Speakers for Children & Young People

Su Adams

Using computing experiences to inspire the minds of the future, Su Adams from ‘U Can Too’ loves nothing more than seeing children’s eyes light up with excitement when they achieve creative results in her computing workshops.  Su is passionate about empowering students to believe that a future in STEM is achievable.  Su enthusiastically delivers this by designing innovative physical computing projects with cross-curricular links, using lights, motors and sensors to create tangible interactions in the real world.  Whether this is helping students to develop moving artwork, literacy-linked robots or simple solutions for real-world problems, she never tires of designing and delivering memorable and purposeful learning experiences.  As a ‘Subject Matter Expert’ for the National Centre for Computing Education (NCCE), Su enjoys empowering schools in developing their computing education offer through teacher CPD and advice.

Ian Beck

Ian is an Author/Illustrator who started his career designing album covers (including Elton John’s Yellow Brick Road) then moved on to Children’s Books. He has illustrated traditional tales like Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Mermaid and Philip Pullman’s Puss in Boots, as well as his own stories like The Teddy Robber. His most recent novels for older children are the Tom Trueheart series.

Denis Bond

Denis has an acting and a teaching background. He stopped teaching when he was commissioned to write Pipkins for children’s television, and went on to write for Rainbow, Let’s Pretend and to create The Munch Bunch. Denis is the author of a series of picture books for younger children, and several novels for older kids. His teaching and acting continue with his very popular school visits: he’s done visits all over the world combining performance with a writing workshop for Years 5 & 6.

Nick Butterworth

An Author/Illustrator who has sold more than 12 million books in 15 languages, Nick is best known for Percy the Park Keeper, The Whisperer (winner of the Nestle Prize 2005) and two books about Q Pootle 5. When asked what the best thing about his job was, Nick said: “I just like the kids. I like the honesty of children. Getting out to meet them is one of the pleasures of what I do: I like to get out to schools, festivals and bookshops, but can’t do it as much as I’d like to. It’s very rewarding to see children actually enjoying what you have produced”.

Fiona Clark

Fiona Clark is an author, teacher, poet and workshop leader living and working in the UK. A teacher and school leader for over two decades, and now a member of the National Association of Writers in Education, Fiona regularly takes up the role of writer in residence in schools across the UK, running creative writing workshops. Evidence gathered through a Knowledge Exchange programme with UCL, shows that Fiona’s workshops improve children’s writing skills, improve well-being, boost self-esteem and increase confidence. All seven creative writing workshops are shared in full, with photocopiable resources, in the publication A Practical Guide to Creative Writing in Schools, available from Routledge along with her poetry anthology The Leaf and the Pea available from Amazon. 

Fiona is also a Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching and has written for the TES. Her well-being book for youngsters Things Nobody Tells You When You’re Growing Up has received praise from children and grownups and after first publication quickly reached number one in the Amazon best sellers list of books for adolescents. Fiona can work with students and run training for staff.

Anne Fine

Ex-Children’s Laureate, two-time Carnegie Prize-winner and two-time Whitbread Award winner, Anne is a popular and extremely prestigious author visitor for primary, secondary and adult audiences. She might have written How to Write Really Badly, but her many titles which include Madame Doubtfire, Road of Bones and Tulip Touch prove her writing is anything but!

Jon Hicks

Jon is an award winning performer and artist who has travelled the world with his diverse repertoire of deadpan, funny and stylish, artistic oddities.

Toy elephant wrangler, varieties answer to Picasso, Zen master of the obstacle course, contraption creator, friend to bullet catching (puppet) Frank the dog

Renowned for his speed painting act Jon works across a variety of areas, often comedic, always with an anchor in visual awareness and the joy of making; skills developed through Fine Art training and as a scenic artist and prop maker.

He performs across theatre, cabaret, street theatre ,TV and corporate events. Solo, in collaborations and as a member of award winning variety troupe Slightly Fat Features.

He has appeared in sell out shows at The London Palladium and The Royal Albert Hall, made an Art Attack style video for The Kaiser Chiefs, performed at the Magic Circle, been on Blue Peter (twice), is a regular at the Edinburgh Fringe and been a guest act with Olivier Award winning La Soiree.

In recent years he has been sharing his knowledge with schools and can provide performances and workshops, both art and performance based, giving children an insight into the power and joys of lateral and creative thinking and an understanding, outside traditional academic structure, of the power in method, focus and practise.

