Author holding his book under a tree

Meet the Children’s Authors: Schools Week Programme

Here are some of the amazing authors that took part in this last year's Schools Week: 4 to 8 October 2021.


Sean Taylor

Books to recommend

Good Dog! Hoot Owl: Master of Disguise, A Brave Bear, Don’t Call Me Choochie Pooh, Where the Bugaboo Lives

Hear Sean reading at

From Sean:  'As well as reading out my books, I use riddles, poems, storytelling and songs to get audiences involved.  My creative writing workshops feature a mix of starting points suitable for all ages, and usually end with poetry performances from some of the children.'

Event: Talk with readings; poetry workshops

Ages: Year Groups: 1; 2; 3

Guy Bass

Books to recommend

The Haunting of Luna Moon and The Unimaginary Friend (Skeleton Keys Series)

Spynosaur (series)

Stitch Head (series)

Dyslexia-friendly titles: Noah Scape; Aidan Abet Teacher’s Pet; Laura Norder Sheriff of Butt’s Canyon

Listen to his latest at 

Guy Bass is an award-winning children's author and semi-professional geek! His series include Spynosaur, Stitch Head, The Legend of Frog, Dinkin Dings, Atomic! and Monster Madness / Monster MayhemWinner of the Blue Peter Award 2010

‘The joy of reading seems ever more joyous when Guy rolls into a school!’



Event: Inclusive performance to class or large group

Ages: Year Groups: 3; 4; 5; 6

The Haunting of Luna Moon book jacket

Joseph Coelho

Books to recommend


The Girl Who Became A Tree: a story told in poems

Poems Aloud

Werewolf Club Rules!

A Year of Nature Poetry

If All the World Were..

Dip into Joseph’’s website to see him performing his poems, and talking about poetry

A typical event could include a whole school assembly of up to 30 minutes followed by an hour's poetry writing workshops with one class (30 students). His latest book is a brilliant collection of performance poems.

Event: Performance poetry; writing workshop

Ages: Year Groups: 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10

Jess Butterworth

Books to recommend

Running on the Roof of the World

When the Mountains Roared

Swimming Against the Storm - Winner of the Big Book Award 2019

Where the Wilderness Lives  for posts and teaching resources.

Jess’ stories come from her travels in different countries around the world, where her young protagonists meet the challenges of our changing environment in gripping adventures.

Event: Talk; Creative writing workshop

Ages: Year groups: 6; 7; 8; 9

Where the Wilderness Lives

Savita Kalhan

Books to recommend

That Asian Kid  (Nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2020)

The Girl in the Broken Mirror

Savita’s books address issues that are faced by young British Asians, but the questions they explore are universal to young people.

From a review for That Asian Kid - 'A very modern moral dilemma explored in this witty and surprising novel about systemic racism, family, friendship and ultimately doing the right thing. A book to confound and challenge expectations as well as to genuinely entertain.’

Event: Talk; creative writing workshop

Ages: Key Stage: 4/5

That Asian Kid book jacket

John Townsend


Children in WW2: Facts and Jokes

Geography: Facts and Jokes (many others in series)

Life-sized Bugs

Reptile Robotics (Beastly Science Series)….and many more!  for details of workshops

John can work with all abilities including SEN. His events are generally designed to hook in ‘reluctant readers’ (although not exclusively).

John’s talks include foul facts, cheesy jokes, adventure fiction and all things animals to prove how reading is cool, scary and mind-boggling!

Event: Presentations and workshops

Ages: Year group: 7 - 8 + SEN

Reptile Robotics book jacket

Chitra Soundar

Books to recommend

Sona Sharma: very best big sister

Tiger Troubles

Manju's Magic Wishes

You're Strong With Me

Pattan's Pumpkin

Story Collections: A Dollop of Ghee and A Jar of Wisdom; A Jar of Pickles and a Pinch of Justice.

Chitra's stories are inspired by folktales from India, Hindu mythology and her travels.  She has engaged children in storytelling and workshop visits in schools around the world.



Event: Storytelling and workshops

Ages: Age groups: 6 - 11

Philip Ardagh

Books: The nine lives of Furry Purry Beancat; Bunnies on a bus (picture book); Stick and Fetch investigate series (6-8); The Eddie Dickens trilogy (8-10) ; The Grunts series (8 -11); Norman the Norman ( Dyslexia friendly).

Roald Dahl Funny Prize-winning author Philip Ardagh is well-known to the Schools Festival. He is a master at delivering ‘performance with participation’ talks to children in KS1 and KS2

Event: Talk with participation

Ages: Age groups: 5 -11

Steve Cole

Books: Welcome to Trashland; Adventure Duck v. the Armadillo Army (series); Ten Nasty little toads; Secret Agent mummy series, Invisible Inc. and, for younger children, the Monstars series.

Steve Cole is the slightly crazy, highly frantic, millions-selling, non-stop author of Astrosaurs, Cows in Action, Astrosaurs Academy, The Slime Squad, Z. Rex and many other books. Steve is an inspiring advocate for reading and creating stories. His events engage the children in enthusiastic dialogue and create a buzz around books.

Event: performance/Participation

Ages: Age groups: 8 - 11

John Dougherty

Books:  Mark and Shark: detectiving and stuff;The ‘Stinkbomb and Ketchup-face’ series; and, for KS1, the hilarious There’s a pig up my nose!.

Author, poet and sometime songwriter, John’s events are a must! A brilliant reader of his stories, poems and the occasional song about toilets, John both entertains and inspires children, as he talks to them about their reading and writing: ‘he made me think that writing is fun and I could do it (Year 5 pupil.)‘


Event: Assemblies/talk, with songs!

Ages: Age groups: 5 - 10

Chloe Inkpen

Books: Mrs Blackhat series; Hole in the zoo; Fred; Zoe and Beans series

Whether for her own series, or in collaboration with Mick Inkpen, Chloe’s illustrations fully engage young readers and offer many opportunities for book talk. Her events are full of fun – not to be missed!

There is a buzz in the room as she interacts and motivates the children to enjoy the stories and characters she creates. An absolute must for your KS1 pupils’.

Event: Interactive story events (45 minute sessions + book signing)

Ages: Age groups: 3 - 7

Dave Cousins

Books: I’m a nobody, get me out of here! ; Fouls, friends and football; Waiting for Gonzo

My author events have been described as "stand-up–with books", or as one year seven student put it: "well funny!" A mix of anecdotes, pictures, readings and leaping about. The underlying message is that we all have a story to tell, and if one ordinary bloke from Birmingham can achieve his childhood dream—anyone can!

Event: Talk; writing and drawing workshops

Ages: Year group: 7 - 8

Bali Rai

Books: Mohinder’s war; Now or never; Stay a little longer and The harder they fall( Dyslexia friendly); [Un]arranged marriage; Web of darkness

‘He writes about life as it is, not how he thinks it should be - this makes his books real.’

Bali’s style is very informal and he is more than happy to talk to pupils across the ability range. He also writes for Barrington Stoke, aimed at less able and reluctant   readers, especially boys. 

For the author talks he is happy to present to any size group, up to and including entire school years. The sessions revolve around the older books and are geared towards promoting reading for pleasure and discussing many of the challenges faced by today’s young adults.

Event: Talk/ Q & a; writing workshop

Ages: Year group: 7 - 13

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