I'm best known for my Jimmy Coates novels: action thrillers aimed at the 8-13 age group, particularly suitable for kids who might not usually read much.
My events get people reading
My aim is to get kids excited about writing stories and reading. Since my first book came out, in 2005, I've visited hundreds of schools, speaking to over 200,000 kids.
Most of my work is with Years 5, 6, 7 and 8, but audiences range from Year 4 all the way up to Sixth Formers and adults. I also have plenty of experience handling a family audience (for example, at prize-givings and festivals), with a complete mix of ages.
Each session is different
They’re high-energy and highly interactive, to re-ignite the imagination in the adults and to let the children loose with their wackiest (and most brilliant) story ideas. It's a lot of fun, but the goal is that it also inspires students to see reading and writing in a whole new light, while giving them the basic tools to come up with wonderful and original stories themselves.
I can adapt to suit what you need
Because I don’t follow a script or a set routine, I’ll tailor the event to you, your school and your students. And I’ll follow the audience’s interests in the moment. Usually I cover things like how to come up with ideas and how to plan a story out quickly. If you want me to, I can also get into more of the nitty-gritty. Like re-writing, plotting, and developing characters or whole worlds.
I’ve also worked as a screenwriter for some major Hollywood producers, so I can run sessions on screenwriting. I started out as a songwriter, and still work with some pop singers, so I love running songwriting workshops. Occasionally, I get to run sessions on philosophy, which is the subject that got me started as a writer. I also once took charge of a school’s cricket team for a training session. So you’ve got options, is what I’m saying.
I’m based in London but I’ll travel anywhere
I’ve run workshops in the USA, China, Australia and all over Europe.