Author and Illustrator Events

Use our Event Finder below to invite authors and illustrators into your school!

Search Authors...

PRICE GUIDE: A number of different factors determine the cost of author and illustrator events, from their location and availability, to their level of experience or if the event is part of a pre-planned book tour, but as a guide, schools can expect to pay approximately £150.00-£300.00 for half a day or £300.00-£500.00 for a full day (see the Society of Authors guidance on rates and fees for more information).

Fees can differ widely depending on whether the author/illustrator can offer a whole-school assembly, workshops, a library opening, or festival talk. Please note: you would usually be expected to have copies of their books for sale before or after the event and provide an opportunity for signing. We would also recommend you check whether travel and expenses are included in this price or if it would be an additional cost. Some fees will be subject to VAT.

 

HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR EVENT:

PREPARE. Some author and illustrator event schedules are filled several months in advance and some are already booked up for the next few World Book Day events. Give yourself plenty of time and plan ahead.


AVOID CLASHES.
Don’t book your event on sports day or when half of the students are on school trips. Author and illustrator events can create a real buzz in your school and it’s one of the best ways to boost reading and writing for pleasure but only if students are there to see it. Some authors and illustrators also require minimum audience numbers (especially if they’re travelling a long way) so it’s in everyone’s interest to have as many children there as possible. You could even host a joint event with another local school to split the cost and inspire twice the number of students!


GET INVOLVED.
Author and illustrator events should not be mistaken for an hour of childcare. You’d be amazed at the number of schools who invite an author to visit them, introduce them to 300 excitable pupils and then leave them alone in the hall to catch up on marking.

– Authors and illustrators are not required to have a DBS as they should be accompanied by a member of staff at all times. Therefore, for safeguarding purposes alone, they should not be left alone with pupils.

– Author and illustrator events are hugely inspirational and positively impact students and teachers alike. What better example to set for pupils than a captivated teacher, listening tentatively, asking questions and joining in with everyone else. Engaged teachers = engaged students.

– It’s always exciting to have a new visitor in the school but this means the noise levels during an event can increase rapidly. For ‘crowd control’ purposes, we’d recommend having members of staff on hand to ensure the event runs smoothly.


ADVERTISE.
You’ve booked the author or illustrator you wanted – brilliant! Now make sure all of the teachers, students and parents know about it! Here are some quick, easy and cheap ways to do this…

– Mention the event in a parent newsletter (including details of how much the book will cost if students would like to buy one on the day).

– Add the event to your website calendar if you have one.

– Send letters to parents a week in advance. Include a photo of the author and the book cover so students know who and what to expect.

– Put posters up around the school, office and on the school gate to remind students and parents. You’ll feel the buzz building before your special visitor even arrives!

– Introduce the author or illustrator in assembly a few days before the event. Tell students a bit about them, read the opening of their book, encourage students to borrow it from the library or bring money in if they’d like to purchase their own copy. Telling students a bit about their visitor before they arrive will increase excitement tenfold.

– If you use ParentMail or something similar, send a text message or email reminder to parents the day before the event.


SOME EXTRA TIPS:

– Why not ask students to introduce the author or illustrator to the rest of the class or at the start of the assembly? This works especially well if the students are fans of the author or illustrator and can recommend their books.

– Peak students’ interest by reading the opening chapter or first few pages in class. You could even encourage students to write some questions for the author or illustrator in preparation for their assembly or workshop.

– Check the author or illustrator’s requirements before they arrive. Many will want access to a computer and projector so they can display a PowerPoint presentation, some may ask for a flip chart and pens, some may ask for a microphone, or just a table to put their props on.

– To get help selling books on the day (or on the run-up to the event), contact your local independent bookshop or Waterstones who can liaise with the publishers on your behalf, order books in, take any leftover books away, deal with payments and maybe even sell the books on the day, too.

– Make sure you know what you’re getting. Authors and illustrators spend hours preparing for an event and many bring props, photos and early drafts to show, create PowerPoint presentations, memorise talking points, and even attend training with their publisher to give you the best event possible. With this in mind, we’d highly discourage changing the plan on the day and asking authors / illustrators to do four class talks, followed by signings in each classroom and then a reading in the library if they were booked to do one assembly only (yes, we’ve seen this exact example happen with our own eyes!). If you’d like to suggest an alternative plan or if you’d like them to squeeze in an extra talk with another year group, we’d recommend contacting them in advance to discuss it. Do keep in mind that they may have other events to go to after yours, their talk may not be suitable for other ages, or they may restrict themselves to one talk a day so they still have time to do their main job – write and illustrate!

