Metaphrog in action at Northfield Academy
James Carter is an award-winning children’s poet, non-fiction writer and musician. An ambassador for National Poetry Day, he travels all over the UK and abroad with his melodica (that’s Steve) to give very lively, action-packed poetry/music performances and workshops. His latest verse non-fiction series for KS1 & 2 (Little Tiger Press) is translated into eight languages. James is a former lecturer in Creative Writing/Children’s Literature - and in the last 18 years he has visited over 1300 primary schools and conducted over 30 residencies; he’s also performed at various prestigious festivals including Cheltenham, Hay and Edinburgh. In one school in Cheltenham an Ofsted inspector gave him an ‘Outstanding!’.
Ian MacDonald specialises in writing reluctant reader series for boys especially. He has written for OUP’S Project X and is a recommended author on the School Library Association’s Boys into Books listing (2007). Previously a primary deputy head, Ian now works regularly in schools, inspiring and equipping young writers in the classroom. ‘I would highly recommend working with Ian to foster reading and writing for pleasure’ (Gail Beale, Deputy Head, Bexley).
Anita Loughrey is the author of many traditionally published children’s books that are sold worldwide and in a multitude of languages. She loves reading and writing and can usually be found with her head in a book, or with a pen in her hand scribbling away her next adventure. She runs creative writing workshops for children at her local libraries in West Berkshire and regularly does book-related school visits throughout the UK. She is passionate about inspiring children to read for pleasure and to create their own stories for others to read, which she achieves through a wide range of fun activities and workshops.
Gillian McClure is an award-winning author and illustrator of over 25 picture books who has had many years’ experience of giving inspirational workshops to all ages in Primary schools. She encourages pupils to read for pleasure and also to create their own stories using illustration as a way into writing. With younger pupils, she has puppets characters to help engage their imagination and bring about a leap of believing. Gillian lives in Cambridge and would like to be a patron in a local school or one within an hour’s drive.
Steve Skidmore is in great demand across the world for his inspirational and high-energy performances and masterclasses. With writing partner, Steve Barlow, he has written over 230 titles and as an ex-teacher understands what schools need to make the Patron of Reading scheme successful. He is willing to travel anywhere to engage and enthuse students and staff and promote the love and importance 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. 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.
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.
Lea Taylor is a storyteller and writer. Her inputs are fun, imaginative, energetic, engaging, often participatory, but never, never, dull. With ten years freelance storytelling (the last 2 years focusing on school residencies), she brings a wealth of skills to any session or project. Lea would love to be a patron in Midlothian, Edinburgh or East Lothian.
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