Free Author Events for Summer Term 202310 May, 2023
Take advantage of the many free online events this summer term to bring a little author magic into your classroom. There is something for everybody in this term’s selection – including teachers – and we will keep updating as new events are released.
Events for Pupils
- ReadingZone Bookclub offers a programme of Friday afternoon events suitable for pupils aged 5-12. This term’s programme kicks off on Friday 12th May and includes John Kane, creator of I say Oh, You Say No; Robert Muchamore, who will be introducing his latest Robin Hood adventure series on 30th June; and Natasha Farrant, who will be discussing themes of climate crisis and conservation in her latest novel The Rescue of Ravenswood on 7th July.
- Zohra Nabi introduces her debut novel The Kingdom Over the Sea and talks about the inspiration for her magical world in a Waterstones Virtual School Visit on 17th May. Suitable for pupils aged 8-12.
- Take a look at the Scholastic Schools Live programme for May and June which includes a relaxing draw-along during Mental Health Awareness Week inspired by Vicky Woodgate’s latest picture book I Can See Nature’s Rainbow; some doodling fun with Emer Stamp, author of The Unbelievable Top Secret Diary of Pig on Tuesday 23rd May; and a pre-recorded interview with award-winning screenwriter David Wolstencroft on Thursday 8th June in which he will discuss his debut middle-grade novel The Magic Hour and share some top writing tips and prompts for young writers to try themselves.
- Award-winning author SF Said joins fellow guests Tom Percival, Nicola Davies, Polly Ho Yen and Stewart Foster for an empathy-themed Mr Dilly Meets on 24th May. Suitable for pupils aged 6-12.
- In-person tickets for this year’s Hay Festival Programme for Schools are sold out but schools can still register to watch the live-streamed events on 25th and 26th May. Choose from over 20 events with top authors, scientists and presenters, including Pamela Butchart, Emma Carroll, Anthony McGowan and Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock. Suitable for pupils aged 7-16.
- Sign up for a Puffin Virtual Visit. This term’s programme includes events for pupils aged 4-12 and kicks off on Friday 26th May with an Empathy Day event with Lee Newbery, author of The Last Firefox, who will introduce his latest book The First Shadowdragon and set an empathy-themed activity for pupils. On Friday 9th June, Nazneen Ahmed Pathak talks about her debut novel City of Stolen Magic, a magical adventure inspired by real historical events set in India and London; while JB Gill, popstar, presenter and award-winning farmer shares some top creative writing tips from his animal adventure Ace and the Animal Heroes on Friday 16th June. Younger pupils can hear about future astronaut and voracious bookworm Rocket’s latest adventures as she takes a stand to save her local library in an event with her creators Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola on Friday 23rd June; and/or explore what it means to be an artist with award-winning author/illustrator Ed Vere as he introduces his latest picture book The Artist the following week.
- Jenny Pearson will be introducing her latest novel The Boy Who Made Monsters and sharing her tips for creating memorable characters and writing funny stories at an Authors Live event on Thursday 1st June. Suitable for pupils aged 7-11.
- Join Axel Scheffler and Jasbinder Bilan on 12th June for an online workshop designed to inspire children aged 6-11 to create their own books on a subject of their choice as part of the British Library’s Create a Handmade Library project to celebrate its 50th birthday.
- Join award-winning author Liz Flanagan on 27th June for a We Are All Storymakers interactive online session based on her Wildsmith series. Liz will talk about her sources of inspiration before inviting children to imagine, sketch and plan elements of a magical story of their own. Suitable for pupils aged 7-11.
- Booking for the free Baillie Gifford Schools Programme in August is now open for in-person events. Taking place at the Edinburgh College of Art between 21st and 29th August, the programme includes some of the biggest names writing for children and young people today, including Maisie Chan, Laura Dockrill, Phil Earle, SF Said and Nadia Shireen. Selected events will also be available to watch online. Booking for online events opens on 14th June.
Events for Teachers
- Andria Zafirakou, winner of the 2018 Global Teacher Prize, shares some of the the insights and advice she gathered for her book Lessons in Life: What We Can All Learn from the World’s Best Teachers on Thursday 11th May.
- Learn about some of the world’s most inspirational and courageous children as author Na’ima B Robert and illustrator Nadine Kaadan discuss their book A Child Like You with Nikki Gamble on Monday 15th May.
- CLiPPA award-winning poet Kate Wakeling will be talking to Nikki Gamble about her latest collection A Dinosaur at the Bus Stop on Thursday 18th May with a guest video presentation from illustrator Eilidh Muldoon.
- Booktrust Writer in Residence SF Said and pop-up book artist Paul Johnson lead a Create a Handmade Library twilight CPD session on 23rd May looking at imaginative ways to spark reading and writing for pleasure in the classroom as part of this term’s creative literacy project from the British Library.
- To mark Refugee Week, best-selling author Tom Palmer will be joining Helen McCord from the UCL Centre for Holocaust Education and Trevor Avery, Director of the Lake District Holocaust Project, to talk about his book After the War – From Auschwitz to Ambleside in a virtual CPD event on 21st June looking at ways to explore the history of the Holocaust with young people.
If you are interested in hosting an in-person 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 young people and authors together.