– Children’s publishing is a small industry and authors and illustrators talk to each other regularly. They share news of brilliant events and wonderful schools they’ve visited, but they also share stories from less successful events. Some stories we’ve heard include an author being shown into a class of year 1 and 2 students when their book was only suitable for years 5 and 6, an author preparing a talk for 200 students in assembly but being shown into a class of 30 students and asked to do a poetry workshop instead, and an illustrator spending a few hours travelling to a school only to be told that they ‘forgot they were coming’ and could they come back a week later. Of course teachers have a million and one things to think about on any given day, but if you can get prepared, make sure everyone knows the plan for the day and have a dedicated staff member to accompany your visitor, you’ll soon see that authors and illustrators begin recommending your school to other authors and illustrators, and it won’t be long before you see a boost in reading and writing for pleasure, and in turn, an improvement in literacy skills amongst all of your students.

 

We hope you enjoy your author and illustrator events! Do feel free to tweet us (@authorfy) if you arrange any events using this page – we’d love to hear from you!

Anne booth

ABOUT ANNE’S EVENTS: Anne does whole school assemblies about being a writer. She interacts with the children and teachers to demonstrate that, even though they might not all want to be writers, they are all story tellers,  and demonstrates how we all tell stories. She talks about how writers get ideas and inspiration, and the ideas which inspired her books across the age ranges, and can use a PowerPoint to show the covers and briefly describe the inspiration behind each book, depending on time allowed. She talks about the process of turning these  ideas into books and how many times she has to re-write books and start again, showing notebooks and proof copies and then the final books. She always credits the illustrator and talks about their importance.

Anne can do the same presentation in class, and does class workshops using the Lucy books and the idea of looking after animals, to talk about children’s experiences with animals, and move that on to story writing. The children are invited to guess an animal Anne has in a box, and then imagine that they have been asked to look after one themselves – either a fantasy or real animal. They can write stories or care manuals, and illustrate. This can stimulate class discussion and  empathy, characterisation, description and imagination and can also link to non-fiction and the use of instructional writing. The workshop can be adapted to link to the curriculum. She has a presentation about The Magical Kingdom of Birds, and magic, and how a writer chooses the characters in  a story and how to describe them- do all fairies have to be girls – do all fairies look the same – do you have to be able-bodied to have adventures – how do you mix magic and real facts about birds – and talks about working with Rosie Butcher the illustrator and editors and designer to create a finished book. Editing and re-writing can be talked about in this workshop or assembly  too.

EVENT CONTACT: Please email Anne using the below linkMore information can be found at www.anneclarkliteraryagency.co.uk.

ANNE’S BOOKS: Lucy’s Secret Reindeer’, ‘Lucy’s Magic Snowglobe’, ‘Lucy’s Winter Rescue’, ‘Lucy’s Magic Surprise’, ‘Lucy’s Search for Little Star’, ‘Lucy’s Magical Winter Stories’ (First three Lucy books). ‘Magical Kingdom of Birds: The Sleepy Hummingbirds’, ‘Magical Kingdom of Birds:The Ice Swans’, ‘Magical Kingdom of Birds: The Missing Fairy-wrens’ and three more to come.  Picture books and books for 9-12 year olds too.

Anne Booth

Contact
Liz Brownlee

ABOUT LIZ’S EVENTS: Award winning author and National Poetry Day ambassador Liz talks grippingly about the extraordinary rainforest animals in her poems. She shows amazing images (a see-through frog, etc.) and has a Powerpoint of the animal poems writing themselves into the animal shapes. Liz links to sustainability, deforestation, how to help endangered animals and the environment, including many springboards for later discussion, writing opportunities and action, all with plenty of audience participation and Q&A session; she can also include tips on how to write a shape poem! Workshops include writing shape poems, poems about a favourite rainforest animal, or becoming a scientist and discovering and describing an imaginary animal. Specific animals by arrangement. Other subjects available to tie in with Reaching the Stars and The Same Inside are readings and discussions about women’s and people in general’s roles in the world in history and now, celebrating extraordinary women in all walks of life, and exploring the realities of growing up a girl in contemporary times, self-confidence, respect and self esteem etc. or friendship, tolerance and empathy-related readings. Workshops, hints and tips about writing, encouragement for reading, Q&A sessions available on both subjects. Liz can also bring giant magnetic poetry words for inspiration to any workshop or event – these often spark wonderful responses from hard to engage youngsters.