Rosie Hudson

At the heart of all Rosie’s work is a mission to champion imagination. Over the last twelve years, she has been trusted to produce and deliver events for some of the best-loved children’s books as well as her own interactive stories. She is currently the writer, producer and presenter of The Puffin Books Story Maker Show. Rosie believes that learning should be an adventure and that stories are our most powerful resource. Known for her engaging and humorous storytelling style and innovative literacy workshops, Rosie’s sessions are fun, interactive and bursting with magical moments. A proud dyslexic herself, she strongly believes in removing barriers and making literacy learning fun and accessible for everyone. A popular choice from nursery classes to year six and for literary and family festivals. 

Cliff McNish

A multiple award-winning fantasy author published in 26 languages, Cliff’s ghost novel Breathe was voted in May 2013 by The Schools Network of British Librarians as one of the top adult and children’s novels of all time. Cliff’s sparkling talks and workshops cover ALL key stages. He teaches humour, animal story and descriptive writing for youngsters, as well as the essential structural steps to great story writing, fantasy, ghost story and thriller writing for upper juniors and secondary students. Based in London, Cliff is happy to teach virtually as well as visit schools across the country. He also delivers highly effective INSET sessions for literacy leads.  

Chris Powling

Chris Powling is an ex London Headteacher and was for many years book editor of Classic FM. He has taught at all levels from infants to post-graduates. He’s the author of 90+ children’s titles, from picture books to novels. Recent works include 10 titles for the Project X series and re-writes of Shakespeare stories for upper juniors. His talks to primary age children are always a huge success and he receives excellent responses from fellow professionals for his INSET sessions with teachers. 

Zeb Soanes

Zeb Soanes is a trusted newsreader and reassuring voice of the Shipping Forecast to millions of listeners on BBC Radio 4. On television he launched BBC Four, where he presented the BBC Proms. He studied Creative Writing and Drama at UEA and has written for The Observer, Country Life and The Literary Review. His best-selling first book for children, Gaspard the Fox, illustrated by James Mayhew, began a series of stories inspired by his remarkable encounters with a real urban fox, for which he was made the first patron of The Mammal Society.

His latest book, Gaspard’s Foxtrot has been set to music by Jonathan Dove as a major new narrated orchestral work for children in the tradition of Peter and the Wolf. Zeb enjoys school visits and can be accompanied by the musician Chris Warner, on numerous instruments, giving children a rich experience of storytelling and music.

Jeremy Strong

The books jackets tell us to “Laugh your socks off with Jeremy Strong” and junior school kids (and adults) do! Hugely popular, multi-award winning Jeremy is an ex-headteacher with a special interest in children who are becoming independent readers and those not particularly interested in reading.  Children love the extraordinary twists he brings to real-life situations.

Chanté Timothy

Chanté Timothy (pronounced Shan-Tay) is an award winning Illustrator, featured in a number of non-fiction/fiction books best known for the picture book series Daddy Do My Hair by Tola Okogwu and featured in Dapo Adeola’s Hey You! (Children’s Illustrated Book of the Year at the 2021 in the British Book Awards).

Chanté aims to breathe life into the imagination of your students using visual aids for the students who aren’t so keen on writing, much like she was as a dyslexic student – this is the chance to allow those students to also be creative. In each session, Chanté spreads her love of drawing and will show students a way to begin storytelling using illustration with diverse and relatable characters in her fun and interactive workshops.

Chris Wormell

Award-winning Author / Illustrator Chris Wormell has produced over 20 beautiful children’s books including George and the Dragon, Eric the Hero, Scruffy Bear and the Six White Mice and One Smart Fish. Amazingly, he is self taught – which is why (he modestly says) he holds the tools the wrong way. His illustrations are mostly from watercolours or wood cuts, and often feature highly detailed depictions of animals. His talks get children making up the stories to go alongside pictures they draw – and he even creates highly original mythical beasts directed by his audience.

Catherine Barr

Catherine studied ecology and campaigned with Greenpeace before becoming an Editor at the Natural History Museum. Her first book The Story of Life: A first book on evolution has sold over 80,000 copies worldwide. She has now written over 35 nonfiction picture books on nature and conservation, working with a network of scientists around the world.  Catherine’s ambition is to spark curiosity, conversation and care for the natural world.

