This email from Exmouth College is the sort of invitation I like to receive. It’s clear, organised and welcoming and was received a year in advance! Don’t worry, I know not everyone plans quite so far ahead, but the more notice you can give me, the more chance there is of getting the date you want. This friendly and organised initial request certainly makes me want to go this school to talk to their students.
During my sessions, which last about an hour, I read extracts from my books and talk about such things as how I write my stories, creating characters, making plots work, and using my imagination. I always leave time for questions and, as long as my travel arrangements allow, I’m happy to chat informally after the event.
It helps enormously if pupils have some prior knowledge about me and my books before I visit. My website is a good starting point. Well prepared audiences gain a great deal more from my sessions and ideally, they would have read one or more of my books or at least been introduced to them, beforehand..
I am happy to talk to a whole year group in a session like this.
If you would like me to undertake a writing workshop for smaller groups of interested pupils I can offer a range of topics such as creating character, writing a story, using dialogue to further plot, viewpoint, writing for an audience, show don’t tell etc, as well as more specific sessions on my books. Alternatively, I can discuss your needs with you by email or phone and tailor the workshop to your own requirements.
Workshops are limited to no more than 30 students so that they can get the most out of the session. I would expect the students to be familiar with my books and ideally, to have read at least one that I can refer to in the workshop.
Workshops may last between 60 to 90 minutes.
A plea for the boys…
I’m all too aware that because my publisher markets my books at a predominantly female audience, boys may find the jackets rather girly. (See Frequently Asked Questions) This is an issue that I address full on with my audiences, explaining the realities of the publishing industry, and describing my own efforts to try and redress the balance. I write for both girls and boys and you will always find strong male characters present in my novels. I thoroughly enjoy the conversations I have with boys and girls on this matter and enjoy discussing with them their reading preferences and enthusiasms.
I charge the following fees for my sessions:
- 150-200 for one session
- 250-300 for two sessions
- 350-400 for a full day (up to 3 sessions)
Some schools like to liase with others to help spread the cost. I can work with primary schools on ‘My Funny Family‘ series, Years 5, 6 and 7 on ‘The Secrets Club’ series and with secondary schools on my teen and older books.
Unless my event is local (West Cornwall) I would need to cover travel expenses and if you want me for a few days, overnight accommodation.
What to do
- Contact me by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- We will discuss your needs, dates, times and agree a fee.
- To get the most out of the event, prepare your children in advance. Introduce them to my work via my website, extracts from my work or preferably by making sure they have read at least one of my books.
- Arrange with a local bookshop to have my books for sale on the day.
- Send out a letter to parents to let them know that their children will need to have money with them on the day if they wish to purchase a signed copy.
- Let me know in advance timings, location, audience and the person(s) who will be my point of contact on the day.