EVENT CONTACT: Please contact Liz using the below link. You can find more information at www.poetryroundabout.com or www.lizbrownleepoet.com.

LIZ’S BOOKS: Apes to Zebras, an A-Z of Shape Poems; The Same Inside, Poems about Friendship and Empathy; Reaching the Stars,  Poems about Extraordinary Women and Girls; Animal Magic, Poems on a Disappearing World

Liz Brownlee

Contact
James Carter

ABOUT JAMES’ EVENTS: In the last 17 years, James has visited over 1100 Primary/Prep schools, been to numerous libraries and performed at various prestigious festivals –including  Cheltenham, Hay and Edinburgh. James travels all over the UK with his guitar (that’s Keith) and melodica (that’s Steve) to give very lively and interactive poetry and music performances. He works with early Years, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. On an average day in a school he will do Key Stage assemblies, 4 workshops in the classrooms and a Big Finale in the hall (parents very welcome!).

James also offers Patron of Reading residencies, Space-themed days and INSET sessions based on his creative writing books for teachers (including Let’s Do Poetry In Primary Schools – Bloomsbury). In the workshops, James will get children writing a whole range of poetic forms, highly cross-curricular and all age-appropriate – to get them writing expressively, taking risks with their writing, and to write to the best of their abilities.

Above all, James LOVES writing and ideally wants children to. Children often ask him ‘Are you a poet, musician or comedian?’ and though the days will be full of laughs and humour, James takes the job of getting children writing very seriously indeed.

EVENT CONTACT: Please contact James using the below link.

JAMES’ BOOKS: Poetry for KS2 (all Bloomsbury): The World’s Greatest Space Cadet, How to Turn Your Teacher Purple!, Spaced Out. Poetry for EY/KS1 (Otter-Barry Books): Zim Zam Zoom! Zappy poems to read out loud. Non-Fiction for 5-8 year olds (all Caterpillar Books/Little Tiger): Once Upon A Star – the story of the sun, Once Upon A Raindrop – the story of water, The Big Beyond – the story of space travel, Once Upon A Rhythm – the story of music

James Carter

Contact
Orlagh Collins

ABOUT ORLAGH’S EVENTS: Both books examine contemporary themes, including the pervasive assimilation of technology and how social media in particular impacts on teens day to day lives. In No Filter the MC seeks to strike a balance between her constructed online persona and the young woman she really is. Relatable issue for all ages and possibility for fruitful discussion. No Filter also includes minor themes of family secrets, living with active addiction and friendship dynamics.

The key theme in All The Invisible Things is that of connection. We’ve never been more ‘connected’ and yet, it would seem, we’ve rarely felt so alone. It’s also about ordinary bravery it takes to be ourselves when our feelings and experiences fall outside of the readily available narrative. MC Vetty yearns for self-expression and true connection but is unsure as to how her bisexuality will be received and fears that it could jeopardise her new friendships. For Pez it’s his loneliness, the shame he feels about the pornography he watches and the paralysis he’s begun to experience in intimate situations. Potential to discuss the conflation of pop culture and porn. Interesting to examine how it feels to grow up in this comparative and super-sexualised society where the lines between sexuality and sexualisation have become so blurred. Discussion as to where this leaves young people in terms of their expectations within relationships. Opportunity for empathy building.

EVENT CONTACT: Please email Orlagh’s publicist using the below link.

ORLAGH’S BOOKS: No Filter, All The Invisible Things

Orlagh Collins

Contact
Ben Davis

ABOUT BEN’S EVENTS: Ben’s talks and workshops are fun and interactive, often with the entire group collaborating to create their own embarrassing family member character. This encourages children to think about characterisation, description and plotting. In workshops settings, he is able to get more detailed and encourage participants to create stories based around their character. He also talks about how he uses real life situations in his writing and offers tips on how they can do it, too.

EVENT CONTACT: To book Ben or for more information, please visit his website at bendavisauthor.com, and fill in the CONTACT form.

BEN’S BOOKS: The Private Blog of Joe Cowley, The Private Blog of Joe Cowley: Return of the Geek, The Private Blog of Joe Cowley: Welcome to Cringefest, The Private Blog of Joe Cowley: Straight Outta Nerdsville, What’s That in Dog Years?, My Embarrassing Dad’s Gone Viral, Make Me Awesome, Danny Dread.

