"The children really enjoyed your visit. They were so excited to meet you. Some of my class have brought in books yesterday and today from home to read. I know you have really inspired them. Once again many thanks for coming into school. It was an amazing experience." Penygarn School, Pontypool
"Thank you so much for a truly wonderful day. The feedback I have had from my colleagues has all been absolutely glowing and the children haven’t stopped talking about what a fantastic time they had. They are all very enthusiastic about reading the book and finding out more about your characters." Blackheath Prep School, London
When I was a child I loved books but I didn’t know a career as an author was even possible. My first book came about almost accidentally after I won a writing competition. That book (The Accidental Pirates 1) went on to become Waterstones' Children's Book of the Month and was shortlisted for the FCBG Children's Book Award. I have been writing full-time ever since and I meeting young readers and inspiring them to tell their own stories.
My talks and workshops are suitable for children age 7-12, and include...
A 30-60 minute talk in which I divulge the secrets of my writing life, from my first attempts at fiction age 7, all the way to working with a publisher. Along the way I give lots of tips on developing story ideas, and (if there's time) involve the audience in some improvised story-telling.
Heroes and Villains Workshop
Great stories start with great characters. Discover what every hero wants, what every villain hates, and invent your own nefarious plans for world domination in this interactive workshop.
I will talk the class through creating characters and show how stories evolve naturally out of characters. There will be plenty of time for group work for the children to invent their own heroes and villains and share the results.
Dragon Island Workshop
Writing a story is a bit like landing on a strange new island. You might have an idea for a character or two, and some idea of where you’re starting from, but there’s a lot that you don’t know until you start exploring.
In this workshop, children will work in groups and individually to create their own maps and develop a story outline from start to finish.
Half day and full day visits
I also offer half and full day school visits, which combine classroom workshops with storytelling games and activities and plenty of time for the children to ask questions and share their own writing.