Friday, 28 February 2014

Planning an author visit.

I'm booked for my very first author visit on World Book Day - 6th March - at the school where my own children spent their primary years and where I worked until last summer.

The good thing is, I qualified as a trainer in the Guide Association some years back, so planning sessions isn't too difficult for me. I've also worked with children in a voluntary capacity and some paid work since I was 18, so kids don't phase me either. Armed with all that experience, I started with some grand ideas...

There'd be a reading from Granny Rainbow. I'd tell the kids about some of the books I enjoyed reading as a child and why, talk about how I didn't learn much grammar and punctuation at school and am still learning now, how writing needs lots of practice and time...the list went on.

Then I found out I'm doing five storytelling sessions of 30 minutes each, with Y3 and 4 children (aged 7-9 years). 


The less grand idea, suitable for 30 minutes instead of 3 hours, and repeatable up to a point, is as follows... 

Remember the 'challenge me' posts? Sarah's story - Arnie's Aerial Adventure? (Read it here) Well, just as I did in the challenge, I've decided to take a story bag with me; the children can pick three objects from the bag and we'll spend some time making up our own story with them. Not sure at the moment whether to do that as a class exercise or in small groups, but either way, I've run round the house today collecting things to use. Among other things, there's already a stuffed dragon, a button, a monkey, a toy truck, a feather...

I'll take Arnie's Aerial Adventure with me to read, to give the kids the idea of how it works. And of course, I'm hoping there'll be time to read from Granny Rainbow too.

But one lesson already learned before my first official appearance as an author is 'Don't start planning till you know what the school has in mind, or it could all go bottoms up.'


  1. Wish I could be there, Katherine! I just know you'll be a great success. I think it's wonderful how you get so involved with words and stories. I'll bet the kids will love you and your sessions :-) Stevie x

    1. If only you'd been in the country a week later...never mind, you'll have your copy of GR pre-launch!

  2. I attended a workshop by Alan Durrant with my son a while back - this might give you some ideas :)

    Up & up... and keep smiling :)

    1. Ooh - I'll check that out Vanessa, thanks!