Type of Artist:
Karen can offer talks and workshops
High-energy, one-hour talk outlining the random places Karen gets her inspiration from, which can in turn open students’ eyes to their OWN potential when it comes to writing. Karen also touches on her initial struggles with reading as a child, which often strikes a chord with reluctant/struggling readers.
WORKSHOP 1: ‘BECOME YOUR OWN EDITOR’ – simple, easy-to-remember pointers to help children improve/edit their own writing.
WORKSHOP 2: ‘HOW TO WRITE SUSPENSE’ – step-by-step tips to get edge and drama into a scene.
WORKSHOP 3: ‘BRINGING HISTORICAL VOICES TO LIFE’ – based around ‘LITTLE BIRD FLIES’ (‘Sunday Times’ Children’s Book of the Week), this workshop will get students thinking about how to make a character from the past sound alive to a present-day reader. (TEACHING RESOURCES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FOR THIS BOOK.)
WORKSHOP 4: ‘WW2 EVACUEE’ – based on the research I’ve done for evacuee novel ‘CATCHING FALLING STARS’, this workshop gets students thinking and writing about the impact of the evacuee experience. (TEACHING RESOURCES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FOR THIS BOOK.)
DetailsPreferred age range:
Primary: 8-11 (though happy to talk to/read to younger years for shorter sessions)
Maximum number in any one session:
AUTHOR TALK: no limit (microphone appreciated in large halls)
WORKSHOP: Approx. 30 students.
No of sessions per day:
FULL DAY: up to 4 sessions.
HALF DAY: up to two sessions (London area only)
AUTHOR TALK: 60 minutes for talk, to include opportunity for short Q&A – plus time for signing books afterwards.
WORKSHOPS: 60 minutes for workshop – plus time for signing books afterwards
Areas prepared to travel to:
Anywhere in UK and Ireland, if travel and overnight expenses are met, if needed.
Based in London, so many areas easily reached by train for day-long visits.
Train or car @ 40p per mile
Please email us for details
Karen McCombie website
‘Little Bird Flies’ (‘Sunday Times’ Children’s Book of the Week)
‘Little Bird Flies’
(Historical drama – Teaching Resources available)
‘The Pearl in the Attic’
(Dual story, set in present day & Edwardian era)
‘Catching Falling Stars’
(WW2 evacuee novel – Teaching Resources available)
‘St Grizzle’s School’
(Humorous series, boys and girls, age 7-1o)
These are short accessible novellas from inclusive publisher Barrington Stoke
‘The Lost Diary of Sami Star’
‘The Mystery of Me’
From the first Author Talk, it was clear that Karen is full of enthusiasm for getting children reading and is highly engaging. During her sessions at the school, she has run very well received writing workshops, held book-breaks to encourage small groups of children to consider a variety of books to read and offered great support through whole-school assemblies.
She has been a beacon of support for reading for pleasure, and the children are always enthusiastic when she visits, and describe her as 'fun', 'friendly' and 'encouraging'.
Tanya Efthymiou, Librarian, Chestnuts Primary School, London, where Karen is Patron of Reading.
The girls loved Karen’s visit! She was so popular, I had so many positive comments afterwards and the books flew off the shelves! Karen was an engaging and enthusiastic speaker – the girls really warmed to her sense of fun and passion. Would highly recommend.
Eleanor Parker, Librarian, St James Senior Girls’ School, London
“Karen provided a fascinating insight into how authors get ideas, which the children found highly entertaining. The children left the talk inspired, amused and with the tools to become budding authors themselves.”
Penny Casey, Librarian, Highgate Junior School, North London
“Since your visit, it’s been amazing to have the boys and girls stopping me in the corridors to talk about your visit or about the work they've done or the books they're reading, usually independent of adult interference – it really tugs at my heart-strings. A kind of miracle has occurred and you played a major role in making it happen. May you continue to do that forever!”
Karima Davis, Secretary, Friends Of Calverton Primary School, Newham, South London
Karen McCombie Amazon site