Type of Artist:
Fun interactive talks, readings and workshops with an Ancient Roman or BMX twist. Guaranteed to make you laugh out loud while raising aspirations and inspiring reading and writing for pleasure.
KS2 Rome Play! A Fun Interactive Author Talk with An Ancient Roman Twist!
(45 minutes plus Q and A)
How do you take history and myth and mix it up with live action role play (LARP) to create a hilarious timeslip adventure? Marie Basting will reveal all:
Be MORE BMX! Pitched at KS2 - but Can Be Adapted For Other Age Groups
- See exclusive photos of Marie’s bad haircuts as you learn about her writing journey;
- Explore Hadrian’s wall and find out where you can visit Marie’s favourite Roman toilet,
- Test your knowledge of bizarre and disgusting Roman facts;
- Discover your inner LARP warrior as you join battle of the war cries;
- And find out just how easy creative writing can be when you defy the limits others put on you, fire your imagination and mix things up! (Includes creative writing and drawing challenge.)
(45 minutes plus Q and A)
Told by a careers advisor that girls like her don’t become writers, Marie loves nothing more than inspiring others to achieve their dreams. With themes of resilience, smashing stereotypes and developing a positive attitude, this fun interactive assembly presentation will leave children rearing to defy the limits others place on them and #BeMoreBMX. Includes insights into Marie’s writing journey, awe inspiring BMX video clips and lots of laughs!
A former Associate Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University, Marie has extensive experience of delivering creative writing workshops to children (KS2 -KS5) and adults. Here are some of her favourite school events but do ask if you’d like something else.
My Family and Other Romans Events
Mixed-Up Mythology! (KS2)
My Family and Other Romans provides a unique spin on classic Roman mythology. Inspired by the unique characters in this timeslip adventure, children will work with Marie to create their own unique Roman god. They’ll then draw them on a Roman scroll and tell us some key facts about them in the form of a Wanted poster which they’ll use to inspire their own short story. (Schools will receive additional plotting and editing resources.)
Roaming around Rome – Create Your Own Timeslip Adventure (KS2+)
With an emphasis on descriptive writing, children will be invited to travel back to ancient Rome to create their own time slip adventure. Through fun exercises, Marie will fire imaginations and equip children with the tools to ensure their stories have all the ingredients of a classic fantasy adventure. (Schools will receive additional plotting and editing resources.)
Princess BMX Events
Princess BMX Character Mash (KS2)
With reference to Princess BMX, and using a Top Trumps style format, children will create their own unique characters. After sketching their character, they’ll highlight their unique traits and qualities and give them a problem – the key feature of any character-driven story. For older year groups, the workshop can be adapted to also cover plotting and story development.
THROUGH THE PORTAL (KS2+)
With an emphasis on descriptive writing, children will be invited to travel through the portal and create their own fantasy story. Through fun exercises, Marie will equip them with the tools to ensure their stories have all the ingredients of a classic portal adventure. Includes additional plotting and editing resources.
Extended Question and Answer Session With Writing Challenge
This extended Q and A session is designed to complement Marie’s assembly events, providing children with the opportunity to learn more about Marie, her books, and what is involved in getting published and working as an author. Marie will also set her audience a writing challenge, based on one of her fun shorties. She’ll also give them some writing tips and tell them about her creative inspirations. Perfect for schools who wish to involve larger numbers than the creative writing workshops permit.
Book Cover Design (Ages 9 – 13)
Focussing on book covers, this workshop offers a different approach to exploring text. The session starts by taking a look at the jacket design of some contemporary publications, with Marie sharing exclusive author and illustrator insight into these covers and the process of book jacket design. The children will then design a book cover for a novel of their choice. With particular emphasis on how their cover relates to plot and themes, they’ll then write a short reflective piece about their design. If preferred, younger children can write a book blurb or short synopsis instead.
KS3 + Dude, what’s the problem?
