Tag archives: author visits

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Author visits to schools and libraries – their value and how to make them successful

Tanya Landman Carnegie visit q&aVisits by authors (and storytellers, poets and illustrators) to schools and libraries can transform children’s and young people’s attitudes to reading. For facts and figures, read the findings of the Society of Authors. This is Tanya Landman at King Edward VI School Lichfield. With World Book Day around the corner, and lots of author visits in the pipeline, here are several useful articles on ways to maximise their potential, plus links to more information.

In ‘Worth their Weight in Gold: Author Visits’ Caroline Sanderson highlights the value of visits, and describes how she created a buzz about reading by bringing authors into a Gloucestershire school for their book week.

Vivien French has drawn up an extremely helpful list of tips for anyone organising author events, based on years of experience.

Dawn Finch gives a school librarian’s perspective with lots of practical suggestions for effective visits.

These are Joe Craig’s tips for his fellow writers for World Book Day, useful not just for that day, but for any visit, and for visit organisers too.

A number of schools now have Patrons of Reading. You can read about this great new initiative here.

If you are looking for an author or poet for a visit or to become a Patron of Reading, try these:

I can’t resist ending with author Giancarlo Gemin’s favourite book event question, shared today on Twitter: ‘When you wrote your book, did you copy it from another book?’

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Borders Book Festival

I had a great time at the Borders Book Festival last week. There was a fantastic programme of author talks and events, including lots for children and families. I heard a range of different authors, and all were extremely stimulating and thought-provoking. I would never have expected the Napoleonic Wars to be interesting, but Peter Snow had me and hundreds of others enthralled by his account of it. It was a complete treat to listen to Michael Frayn talking about his plays, novels and non-fiction. The crime writer Ann Cleeves, who is best known for her Vera Stanhope books, was fascinating and very funny. Given my interest in children’s and young people’s literacy, I was particularly caught by what she had to say about her workshops in schools. They sound excellent. She uses scene-of-crime tape from a friend in the police force to mark out a mock murder site, whips up the students’ interest and then gets them writing their own crime stories. All brilliant, but some schools’ approaches to creative writing appal her. One English teacher particularly outraged her. She went round criticising students’ punctuation, and instructing them to write longer sentences. When Cleeves remonstrated, saying crime writing needs to be pacey, so short sentences are absolutely appropriate, the teacher responded that students had to demonstrate the ability to write with linked clauses. Not surprisingly, Cleeves despairs of an education system that places grammar ahead of creativity.