This page is for teachers, librarians and anyone who would be interested in inviting me to give a talk.
Although I spend some of my working time writing, I also visit schools to give talks on a variety of subjects - and this is an area I equally enjoy!
If you would like to book a session or to simply enquire further, please e-mail me, and we can then arrange a telephone conversation if desired.
Which topics do I cover?
Related to my fiction work I do talks and workshops on:
* creative writing
* the making of a book from start to finish
* readings & discussions on the stories I have written
Related to my non-fiction work I can offer a wide range of topics, such as:
* confidence building
* assertiveness for school students
* the development of self-belief
* relaxation techniques and stress control
* how to motivate yourself
* study skills and tips
* preparation for exams
These and more are covered in Smart Thinking and Take The Sting Out Of Study.
Often teachers peruse the books and, instead of asking me to speak on one topic alone, they pick'n'mix whatever they think would best suit their students’ needs. I'm very happy to go along with that.
My fees (reasonable, I hope!) are often met from local initiatives such as ‘Promoting Health', 'Personal & Social Education' or the 'Live Literature Scotland' scheme. It's up to the organisers to decide on and arrange the source of their funding.
As I'm registered with the Scottish Book Trust's 'Live Literature Scotland' scheme, they will pay half the fee for any session if an organisation is also registered with them.
If you wish to know more about this you can 'phone the Scottish Book Trust on 0131 524 0160 or log on to www.scottishbooktrust.com, then click on 'Live Literature Scotland'.
I'd consider speaking to any group, of any size, and in any location. I'm just as happy speaking with a small group round a table, as I am with a class in a classroom, or a larger group in a hall or centre.
Having said that, I particularly enjoy working with younger groups because they respond more readily to creativity.
I'm a registered teacher with the GTCS (The General Teaching Council For Scotland), so after giving one of my talks I often work with the class teacher on any follow-up work, e.g. creative writing or close reading in an English class.
During a talk I always ask a teacher to be present as they are more in tune with - how shall I put it? - any local issues!