School Visits

Workshops

I offer a range of activities and workshops at pre-schools, primary, junior schools, libraries and other centres. These can be tailored to the needs of the group, so if you have any specific requests or ideas, we can discuss these beforehand and I can incorporate these into the sessions. I am qualified to degree level, having obtained a 1st in History and English Literature, and am a qualified further education teacher, specialising in Literacy.

For pre-school children

Workshops involve readings of the Ruby and Grub books and lots of interactive activities to keep the children busy - colourings, sticking the missing shapes to the Ruby and Grub picture, puppy puppets, and a board game where Grub has to find his way back to Ruby

.


Holly and her colouring


Holly with her beautiful colouring of Ruby and Grub.

For Key Stage 1

Workshops involve readings of the Ruby and Grub books where the children can take part along with my puppy puppets. I also do a powerpoint presentation with lots of pictures to inspire, and a whole range of interractive, fun activities based around the books, including story recall using laminate pictures, recognising colours within the books, colourings and making Grub Ears! For longer sessions children can let their imaginations run wild by writing their own stories. This involves looking at characters, setting and action within a story. The children then get to use my story-writing frame to write their own stories - there's even space for the children to draw their characters! The end result can be part of a story-writing competition, where one of the children can win a signed copy of one of the books as a prize!


For Key Stage 2

Workshops involve a talk and powerpoint presentation about what inspires me as a writer and about how I started writing, with opportunity for the children to ask questions, followed by a reading of an extract from 'Buttercup Magic: A Mystery for Megan', with discussion of characters, setting and plot lines. We then take a more in-depth look at how to write a story, with children contributing ideas and then working on their own stories. Activities include: writing a letter to Buttercup, drawing a Pungle, designing a winter coat for Buttercup and even writing a short poem - just like Megan does in 'A Mystery for Megan'.

For Key Stage 3

I give a talk on writing as a profession, how I started, what my influences are and the publishing process - from idea to book, and answer any questions. We then look at creative writing, discussing genres and different techniques and develop ideas for a poem or a short story, looking at character, plot structure, beginnings and endings and critical points. We will use pictures and fun word games to inspire ideas! If students want to develop these ideas further, I am happy to follow this up with feedback on the finished piece of writing.

Fees

My fees are £200 for a morning or afternoon's workshop, £300 for a full day. Fees for shorter talks and workshops for writers' groups are negotiable.

To contact me

If you would like me to visit your school, pre-school, library or centre to give a talk or do a workshop, reading, or a bit of both, please contact me here or via the Contact Me link on the menu bar above.

Comments from schools

"We enjoyed the story and the follow up activities. The children thought Grub was funny... Can't wait for the next one!" (Next Generation Nursery, Shirebrook)

"We all really enjoyed the Ruby and Grub story-time. The children were all engaged in the story and thoroughly enjoyed the activities." (Bolsover First Steps Pre-School)

"The session was very good. Abi was lovely and very calm. The colouring and sticking activities were a great idea and helped the children to engage with the story. Brilliant! Would like to book Abi again in the future." (Etwall Children's Centre)

"A brilliant session. The children thoroughly enjoyed it and we'll be able to follow it up next week! You've hopefully inspired lots of budding authors." (Heath Primary School

"The children thoroughly enjoyed the session. The intro gave them an insight into making a book. The books were well suited to the age and engaging. The puppets focussed them too." (William Levick Primary School: 29.2.12)



Talks & Signings

Me signing books at Waterstone's I am also available for author talks. If you have a special group of people you'd like me to talk to, please contact me via the Contact Me link on the menu bar to discuss. I also do book signings and readings in bookshops.

Here's me, signing copies of 'Ruby and Grub' and 'Grub in Love' at Waterstone's in Chesterfield.

Feedback from a recent WI talk


"One of the best speakers we have had. Lovely to hear from a local successful writer. The number of questions our members asked was indicative of the level of interest in the talk."

A big Thank You to all who have allowed me to visit and have made me feel so welcome.