality for children to get to grips with- self- worth, determination, resilience, persistence, dreaming big etc.' D.Mendonca. Pinner Park Infant & Junior, Head of Literacy.

Ernie captivated the juniors I read it with right from the outset. It is linguistically rich with a storyline that holds great appeal to teachers and pupils alike. The workbook activities offer opportunities to develop PHSE and literacy skills. In my opinion, Beth Shepherd writes with a wise and dual purpose. To foment a love for reading and to induce her readers to dream. A joy to read and share.' Lindsay Macdonald, primary school teacher, Hertfordshire

'Ernie Gonzales - the Determined Dreamer' has been a big hit with our Year 4 pupils and has been a valuable resource in our reading development programme. I would recommend this book to other "read aloud" groups. The text is clever and funny.’ Anna Rickard, School Librarian, St George's Catholic Primary School

A great mixture of fun and excitement with cliff hanging sentences. Also filled with lots of morals for children to think about as they are reading. The children in my class sat on the edge of their seat waiting to hear what happened next!’ Steven Gibson. Teacher, Roxbourne Primary School.


Suggested itinerary for the full day workshop;

2 short book readings and question answer session (half school each). Followed by 4, one hour workshops, (or 2, two hour workshops).

However, this is only a guideline and I am more than happy to accommodate your school needs as best I can, for example, you may wish me to also visit years 5 & 6 also (I have found years 5 and even 6, to be very responsive and engaging during my visits).


If you have any questions please feel free to get in touch.


Books by Beth Shepherd

I have had 3 books published, including the Ernie Gonzales Series, and the accompanying literacy workbook for key stage 2 pupils. My most recent book published, The Well of Dreams, was illustrated by primary school pupils in my local area as a way of raising money to send books out to underprivileged schools in parts of Africa to inspire them to engage in reading books. My Ernie Gonzales series, is about the adventures of a brave Spanish snail, and demonstrates that nothing is impossible if you believe and are willing to persevere, and have inspired many young determined dreamers to go for their goals.


Ernie Gonzales: The Determined Dreamer

Ernie Gonzales is a small, ordinary snail with a big, extraordinary dream! Inspired by his Papa's tales of a legendary snail paradise, Ernie bravely sets out on a daring journey to find it. Joined along the way by the most unlikely of companions, he is soon swept up in a more dangerous and exciting adventure than he could have ever dreamed of. 

Ernie Gonzales: Escape from Paradise

Bruce, Ernie and all the snails of Viñuela are loving life in their paradise garden. But one awful day Ernie wakes up to discover that Bruce and all the snails have gone! Local chefs have kidnapped them to cook them in a giant snail paella! But before Ernie and his grandpa, Manuel, can do anything they get caught by terrifying thug slugs! Will Ernie and Manuel escape from the thug slugs? Can Bruce find courage to save the snails from being eaten? Will they ever be together again? 


Beth Shepherd - first image
Beth Shepherd - first image
Beth Shepherd - first image