Metaphrog in action at Northfield Academy
Steve Barlow and Steve Skidmore are known as “The 2 Steves”, the UK’s most popular writing and performing double act for young people, specialising in comedy and adventure. The 2 Steves have been writing together for over twenty five years - they have written over 200 books for young people. In addition to their many popular fiction titles, they have written extensively for the reluctant reader and contributed comedy/educational material for TV shows. The 2 Steves are in great demand – performing at festivals and in schools and libraries throughout the world, where their shows are described as “Hilarious… brilliant… and mad”! They are great supporters of the Patron of Reading Scheme and would like to extend their involvement with it schools across the country.
Christina Gabbitas is a children’s author, poet and voiceover artist, who engages children with her storytelling, bringing characters to life with varying accents. Christina also runs an extremely successful national UK initiative, An Invitation To Capture the Primary School Nation, visiting many schools across the country staging poetry workshops. She'd love to be your Patron of Reading!
Republic of Ireland
Jo Franklin was born reading sometime in the last century. As a child, she loved making up stories. Unfortunately no one could read her writing, so she couldn’t become an internationally published author until she got a computer. Jo writes funny, feel good stories for 7-11 year olds. She likes to write about children who are not normally centre-stage like tomboys, geeks and misfits. Her first book to be published in the UK is Help I’m an Alien and there are two more titles in the series to follow in 2017. She would love to be a patron in London or the South East as she loves to meet her readers to talk about aliens, brains and what it is like to have two best friends.
Emma Trevayne is the author of several science fiction and fantasy novels for children and teens, including Coda and The Accidental Afterlife of Thomas Marsden. She is also co-author of The Cabinet of Curiosities, 36 Tales Brief and Sinister, an anthology of short, shiver-inducing adventures. She has visited schools across the US and the UK, where her talks and workshops often focus on writing short stories. She would love to be a Patron of Reading at a school anywhere in London.
Daren Peary is a poet and spoken word artist who resides in the hills of sunny Hertford in Hertfordshire. He has been writing poetry for over 20 years and loves the challenge of inspiring children to read and write poetry. Daren has been a judge for the Radio 2 500 Words Competition and runs an exciting new poetry and spoken word event called Tongue and Cheek. He would like to branch out into being a Patron of Reading in a primary or secondary school in Hertfordshire. Daren recently received feedback from Benjamin Zephaniah regarding his latest book of poems “Great book. At times funny, serious, and moving. Real poetry for real people”.
Ally Sherrick's debut novel, Black Powder, a rip-roaring historical adventure all about a boy who gets mixed up in the Gunpowder Plot, was published in August 2016. Since then it has been lucky enough to be shortlisted for four children’s and teens’ reader awards. Ally has had a great time in the last few months visiting schools and talking to children about how she became a writer, the dark and dangerous world of her story and some of the fun research she did to write it. Ally would love to become a Patron of Reading at a school somewhere in Surrey or North East Hampshire.
Liz Brownlee's love of animals and fascinating facts about them form the basis of her ‘poetry plus science’ readings and workshops, and her book, Animal Magic. Stimulating visuals, giant magnetic poetry, puzzles and posters also help inspire and enthuse children. Liz (who comes with her assistance dog, Lola) would feel privileged to be a patron around Bristol or the Chew Valley.
Jan Dean is a poet who has also written fiction for children and teenagers and plays for puppet theatre. She is a poet-in-schools and a National Poetry Day Ambassador. Not only does she love reading books (and writing them), she also enjoys making them and is happy to share the simpler book making skills with children and teachers. She lives in East Devon, so a school in East Devon or West Dorset would be brilliant.
Gareth Baker has worked with children his whole life. As an ex-teacher he understands the demands of the curriculum and any targets you may have on your SIP regarding reading (or writing). He uses his skills as an educator, as well as an author, to create meaningful activities that have a measurable impact. He is passionate about the power of reading and the benefits for future wellbeing and mental health. His books are a mixture of character-driven adventure, excitement and comedy, often with an underlying message. He writes for KS1 and KS2, and while he provides storytelling for EYFS (and across the primary age range) he has a picture book in the works.
Karen Langtree is an author whose books range from the EYFS Angel Small series, to the gritty, futuristic Breaking Silence, for teens. She also writes songs and musicals for schools. Coming from a background of primary school teaching, she now continues to be passionate about inspiring creativity and perseverance, when she interacts with her audience. She has a variety of workshops for all ages, which she is constantly developing. Having fun with students is important to her, and she believes that enjoying the learning experience makes it memorable and worthwhile. In her previous Patron of Reading school, one of her highlights was working with the teachers to produce the musical of Angel Small. She would love to work with a school in the North East of England or Yorkshire.
John Rice is a
poet, storyteller whose 13 books include Bears Don’t Like Bananas for
children, an anthology of Scottish poems for secondary students and The
Dream of Night Fishers for adults. John works in primary, secondary and
special schools teaching creative writing and performance. John is very happy to be a patron in Scotland or the North West of England.
A Huw Powell session at Writhlington School