Alice Hemming is the author of over fifty books for children, including the bestselling Dark Unicorns series (Scholastic). Her award-winning and New York Times bestselling picture book, ‘The Leaf Thief’, with illustrator Nicola Slater (Scholastic 2020), has sold across the world and been translated into nineteen languages. Alice works in a writing shed at the top of her garden but loves escaping occasionally to visit schools!
Lucy Reynolds is a children’s writer and the author half of children’s publishing duo, Doodles & Scribbles, which she co-founded with illustrator Jenna Herman. With a PhD in Poetry and a deep-rooted care for conservation and nature, Lucy writes beautiful, melodic books for little explorers, encouraging children to pause, notice and care about the natural world around them. Lucy and Jenna’s books are widely celebrated for their beauty, empathy and thoughtfulness. Their most recent creation, We Are Family, has been praised for its sensitive, heart-warming portrayal of family diversity and inclusion. Lucy loves teaching children and grown ups from every walk of life. She has a warm, engaging style and many years of experience across different school, community, festival and educational settings.
School visits: www.authorsabroad.com/search-authors/lucy-reynolds
Originally from Ontario, Canada, Alison now lives in England with her husband, three children, and her adorable Cavapoo, Toffee. Alison has published 17 books (and counting!) for children. When she isn’t dreaming up stories, she is helping children achieve their potential in her role as an Occupational Therapist. Alison also likes burnt marshmallows, raw fish, and room temperature coffee (but not necessarily in that order). To learn more about Alison and her books visit: www.alisondonald.com
Niki is an accomplished freelance illustrator with a Bachelor’s Degree in visual communication and illustration from The Kent Institute of Art & Design. She has more than 20 years of experience and has successfully published over 230 books, covering a wide range of genres and age groups.
Her portfolio includes collaborations with worldwide publishers including Benchmark Education and Newmark Publishing in the US. In Greece, her illustrations have been featured in books published by Psichogios, Metaixmio, Papadopoulos, Susaeta, and Minoas. Her work has also reached readers in the UK, Belgium, and Korea.
Matthew Wainwright is an author of young adult historical fiction. His debut novel, ‘Out of the Smoke’, which is set in the criminal underworld of Victorian London, has been well-received in primary and secondary schools across the country.
Matthew works closely with local schools and libraries in Greenwich and Lewisham, holding creative writing workshops and promoting literacy in the classroom.
He is also fluent in British Sign Language, and has a passion for encouraging a love of literature in deaf young people.
How to spark ideas * Top tips to get ideas on the page * Inspiration to write and draw
Story Starters is aimed at Key Stage 2 pupils.
Go on a virtual story-making adventure with us!
We share our creative skills and secrets in a series of virtual mini masterclasses to add a spark of magic to your children’s story writing.
Each of our 6 videos is 10-20 minutes long and is accompanied by teachers’ notes.
In Storytelling, we start your pupils’ creative writing journey with a tale to light up the imagination, a re-telling of the curious traditional tale of Baba Yaga.
In Story Spark, we explore where and how we find ideas for stories.
In Mind Mapping, we look at ways of developing a new idea into something exciting.
In Creating Characters, we find out how to invent the characters in our story.
In Drama, we discover how to use acting skills to learn how and what our characters are feeling.
In Step Inside Your Story, we learn how to put all that drama and action on to the page.
Available for hire for £99 per school, for one year from date of purchase.
To order or for further details, please contact CWISL
Our two-day Shout! Festival is similar in set-up to the Mini-Shout festival with more time for participants to learn about story-writing and to produce a piece of work.
Our Mini-shout! festival is an exploration of the story-making adventure. Children join us for the day to discover what they need to create a story and how they can make it work.
Think of it as the story creator’s toolbox. Each “tool” we share with the children is something they can use again (and teachers can share within a wider classroom setting). These include finding inspiration, exploring ideas, understanding character, and showing emotion.
We use an interactive mix of writing, illustration, and drama, and the emphasis is on the process of story creation rather than a finished product. Children work in small groups, with one author and one illustrator assigned to each to act as mentors during the festival.
We run annual literary quizzes for schools in south and west London and in Surrey, aimed at pupils in Years 5 to 8. Test your knowledge of both contemporary and classic books and their covers. Our 2023 events will be held in November. Get in touch if you’d like to enter a team.
Our newest StoryShout! workshop focuses on creating and developing scenes for a graphic novel. We introduce the format of graphic novels, which are similar to comic books and use art to tell a story, and show participants how to develop the tools they need to make their creations leap off the page.
We use three elements: drama, story-shaping, and comic strip illustration. In each of these, we work together in teams to hone practical skills and find creative sparks for our own stories. These workshops work best with pupils aged 8+.