events for young children &
Workshops & talks for Adults & Teens
The workshops and talks I've done for adults fall into three main categories (though if you'd like me to speak about something else, I'm very happy to do so):
• Talks to parents the fundamentals of why reading with your children is 'a good thing'.
I don't feel that this battle has been won or that we can take for granted that all parents know why it's good to read with a small child (who can't read) or with an older on (who can read for themselves). In this situation I also usually talk about book choices, and about books which can help parents (with picky eaters, on potty-training etc).
• Talks to co-professionals like teachers or early childhood workers.
These talks are usually on a theme (or two) and I'm particularly interested in leading discussions and workshops on choosing books which celebrate diversity (and/or devising a set of criteria which teachers etc can use to select in the future); I enjoy discussions and workshops on selecting for early years; and an area of particular interest to me is issues around selecting books which work in groups where English is not the first language.
• Talks to authors on writing for the Early Years and what that means. I usually cover a little of child development and what issues need to be taken into account.
In the past, I've also given talks on Novelty books; on preparing and getting the best out of the Bologna Bookfair (for writers and illustrators); on how books are costed by small publishers (so writers and illustrators get an insight into how their advance fits into the picture) and on the journey from idea to finished books - which I've found teachers REALLY enjoy. This is also an interesting one for secondary schools (i.e. looking at the publishing industry rather than writing).
Other groups have been interested in the international side of the business and the rights sales that underpin how picture books work. Again, this is a side that teens and adults may be interested in – lots of people are only aware of the creative side of developing picture books and not the complex financial foundations that underpin their publication.
I usually charge £300 per day plus travel costs but I'm open to discussion depending on the occasion. Please understand that £300 per day does not mean £40 for an hour especially if it entails long-distance travel. The preparation for one session is often the same for multiple sessions on the same day. That said, I'm always happy to discuss my fee depending on the particular event.