I don’t just talk at schools – I’m also asked to talk to adults about my experiences as a children’s writer, everywhere from night classes and conferences to the BBC!
Most of my adult talks and workshops are arranged according to the individual needs of the organiser – however, here are a some key areas that I’ve covered in the past.
READING FOR PLEASURE
How can you get young children excited about reading books and writing their own stories? In this session, I explain how to hook children back into reading – using everything from my own techniques during workshops to discussions around choosing books and creating a positive reading environment in your school or home!
HOW I BECAME AN AUTHOR
I explain my journey from a passionate ten year-old story writer, to an exhausted 21 year-old teaching assistant beavering away on his manuscript at the end of the day, to an eventual published author. What have I learned along the way? What advice can I give those who want to become writers themselves, or those who want to inspire young children to write?
HOW TO WRITE FOR CHILDREN
I explain how one goes about constructing a story for a child – whether it’s a zany comedy or a magical fantasy adventure – and how to avoid the common pitfalls. I also talk about the mistakes I’ve made when writing stories, and how I’ve overcome them – everything from the all-important beginning hook to overcoming writer’s block!
HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR FIRST MANUSCRIPT
People always ask me what to do in order to get the attention of an agent or an editor. Over the last five years I’ve learned a lot about how to submit manuscripts, and I wished that there had been someone around to tell me when I started out! This talk covers what agents and editors hate, how to research to find a suitable agent or editor, and how you should be editing, presenting and packaging your manuscript before you send it off.