She shares her stories with huge enthusiasm in lively, interactive workshops for KS1 and KS2 in primary schools across the UK. She also shares experiences of visiting schools in West and southern Africa, most recently the Okavango Delta in Botswana at the invitation of the National Geographic and Ghana, where she is working with local conservation organisations on a book for children. All of Catherine’s books are supported by teaching materials, activity sheets and drawing tutorials.

Her story about the wolves of Yellowstone Park Fourteen Wolves: a rewilding story was shortlisted for the Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize 2021 and The Tigers’ Tale: a conservation story shortlisted for the Association of Science Education Book of the Year 2023. Invisible Nature: a world beyond our senses won the Nonfiction Book Award for Teach Primary in 2022.

Valerie Bloom

A qualified teacher and performance poet, Valerie will bring the atmosphere of the Caribbean into UK schools and festivals. Valerie’s writing is heavily influenced by her Jamaican background – she even begins most of her performances with a crash course in Jamaican Patois, so that non-speakers can enjoy the Patois poems in her set more!

Tony Bradman

Tony Bradman is an award-winning writer of many children’s books, a well-known editor with a particular focus on diversity and finding new voices, and a respected book reviewer. Tony has written for children of all ages – poetry and picture books, beginner readers. In recent years he has written a lot of historical fiction which has been very successful in schools, particularly Viking Boy and Anglo-Saxon Boy. Tony has edited many anthologies of short stories and poetry, and has been a lead author (‘show runner’) and series editor for educational reading schemes such as Project X. He also came up with the idea for the highly successful Scholastic series Voices, a series of novels about hidden communities in Britain written by authors such as Patrice Lawrence, Bali Rai and Benjamin Zephaniah. Tony has visited hundreds of schools (in the real world and virtually!) and appeared at all the major literary festivals. He’s happy to entertain children from nursery to lower secondary, and also talk to grown-ups about the writing process, stories, children’s books and his passion for history.

Steve Cole

Steve describes himself as “the ever-scribbling, slightly crazy author of the Astrosaurs & Cows-in-Action books”. He’s hugely popular with KS2 and festival audiences, where his high energy performances are seen as among the very best ways to get kids engaged with reading. Astrosaurs, Cows in Action, Slime Squad, and Z-Rex are well-known: but Steve’s credits also include some Doctor Who original novels.

Paul Delaney

Teaching for over 20 years Paul Delaney has lots of experience working with children!  During this time, Paul developed a love of children’s stories and poetry and decided to start writing himself. Encouraged by the children’s enthusiastic response to his work, Paul decided to publish a few books and the rest, as they say, is history. Paul is now a freelance poet and writer, working with children in schools all over the UK. His aim is to develop children’s love and enjoyment of creative writing, developing their reading and writing skills, primarily using modern poetry and narrative.  In addition to being a writer, Paul is also an accomplished organist and pianist. One of his workshops is writing a story and composing a soundtrack to it!

Christian Foley

Named as one of the ‘Top 10 teachers you won’t believe exist’  (The Richest), Christian’s career has clearly taken poetry to unexpected places. From PMQs at Westminster, to TED Talks and even the Premier League. Despite this, it is the classroom where Christian is truly at home. Christian is one of the only few poets in the world selected to complete a ‘Spoken Word Education Programme’ and Teaching MA at Goldsmiths University, an incentive which was created to transform professional poets into specialised facilitators. He has been the Poet-in-Residence in at St Elizabeth’s Primary School, Cardinal Pole Secondary School and The Complete Works School, all in East London, for the past seven years. Christian has been the editor of twelve poetry anthologies, written by his students since 2013.

Christian’s incorporation of Hip Hop Education and rap freestyles into lessons, has won him famous fans, from 50 Cent to Lin Manuel Miranda, amassed millions of views worldwide and made him a regular on British television and radio. When the cameras are off, Christian studies a PhD in ‘Poetry in Education’ at Goldsmiths University. 

Petr Horáček

Petr Horáček is an award winning illustrator and writer of many children’s book such as Silly Suzy Goose, Puffin Peter, Blue Penguin, The Greedy Goat and The Best Place in the World.

He studied painting at the Academy of Fine Art in Prague and now lives in England.

Over the years Petr has enjoyed visiting many schools and book festivals. He gives highly visual talks and interactive workshops with children; together creating imaginative murals for schools.

His usual audience are primary school aged children.

