My events are touching, thought-provoking affairs where we explore real and relevant issues and dilemmas that children face. As well as to inform and entertain, my events work to harness the power of story to build emotional literacy and empathy.
If you'd like me to visit your school, bookshop, writing group, book club, sleepover or Festival look below at the kinds of events I offer then contact the lovely people at AUTHORS ALOUD UK who will take you through the booking process.
If you have any questions you'd like to ask me directly then please feel free to email me HERE.
I look forward to meeting you soon!
Feedback from teachers and librarians
"Kate's event was brilliant! She is really professional but also radiates calmness, openness, genuine caring kindness and a sense of gentle fun. The kids adored her and were riveted to all she said. It was really special to have Kate here and her event was so intimate. She talked about things that were difficult, scary and sad, but she made it relatable and open, so all the children were able to understand and not be overwhelmed. I am so impressed with the way Kate interacted with the children, and I know they all went away feeling special, safe and inspired. What more could you ask for?"
A really interesting and very insightful talk. Often as adults we try to protect children from hearing difficult things, but in doing so it means we’re ignoring their fears. So it was good to allow them the chance to talk about that
The visit was excellent and whilst our audience were pretty quiet during the talk the ‘babble’ while they were buying books and getting their photographs taken was full of enthusiasm and questions. I was really impressed with Kate’s talk as were the rest of the staff, it was very different from other author talks and moving, funny, and inspirational.
I just wanted to write to say how much we loved having Kate in yesterday. She was great and so engaging. I've had conversations with several children since the talk and Kate has obviously raised an awareness of many issues which I think is important. We bought a set of books for the Library and they've already been taken out and one boy has even read all of 'Invisible Girl' since yesterday! Please pass on our gratitude and thanks to Kate.
The session went extremely well…… The children loved hearing about Kate’s life and were very open in talking about their own experiences; I know that a couple of teachers who attended were very moved listening to some of the things their students had to say! The adults in particular were stunned by the statistics Kate produced. Kate’s books were in great demand at the library and virtually our whole stock of Kate’s books were borrowed. Lots of children queued up to get books signed and to chat to Kate. She was prepared and the session was professional and well run and staff and customer alike enjoyed her visit.
The honesty in her life., it was so personal and informative and I loved it. The kids were transfixed and I think some of them could really relate to her story. Excellent presentation.
What children say
Kate's talk was interesting and funny and sad all at the same time. I felt very emotional (in a good way) and it was very inspiring listening about her childhood and how she turn a sad life into a happy one. Silva aged 13
I liked when she talked about Invisible Girl and Sea of Stars because it was interesting and I wanted to read more even though I don’t like reading. Lucy aged 12
I liked how she explained what influenced her to write. Showing the books and reading chapters made you imagine in your head. It makes you want to buy and read it. Jayde aged 12
I liked the facts that she told us about kids running away, also about her as a child, having a hard life with her parents. I liked the videos that she made about the children. She is a very nice person and I hope to see her again. Nathan aged 13
Her talk made me want to be an author when I grow up. Evie aged 11
It was interesting knowing that every 5 minutes a child runs away from home and hearing her story when she was a child made me feel lucky that my parents don’t argue and shout at me, also when she said that anyone can write a book made me feel more confident in creative writing. Alicia aged 12
I really liked it when Kate told us about her life and when we all got to tell our experiences of running away. Esme aged 13
I loved it when we told Kate about when we'd played the game Truth or Dare. It was funny listening to people's dares. Thomas aged 9
Listening about how many children runaway made me think a lot about how lucky I am. Ade aged 10
I liked finding out why my mums so strict, why people run away and I also loved the little movie clip. Joe aged 11
Talk for age 8-14's...
My current talk introduces the topic of running away and homelessness by looking at my latest book, Invisible Girl. My book is endorsed by The Big Issue Foundation and the Railway Children charity and we've made it our mission to educate every child in the UK about the dangers of running away. It's a touching and thought-provoking talk suitable for mixed audiences of aged 9-14 year olds. I'm happy to speak to small or large groups - min 20 children, max 400.
During the talk we explore the issues and dilemmas runaways face and learn some fascinating, yet shocking, facts, e.g. every 5 mins a child in the UK runs away from home - many as young as 8. The talk is interactive and the children will be given the opportunity to share their own experiences of running away and their thoughts and views on the subject. As well as being a writer I have also spent the past 20 years working as a Therapist, so am qualified and experienced in holding the space for children to open up and share their feelings in this way. During the talk I also share some of my own childhood experiences and how they led to me becoming a writer and I discuss some of the issues and dilemmas faced by the characters in my other books. I also read an excerpt from Invisible Girl, show two short video clips and leave time for Q&A's.
It's helpful to make time after the talk for book signing and for individual interaction with children who would like to ask questions but feel unable to speak in public. Many schools schedule extra lessons and workshops after the talk to further explore the issue of running away, which can be invaluable, especially for vulnerable children who may be contemplating such action.
Being able to take signed copies of my books away from the talk helps to make the experience of meeting an author more memorable. In some cases it's possible for me to bring books along to sell, but my preference is for you to organise a local bookseller to provide them. Either way, to save disappointment, it's important a letter is sent home to parents prior to my visit with clear instructions on how to purchase books on the day.
What works especially well is to begin the day by talking to a large group and then spend the rest of the day working with two or three smaller groups in creative writing workshops.
Talk for age 3-6's...
My event for little ones is gentle but fun affair focused around building empathy. As well as enjoying my book, we'll also discuss sibling rivalry, sharing our own experiences and imagining what it's like to be in one another's shoes and learning to navigate this treacherous territoy through role-play. Then together we'll then create some sibling-themed rhyming stories, which the children will have time to illustrate.
Being able to take signed copies of my book away from the talk helps to make the experience of meeting an author more memorable. In some cases it's possible for me to bring books along to sell, but my preference is for you to organise a local bookseller to provide them. Either way, to save disappointment, it's important a letter is sent home to parents prior to my visit with clear instructions on how to purchase books on the day.
This one and a half hour talk is primarily focused on raising confidence in children with low self esteem and limited aspirations caused by dyslexia, learning difficulties, ADHD and trauma. I am happy to work in a number of settings including Pupil Referral Units, Units for Young Offenders etc.
Through sharing aspects of my own extremely difficult childhood I show how writing became the vehicle for processing the pain I was going through, and how that eventually led me to becoming a children's author.
I also share my experience of raising three boys with varying degrees of dyslexia and adhd. They all struggled with education until discovering a passion that unlocked something in them, taking them all off to University and onto working in fulfilling careers - sculptor/ film prop maker, photographer, composer for film.
I hope to inspire these children to pull themselves out of the 'scrap-heap/failure identity' and learn to turn difficulty into exciting potential.