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For schools and libraries wondering whether
to organise an author or illustrator visit
Created by the Children’s Writers a...
WE GO TO GREAT LENGTHS
TO INSPIRE READERS…
Mary Hoffman
wears
fetching
headgear
OUR SURVEY OF SCHOOLS
In 2013, the Society of Authors carried out a
survey of schools to assess the value of author
visits...
AUTHOR VISITS WORK!
• 99.4% considered author visits to be “high
priority and valuable in encouraging reading
for pleasure...
Nicola Morgan cuts off
legs
(without anaesthetic!)
RESPONDENTS’ OWN WORDS:
“Encourage reading for pleasure”
“Inspired pupils”
“Increased library use”
“Increased reading dive...
WE RISK HUGE DANGER
FOR READERS
Daniel Blythe
pleads with a Cyberman
VISITS BOOST READING FOR
PLEASURE …
“There is no doubt that author visits can encourage
reading for pleasure.”
“[Meeting a...
READING IS OBVIOUSLY
PLEASURE
Miriam Moss and
happy faces
INSPIRE PUPILS …
“Pupils become enthused not only for reading and writing, but with
one author/illustrator, enthused about...
Year 9 boy after an author visit
“I didn’t know
reading could
be COOL!”
IMPROVE LIBRARY USE
…
“Visits have sent [library] borrowing
through the roof.”
“There are often ‘new faces’ seen in the li...
…AND BENEFIT RELUCTANT
AND SEN READERS
Many respondents spoke of “a notable growth in confidence”
of SEN pupils:
“Reluctan...
…AND THEY ARE FUN!
Sarah
McIntyre
enjoying
herself
MORE THAN JUST A
VISIT
Schools used many ways of enabling author
contact:
• Patron of reading/reading champions
• Collabor...
Sarah
McIntyre
opens minds
DOES OFSTED NOTICE?Only 11% said that Ofsted took notice of author
visits, but when they do they respond very
positively. ...
POSITIVE REACTIONS FROM
OFSTED
• Don Valley Academy used as best practice case
study by Ofsted and in Moving English Forwa...
WHAT ABOUT FUNDING?
Authors are paid for work with schools; they are
self-employed and most earn little from writing.
But ...
SO, HOW DID SCHOOLS
FUND EVENTS?
• Lateral thinking – overlap with history, PSHE, SEN or
gifted and talented budgets?
• Cr...
Alan Gibbons
encourages monkey
business
USING BOOK-SELLING
One way to generate funds for events is to be
creative with book-selling. This benefits
everyone: pupil...
HOW TO ORGANISE AN EVENT
• Plan 6-12 months ahead – experienced authors get booked
early
• Talk to colleagues who have don...
INSPIRATIONAL
LEARNING
Caroline
Lawrence in
action
YES, AUTHOR VISITS
WORK!
“…positive impact on all areas of literacy: reading, writing, speaking
and listening.”
“The child...
USEFUL SOURCES OF
INFORMATION (AND AUTHORS…)How to contact authors, listings, resources, rates and
advice on how to run a ...
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What's the point of author visits? A presentation by the Children's Writers and Illustrators Group of the Society of Authors.

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A presentation about the benefits of organising an author visit by the Children's Writers and Illustrators Group of the Society of Authors. For schools, teachers and anyone thinking of organising an author visit!

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What's the point of author visits? A presentation by the Children's Writers and Illustrators Group of the Society of Authors.