Knife & Packer

Duncan McCoshan (Knife) and Jem Packer (Packer) work as a duo, and have done for over 20 books and 100’s of school visits. Their popular sessions are full of humour and practical workshop tips for budding cartoonists. Not only are the pair’s books and characters (Fleabag Monkeyface – now on Childrens’ ITV as an animated series – and Zak Zoltan) brought vividly to life, kids will be encouraged to draw their own character with a step-by-step guide. They also write and draw the weekly Private Eye strip, It’s Grim Up North London.

Clare Luther

Clare Luther writes for three to eight year olds and gets her inspiration from being a mum and her previous careers as an Occupational Therapist and a Life Coach. Her two series of picture books, The Little Paws Hotel and The Animorals, are written in rhyme addressing big everyday emotions, such as separation anxiety and fear of new experiences, and instilling values, such as kindness and respect. Clare uses her stories to run interactive, engaging workshops for EYFS, KS1 and lower KS2 helping young children to explore their own feelings, find ways to work through them, and learn how to come alongside others. Clare also runs teacher training, INSET sessions and parent talks about The Daesy Dialogue, a talking tool kit that she’s created to promote young children’s emotional wellbeing in a constructive and healthy way.

Michael Rosen

Writer, Poet, Broadcaster, and 2007-9 Children’s Laureate, Michael Rosen doesn’t really need an introduction. His performances of poetry are much more stand-up than recital : but underlying all the fun is a serious commitment to encouraging Poetry and Creativity into schools. He works with all age groups of school children, addresses teachers, librarians and professional groups on many book-related subjects. But please be warned: because of this versatility, he’s much in demand, and there is quite a waiting list for visits from Michael.

Pauline Stewart

Pauline was introduced to the agency after being recommended by Michael Rosen. The author of What’s in the Pan Man? and Singing down the Breadfruit, Pauline was born in Hackney to parents originally from Jamaica. She really brings poetry to life, and is happy working with all ages – from simple rhymes with reception to poetry workshops for primary school children. She has judged poetry for the Roald Dahl Foundation.

Lucy Strange

Lucy Strange is an award-winning, bestselling children’s author whose critically acclaimed novels include The Secret of Nightingale Wood, Our Castle by the Sea, The Ghost of Gosswater, Sisters of the Lost Marsh and The Mermaid in the Millpond. Lucy’s books capture elements of classic children’s literature in a style that is engaging and accessible for today’s younger readers. Often inspired by folklore and fairy tales, Lucy combines historical settings and British landscapes with touches of magical realism and fantasy to create utterly convincing worlds in which anything might happen…

Amongst other accolades, Lucy’s books have been selected as the Waterstones Book of the Month, the Independent Booksellers’ Book of the Month, the Times Children’s Book of the Week and listed in both the Times and the Telegraph as books of the year. They have won the Historical Association Young Quills Award for historical fiction in the UK, the European Silver Griffel Award in the Netherlands and the Audie audiobook award in New York, been shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and nominated for the Carnegie Medal.

With a background in both acting and teaching, Lucy is an engaging speaker for audiences of all ages. She is regularly booked for both individual and panel events at literature festivals from the Cheltenham Festival to the Emirates Airlines Festival of Literature in the UAE. She leads workshops on creative writing for both children and adults and is Writer in Residence at Kent College, Canterbury. Hosting both live and online events, Lucy talks to young readers about her stories and sources of inspiration, about reading, researching, writing and editing books, about life as an author and her journey from being a young bookworm to an award-winning writer.

Lucy’s presentations are always followed by an open Q&A session and she often leaves students with a creative writing challenge too! For online events, personally signed bookplates can be ordered and posted for students to stick in their own copies of Lucy’s books.

Free teaching resources (for KS2 and KS3) to accompany Lucy’s books can be accessed via the websites of her publishers Chicken House and Barrington Stoke.

Zohab Zee Khan

Zohab Khan is an educator, spoken word poet, motivational speaker, didgeridoo player and hip-hop artist. Zohab won the title ‘Australian Poetry Slam Champion’ in 2014. That same year he was also runner-up in the International Poetry Slam championship held in Madrid. Zohab has performed and conducted poetry workshops in over 30 countries across the world and is the co-founder of The Pakistan Poetry Slam. As an educator, Zohab’s poetry and self-development workshops are in high demand. His workshops aim to inspire change and confidence in young people through spoken word poetry and brain hacks. With the incorporation of self-development techniques, spoken-word poetry becomes not just a platform for self- expression but also one to inspire change, acceptance and increase creativity.