"Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real."

Cormac McCarthy

Last updated 4 October  2019  © Julia Edwards

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I was delighted to spend the 2018/19 academic year working as Patron of Reading and Writing with both Broad Chalke Primary School and Bemerton St. John Primary School. If you'd like to find out more about whether I could work with your school as Patron of Reading and Writing in the 2019/20 academic year, please contact me here.

Across the 2018/19 academic year, I visited Broad Chalke and Bemerton St. John repeatedly for full workshop days and other occasional visits, working to inspire the children in their reading and writing, and teaching them a wide variety of writing skills. I even had to get my sewing machine out to make myself a World Book Day costume, to join the fabulous array of characters at Broad Chalke at the beginning of March!

As Patron of Reading and Writing, my job is to work with children in a school across an extended period, usually a school year, to inspire them in their reading, and along the way also teach them how to write better. We've had story-telling workshops, workshops on how to create convincing characters and settings, workshops on dialogue, and detailed plot workshops to guide the children through the steps to constructing a successful story.

Me as Helena Calvina from The Leopard in the Golden Cage, holding my very Roman mobile phone.

As part of the scheme, schools also have the opportunity to follow the progress of the latest book I'm writing, in real time, from the research notes and early scribblings through the writing and editing, and the head-scratching as I try to come up with a title!

The children of Broad Chalke and Bemerton had regular updates on my progress with The Ring from the Ruins (including the bits that went in the bin!), and they even got trial copies to read and give feedback on. Almost all of their comments were incorporated in the final edit of the book, so they have been a very real part of the process.

To find out more about the Patron of Reading scheme in general, please click here.

scar gatherer series time travel children adventure fiction history shimmer glass slaves isabella demon embers falconer's quarry saving unicorn's horn leopard golden cage Julia Edwards

If you think you might like me to work with your school as Patron of Reading in the 2019/20 academic year, please contact me.

To watch a video about the writing of the fifth book, Slaves for the Isabella, click here.

 
I was thrilled to be invited to teach three days of workshops at the English School in Gothenburg this March!

I had the most fantastic time meeting the children at ESG! They grilled me on  my books, my work habits, and diverse topics such as my favourite word, animal, and colour, and the names of my former pets! I also did some proper work with years 3 to 6 on dramatic tension (also known as the wolfing around workshop), character and plot development, and how to edit.

The majority of children at ESG speak English as a second, third, or even fourth language. Despite this, they've been reading The Scar Gatherer books with great enthusiasm and participated energetically in the workshops (especially the wolves!). Their work was a match for any UK school! Hugely impressive!

Thank  you for having me, ESG! I would love to come back again one day!

From the press ...

".One measure of a good read is the pleasure felt on discovering that there is a sequel, and these stories meet that criterion."

School Library Association, February 2016, Review Bonus

(click thumbnail to read the full review)

scar gatherer series time travel children adventure fiction history ring ruins shimmer glass slaves isabella demon embers falconer's quarry saving unicorn's horn leopard golden cage Julia Edwards

"... Julia Edwards has a clear writing style and an eye for detail ... she paints a lucid picture of a boy's growing awareness of the adult world, and the range of burgeoning feelings he has for his friend."

Primary Times, Wiltshire edition, Autumn 2015

(click thumbnail to read the full review)

scar gatherer series time travel children adventure fiction history ring ruins shimmer glass slaves isabella demon embers falconer's quarry saving unicorn's horn leopard golden cage Julia Edwards

"Descriptions of London and the historical events contained therein are well done, so the book can act not only as a fast-moving adventure, but also as a vivid introduction to the period."

Historical Novel Society, HNR Issue 79, February 2017

(click thumbnail to read the full review)

scar gatherer series time travel children adventure fiction history ring ruins shimmer glass slaves isabella demon embers falconer's quarry saving unicorn's horn leopard golden cage Julia Edwards

From schools ...

Jump straight to reviews by schools and children

"There was a real buzz around the school when the books arrived on the students’ desks. They are completely hooked on her writing and copies of her books are being read in every room in the school. Our school library ordered some additional copies of Julia’s books to help cope with the demand from students wanting to borrow the series and they’ve been flying out of the library ever since – we even have a waiting list for those wanting copies to loan."

​Helen Brown, English teacher and Y4 teacher, The English School, Gothenberg, Sweden

"A thrilling read which really brings history alive! Our children are all  asking when the next book will be out."

Neil Baker, Headteacher, Christ Church Primary School

" ... compelling ..." 

Reference to my visit in Ofsted inspection report of Old Sarum Primary School

 

"Your book is a huge success as a class reader ..."

Pam Gregory, Year 5/6 teacher & Acting Deputy Headteacher, Corsham Regis Primary Academy

" ... I will definitely be using the book for our class reader and in Guided Reading sessions this academic year as I have had such positive feedback from the children in my class who bought the book. Having read it to my own children, I thoroughly recommend it, and we are really looking forward to starting the next one in the series! "

Rebecca Reid, Year 3 teacher, Christ Church Primary School

From the children themselves ...

"I am from the English School of Gothenburg, Sweden. I loved all the workshops you did with us in class. I bought The Scar Gatherer series and I am on the fifth book now. When I started reading the book I just loved it! I couldn't stop reading. I love all the books that I have read from this series. It does not matter how many times you read, it is always interesting! I have recommended this series to my friends. I have learnt a lot about different time periods in the series. I hope you continue to write many more books."

Annika, aged 11

"The Shimmer on the Glass is the best book in the series so far as it was a real page turner and I really got stuck into it. I liked the amount of description in the setting, it helped to give the impression you were really there. I think the best bits were the very end where all the loose ends were tied up and I also liked the start, the bit where he was on the sinking boat as it was very tense. "

Reuben, aged 11

"I really enjoyed The Shimmer on the Glass. It had loads of mysteries. The characters were well described and I could imagine them in my head. I could imagine the setting as well and the street and the part where he went to the cove and found the loose rock. My favourite part of the book was where he was taking the pictures with Mr Carraway. I thought the end of the book was best because you found out all the answers to the mysteries."

Lilia, aged 9

"Hello Julia Edwards do you remember coming to Winterslow school. I have read all of your books and I can't wait for the next book. My favourite part in The Demon in the Embers is when Joe and Tobias are fighting and Joe gets Solomon to ... [spoiler deleted!] ... Just saying thank for writing all of these books I love all of them."

Ben, aged 11

"I'd say you're on track to being a big author ... the descriptions are amazing ... please carry on writing as I'd love to hear more." 

Erin, aged 10

"I really liked this book ... the emotions of the characters were intriguing ... can't wait to learn more about the Vikings from the next book this summer."

Iris, aged 10

"At first it seemed like a normal book. Something happens to the hero, then they save the day and everyone lives happily after. But the book is full of twists, such as when Tiberius ...[spoiler deleted!] ... I was up to 11 o'clock reading it because I could not put it down."

James, aged 14

"I really liked this for many reasons.... This might sound gory but one of my favourite bits of the book was when Joe and Tiberius ... [spoiler deleted!] ... Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and it is one of my favourite books - and I'm not just saying that."

Jeanie, aged 10

"I really like the way it ends ... I can't wait till the next one comes out. Have you written it yet?"

Iona, aged 8

If you'd like to send me a review of one of my books, please click here ...

Better still, please put a review on Amazon or goodreads! Thanks!

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Watch the Scar Gatherer  promotional video!