Ben Davis

Clare Elsom

ABOUT CLARE’S EVENTS: Clare delivers a fun and energetic talk about being an author and illustrator. Her events include lots of live drawing,  audience participation, a bit of story time, a Q&A and a chance for children (and any adults!) to learn how to draw some characters. In relation to her Horace & Harriet series, she can talk about use of language and her research into archaic English.

Workshops involve characterisation through drawing, and how to create your own characters, short story or book cover. There is a strong focus on the use of imagination. For older children she also covers details about the publishing process of both writing and illustrating, and how books are created. Clare has flexibility on how things are run, and the content can vary depending on the group size, age range and time available.

EVENT CONTACT: You can contact Clare directly using the link below. More information at: www.elsomillustration.co.uk

CLARE’S BOOKS: Horace & Harriet: Take on the Town, Horace & Harriet: Every Dog Has Its Day, Horace & Harriet: The Sports Spectacular, Horace & Harriet: Friends, Romans, Statues! Illustration only: Flying Fergus series (written by Sir Chris Hoy and Joanna Nadin), Maisie Mae series (written by Poppy Harper), the Arthur series (written by Joanne Mercier and Daniel Hahn), the Furry Friends series (written by Holly Webb), the Sparky at Magic School series (written by Ruby Nash) and The Last Chocolate Chip Cookie (written by Jamie Rix)

Clare Elsom

Contact
Adam Guillain

ABOUT ADAM’S EVENTS: Ideally, Adam’s author visits start with a half-hour assembly to the whole school. Currently, Adam is leading with stories from George’s Amazing Adventures. Songs and activity sheets can be found at www.adamandcharlotteguillain.co.uk. All the books in these series lend themselves to innovations and writing new adventure stories and work well in KS2 as well. If Adam has more than half an hour he can also include Molly’ Magic Wardrobe – but it depends on the structure of the day.

After assembly, Adam can continue doing workshops in the hall based on his published works, or alternatively model storytelling workshops. Usually these are structured as 2 X 1 hour sessions in the morning and then 1 X 1 hour in the afternoon with then 25 mins left for Foundation or any other group you would like to focus on. These workshops are interactive as I demonstrate how to HEAR MAP STEP SPEAK using the Storytelling Schools method used in many school around the world.

The day outlined above would conclude with an after-school book-signing provided by a local book-seller. If you would like to add a twilight training on how to use storytelling to support writing please contact Adam as these trainers are invoiced for separately by Storytelling Schools.

EVENT CONTACT: Please contact Adam using the below link or through his website www.adamandcharlotteguillain.co.uk.

ADAM’S BOOKS: It’s Too Scary!: A Bloomsbury Young Reader, The World Book Day Monster – Molly’s Magic Wardrobe – George’s Amazing Adventures – Party for Dads – Spaghetti with the Yeti…and many more.

Adam Guillain

Contact
Chris Higgins

ABOUT CHRIS’ EVENTS: Chris is an ex-English teacher who loves going into schools to talk about books and the writing process. An award winning author, she writes for a wide age range, from Year 1 to Year 11 and offers lively and interactive talks to large groups such as a whole key stage at primary level or a whole year group at secondary level where children are encouraged to ask questions. Chris also offers workshops which she would prefer to limit to 30 children such as Writing a story, Creating character, Developing a plot, Use of dialogue, Show, don’t tell, Experimenting with viewpoint, Using imagery effectively, Developing a voice, plus sessions requested on specific books. Alternatively, Chris is very happy to discuss your particular needs with you by email or phone and create a talk or workshop to your own requirements so you and your pupils can get the most out of the author visit.

EVENT CONTACT: Please email Chris using the link below or go to www.chrishigginsthatsme.com for more information.

CHRIS’ BOOKS: Age 5-9 – Trouble Next Door, Trouble at School, Trouble on the Farm, My Funny Family, My Funny Family on Holiday, My Funny Family gets Bigger, My Funny Family’s got Talent, My Funny Family moves House, My Funny Family saves the Day, My Funny Family gets Funnier, My Funny Family Down Under. Age 9-12 – Alice in the Spotlight, The Truth about Tash, No Match for Dani. Teen books – A boy called Ocean, 32C, That’s Me, Pride and Penalties

Chris Higgins

Contact
Michaela Morgan

ABOUT MICHAELA’S EVENTS: For her usual full day in a school she will give talks/workshops/performances to all the children and their teachers. This sometimes involves doubling classes up of talking to the whole of a key stage together – she aims to be inclusive. Talks usually include hints, questions and answers, encouragement to read and write, ideas, details of the writing process, short readings and poetry performances plus stories, laughs and fun! The subjects likely to be covered in talks and workshops are: getting ideas, revision and reworking, building up a character, visualising and plotting, using a wide vocabulary, poetic devices, using senses and memories. She will happily run poetry or story writing workshops for KS1 to 3.

