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my events

On this page you can find out about events I will be taking part in soon. If you organise events, there is information below on how to book me to come an event.

Forthcoming events


> I'm doing a "Pirate Baby" event at the Story Museum in Oxford at 11am on 25th July. Ages 4+. I'll be dressed as a pirate!


> We'll be at the Indie Press Book Fair in Oxford on 4th April, selling our books from the Greystones Press, some of which are by me! It's from 11am to 4pm at Wesley Memorial Hall,
New Inn Hall Street, Oxford OX1 2DH. Admission free


> I'll be on the Society of Authors stand at the London Book Fair on 12th March. Do come and say hello if you are there.

> I'll be at the Bologna Book Fair 30th March to 1st April.


>March/April The usual attendance at LBF and the Bologna Book Fair.

> September/October Writer in Residence in Venice. 19th September on a panel at the Library of Memories Symposium at the Palazzo Ateneo.


> I'll be at the London Book fair on 11th April on a Society of Authors panel discussing contracts. 11.45-12.30. Do come and say hello afterwards.


> I'll be doing a primary school Skype visit "in" Warwickshire on World Book Day, 1st March. Do look at my Schools page if you'd like a Skype visit yourself.

> At the end of the month, I'm off to the Bologna Book Fair as usual. Only a very few gaps left in my schedule if you want to meet me there.


>  I'll be giving a talk on 25th at the Primary Library conference at the Hope Church Centre in Winchester.


> On 23rd I'll be standing in for Celia Rees at the ScotsWrite conference organised by the Society of Authors (Scotland)


> On 12th I'll be giving talks at two schools in Brentwood, Brentwood County High School and the Ursuline School.


> In the evening of 10th, I shall be at Mostly Books in Abingdon, talking about my recent adult and YA fiction.


> As usual I shall be at the Bologna Book Fair, covering it for BookBrunch


> Another panel! This time in Venice and in Italian. at the International Literary Festival, talking about Shakespeare.


>25th I shall be speaking on a panel at Newnham College, Cambridge on Writing for Children. Fellow panellists are Caroline Lawrence, Sue Limb and Griselda Heppel, all Newnham alumnae. The panel will be chaired by Anne Rooney, prolific author of children's books, RLF Fellow at Newnham and also the designer of this website!You can book here.


> 24th I shall be appeared at the IDEAL annual conference for schools, talking about The Colour of Home, since the focus is on asylum seekers.


> I shall be on a panel at the Authors' Centre at the London Book Fair on 14th April.

> I shall be at the Bologna Book Fair again 3rd - 6th April. I'll be covering it for BookBrunch and Armadillo and have some spaces left to see people. Contact me through this website if you want to meet. I shal be appearing on a panel at the Translators' Centre on Monday 4th April at 5pm on bringing Shakespeare to young readers.


> On 3rd and 4th I shall be at a school in Luxembourg, talking to years 1-6. At the end of the month I shall be in Florence, road-testing (literally) the App In the Footsteps of Giants, which I have been working on for Time Traveller Tours and Tales.



I'>  I'm appearing at the Imagine! Festival on the South Bank at 10.30am on 17th February, in connection with the anniversary edition of Amazing Grace.

October 2015

> I'm appearing at the Cheltenham Literary Festial with Caroline Binch, to celebrate the 25th anniversary edition of Amazing Grace, on 3rd October at 2.30pm.

August 2015

> I'll be appearing at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on 17th and 18th

March 2015

> I was again at the Bologna Book Fair, reporting for BookBrunch online

> I took part in the Oxford Literary Festival

January/February 2015

> I signed books with Ros Asquith at the ALA Winter Conference in Chicago and the OLA Winter Conference in Toronto

November 2014

> 21st Annual IBBY UK/NCRCL MA Conference on Saturday 8th November 2014. The theme of this year's IBBY UK/NCRCL MA Conference will be ‘Belonging is… an exploration of the right to be included and the barriers that must be overcome’. The conference will take place on Saturday 8th November 2014 at Froebel College, University of Roehampton, London.
I shall be appearing with Ros Asquith to talk about the Great Big Books of .. series and Welcome to the family.

> Update: YA novel still ongoing and grandson Wolf arrived a bit early and a lot dramatically  on 2nd July. Parents and son all well now.

> For the rest of 2014 I have two major deadlines : my next YA novel and the arrival of my second grandchild. Since both deivery dates are approximate, I will not be accepting any more speaking engagements till 2015.

May 2014

> I am taking part in the May Bank Holiday Reading Festival at Aysham School in Norwich.

​April 2014

> I was again teaching on Writers' Renaissance in Florence.

March 2014

> I was at the Bologna Book Fair 24th/26th and wrote about it here.

February 2014

> I was organising, with Anne Rooney, a writers' conference in Peterborough the weekend of 22nd/23rd.

> I was talking about Stravaganza to the students on the Oxford Brookes publishing course on Valentine's Day

> I was teaching on the Guardian Masterclass in Writing for Children, with Lucy Coats and the team from Nosy Crow, the weekend of 8th/9th.

June 2013


>29th June 12.15 Brent new Civic Centre Library, Wembley. Ros Asquith and I will be doing an eveny based on The Great Big Book of Feelings.

April 2013
I'll be teaching on a writers' retreat in Florence this April, about the use of place in fiction - just the ideal sort of request for me.

Information for organisers

I’ve appeared at all the big festivals and conferences – Cheltenham, Edinburgh, Bath, FCBG, YLG, SLA – and enjoy talking to teachers, librarians, parents and older children. I don’t really do events for younger children any more.

If given enough notice, I can provide a PowerPoint presentation on the Stravaganza novels. And I enjoy taking part in panel discussions.

I can talk about fantasy, historical fiction, writing for teenagers, reviewing and a wide range of other subjects. I’ve written for all age-groups and in pretty much all formats, apart from graphic novels. I can talk about writing fiction and non-fiction, everything except joke-books, horror or sport!


If you want to invite me to your festival or conference, use the Contact page but bear in mind that I live in West Oxfordshire so, if you are a distance away, I’ll need to stay overnight.

The Book Maven

I have a separate life as a book critic and commentator on the publishing industry. I write a blog as the Book Maven, which is updated at least  once a week. I founded Armadillo magazine and edited it for ten years and I still write teenage reviews for it; the current editor is Louise Ellis-Barrett.


Now, as an NUJ freelance, I write fiction reviews for The Guardian and have also reviewed for the Bookseller, Times Educational Supplement and Mother magazine.

If you are a publisher’s publicity person who wants to send me a book for review, please use the Contact page and I’ll send you my address.

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