Beat the winter blues and bring a bit of early spring cheer into the classroom with one of the many free online author events taking place this term. There is something for everybody – including teachers – and we will keep updating as new events are released.
Events for Pupils
- Take a look at the Scholastic Schools Live programme for January. There are events to celebrate Lunar New Year; mystery-solving fun with Mo O’Hara, author of the Agent Moose graphic novel series; and the chance to explore Romani history and culture with sixth generation master storyteller Richard O’Neill. Pupils can also hear Holocaust survivor Peter Lantos talk about his experiences and read from his book The Boy Who Didn’t Want to Die in a pre-recorded event for Holocaust Memorial Day.
- To mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2023, author Tom Palmer has teamed up with the National Literacy Trust to create a series of resources, including a brand new story written in five instalments that he will be reading over the course of the week commencing 23rd January. Tom will also be talking to Holocaust survivor Mala Tribich in a live event on Friday 27th January. Suitable for pupils in UKS2 and KS3.
- Join best-selling author Shane Hegarty as he delves into the world of invention and creation in a Reading Agency event on Wednesday 25th January suitable for KS2 pupils.
- The National Literacy Trust is hosting two events to celebrate National Storytelling Week. Primary pupils can enjoy some of acclaimed storyteller Wendy Shearer’s favourite stories while picking up tips on how to become storytellers themselves on Monday 30th January. Pupils in KS3 and 4 can join the team behind popular podcast You’re Dead to Me for a behind-the-scenes look at audible storytelling and podcasting on Wednesday 1st February.
- Sign your KS1 and KS2 pupils up for a storytelling and brainstorming workshop with Michael Rosen and Viviane Schwartz on February 1st exploring the ingredients that they could use to Cook Up Their Own Fairy Tale, this term’s creative literacy project from the British Library.
- A. F. Steadman, Waterstones Children’s Book of the Year author, will introduce young readers to the magical world of Skandar and the Unicorn Thief at a Waterstones Virtual School Event on Wednesday 1st February. Suitable for KS2 and Year 7 pupils.
- London-based children’s literature festival Stepping into Stories has a programme of free virtual author events for the week of 30th January to 5th February, including events with Jamie Smart, creator of the Bunny vs Monkey graphic novels, and acclaimed authors Tom Palmer and A. M. Dassu.
- Sign up for one of the Virtual Visits from Puffin Books. Coming up this term are Abi Elphinstone talking about her latest book Saving Neverland; an introduction to The Swifts, a new mystery adventure by debut author Beth Lincoln; an interactive webinar with Rachel Morrisroe, author of picture book Drama Llama; and a chance to explore the answers to some amazing science questions with Dr Sheila Kanani, author of Can You Get Rainbows in Space. You can download an opening chapter of each of the featured titles to read with your class and submit questions for the authors to answer during the session. Events suitable for KS1 and KS2.
- Award-winning authors Gill Lewis and Gillian Cross are the guests on the first Mr Dilly Meets of the year on February 7th. They will be talking about their latest books Moonlight and Ollie Spark and the Exploding Popcorn Mystery while acclaimed children’s poet Brian Moses shares some of the poems from his latest collection Selfies with Komodos. Suitable for KS2.
- ReadingZone Bookclub events take place on a Friday afternoon and are a great way to end the week. Starting on Friday 24th February, choose from a non-fiction event for Reception and KS1 pupils with author Caryl Hart; a fun, interactive World Book Day event with Andy Jones to introduce his new book Bob vs the Selfie Zombies; and an opportunity to find out more about the world of the Bletchley Park codebreakers with author Rhian Tracey as she talks about her new WWII mystery adventure story I, Spy.
Events for Adults
- Hear internationally acclaimed storyteller Richard O’Neill in conversation with Nikki Gamble as he talks about his Romani heritage and his latest action-packed football adventure A Different Kind of Freedom on Wednesday 18th January at 7.00pm.
- Join Michael Rosen, Mara the Storyteller and teacher Matt Towler for a twilight CPD session on Wednesday 25th January exploring fairy stories and traditional tales, with practical tips and activities to take into the classroom, part of this term’s creative literacy project from the British Library.
- Poets Brian Moses and James Carter, along with their illustrators Ed Boxall and Neal Layton, will be joining Nikki Gamble for an Evening of Poetry on Thursday 26th January at 6.30pm to talk about their latest children’s poetry collections Selfies with Komodos and A Ticket to Kalamazoo.
If you are interested in hosting a live author event, don’t forget that Authors Aloud, Authors Abroad and Speaking of Books are all organisations dedicated to helping schools spark a love of reading by bringing children and authors together.