Free Virtual Author Events – Autumn Term 2023

12 September, 2023

Create a buzz around books and reading with the help of one of the many free virtual author events available this term. From poetry workshops to events to commemorate Remembrance Day, there is a wide selection to choose from.

For pupils

  • Scholastic Schools Live has a packed programme of virtual events for primary aged pupils to kickstart the new school year. Starting on Monday 18th September there are storytelling sessions for younger readers with Patrice Lawrence and Diane Ewen; Kaye Umansky; Michelle Robinson and Tom Knight; Julia Donaldson and Victoria Sandøy; and Sarah Asuquo and Nadia Fisher. For older primary pupils, Simon James Green and illustrator Jennifer Jamieson talk about the importance of laughter and making every second count as they introduce their latest book Finn Jones Was Here on Tuesday 19th September, while Emily-Jane Clark shares her top tips on how to create funny stories, inspired by her debut children’s novel The Beasts of Knobbly Bottom: Attack of the Vampire Sheep the next day. On Friday 22nd September, Yoto Carnegie-nominated author Ben Davis talks about the inspiration for his heartfelt book My Brilliant Plan to Fix Everything while Maz Evans takes readers on a journey through the Maya Underworld in her latest epic adventure Oh Maya Gods! on Wednesday 27th September. Don’t forget to sign up for a fun-filled session with Liz Pichon on 5th October to celebrate her brand new book Tom Gates: Five Star Stories and find out about the first ever Tom Gates story competition.
  • Join award-winning poet and former teacher Mark Grist for a hands-on poetry workshop on Tuesday 19th September to support the Young Writers This is Me poetry writing competition. Suitable for pupils aged 6-12.
  • Hannah Gold, Aisling Fowler and Sinead O’Hart are just some of the top children’s authors joining Mr Dillly for the first Mr Dilly Meets of the school year on Wednesday 20th September. You can also sign up to watch the world premiere of the film adaptation of Zaro Weil’s award-winning collection When Poems Fall From the Sky on National Poetry Day (Thursday 5th October) and hear author Helen Duggan talk about her eco-adventure series The Light Thieves on Friday 20th October. Commemorate Remembrance Day with four best-selling children’s authors, Phil Earle, David Farr, Hiba Noor Kahn and Tony Bradman, as they talk about their latest war-themed children’s novels on Friday 10th November. Suitable for pupils aged 7-12.
  • Meet Katie Kirby, creator of the fantastically funny and relatable Lottie Brooks series, on Thursday 21st September to celebrate the publication of her latest title Lottie Brooks’s Totally Disastrous School Trip in a virtual event hosted by Authors Aloud. Suitable for pupils aged 9-12.
  • Find out how a love of horses, history and Formula 1 inspired author Annalise Grey to create the character Dido, heroine of her action-packed historical adventure series Circus Maximus in an Authors Aloud virtual event on Friday 22nd September. Suitable for pupils aged 9-12
  • ReadingZone Bookclub events take place on a Friday afternoon (with the odd exception) and are a great way to end the week. There’s a packed programme for the autumn term kicking off on Friday 22nd September with an afternoon of rhyming fun for Reception and Year 1 with Em Lynas, author of The Goat and the Stoat and the Boat. With events to celebrate National Poetry Day and Black History Month, tips on how to write scary stories from author Gabriel Dylan, an interactive storytelling session with live illustration from Tracey Corderoy and Steven Lenton and new titles from award-winning authors Sophie McKenzie and Natasha Farrant, there is something for every young reader from Reception to Year 8 (4-13).
  • Meet award-winning stand up comedian and debut author Ruby Clyde as they introduce readers aged 12+ to Jay’s Guide to Crushing It, their rom-com exploring gender identity and the pressure of growing up in a Scholastic Schools Live event for secondary schools on Monday 25th September. On Monday 2nd October, Alice Hemming, bestselling author of The Dark Unicorn series, leads a spooky writing workshop inspired by her latest book The Thirteenth Vampire.
  • Award-winning author/illustrator Nadia Shireen will share some of the ideas and inspiration for her anarchic and gloriously silly Grimwood stories in an Authors Live event on Tuesday 26th September for young readers aged 5-8.
  • Swapna Haddow introduces her latest title Dave Pigeon (Kittens!) and shares some top writing tips in an interactive writing workshop for KS2 pupils (7-11) on Tuesday 26th September hosted by the Reading Agency.
  • The Reading is Magic Festival offers a programme of free online author events for primary and secondary schools. This year’s festival runs from Monday 2nd – Friday 6th October and features big name authors such as David AlmondJoseph Coelho; Tracey Corderoy and Steven Lenton; Cressida Cowell; Catherine Doyle and Katherine Webber; Elle McNicoll and the shortlisted authors for the Adrien Prize; Angie Thomas; and Harry Woodgate. Events can be watched live on the day or on demand until the end of the year.
  • Henley Literature Festival is making its schools programme freely available via live stream again this year. The festival runs from Monday 2nd – Friday 6th October with events for pupils aged 4-16. David Baddiel, A M Dassu, Matty Long, Karl Newson, Jenny Pearson, A.F. Steadman, and J.T. Williams are among the authors featured in this year’s lineup.
  • Join award-winning author Victoria Williamson for an interactive event introducing her exciting new dystopian YA novel Feast of Ashes on Thursday 5th October as part of the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour. Suitable for pupils aged 11-14.
  • Pre-register for an immersive ‘meet the author’ event with Hannah Gold on 12th October to celebrate the launch of Finding Bear, the much-anticipated sequel to the award-winning bestseller The Last Bear.
  • Joseph Elliott, actor, script writer and award-winning author of the Shadow Skye trilogy will be talking about his life as an actor and author, exploring themes of difference and acceptance in stories and sharing innovative and practical writing tips with pupils aged 11-14 in a virtual event on Friday 3rd November as part of the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour.
  • SF Said, author of the best-selling Varjak Paw and Tyger, will be talking about his journey as a reader and writer and answering pupils’ questions in a live Q&A session in a BookTrust Represents event on Friday 10th November for pupils aged 9-12.

Events for Teachers

  • Manon Steffan Ros will be talking about her Yoto Carnegie Medal-winning book The Blue Book of Nebo and answering questions from teachers and librarians at a Book Clubs in Schools online event on Wednesday 20th September at 7.00pm.
  • Philip Reeve joins Nikki Gamble on Thursday 21st September at 7.00pm to talk about his latest book Utterly Dark and the Tides of Time.
  • Join poets AF Harrold and Dom Conlon as they talk to Nikki Gamble about their collaboration on the exciting new poetry collection Welcome to Wild Town on Thursday 28th September at 7.00pm.
  • Jackie Morris and Cathy Fisher join Nikki Gamble on Wednesday 4th October at 7.00pm to celebrate the publication of their magical story The Panda’s Child.

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.