- Children's Writer
- Reading and Q&A, Discussion with Writer
- Age Group
- 5 - 6, 7 - 10, 11-15
- Primary, Post Primary
- Works in English ONLY
- Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Publications/Repertoire/Productions & Background Experience
I’m a children’s writer and editor with a passion for encouraging children to love books. I have written eleven books for children and two for adults. You can read about all my books here http://www.obrien.ie/natasha-mac-abhaird.
I have written two books in the Great Irish Sports Stars series, Sonia O’Sullivan and Shay Given. These non-fiction titles bring the inspirational stories of two of Ireland’s sporting heroes to life for young readers.
My Star Club series for age 8-12 features Hannah in the Spotlight, Starring Meg and Laura’s Spooky Show. Four friends who love being on the stage set up their own drama club and plan shows.
My novel Missing Ellen is suitable for age 12+. Missing Ellen is about the deep friendship between two girls, and Maggie’s loneliness and isolation after Ellen disappears.
Olanna’s Big Day is part of the multicultural Bridges series and is a fully illustrated book aimed at age 6-8. It tells the story of a little Nigerian girl who comes to live in Ireland and takes part in the St. Patrick’s Day parade.
Reindeer Down tells the story of what happens when Santa’s sleigh crashes over Ireland and is perfect for a Christmas school event for younger readers.
I have worked in the publishing industry in Ireland for many years – first in a Dublin publishing house and later as a freelancer – and as well as talking to the children about writing, I like to give them an insight into how the publishing process works.
First and second class: I can base my session around Olanna’s Big Day or Reindeer Down. I read the book for the children and answer any questions they have. I show the children the various different stages in creating a book and talk to them about how they might turn their own stories into a book.
Third to sixth class: I talk to this age group about either Star Club or Great Irish Sports Stars. With Star Club, I read an extract from the book, talk to the children about reading and writing, where I got my inspiration, how the publishing process works and how covers are designed. With the Great Irish Sports Stars books, I tell the children all about the sports star and discuss writing non-fiction.
I also do a Creating a Character interactive workshop based on Star Club which brings literature and drama together. Using theatre games and role play, I show the children how to convey a character’s different traits and personalities and how to distinguish one character from another. Children have the opportunity to create their own characters and express their features in different scenarios.
With my novel for older readers, I visit sixth class in primary school and first and second years in post-primary. I read an extract from the book and talk to the students about writing and the publishing process. I bring the various draft covers that the designer came up with before the final cover and talk about how important the cover is – this normally gets an interesting discussion going!
Age Group Details
I can adapt my sessions to suit a particular age group, but as a rough guideline I would recommend them for:
First and second class: Olanna’s Big Day or Reindeer Down
Third, fourth, fifth and sixth class: Star Club or Great Irish Sports Stars
Sixth class, first year and second year: Missing Ellen
I am available most weekday mornings. Please email me and ask.
- C/o Poetry Ireland: 01-6789022