On Friday I was lucky enough to do an author visit at Terra Nova School in Cheshire. With my beautiful assistant, fellow author Emma Sandford, I did three sessions in which I read One Night in Beartown, first to the Year 1 and Year 2 children and later to the nursery and reception pupils respectively.

The book was well received by all classes. The Year 1 and Year 2 kids asked me some great questions, such as “How long did it take to write the book?”, “How do you come up with ideas for stories?” and “How does the book get made?” It was lovely to see such enthusiasm for books from all the children.

After the Q&A, Emma and I did a story-writing workshop, after I explained that most if not all stories feature a character or characters with some sort of problem. We discussed various well-known stories, from classic fables such as the Gingerbread Man and Little Red Riding Hood through to modern books like The Gruffalo and the Harry Potter series, and then we went on to write a story, as a group, about a character who has a problem. The story we all came up was about a horse called Jack who lived on a farm and found an electric guitar – but his problem was that he couldn’t play it because he had no fingers! One quick-thinking pupil suggested that a fairy godmother could appear and cast a spell that turns the horse’s hooves into hands. Brilliant! The end!

It was then time to read One Night in Beartown to the nursery and reception classes, who were extremely well behaved and attentive throughout. Four- and five-year-olds are a bit young for a story-writing workshop, so instead we handed out craft kits lovingly created by Emma – they went down a treat and we’re hoping to see some photos of the end products soon!

Many thanks to all the staff and children at Terra Nova School for making us so welcome. It was a pleasure to meet you all, and I hope that my sessions inspired you to write more stories!

If you would like me to come to your school for an author visit, you can book me instantly via this page, or feel free to contact me directly if you’d like to discuss options (I can also do Zoom sessions from just £30 + VAT).

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