I'm the author of the critically acclaimed YA novel The Square Root of Summer and a former InStyle staff writer, with a journalism CV that includes BBC Radio 4, ELLE, BBC Five Live, Marie Claire, Stylist and the Sunday Times.
I'm available for school visits to talk about writing, editing and journalism, with Q&As, assemblies and interactive workshops, which are particularly suitable for GCSE and A-level students.
"Harriet's brilliant talk and workshop offered our students a fascinating insight into the worlds of writing and publishing and encouraged them to explore the myrid possibilities for future creative careers. She was charming, warm and witty and the girls really enjoyed meeting an exciting new author with such an impressive wealth of experience in both journalism and fiction writing. The students finished each session armed with fresh ideas and renewed enthusiasm for reading and writing!"
- Cat O'Connor, school librarian, St Marylebone CE School
WHAT YOU GET FROM A SCHOOL VISIT
On a one-day visit, I can offer a combination of the workshops, assemblies and Q&As below, up to a maximum of three sessions if the schedule allows this - must include breaks in-between each session, and time to stop for lunch and the loo!
Half-day or single-session visits can be booked, depending on the location of the school. I'm based in Brighton and it's not always worth the long-distance travel to do a single session, but for local schools, single-session visits can be arranged. Rates are according to the Society of Authors and depend on the number of sessions booked and travel time. Travel costs are not included, and I do have to charge VAT. If your school is in or near Surrey, Newcastle, Manchester or Canterbury, get in touch as I may be able to coordinate a school visit with seeing family! Use the contact form or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to book.
Macmillan Children's Books will provide a poster and reading copy of The Square Root of Summer for your library and can arrange for a local bookshop to sell copies for a signing. Or we can work with your school's system for students who are interested in buying a signed book.
TALKS, ASSEMBLIES, WORKSHOPS AND Q&AS
*Requires PowerPoint facilities
*Workshop: "A Magazine Feature In An Hour." Ideal for GCSE- and A-level students. An overview of the changing landscape of magazine and digital journalism, followed by a rapid-fire interactive "writing" session that mimics how a feature goes from idea to page or screen, including research, edits, headlines, photographs, proofing, etc. Fast-paced and fun, and I'll happily take questions if there's time.
*Workshop: "Writing Is Rewriting." Ideal for GCSE- and A-level students. I showcase how The Square Root of Summer turned from a one-line idea into notes, an outline, bad first draft and finally a submission-ready manuscript; then run an interactive session where we'll redraft a piece of writing to show how editing improves work. If there's time, I can include a Q&A on how to approach edits/writing feedback.
Presentation/Assembly: "A Career In Words." All ages. A talk with time for a Q&A at the end. I've made a living from novel-writing, proofreading and copy-editing novels, structurally editing self-published authors, writing for digital and magazines as a staffer and a freelancer, sub-edited for online and print... This assembly or classroom talk will show how there are lots of careers for those interested in books, even if you're not stellar at grammar or spelling, with advice on work experience, internships and working in publishing.
Presentation/Assembly: "YA Helps You Find the Feminism." All ages. A talk with time for a Q&A at the end. The Square Root of Summer has been described as "quietly feminist" and my author persona is less quiet about it! An empowering assembly or classroom talk on feminism in YA literature and teen pop culture, delving into what to look out for in set texts and curriculum classics, to encourage deeper reading.
Q&A All ages, I tend to do these in a library or classroom over lunch, or even in the canteen with a school dinner, as a drop-in-at-whatever-time-if-you're-interested for any students who aren't scheduled for a session or want to meet an author and chat books! Usually I'll give an informal ten-minute talk about me and my career, followed by a Q&A about anything that interests your students. I've had questions from "Where do you get your ideas" to "What happens to your copyright when you die?"