James Steptowe

James Steptowe


Booking enquiry
James Steptowe - author tools

Available for

Educational, General enquiry, Interview, Reading, Talk, Workshop


Age 5 to 7, Age 7 to 11


Adventure, Comedy, Fiction, Fiction narrative, Humour, Mystery

Book types

Fiction for children


About me

Having been a primary school teacher for over 5 years, I know how to run engaging and enjoyable workshops and how to inspire creative writing and a love for reading. I also know how to work in a range of year groups and class contexts and will make sure one of my visits is as fun and educational as I would want for one of my own classes.

My book at a glance


I published my debut children's book, Raid of the Ratskull Rodents, for young readers aged between 7 and 11 in May 2019.

Courageous cats, revolting rats, gullible guinea pigs and a missing sacred object all feature in this action-packed story. It's complete with illustrations, as well as unique footnotes which I call my "teacher feature" to help young readers with tricky words and phrases.

What does one of my visits include?

One of my visits will include:

  • an assembly for the whole school or KS2
  • enjoyable, engaging and educational workshops with your students
  • an author Q and A
  • me sharing my passion for reading and writing with your students – which I hope to pass on to them
  • A book selling/signing session can take place at lunch or after school.

Below is a short overview of each workshop, but please ask if you have any questions about anything or if there is anything else, in particular, you would like me to do within a session.

Workshop 1 - Make your speech STAND OUT!

An interactive and enjoyable session where we’ll go through my process for using effective dialogue through four simple steps. Teamwork and drama involved in this session.

Workshop 2 - The power of your nose

A session all about the power of smell in description and how to use it. We’ll look at some of the bits of smelly description in my book and do some practical activities to explore how we can describe smells - I will be bringing in smelly items to help.

Workshop 3 - Finding a story isn’t as hard as you think

In this session, we’ll talk about how I came up with the characters and plotline for my story. We’ll then have a go at creating characters and planning some of our own stories using my handy hints.

I am also happy to work with KS1 children and classes and can do story telling or some other activities with them.

What other teachers say about the book:

"This action-packed story is beautifully told, presenting a delightful, vivid adventure with rich language and imagery." 

- Victoria Atkin, Literacy Lead, Bell Lane Primary School, Hendon, London

"I highly recommend it as an addition to all primary bookshelves (and I'm allergic to cats!)"

- Matt O'Grady, Headteacher, West Horndon Primary School, West Horndon, Essex

Where will I travel?

I am based in Yorkshire, outside of Leeds, so am primarily available for schools based in West Yorkshire, such as:

  • Leeds
  • Bradford
  • Harrogate
  • Huddersfield
  • Ilkley
  • Wetherby
  • Halifax
  • Knaresborough

However, I am happy to travel further afield than Yorkshire and into nearby counties. I also frequently go back to London and Essex, so please don’t hesitate to contact me if you are a school outside of Yorkshire.

What if you want to invite me to your school?

Prices: £200-£250 for a full day (depending on locality) and may include expenses.

Half day bookings based on locality and again may include expenses.

To book an author visit or to get more information, including a quote, please get in touch at hello@jamessteptowe.com

NOTE: I am also open to doing skype sessions with classes, so please email if this is something you are looking for.

Books by James Steptowe

If you’re aged 7-11 and like adventure and mystery stories that involve courageous cats, revolting rats and gullible guinea pigs, all within a book that is going to keep you hooked, but challenge your reading, then Raid of the Ratskull Rodents is the book for you.


Raid of the Ratskull Rodents

When Gus the cat finds out his beloved owner has had something very sacred of his go missing, Gus smells foul play and is ready to investigate. What Gus isn’t quite prepared for is just how difficult and downright dangerous it will be to get it back…