EVENT CONTACT: Please contact Michaela using the below link.

MICHAELA’S BOOKS: Michaela has approximately 200 titles in total. For the youngest children, she has picture books such as Never Shake a Rattlesnake (illustrated by Nick Sharratt, published by Macmillan) and Knock Knock Open the Door! (Macmillan). Young reader chapter books include Happy Birthday, Sausage! (Bloomsbury Education). Non-fiction titles include Walter Tull’s Scrapbook (published Frances Lincoln, shortlisted for BBC Blue Peter award) and a quick read fictionalised treatment of the same WW1 hero, first black British officer and pro footballer Respect (published by Barrington Stoke and winner of libraries Quick Read Award).

Poetry includes Reaching the Stars (published by Macmillan, winner of the North Somerset Teachers Awards) and Wonderland; Alice in Poetry (shortlisted for the CLPE poetry award).

Michaela Morgan

Contact
Garry Parsons

ABOUT GARRY’S EVENTS: Garry is often asked to visit schools, libraries, bookshops and festivals to talk about his work. The talks are fun, interactive and involve plenty of drawing!

Garry is happy to deliver illustration workshops for groups of children (usually of class size) from reception onward. A full days visit to your school could include one group assembly followed by up to 4 illustration workshops of usually 30/45 minutes or up to 1 hours duration. The assembly gives the children an opportunity to gain a light-hearted insight into the working life of an illustrator through fun interaction, live drawing and a questions and answers session. 30/45 minutes duration.

The workshops briefly outline the process of illustrating for publication from intial character sketches through to final artwork. The children then have the opportunity to make their own drawings either from their imagination or based upon a theme.

Themes can derive from particular publications or key in with current school projects, interests or books. Garry has had great success in sparking the story telling process by starting the children off with a simple line and encouraging their imagination to develop into a narrative through drawing and discussion.

EVENT CONTACT: Please contact Garry using the below link or go to www.garryparsons.co.uk for more information.

GARRY’S BOOKS: Illustrator of: The Dragonsitter series by Josh Lacey, The Dinosaur That Pooped a Planet & series by Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter, The Tooth Fairy’s Royal Visit series by Peter Bentley, The Greatest Magician in the World by Matt Edmonson, George’s Secret Key to the Universe series by Lucy & Stephen Hawking, Cereal Superfan: A Bloomsbury Young Reader by Julia Donaldson.

Garry Parsons

Contact
Mimi Thebo - Credit to Olivia Wadsworth

ABOUT MIMI’S EVENTS: Mimi Thebo is ‘certified inspirational’ and talks to large groups. Her Dreaming the Bear talk is about the science and research that show why reading for pleasure is so good for us (empathy, health, longevity, decreasing anxiety, social mobility). Past librarians have said that the footfall in the LRC often doubles in the weeks after Mimi’s visits. Featuring life-sized cardboard bears, bear claws and a description of the book’s winter Yellowstone setting, Mimi also talks about her own professional life and her love of books, stories and the great outdoors.

Her Coyote Summer visit is excellent for Year 9s, who are just beginning to see formal examinations looming closer. It talks about resilience and coming back from making mistakes in a session that also looks at how private habits of reading and writing can keep you grounded and centred – useful as the young people begin to think about pushing themselves to excel. It features talk about the author’s own journey and looks at times of ‘failure’ in other successful people’s lives… all with the background of the wide open Kansas prairie, reading from Coyote Summer and a life-sized cardboard coyote!  Workshops concentrate on the act of imagination and – with twenty years of teaching writers behind her – Mimi’s workshops really work… helping all level of writers improve.

EVENT CONTACT: Please email Mimi using the link below to request more information or book an event. More information can be found at www.mimithebo.com.

MIMI’S BOOKS: Dreaming the Bear, Coyote Summer


Photo Credit: Olivia Wadsworth

Mimi Thebo

Contact

Publishing Partners

bloomsbury logoSimon & Schuster LogoWalker LogoUsborne LogoHachette ChildrensAndersen Press LogoMacmillan LogoDK LogoKnights OfNosy CrowTemplarQuarto KidsBarrington Stoke LogoEgmontFaber and FaberHarperCollinsOUPpenguinrandomhouseStripesPiccadilly Press