- Children's Writer
- Reading and Q&A, Discussion with Writer, Creative Writing Workshop
- Age Group
- 5 - 6, 7 - 10, 11-15, 16 - 18
- Primary, Post Primary
- Works in English ONLY
- Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Publications/Repertoire/Productions & Background Experience
I have had eight books published for children to date: South Pole (Scholastic, 2003), Everest Adventure (Puffin, 2002), Conquering the World (Puffin, 2000), The Big Freeze (Puffin, 2000), What they don’t tell you about … Art (Hodder, 1998), China: A Country Fact File (MacDonald, 1994, revised edition 1998), Tombs & Treasure (Hamlyn, 1994), Hunting for Treasure (Salamander, 1990). These are all aimed at 8-12 year olds.
I was commissioned to research and write an illustrated book to celebrate the centenary of the Northern Ireland charity, Bryson Charitable Group in 2006: Vision & Venture. I am currently working on a similar book commission for another Belfast charity. My articles and photographs have featured in various magazines and newspapers including Independent on Sunday, Country Living, Child Education, Baby Magazine, Belfast Telegraph and Co Down Spectator. I am regularly interviewed on BBC, UTV and radio stations about my books and other topics.
I am a qualified teacher and have taught in primary and post-primary schools as well as in further education and at university level. My teaching commitments have included EAL, ESOL, EFL*, Communication Skills, Media Studies and History. In the late 1980s I spent 2 years teaching at a university in Beijing, China and travelled widely throughout the country whilst there. I worked in the media for several years and have experience of TV and radio, as well as of public relations and print journalism.
I have given many talks to schools and other groups on my books and on life as an author and have run workshops on writing varying in length from half a day to three days.
* EAL = English as an Additional Language, ESOL = English for Speakers of Other Languages, EFL = English as a Foreign Language
Shorter Sessions: I can run an interactive discussion with the pupils. Firstly I talk about the books I have written and some of the stories in them. Then I go through the various stages of writing and publishing – from the initial idea to the final proofs – using examples and anecdotes from my own work. I give tips on writing and can bring in various artefacts (a dog bowl, a mummified piranha fish…) to illustrate some of the tales in my books.
Longer Sessions and Writing Workshops: these are tailored to suit the needs of a particular group and would lead to individual pieces of writing or a group book. I would discuss the format and content closely with the relevant teacher/s and plan accordingly.
Age Group Details
My published books to date are aimed at 8-12 year olds, but I am happy to work with any age group and will adapt accordingly.
My availability varies. It is always worth contacting me to discuss possibilities.
- (01) 678 9022