Character, conflict and plot – a crime themed workshop. A fun and interactive crime themed creative writing workshop that explores the links between plot and character and the essential conflict that is at the heart of any compelling narrative. The workshop includes a brief overview of some key components of story, including voice, dialogue, setting and editing. Depending on the interests of the group, the session can be adapted to place greater emphasis on any of these elements including a focus on descriptive writing in line with GCSE requirements.
WHAT CAPTAIN AMERICA TAUGHT ME ABOUT VOICE
Marie Basting learnt everything she knows about voice from Captain America. OK, that’s a lie but using words to dramatic effect is kind of the point of this workshop. We’ll start by briefly exploring what constitutes voice and how our language and structural choices influence tone and style. Having established the building blocks, we’ll dive into some practical exercises and yes there will be a chance to meet the Marvel Avengers as we explore how voice works at both a narrative and character level. If superheroes aren’t really your bag, that’s OK because Marie has a range of other tricks up the sleeve of her leotard as she shares her own writing process, leaving you with some top tips to ensure your writing voice has superhero POW!
– Many of Marie’s workshops can be adapted for virtual visits. She also offers a shorter online version of her assemblies.
DetailsPreferred age range:
My Princess BMX and My Family and Other Romans sessions are pitched at children 7 - 11 years but can also be adapted for older audiences. I also offer a variety of events for young people KS3 to KS5 and adults at all stages of their writing careers.
Maximum number in any one session:
For the assembly events and extended Q and A, there is no limit in terms of audience numbers. Workshops, I’d ideally work with a maximum of 30 children but some schools ask me to cater for larger groups and I’m happy to discuss this.
No of sessions per day:
Four sessions of up to one hour long, plus book signing. A typical day would include, one assembly style presentation, and three workshop style sessions. I am though happy to discuss your individual requirements.
Talks - 45 minute assembly style presentation, followed by Q and A (up to one hour in total). This would usually be followed by book signing though this could take place at any stage of the day. Workshops 45 minutes to one hour depending on the age of the group and school timetable. Virtual events – 45 minutes.
Areas prepared to travel to:
I live in Manchester but I’ll travel anywhere if overnight accommodation is provided and expenses are met.
I prefer train but happy to use the car where necessary or for local visits. When driving, I charge 40p per mile.
Please email us for details
Hold PLI (public liability insurance):
Just when I thought she’d shown us everything, this year Marie took to the MCBF performance space at the Bigger Book Bash and engaged children in stories of Princess BMX, complete with party games, flying tea bags, bouncing eyeballs and unicorn hobby horses. Completely bonkers but a consummate professional, not a bad mix in my book.
Kaye Tew Director of the Manchester Children’s Book Festival
Marie is such an outstanding writer and practitioner who is passionate about sharing her creativity with pupils of all ages, backgrounds and abilities, including those who have EAL and SEN. Feedback from teachers and pupils has been overwhelmingly positive and is a testimony to Marie’s ability to engage and inspire the next generation of creative writers.
Claudia Conerney, Schools Liaison Coordinator, MMU.
It was the ideal balance of learning activities and confidence building. The pupils felt that spending the morning with you had been a ‘treat’. It was a welcome change from the usual classroom setting and helped the disadvantaged cohort develop their literacy skills. To the pupils, it felt like special treatment, in the most positive sense.
Jane Hesketh, Audenshaw School
Thank you, Marie. Your readings and presentations were truly inspirational. Our children listened with real interest and were heard talking about your message about expectations in the playground!
Helen Tantouri, Head Teacher - Valewood Primary
Marie Basting writes funny fiction for children. Her debut novel, Princess BMX, was listed by the Guardian and BookTrust in their best new books category and was praised by Gender Collect as one of the best books out there for smashing stereotypes. A former Associate Lecturer at Manchester Met University, Marie has taught creative writing from foundation through to MFA level and has extensive experience of creative schools outreach delivery. Her #BeMoreBMX school and festival events have inspired thousands of children to smash stereotypes and defy expectations. With the publication or My Family and Other Romans, she’s now inviting children to travel back to Ancient Rome with her, offering a range of new exciting events and workshops with a mythological twist.