" ... compelling ..." Ofsted!
"Julia has a unique ability to engage and inspire every child to share her passion for books and writing."
Andy Priors from Holly Meadows School, speaking to the Lynn News.
" ...an invaluable and inspirational experience ..."
The English School, Gothenburg, Sweden (read the full review)
With over 130 visits to schools in the past few years, teaching hundreds of workshops and talking to literally thousands of children, you might guess that I love working with kids!
In a normal year, I travel around the UK (and sometimes even abroad) visiting schools in person, and I would be delighted to visit your school! I also usually have an annual partnership with a single school, as their Patron of Reading.
Whether you're one of my readers, a parent, or a teacher, please feel free to get in touch with me to ask about a real or virtual visit, wherever you live.
This short video about the workshops I offer will give you a taste of what I'm like, which might help you imagine me in the classroom!
Virtual Author Visits
Meanwhile, the pandemic prompted me to start offering virtual visits (over Zoom, Teams or Google Classrooms), and these have been so successful, I'm going to continue offering them alongside face to face visits. Virtual visits give children from very small or remote schools the chance to speak to a real live author, without the travel and accommodation costs that can make this impossible for a school otherwise.
A parent who was listening in during a lockdown workshop sent the following comment to her daughter's teacher:
"I just wanted to write to say a massive thanks for organising the session with Julia Edwards - our daughter loved it and we think it was brilliant! I don’t think many children get such a great opportunity and it was really inspiring - from my side, a couple of bits I heard about how she found writing hard sometimes and how she dealt with that, and how she found hearing the children‘s questions and ideas helpful as an author were great to hear."
I've never presented to parents before (and I wasn't aware of them listening in to this particular workshop!) so I was delighted this family was pleased.
Format of in-person visits
I offer full days and half days to schools anywhere (including abroad!), and occasional one-off workshops for schools that are near Salisbury, UK.
What I do depends on the age of the pupils and how much time we have. I've done all sorts, from tactile exploration sessions with children and young people with special needs, through fairy-tale sessions with Key Stage 1, to detailed workshops on the technical aspects of creative writing, such as plot, characterisation, dialogue and editing, with pupils in Key Stages 2, 3 and 4.
For a list of the workshops I'm currently offering, please click on the buttons below. These lists are updated whenever a school requests a new workshop, so if you would like to focus on an area which doesn't appear on either list, I would be delighted to have an excuse to dream up something new. There is no additional charge for extra preparation, as new material will always come in useful in the future.
For schools interested in sessions connected to The Scar Gatherer books, I offer an hour-long introduction to the series for an unlimited number of children, which includes plenty of participation and features an abundance of fascinating historical facts, such as what connects mobile phone technology to Vikings, and how (and why) to remove your eyebrows if you're visiting 1666.
None of my workshops require the pupils to have read any of my books in advance. However, if you are planning on using one of the Scar Gatherer books as a class reader, there are activity packs for each book available for free download here.
If you are a teacher considering using one of the Scar Gatherer books to support your topic work, there is now a 7 week English teaching scheme available from Teaching from Text for The Leopard in the Golden Cage. The scheme's creators at Teaching from Text (who are also teachers) plan further schemes for other books in the series over the next year.
Teaching the Slave Trade
In the course of my school visits in 2019 and 2020, I noticed a real desire among teachers to teach their children about the Slave Trade, but also understandable hesitation about how to approach such a difficult subject. To help with this, I wrote a lesson plan for Teach Primary (July 2021 issue) with a variety of suggested activities, which you can download directly here, and also a blog post on Books for Topics with plenty of tips for teachers.
Please contact me for fees and availability.