Why have an author visit your school?
Having an author visit your school is a brilliant way to encourage a love of reading for pleasure and generate a 'book buzz' among your pupils. I've been lucky enough to travel around the world with my events, sharing the unlikely story of how I became an author, and introducing young people to the mysterious and exciting adventures in my books. My school events are designed to inspire all students, whether they are already passionate about books or are yet to switch on to reading. They aim to be fun and thought-provoking, offering many ideas for post-event classroom activities.
What I offer
I offer a variety of events, from an interactive presentation designed for school assemblies, to smaller creative writing workshops aimed at helping students unlock their imaginations. Visits are usually followed by a book signing, and the opportunity for students to purchase a copy of one of my books. A normal day in school might include:
‘Jennifer Bell’ Interactive Presentation
Length: 45min - 1hr
Suitability: Years 3 - 7, ages 7 - 11. Any number of students.
Join me on an imagination-stretching adventure through my books, from the magical subterranean world of my ‘Uncommoners’ series, to a rainforest rescue mission in ‘Agents of the Wild’ and a time-bending journey to the future in ‘Wonderscape’. Sharing the inspirations and processes behind my writing, I explore my journey from a child who disliked reading, to a complete book enthusiast and, using my ten years’ experience as a specialist children’s bookseller, deliver my top tips for reluctant readers, aiming to empower students to choose the right books for them. Featuring props, high-energy interactive games and lots of volunteers.
This can be followed by…
'Creating an Uncommon Object' Writing Workshop
Suitability: Years 3 - 7, ages 7 – 11. Maximum 30 students.
Books: The Uncommoners series (The Crooked Sixpence, The Smoking Hourglass, The Frozen Telescope)
This workshop explores what we mean by characteristics and why they are so important. Using props and worksheets, students assess the characteristics of everyday items and use them to invent their own uncommon objects. In groups, these new objects are put to the test in various story situations. A fun, imaginative session involving teamwork and problem-solving.
'Creating an Animal Agent’ Writing Workshop
Suitability: Lower KS2 (Years 3 - 4, ages 7 – 9) Maximum 30 students.
Books: Agents of the Wild series (Operation Honeyhunt, Operation Icebeak, Operation Sandwhiskers)
This workshop, aimed at lower KS2, encourages students to think about what makes a good character. With the help of worksheets and a larger-than-life puppet, students design their own animal agents and present them to the class. This laugh-out-loud, engaging session offers lots of opportunities for follow-up classroom activities.
‘Worldbuilding’ Writing Workshop
Suitability: Upper KS2 (Years 5 - 6, ages 9 – 11) Maximum 30 students.
In this workshop I explain what writers mean by ‘worldbuilding’ and how it is used to create atmosphere and emotion. The students explore where ideas and inspiration can come from and, after listening to some of my tips and tricks, design a unique video-game level themed around themselves. Working in teams, they combine their levels to create a brand new game, which they must pitch to the class in order to win a final vote. A creative and thought-provoking session, not just for gamers!
I am available all year round for school visits across the UK, but I am particularly busy Feb-March and Oct-Nov, so please book soon if you would like me to visit during those periods. I live in Greater London but am happy to travel anywhere as long as expenses are covered. If you are interested in having me visit your school and would like to know more, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also download some brilliant free teaching resources if you would like to use one of my books in your class.
For public events, check the calendar below to see where I will be appearing next.