I've taken a short break from talks for now, but if you are interested, please do get in touch.
.Get in touch
Talks and Visits
I’m happy to talk to any number, any age over 8, any time, any place. I’ve done sessions with 40 history teachers in Peebles, 50 publishing students in Aberdeen, 100 worried Asian girls of 14-16 in Tower Hamlets, 200 children aged 11-15 sitting on the floor in an unheated, newly-painted school gym in December, 400 children of the same age in a school hall, 90 children of 9-10 crammed into a very hot, stuffy classroom in the Bronx, 6 children of 5-14 in a library in Dingwall. The last was the most wearing, but I coped.
All I need is a seat or table to perch on, a black or white board or flip chart, some water to drink, preferably lots of books around, and plenty of time. I can, just, manage in an hour, but I feel cramped, and I don’t think you get your money’s worth with a session of less than 1½-2 hours. One great session, with bright, well-prepared kids, lasted over 3 happy hours, and was only closed by parents coming to drag their children off home.
By the way, if I have to travel more than a couple of hours from my home near Inverness, Scotland, I hope you can arrange an extra session - or more - in schools or libraries near you. I can manage three sessions in one day, once; or two sessions a day for 3 or 4 days. Performing is more tiring than normal teaching, and I’m not as young as I was then!
There are 3 subjects I can talk on;
Books are Magic. This is the usual one I’m asked for, to encourage children to read.
Amateur Pantomime - Writing, Producing, Acting. I’ve done all of them.
How to be a Writer; or, Don’t Give up your Day Job.
In Scotland I work with the Scottish Book Trust, Sandeman House, Trunks Close, 55 High Street, Edinburgh EH11 1SR;
Tel 0131 524 0160.
They pay half the normal fee of £150 per session, plus my travel and subsistence – at B&B level, which I prefer to 5 star anyway. Elsewhere, if you pay my travel, I’m happy to stay with teachers. Call or email me and we’ll work something out.