‘If you get the chance to hear Sophia Bennett speak, grab it with both hands. You won’t regret it.’
Sophie Weston, Liberta Books
The best thing in the world is meeting readers. And aspiring writers too. I do it a lot. Possibly too much, in fact …
I visit. I talk. I Skype.
I talk about my books, my inspirations, what it’s like to be a professional creative person and how you start. My creative writing workshops are for Years 4-6 and 7-11, and I run career-based workshops for sixth form. I also teach writing for children to grown-ups and have given courses, talks and masterclasses at City Lit, City Uni, SCBWI, the RNA and the Golden Egg Academy. (It keeps me quite busy. I should probably spend more time in the shed writing the actual books, but I love it.)
Writing workshops cover a variety of topics from poetry to point of view, and there is also my Winning Like a Girl talk, for girls in Years 7-11, about building girls’ confidence. If you’d like me to visit your school, book club or event, you can contact me direct, or find me on Authors Aloud or Virtual Authors UK. My visit fees are in line with the Society of Authors guidelines, but virtual visits of 15-20 minutes are free.
‘I thought the writing workshop was great. I love that we got to meet a real life author. She even shared her personal items with us and showed us how to write a great story. The writing workshop helped me know what being a writer feels like. It also encouraged me to persevere and never give up as I found out how many times some authors got rejected before they were finally published! It was fantastic learning about how to write creatively and Sophia also taught us some writing games which were really fun to play.’
Year 6 student, West London
‘Thank you so much for a fabulous day yesterday. When I asked the children you worked with for a few words to describe it to put in the newsletter they were unanimous ; “awesome,” “inspiring” and “she was so cool”!’
Librarian, East Hertfordshire
‘Thank you SO much for yesterday. There was a real buzz around school when I got back. As staff we all thought your talk was perfectly aimed and the creative writing exercise was a stroke of genius.’
‘Wow! That was an amazing visit, thank you so much. My favourite part of it was when you got us to write our own story and you gave us tips. Thank you so much, you have really inspired me.’
Year 7 student, Kent
In Winning Like a Girl, I give a talk to Years 7-11 that includes life hacks for coping with difficult situations while remaining true to yourself. This is a talk that is very important to me. There is nothing like the emotion of seeing 200 girls standing up together and shouting their power word. (Children’s Author Tells How to Win Like a Girl.)
You can download a leaflet that tells you all (I hope) you need to know: School visit brochure. If you want to know more, I’m happy to talk you through a typical visit – or a non-typical one – but to make an author visit really swing, check out the wonderful Sarah McIntyre’s ’25 tips for hosting an awesome author visit’. (Warning: unlike Sarah, I do not come dressed as a superhero. I will, however, cut ribbons if requested. And indeed have.)