Type of Artist:
Inspirational talks, quizzes, writing workshops, book-signings.
I’m a writer of books for children, young people and adults including some of the successful Doctor Who novels (BBC Books), and my own Shadow Runners (Chicken House Books), sold all over the world including the USA, Germany and Brazil. Emerald Greene and the Witch Stones (Acorn Books) came out in 2014. I write non-fiction, including Famous Robots and Cyborgs, as Dan Roberts, and books for Badger Learning aimed at more reluctant and challenged readers.
I do a lot of visits with a Doctor Who theme – often staff and pupils will join in, with sonic screwdrivers, bow ties and long scarves seen in abundance in the Hall and Library! Since November 1963, Doctor Who has captured the imagination of fans of all ages – a time-travelling hero in a Police Box, whose face and character may change but whose quirky love of adventure and sense of justice remain the same. Meanwhile, sci-fi and the supernatural collide in my Shadow Runners and Emerald Greene books, set in a recognisable modern-day England, but one where dark forces gather around stone circles, misty lakes and ruined abbeys… Read them with the lights off at your peril!
I give a wide-ranging talk about my writing life, combining pictures and words with sound and video, plus quizzes, workshops and a book-signing.
DetailsPreferred age range:
8-14 year olds
(Years 5,6,7,8 and 9 or equivalent)
No of sessions per day:
Sessions offered (at least one to be the presentation, please).
Please note that I will not offer a full day of back-to-back writing workshops only, as I do not believe this is the best way for a school to make use of a visiting writer. The day should be a special event and memorable for all, and I try to reflect this in the range of activities.
Talk on Doctor Who & writing: 45-50 min plus 20 min questions, 10 min reading, signing afterwards
Workshops: 2 x 1 hour or 1 x 2 hours
Areas prepared to travel to:
I live in Yorkshire so North of England and Midlands (or anywhere that can reasonably be travelled to by rail in one day). These visits would require travel expenses.
Rest of UK & Europe - happy to travel anywhere, but would require travel expenses and overnight accommodation
Train – usually second class return ticket, plus any tram/bus/taxi needed additionally.
Please email us for details
Daniel Blythe's website
Daniel Blythe's Facebook page
Reluctant reader titles:
KISS THE SKY
HOPE AND TRUTH
Doctor Who: The Dimension Riders
Doctor Who: Infinite Requiem
Doctor Who: Autonomy
Emerald Greene and the Witch Stones (2014)
EMERALD GREENE: INSTRUMENTS OF DARKNESS (2017)
Kill Order (Badger, 2017)
Emerald Greene: Instruments of Darkness (Firecroft, 2017)
The Cut (16 + only)
‘The children were inspired to use their imaginations and create some fantastic writing. The whole school thoroughly enjoyed the visit and we hope to repeat it in the near future.’
Wolvercote Primary School, Oxford
‘Daniel's ability to link contemporary ideas to our Gothic Horror project was a treat. His knowledge of Dr Who and his own status as an author provided fantastic inspiration for our pupils.’
Kirk Balk Community College, Barnsley
‘[Daniel’s] presentation gave a valuable insight into the creative processes and practical requirements needed to become a successful author. He inspired and entertained the students with a wonderful presentation which encompassed the development of the Dr. Who series with visual ﬂair and accompanying audio. He also included an interesting insight into his own personal journey. A workshop followed in the Learning Resource Centre which gave the students the opportunity to ask questions, look at the structure and examples of creative writing plus explore their own imagination.
I would highly recommend Daniel to other learning institutions as we have had a very positive response from both students and staff.’
Harrogate Grammar School ‘The day was a great success, enjoyed by years 3, 4, 5 and 6. Daniel was enthusiastic and informative, putting across his love of the show [Doctor Who] but also that of writing and how the two combined at a young age. He used a good balance of speech, visual stills, readings, video and a pupil quiz in his presentation, which kept the children engaged.’
Hepworth Junior School, West Yorkshire
Daniel Blythe Amazon page
Doctor Who and Young Adult/children’s writer with over 20 years’ experience | Member of Society of Authors | Experienced speaker in primary and secondary schools since 2007.
1-hour multimedia presentation/Q&A: no limit on numbers.
Resources: Presentation on own laptop, will need to connect to school audio-visual system with VGA and sound jack. Held in hall, library or similar space.
A wide-ranging talk on my influences as a writer! It covers my childhood, first comics/stories, the history of Doctor Who and how it is bound up with my life, first success writing the New Adventures in the 1990s, how events inspired me (e.g. being a parent, travelling abroad), how to get published, how Doctor Who was relaunched for my children’s generation, the story of Shadow Runners and a whole lot more.
Numbers: 60-70 students in 10 teams of 6-7, approx. 45-50 minutes.
Resources: audio-visual as above, flipchart or board for scoring.
I offer a choice of two different quizzes – one on all aspects of Doctor Who (old and new), and the other a more general quiz covering age-appropriate books, films, comics, aspects of popular culture, etc., and linked to the books I have written. Both have a mixture of easy, moderate and hard questions, and there are prizes!
Numbers: 25-30 per session.
Resources: Normal classroom board, writing materials etc.
A range of one-hour workshops which can be adapted for any KS2 or KS3 group. Topics include: ways of telling stories (using Doctor Who DVD and books), openings, characters, settings etc. For the youngest children I work with (Y3-4), I can offer a descriptive writing workshop based around Doctor Who monsters and planets. I have also offered KS4 sessions in the past – please ask for details and we can talk further if this is what you would like.
Numbers: as required (rough advance idea of numbers useful!)
Resources: table and chair, water.
The books I bring into school are Doctor Who, Shadow Runners and Emerald Greene, each sold at £5.00. I can provide a letter for parents outlining the books on offer plus age suitability, etc.
I’ve visited over 400 primary and secondary schools since 2007, and I believe what I do is very valuable. I’m passionate about getting children and young people reading and writing, and in 2014/15 I was Patron of Reading for a secondary school in Doncaster. I’ve also appeared at numerous book festivals all over the country, including the Hay Festival, the Wessex Children’s Book Festival, Off the Page in Stirling and Off the Shelf in Sheffield (seven times since 1999!).
Teachers, pupils and librarians have described my sessions as ‘inspiring’ and ‘enthralling’, and I try to make my sessions as inclusive as possible. Staff have found them especially useful for the More Able & Talented/G&T students, for encouraging reluctant readers, and for providing a sense of inspiration, positive identity and community for sci-fi/fantasy/comic fans in school.
The day is most suitable for pupils in Key Stages 2 and 3 (workshops adapted according to age) and I have worked most often with Years 5, 6, 7 and 8.