SAMPLE PRESENTATIONS


I am happy to speak to a variety of topics and themes and will adapt my presentations to cater for specific needs.

Some of my presentations include:

PRIMARY SCHOOLS PROGRAM

Truth or Lies? [Years 5-6]

Let’s face it; stories are actually elaborate lies. Honest lies, because the reader is complicit, but lies nonetheless. And of course the best lies, and therefore the best stories, are those that are closest to the truth. Truth and lies and how to find truth in a fake world are the central themes in my new mystery/suspense novel, The Book of Chance, for readers aged 10+.

Inspired by the collision of two separate ideas – a true crime committed in 1998, but not solved until 2017,  and my preoccupation with the current challenges we face in finding truth in a world that is bombarded by internet trickery, fake news, and social media – the novel tells the story of Chance Callahan’s quest to find her own truth, only to discover that her life is in fact a big fat lie – #biggestfakeever!

In my interactive and thought-provoking session for upper primary and lower secondary students, I will put the spotlight on social media, explore the slippery nature of the written word and conduct some hilarious lie detection activities that will challenge students’ perceptions about what is true and what is not. I will also lead the students through my research, serendipitous discoveries and the writing process of creating a suspenseful page-turning mystery. The process of writing my mystery novel Missing will also be explored and referenced.

Missing [Years 5-6]

In this session I will take participants on an interactive research tour of Panama – the setting for Missing – and explore the challenges of writing a suspenseful, page-turning story while remaining true to the tragic premise behind the story.

It’s all in the telling [Years 3-6]

In this session participants will be taken on a wild story journey: in an icebreaker ship traversing the Southern Ocean, trekking across ice fields and glaciers in Antarctica, battling through a raging blizzard, and finally taking shelter in an ice cave … Along the way, they will discover what it takes to make a story both authentic and gripping, and will explore the special tools writers employ to make their stories sparkle. The session will involve interactive storytelling, audience participation and will also endeavour to enthuse participants about books and reading.

Time for a story [Years K-2]

This session for younger students focuses on dramatic, humorous and interactive storytelling – I’m partial to dress-ups! – and will encourage students to use their imaginations and actively participate. It will also touch on the process of book making and include the sharing of illustrative roughs, original art, printer’s proofs etc. Featured books will include Beware the Deep Dark Forest and Good Question – both illustrated by Annie White.

Writing workshops

I am happy to deliver workshops to any age group from Year One upwards. I draw on my teaching, writing and editing experiences to inspire young writers to use their imaginations and provide tips and exercises for writing development. Workshops focus on getting ideas, creating characters, plotting, using imagination, writing techniques, authentic dialogue, structure, plotting and planning and writing super starts.

Story secrets workshop

Did you know that writers are actually tricksters? Every word they write aims to trick you into wanting to know more! In this workshop I will divulge some of the secret techniques writers employ to make sure readers are compelled to turn the page and keep reading. I will show participants how to use their imagination to turn simple ideas into amazing stories, to create intriguing characters and exciting, suspense-filled plots.

Making stuff up workshop

Story ideas are everywhere. This workshop guides students through the process of how to use their imaginations to turn simple ideas into amazing stories. Through active participation and writing exercises, students will explore the special tools writers employ to make their stories sparkle.

SECONDARY SCHOOLS PROGRAM

Truth or Lies? [Years 7-8]

Let’s face it; stories are actually elaborate lies. Honest lies, because the reader is complicit, but lies nonetheless. And of course the best lies, and therefore the best stories, are those that are closest to the truth. Truth and lies and how to find truth in a fake world are the central themes in my new mystery/suspense novel, The Book of Chance, for readers aged 10+.

Inspired by the collision of two separate ideas – a true crime committed in 1998, but not solved until 2017,  and my preoccupation with the current challenges we face in finding truth in a world that is bombarded by internet trickery, fake news, and social media – the novel tells the story of Chance Callahan’s quest to find her own truth, only to discover that her life is in fact a big fat lie – #biggestfakeever!

In my interactive and thought-provoking session for upper primary and lower secondary students, I will put the spotlight on social media, explore the slippery nature of the written word and conduct some hilarious lie detection activities that will challenge students’ perceptions about what is true and what is not. I will also lead the students through my research, serendipitous discoveries and the writing process of creating a suspenseful page-turning mystery. The process of writing my mystery novel Missing will also be explored and referenced.

Missing [Years 7-8]

In this session I will take participants on an interactive research tour of Panama – the setting for Missing – and explore the challenges of writing a suspenseful, page-turning story while remaining true to the tragic premise behind the story.

 The ghosts of the past

A discussion on the stories behind and the process of writing Portraits of Celina. This session will show how the initial idea grew and changed over time and how as characters revealed themselves to me, they led me to write a book that I never expected to write. Themes of family relationships, dealing with grief, first love, truth, secrets, courage, missing persons, life in the 1970s and what is real will be explored.

The writer’s journey

Using published books and current works in progress as examples, this session will explore the writer’s journey from initial idea to final book. It will demonstrate how authors use a combination of research, their own experiences and imagination to plot and plan, write and rewrite stories that are authentic and gripping.

Writing workshops

Can cater to individual school’s needs. Topics include – creating realistic characters, authentic dialogue, story structure, plotting and planning, writing techniques, editing, creating suspense etc.

The inside story

Having worked in children’s publishing for seventeen years, ten of which as a commissioning editor and publishing manager for Walker Books I am in the unique position of being able to speak about the publishing process from a variety of perspectives. The Inside Story provides insight into the world of publishing with tips about how to get a story noticed. (Best suited to ages 12+)

Thematically

I am able to use my books to speak to a variety of themes including, the importance of place, identity, peer pressure, self esteem, courage, betrayal, difference, acceptance, journeys, belonging and growing up.

ADULT PROGRAMS

In a nutshell: writing for children and young adults workshop

Writing picture books master class

Finding your inner child workshop

How to develop enthusiastic readers and writers in the classroom