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One of the most enjoyable things about writing for children is meeting young readers and inspiring more children to love books.
I am as passionate about reading for pleasure as I am about story. I want to encourage children to create their own stories. I want to help them exercise their imaginations through reading and writing, particularly with regard to empathy and problem solving - vital skills that make the world a better place.
INTRODUCTORY 1 HOUR SESSION...
I'll introduce myself, share how I used to find reading difficult and how that changed.
We'll talk about:
Books and stories we've loved, the children will talkbooks to each other.
Libraries and how they're great places to 'try out' books.
Why reading a book is better than watching the film focusing especially on empathy and imagination.
I will introduce and read the first chapter of The Wonder Girls with a short active break in the middle.
There'll be time for questions, including a lucky dip question bag for children who'd like a prompt.
Followed by ten minutes or so 'brain rest' with a simple bookmark making activity – to be finished post session.
And closing with a dramatic What makes a great story? exercise where I'll take all the children's ideas on story elements, and then concentrate on how conflict makes great stories. This exercise will need willing volunteers to play the parts of the character, the character's goal and the obstacles the character must overcome!
I can do three introductory sessions in a morning and two in an afternoon.
The children do not need to have read The Wonder Girls before the visit.
This will work best if the children have read
The Wonder Girls before the visit.
Make Your Own Gang
Using excerpts, which I'll read from the The Wonder Girls we will
Discuss 'gangs', friendship groups, kindness, empathy and inclusivity
'Lucky dip' objects that represent the characters in The Wonder Girls.
Use further small objects in a similar way to enable the children to create their own 'gang' characters.
For each character they answer these questions: Who are they? What do they want? How are they feeling? Do they want to join the gang or not? Why? Give your gang a name.
Design a gang badge and if time introduce the new 'gangs' to the rest of the group
The children do not need to have read The Wonder Girls before the workshop.
What Makes Great Story?
Trouble & Baddies
This is an extended version of the introductory what makes great story exercise, which I will repeat with different characters, including a villain, to give as many children as possible the opportunity to perform!
They will then use the ideas created in the exercise as a prompt for their own story. If time children may share their stories.
This may work best if the children have read
The Wonder Girls before the visit but not absolutely necessary.
Join the gang!
Children will decorate and sew W badges while talking books and possibly listening to the story!
I have been a teacher and a community worker. I've organised family events, and events for other children's authors through the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators as well as devising and facilitating craft activities for children and adults.
I'm a member of the National Association of Writers in Education & have an enhanced DBS certificate dated 12 Oct 2019
I charge £125 for a morning and £100 for an afternoon. I will email an invoice after the visit. There is no charge for my travel expenses within Southampton.
BEFORE THE VISIT
I would like the opportunity to sell/sign books on the day therefore would ask the school to send out a letter to parents about the forthcoming visit. I can provide a letter for the school to use to pre-order books. Children can also bring money on the day. As I travel on public transport, it would be helpful to know how many books 1'll need to bring! The books retail for £6.99 but I offer these at £5 a copy to schools.
I will contact schools to let them know what equipment will be needed. It is usually just a laptop/projector for a presentation plus markers and large paper for workshops.
AFTER THE VISIT
I will bring an invoice with me on the day or email if required.
I can provide a follow-up letter for those children who want to buy a book after meeting me. I can deliver these to school at an agreed date/time.
FEEDBACK from staff is very important to me so I welcome any thoughts you might have had following my visit. These may appear here on my website.
I LOVE hearing from children!
So I'm always very happy to receive letters, pictures etc.
I will write back!