I have always loved talking to people, helping people…and having fun – and I’d love to meet you in person, no matter where you live. If that’s not possible, perhaps we can meet via Skype. I can give talks and workshops to groups of any age, anywhere – from Kindergartens to Retirement Villages: children, parents, teachers, writers, book-lovers …and every group size from a hall full of people to only 4 or 5 students. (In a past life, I was a teacher for more than 15 years!) And I’m always delighted to work in ‘Residencies’.
I’m a police-checked Blue Card holder for working with children.
If there are particular things that you think your group will be interested to hear about, I will make sure they are covered. It’s usually best to allow a generous amount of time per topic, rather than ask me to try to cram everything I know into half an hour. Some things are not possible. Whatever topics you would like covered, please, always allow heaps and heaps of time for me to answer questions.
For general groups of children or adults who want to know about the writing process
In talks I usually cover:
“Where do you get ideas from?””What does a writer do all day?” – (These two topics alone could take ½hour – especially if people are asking questions.)
Older attendees often find it useful if I include ‘How to edit’ …or this can be a separate session in itself..
Young children often like me to read one of my stories, and for older children, I can read an excerpt.
And in workshops, children can act out some stories with my collection of hand-puppets.
Popular specialised topics include:
Books and Writing Through the Ages – handle 4000 years of history…NO WHITE GLOVES
In this talk and workshop, I lay out about 6 very large tables of books and writing both ancient and modern. Attendees can circulate and hold a sales receipt from 2000BC, turn pages of 13th century books, study scrolls, old 18th century children’s books and interesting published and artists books of today. I keep adding to the collection.
Writing and Illustrating Picture Books
Plotting – Word choice – Pictures
Show don’t tell
Writing in Rhyme
Rhyme sublime which is driven by rhythm
Pathways to Becoming Published
Options – Expectations – Pitching and Querying
Reading and designing pictures – Where’s the focus? – Storytelling with illustration – Layout and design – techniques
Illustration Techniques (tuition)
Watercolur and mixed media – Celtic – Cut and torn paper…
Book and Cover Design
Attendees design elegant margins for a book using geometry, and a paper dust jacket to improve the cover of a library book.
Creating Word Pictures
Artists Books and Bookbinding
(One of my calligraphed artists books was commissioned and used as part of World Expo’88’s gift to the Queen)
I can help people make their own books. This can take up anywhere from 10 minutes to a whole day.
Constructing an artists book has given some reluctant senior students new enthusiasm for completing assignments, and yes, I have seen a book made this way that”s filled with rusty items in some pockets and notes about iron, steel and corrosion in others.
And creating artists books can be useful to help win competitions,
Here are a couple of other ideas.
A circular book might be ideal for a ‘Legend of the Devil’s Marbles’, or pizza recipes or….
Other craft topics include…
Calligraphy and Illumination using Gold Leaf
Painting bugs, birds and beasts in miniature…
Other ideas for calligraphy topics can be seen in the tuition page of my calligraphy website:
Artistic Handmade Paper – Papermaking (by recycling)
New Ideas for Creativity with Paper
Embossing and paper-sculpting
Arrangements and Fees
I am happy for all talks and workshops to be recorded provided you don’t sell copies and that you can send me one.
I prefer to negotiate fees depending on how long you would really like me to speak, and, for schools, if you would also like me to speak to parents and teachers – perhaps after school.
Fees for Public Library and adult group presentations are also negotiable depending on talk duration and travel distance from my home in Stafford Heights, North Brisbane, Australia.
If necessary, I can be accommodated in a hotel, motel or private residence when far from Brisbane.
For book creation and illustration workshops, some materials may be charged for, or I can provide a list of requirements. I have a certain amount of equipment that I can loan.
To check my availability, or to book a visit, please contact me by email or the super efficient agency, Speakers Ink.
I will be very happy to autograph all copies of any book.
For those groups that charge people to attend my talks and workshops, I can provide publicity material / images. If the media can be interested in providing coverage, I will happily be interviewed if required.
In schools, it is probably best to have children of no more than 3 grades present at one time at a talk, or one grade (just possibly two) for a practical workshop.
It is often helpful if children already have some ideas for questions to ask.
I expect teachers to organise the children and remain with their classes.
If more than one session is planned, a 15 minute interval between them will be helpful to rearrange the props, books and material that I bring. Please allow at least ¾ hour for lunch and reorganisation.
Providing flight or other travel arrangements allow it, I will always stay until all books have been signed. I can sign and mail adhesive labels for any books that I am not able to sign on the day.
Thank you for considering me as a presenter