  1. 1. For schools and libraries wondering whether to organise an author or illustrator visit Created by the Children’s Writers and Illustrators group of the Society of Authors
  2. 2. WE GO TO GREAT LENGTHS TO INSPIRE READERS… Mary Hoffman wears fetching headgear
  3. 3. OUR SURVEY OF SCHOOLS In 2013, the Society of Authors carried out a survey of schools to assess the value of author visits. • 154 schools responded: 94 secondaries and 60 primaries • Reporting 1,471 author visits This is what they told us…
  4. 4. AUTHOR VISITS WORK! • 99.4% considered author visits to be “high priority and valuable in encouraging reading for pleasure and/or creative writing” • Many used the word “vital” • 99.5% believed that every type of pupil/school would benefit
  5. 5. Nicola Morgan cuts off legs (without anaesthetic!)
  6. 6. RESPONDENTS’ OWN WORDS: “Encourage reading for pleasure” “Inspired pupils” “Increased library use” “Increased reading diversity” “Built confidence – especially in reluctant readers” “Broadening knowledge of literature” “Develop ownership of books”
  7. 7. WE RISK HUGE DANGER FOR READERS Daniel Blythe pleads with a Cyberman
  8. 8. VISITS BOOST READING FOR PLEASURE … “There is no doubt that author visits can encourage reading for pleasure.” “[Meeting an author] engages the pupils in a ‘hands-on’ experience that can enhance their love of books…” “The opportunity for pupils to meet and converse with an author plays a crucial part in the promotion of reading”
  9. 9. READING IS OBVIOUSLY PLEASURE Miriam Moss and happy faces
  10. 10. INSPIRE PUPILS … “Pupils become enthused not only for reading and writing, but with one author/illustrator, enthused about illustrating. Following her visit the teachers developed the book’s themes and with success embedded it into the yearly planning.” “Nothing inspires, engages and heartens kids more than meeting a ‘proper’ author.”
  11. 11. Year 9 boy after an author visit “I didn’t know reading could be COOL!”
  12. 12. IMPROVE LIBRARY USE … “Visits have sent [library] borrowing through the roof.” “There are often ‘new faces’ seen in the library after an author event…”
  13. 13. …AND BENEFIT RELUCTANT AND SEN READERS Many respondents spoke of “a notable growth in confidence” of SEN pupils: “Reluctant readers start visiting the library and many start on a journey which they did not know existed and which lasts a lifetime.” “Sometimes an understanding of the inspiration behind a story will motivate a previously reluctant reader to pick up a book.”
  14. 14. …AND THEY ARE FUN! Sarah McIntyre enjoying herself
  15. 15. MORE THAN JUST A VISIT Schools used many ways of enabling author contact: • Patron of reading/reading champions • Collaborating with literary festivals • Collaborating with regional book awards • Residencies and extended relationships • Skype sessions
  16. 16. Sarah McIntyre opens minds
  17. 17. DOES OFSTED NOTICE?Only 11% said that Ofsted took notice of author visits, but when they do they respond very positively. Of the 11%, most had been inspected recently, suggesting that Ofsted are taking more notice. The Society of Authors is pressing Ofsted on this; inspectors’ guidelines from Sept 2012 have increased focus on “schools as reading environments”.
  18. 18. POSITIVE REACTIONS FROM OFSTED • Don Valley Academy used as best practice case study by Ofsted and in Moving English Forward. Librarian said author visits a factor. • Private school citation in Good Schools Guide 2012 praised regular schedule of events. “…The inspectors were highly impressed” • Lesson including author visit recorded as “outstanding”.
  19. 19. WHAT ABOUT FUNDING? Authors are paid for work with schools; they are self-employed and most earn little from writing. But schools have tight budgets. A day may cost at least £500 including expenses. “They are expensive but if the author costs £400 and 400 children have the opportunity to listen […] that’s only £1 a head”
  20. 20. SO, HOW DID SCHOOLS FUND EVENTS? • Lateral thinking – overlap with history, PSHE, SEN or gifted and talented budgets? • Create a book week/festival – may attract extra funding • Charge parents a small amount? • Combine with nearby schools • Collaborate with bookshops • Use pupil premium • Make contacts with publishers – may pay expenses if a new book is out
  21. 21. Alan Gibbons encourages monkey business
  22. 22. USING BOOK-SELLING One way to generate funds for events is to be creative with book-selling. This benefits everyone: pupils, schools, authors. Some authors reduce fees if book-selling is well promoted. If authors’ books don’t sell, it might affect future publishing deals, so they’ll try to help.
  23. 23. HOW TO ORGANISE AN EVENT • Plan 6-12 months ahead – experienced authors get booked early • Talk to colleagues who have done this before • Think carefully about what type of event you want • And what type of author/illustrator – read their websites • Invite the author; discuss fee and content • Plan details carefully; enthuse staff and pupils • Keep in close contact with the author • Enjoy the day! • Encourage follow-up activities with pupils
  24. 24. INSPIRATIONAL LEARNING Caroline Lawrence in action
  25. 25. YES, AUTHOR VISITS WORK! “…positive impact on all areas of literacy: reading, writing, speaking and listening.” “The children were enthralled with the visits and I find it tragic that schools cannot afford to promote reading in this way.”
  26. 26. USEFUL SOURCES OF INFORMATION (AND AUTHORS…)How to contact authors, listings, resources, rates and advice on how to run a successful visit, see our Guidelines for Schools Organising an Author Visit and our Guide to Author Fees for Talks in Schools: www.societyofauthors.org/childrens-writers-and- illustrators-group Our report on Author Visits in Primary and Secondary Schools: www.societyofauthors.org/author-visits-primary-and- secondary-schools

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