Talks & Workshops

I’m happy to give author talks, readings and book signings subject to availability.
 

I visit primary schools from Nursery-Y4 but also do workshops for budding picture book authors, literary festivals, radio/TV interviews and visit hospital schools.

What You Get

I give a variety of performances which include fascinating props and the occasional puppet. Each show is designed to be age-appropriate and fun, usually with audience participation.

 

However, if you just want a simple reading session, that can be arranged.

 

You’ll be thrilled to learn that Ofsted like me and while I may not arrive in a helicopter like David Walliams, I do have a Performing Rights Licence and I love school dinners.

Fees

All fees are as stated plus vat/travel expenses including hotels when necessary. On occasion, publishers will cover the author’s travel expenses, but not always. Concessions may be available subject to location/availability/event/state of the universe.

Book Sales

If you’d like a book sale after the event, most booksellers will help on a sale or return basis. It pays to advertise, so a few posters on school doors announcing the date/time/venue is a good back-up for “The letter to give to your parents” because unless children have changed radically, I always turned those letters into paper planes and threw them on the school roof. This could explain why my mother and father never turned up on Sports Day.

 

Popular Shows

Bog Baby Workshop

(Nursery-Y4)

Based on my picture book, ”The Bog Baby.” This character has become so popular, I’ve been invited back annually by several schools, many of whom have created their own plays, written songs and used him across the syllabus - have a look online to see what other schools have done with Bog Babies - amazing! Where did they find the time?

What you get for your money
A whole day event (max 2 performances in hall) starting with a 35-40 minute PowerPoint in the hall with audience participation, featuring the story and photos/funny anecdotes about my pets/mini beasts who inspired it. (I’m an amateur entomologist in case you’re wondering- I keep beetles, breed butterflies and moths and I am a great fan of the tadpole).


The show is supported with props, eg. moth cocoons, sloughed snake skins, fabric caterpillar that morphs into a butterfly, dress-up butterfly wings and a caterpillar costume.


After the PowerPoint, the children help me make a habitat for a model bog baby in the hall after which I go from class to class to help them do Artwork - either making model bog babies and a habitat or a big collage. Each child receives a Bog Baby sticker.


(Full teacher’s notes can be provided before the event to help with the simple prep)

 

Fee: (Including optional book signing)
Within London:  £350 + vat/travel
Outside London: £400 + vat/travel

Internet Safety Show

(Yr 1-4)

This features three picture books about Internet Safety, featuring traditional characters with a contemporary twist: Chicken Clicking, Troll Stinks and Hashtag Goldilocks.

 

There is plenty of humour but each story has a serious point to make and is a helpful aid to further projects/discussions in class after my visit. Suitable for halls, theatres and also intimate settings such as classrooms, libraries etc.

 

What you get for your money
A mischievous fluffy chick puppet who reacts to me, the audience and the three stories which I present on PowerPoint.
The show can last between 40-60 minutes depending on age, audience participation, the addition of question time, curriculum etc.– you decide.


It culminates in a catchy song to bring the message home, sung to the tune of ‘Hey Little Hen’ with lyrics adapted to the theme. (Written by a teacher who used the book in class and felt inspired to put it on YouTube - Thank you, hope you got your marking done.)

 

Fee: (Whole day/maximum 3x performances/book signing included if required)
Within London: £350+ vat/travel.
Outside London: £400+ vat/travel
Ticketed Festivals: £400+vat/travel. Un-ticketed: £300 +vat/travel.
(Concessions for half-day with one performance depending on location/availability) 

I Love Animals

(Y1-4)

This show features picture books inspired by my love of creatures great and small.
It includes Tadpole’s Promise, Boa’s Bad Birthday and Slug Needs A Hug

What you get for your money
The stories presented on PowerPoint with funny anecdotes about the animals who inspired them, plus audience participation/props: For Tadpole’s Promise, we handle things related to metamorphosis in frogs/butterflies. For Boa’s Bad Birthday, we examine sloughed snake skins, for Slug Needs a Hug, we dress up a big, knitted smiley... slug!  

 

Fee (whole day/max 3x performances/includes book signing)
Schools within London: £350 plus vat/travel

Schools outside London: £400 plus vat/travel

How to be an Author

(Y5-6)

A slide show (approx 45- 50 mins) in the hall with props, explaining how I became an author, how to find inspiration and how to get published.

It can be a stand-alone talk or followed by a workshop (40 mins) making picture books.

This includes creating concepts, format, layout, manuscript presentation and thinking visually. Picture Books to be completed after the visit.

N.B Workshops are held in the classroom and limited to 4 sessions per day. If you have a large form intake, two classes could attend the same workshop or contact me to discuss.

Equipment/ Pre-prep:

School to provide each pupil with 14 sheets x white A4 paper and 2 x sheets A4 card for front/ back covers, bound with staples, plastic spines or similar to create blank books in which to present their story. (Please prep. in advance to hand out on the day.)

Fee: (Including optional book signing)

Within London: £350+ vat/travel.

Outside London: £400+ vat/travel

Once Upon a Slime

(Y1-4)

Based on my picture book, ‘The First Slodge’ about learning to share.

It includes a 40- 45 min slide show in the hall, featuring the story and how the first creatures came out of the sea millions of years ago and adapted to living on land. This is supported by natural props eg fossils, sea sponges, starfish, squid hats etc.

This is followed by workshops in each class, making slodges and a primordial swamp.

Equipment  (school to provide materials)

For the models: clay, boggly eyes, sequins / craft bits  (models approx. 8cm tall)

For the Primordial swamp:  

  1. Large, empty water tray / sandpit or similar to make the landscape in. (waterproof)

  2. Black plastic bin liner

  3. Enough potting compost to fill tray to make the basic landscape.

  4. Selection of natural materials, eg pebbles, small rocks, twigs, bark, fir cones, moss, conifer clippings or evergreen foliage with enough stem to make model trees, shrubs.

  5.  If you can supply ready-mix ‘slime’ powder or know how to make a non-toxic version, we can use that to create the swamp instead of water – not essential, but fun!

I will make the landscape on the day with pupil volunteers, then demonstrate how to make Slodges. When the models are dry, arrange them in the landscape.

Fee (including optional book signing)
Schools within London: £350 plus vat/travel

Schools outside London: £400 plus vat/travel

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