Type of Artist:
Author / Illustrator. Young Fiction and Picture Books
A typical 45 min talk to a large group currently revolves around my latest Spangles McNasty book with a powerpoint presentation, interactive elements, writing advice and a Q and A.
The talk discusses the characters in the series, where the Spangles idea originated and shows the writing process from initial idea to printed book, highlighting the creative, editing, design and illustrating processes. This also shows how I work on several projects at the same time, all at different stages of development.
AND there's a song in the middle with volunteers and prizes!
I currently have several creative writing workshops for smaller groups of around 30.
A character based session, discussing the importance of strong characters in fiction and some of the methods I use when developing my own characters. The pupils then invent new characters for a future Spangles adventure and either write a short scene involving this new character.
Or alternatively write a letter from the new character to themselves.
A script based session, discussing but importance of character and dialogue in both screen writing and books and the recent growth in TV or screen entertainment with channels like Netflix and Amazon.
The session is to invent a new TV show for CBBC. It is a comedy sketch show set in a school.
We will need a title and a few sketches to ‘pitch’ our show to the commissioning editor (class teacher) at the end of the session.
Talk as a group about possible characters for the show.
In small groups the pupils continue this, writing details of a few characters for the show – names and descriptions.
Selecting their strongest characters they then write short scenes for them.
Perform/read out sketches.
Picture books and poetry, rhythm and rhyme
Showing some of my own picture books and others and discussing the difficulty of writing a story with a very limited number of words and the added problems of making it rhyme and giving it rhythm.
Together, read, clamp and stamp through Tanka Tanka Skunk.
I will suggest a subject for a poem / rhyming story, Together the class lists words that could be used for this.
Split into small teams to write a short rhythmic rhyming story for a picture book (or part of one in the time frame).
Perform these in front of the class in small groups with an accompanying drummer (bongo) or clapping class.
DetailsPreferred age range:
7-11yrs For young fiction focussed presentations and writing sessions.
5-7yrs For picture book presentations and poetry sessions.
Maximum number in any one session:
Talks to large groups of 200-300.
Workshop sessions with smaller classroom sized groups of up to 30
No of sessions per day:
Maximum of 2 talks to large groups plus 3 classroom sized sessions in a full day.
Talk to large group 45 mins.
Workshop sessions 45 - 60 mins.
Areas prepared to travel to:
I live near Buxton in the Peak District and can travel anywhere within 50 miles in a day trip. Happy to travel further if travel and overnight expenses can be covered.
Car at 40p per mile or train. I wouldn't usually charge for transport if the event is fairly close (within 20 miles).
Please email us for details
Hold PLI (public liability insurance):
I have Public Liability insurance.
Spangles McNasty and the Fish of Gold
Spangles McNasty and the Tunnel of Doom
Spangles McNasty and the Diamond Skull
Tanka Tanka Skunk
Happy Zappa Cat
"Steve Webb's talks are funny, engaging and brilliantly interactive. He makes the idea of imagination fun and immersive and really brings language to life with a unique mix of jokes, stories and songs. Underpinning this are ideas about characters, setting and the building blocks of stories and writing. It's fantastic seeing how well Steve manages to capture the minds of his young readers and the impact his visits have on reading with countless children immediately burying their heads deep in the pages of his books immediately after the visit. What a star!"
Reading development and children's book consultant. Chair of the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway judging panel 2018.
"Steve was brilliant!! His energy and enthusiasm infected the whole of our juniors (years 3 – 6) and they were very reluctant to leave the world of Spangles McNasty (and jam of course). His events were funny, energetic, entertaining and very informative. Steve gave a lot of time to each individual pupil when signing books for them – in fact if you put all the signed comments together there would be enough to create another Spangles McNasty book!
In his creative writing sessions, pupils were keen to create characters to ‘out-nasty’ Spangles McNasty – Steve was really good at inspiring and encouraging our Year 4s – they came away from the sessions with the biggest smiles on their faces!
Overall – he was soooopa!
Thank you Steve – we all had a lot of fun and I wish I had that much energy!"
School Librarian, Northwood College for Girls, London. Oct 2017
The children loved Steve's assembly. Children from Reception to Year 6 enjoyed learning about his inspiration for writing and had a great insight into how he creates the fantastic characters for his books which really sparked their imagination. Spangles McNasty was already a favourite in school so it was really good for the children to meet the author.
They could not wait to have their books signed and were really enthusiastic to start reading. We have had great feedback from parents on how the visit has encouraged the children in their reading and writing.
Steve then worked with Key Stage 2 children throughout the day where the focus was on creative writing , getting involved in character creation, scene setting, poetry writing and script writing.
Everyone had an amazing day that highlighted the schools commitment to reading for pleasure and creative writing.
Librarian. Visiting Lum Head Primary School Manchester, Oct 2017.
Steve Webb's Amazon site