I am currently developing some more ‘writerly’ workshops that will focus on plot, character and setting. These will probably be longer, and run over a morning or even a school day to ensure pupils get the most out of them. I will be able to provide more information on these soon.
I offer a variety of options for school events, and am flexible on timings so as to fit in with the school’s timetable: Type of Artist: Author
1. Whole school or year group assembly, which can be 45 minutes to an hour, with 10 minutes of questions included. Using visuals on a PowerPoint, I take the children through my journey from reader to writer, with a few laughs on the way! Incorporated into this, I do an ‘interactive reading’ from one of the books, which involves the pupils calling out sound effects during the reading as they appear on screen.
2. 1-hour creative workshop with individual classes, which focuses on creating a comic strip using a scene in one of the books as inspiration. We look at how a comic strip can tell a story using words and images, examine some of the conventions comic strips use to be effective and I model how to create a 3-frame comic strip. Then pupils work together to brainstorm ideas, and work individually to create their own comic strip.
3. Many of my events combine both of these, so I will start the day with an assembly, and then go to different classes to do creative workshops.
DetailsPreferred age range:
My Creature Teacher books are pitched at 7-10 year olds so this my preferred age range.
However I have done talks and workshops for Year 1 and 2, and am happy to adapt the style and content of my presentation/workshop to the age range.
Maximum number in any one session:
30 pupils max per workshop
I am happy to speak to any number in a talk/assembly – I think the maximum I have spoken to so far was about 280.
No of sessions per day:
Four workshops a day plus an assembly works well.
Morning: Assembly plus two workshops. Afternoon: two workshops, then signing after school.
I have done more in a day, but it tends to get a bit rushed and chaotic!
Assembly/talk is 45-60 minutes; workshops are usually one-hour each.
Allow time for signing afterwards.
Areas prepared to travel to:
Southern, south-eastern and central England regions work best for me, but really I am happy to go anywhere if travel/overnight expenses paid (overnights may not always be possible as I have a young child, but if reasonable notice is given it should not normally be a problem).
Car at 45p per mile; train
Please email us for details
Sam Watkins' website page
Don’t Get in a Mess! (NYP; due December 2016) Puss in Football Boots
Nick Knight Super Sub
The Fintastic Diary of Darcy Dolphin (NYP; first book in new series, due January 2017)
Creature Teacher Goes Wild
Creature Teacher: Science Shocker
Creature Teacher Out to Win (New title – latest book in Creature Teacher series)
"The children absolutely loved the assemblies, they really taught them that being an author is a real job (not just a pipe-dream), it encouraged them to form a love for books and inspired them to read Sam's super books.
They loved asking Sam questions and Sam had an excellent manner with the children … I would recommend her without reserve!"
Peter Castle, Deputy Headteacher,
Herne Junior School
“We were fortunate to have an author visit from Samantha Watkins this year and from the word go she had the children hooked. She has such a lovely manner with the children - they hung on her every word and still talk about her books!”
Samantha Copus, Deputy Headteacher,
St Mary’s RC School
“We enjoyed Sam’s introduction to how she became an author and her engaging readings, particularly when she involved the children in making sound effects – even the shy children felt encouraged to join in! … I am definitely hoping to work with Sam again in the future.
We love having children’s authors in the library, particularly when they appeal to such a wide range of children!”
Lavinia McHugh, Children’s librarian,
Sam Watkins Amazon site