School and Other Events
As a primary school teacher and SENDCo I am very experienced with working with large groups of children. My talks are suitable for pupils from Year 5 – Year 9 and I am happy to speak to groups of up to 300 pupils. The writing workshops are best with single classes but these can be added onto the end of a talk. Please contact me to discuss your school’s/events needs for an author visit – I am always able to combine talks and workshops in a variety of different ways to suit the audience.
One Hour Talk plus time for buying/signing books
- Everyone a writer: Exploring the many ways that we are all writers and identifying the different methods for recording writing in the 21st Century, including social media and technology.
- Inspiration: Investigating the many stories that we all have at our fingertips and sharing my own inspiration for Dandelion Clocks.
- Memory Evidence: This is a major theme in Dandelion Clocks and together we will examine why human beings have a desire to record their memories and the ways that we do this, including diaries and photography. This part of the talk is interactive as pupils respond to visual stimuli and talk about good story starters.
- Reading from Dandelion Clocks and then time for Q&A.
Two and a Half Hour Session plus time for buying/signing books
- As above plus a writing workshop.
- Investigate the benefits of writing in the first person.
- Discuss the many types of writing that we do that exist in first person form.
Workshop A: Explore diary writing. Look at excerpts from a variety of diaries (some fictional, some non-fictional) and discuss why the author wrote a diary entry on that day. What was their motivation?To explain something? To make sense of an event? To confess a crime?
Pupils will choose a fictional character from a fairy tale and write one or more diary entries from their point of view. We will work together to consider the backstory to several well-known tales and examine them from the perspective of one of the minor characters, with pupils being encouraged to put their own spin on the story.
Workshop B: Bringing fairy tales into the 21st Century and exploring the use of social media in recording memories. Are social networking sites and emails a replacement for diary writing or letter writing? What are the pros and cons of telling your life story in this way? Look at examples of stories played out online and discuss the role of the writers, including whether they are observers or instigators or trouble-makers.
Pupils will choose a fictional character from a story that they know very well and write a series of status updates for that character. We will work together to identify the motivation for the character to post a status on this particular day, discussing why people share their thoughts online. Pupils can work at a variety of skill levels with more able writers combining the viewpoints of several different characters from different books, e.g. Daddy Bear commenting on Golidlocks’ behaviour in his house and then Little Red Riding Hood wading in to have her say.
The purpose of this workshop is to explore the ways that, as writers, we are recording memories the whole time. Pupils will be writing with a need to focus on first person narrative and tense.
Inclusion is a major focus of my writing workshops. I have experience of teaching in mainstream education, special schools and prison and confidently adapt sessions to fit the setting. All pupils benefit from talking about their creative ideas before writing and I encourage pupils to act out their thoughts before writing if this is a process that appeals to their learning style. This provides opportunity for adults in the classroom to scribe for a pupil if necessary. Pupils are supported with presenting their writing in a dramatic form at the end of the session which means that all can be involved, regardless of writing ability.
Please contact me for further details on pricing and to organise an author visit that meets the needs of your school or event.