Kirstin McNeil speaking to children at school with a powerpoint presentation

Schools Need Author Visits

I had the best morning the other day. I woke up at 6am and went on Zoom to read (and sing) my book to some children in Singapore.

I’d forgotten how wonderful it is to see children react, engage and join in with the story. It is so magical, and the best part of being an author for me.

Then, I got an email from a school in London confirming me for World Book Day! Yes - the one in March. I was delighted, and can’t wait to spend a whole day there with the kids

Download my author visit info pack here or send the link to your school.

Read more about and book an in person or virtual school visit here!

Why do author visits matter?

I’m always surprised at the awe and wonder on children’s faces when I talk about how my scrappy notes get made into a real-life printed book. There’s so much more to a visit than reading the story. Here’s why…

  1. Encourages a joy of reading
    A good author visit is fun, a bit silly, and creates a connection between the children, author and the book. Before reading the story, I talk about why I write the book, and why I love the story, then after reading we talk about the story and what we liked about it. This familiarity has a positive effect on reluctant readers, especially a story that has lots of repetition or can be sung, like My Brother is a Vampire. The book isn’t alien to them and they feel more confident to read it themselves.

  2. Improves writing confidence
    One of my favourite parts of an author visit is showing the kids my notebook. I point out how messy the writing is and how many mistakes there are. Children realise that creating a story is about building on your ideas, and that it will never be perfect from the beginning. This improves their confidence in just having a go, which as all writers know, is an essential skill!

  3. Visibility of creative careers
    Meeting a grown-up with a creative career makes an important impact on young children. It’s lets them know that an artistic job is a valid one. Bringing this to life is a wonderful part of a visit. Children may not have noticed the names on the front of the books they read, and now they get to meet one of those people. It makes creative careers like author, artist, musician feel more achievable and accessible.

  4. Supports classroom learning
    Getting a story from notebook to publication takes perseverance, openness and continuous learning. My most common question is “How do you make a book?” I always make sure I mention the many people that help me to refine the story, how I use feedback, and how I work with the illustrators so the children know the importance of collaboration and listening to others. These are also key skills they use in their classroom.

  5. Inspires kids to pursue what they love
    There is no doubting how much I love being an author, and children can tell. Often there is a perception that a job has to be boring or very difficult. Sharing my joy and passion for writing stories breaks this boundary and encourages children to pursue their passions too.


Reading my book to 180 pupils at my son’s school celebrating their rainbow day for Pride


If you think your school would benefit from an author visit, please get in touch by clicking here!


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