Non-Fiction Authors in Schools - January 2010 contact list

World Book Day logo

Dear Headteacher / Literacy Co-ordinator / Head of English / Librarian,

Book an author for World Book Day -- Thursday 4 March

If you're thinking of inviting an author to visit your school around the time of World Book Day, here's a list of children's non-fiction authors who offer talks, readings and workshops for KS1, KS2, and KS3. You may not recognise us by name, but you almost certainly have our books in school.

A non-fiction author visit is very different from that of a fiction writer or a poet. Think of it as 'literacy plus' - non-fiction is informational literacy and the 'plus' aspect introduces children to key skill sets such as research, teamwork, negotiation, co-operative learning, and more.

The cost of an author visit is typically in the range £300--£400 per day, plus expenses. Some authors will visit for half-days, in which case the fee will be lower. Smaller schools sometimes share an author for a day, and the cost is split between them.

How to book
To find out more about an author, their events, and to make a booking, please contact the author directly. Most of the authors have websites giving full information about themselves and the school visits they make.

Areas covered by visits
Each author has indicated where they live and which regions are most convenient for them to visit in a day. We are aware that not every area of the UK is specifically mentioned. This does not mean that an author will not visit you - please contact an author of your choice to see what can be arranged.

We hope you find this contact list of interest, and look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

John Malam
(on behalf of the authors named here)

Book early to avoid disappointment!


Writes: Children's non-fiction photographer (Howard) and author (Cath)

Books include: Howard (photographer) - photography for 22 children's books including A School Like Mine (DK); Wake Up, World! (Lincoln). Cath (author) around 80 children's educational books, mostly on history, religions and global issues including Famous Lives: Anne Frank (Hodder Wayland); Talking about My Faith series (Watts); Why are People Refugees? (Hodder Wayland). Working together we have published books in the Moving to Britain series (Watts) and Letters from Around the World series (Evans) including titles on the USA, Saudi Arabia, Poland and Ireland.

School visits: Howard and Cath offer joint workshops. For both of us on the same day, pay for one of us full price, get the other half price! Cath can also run non-fiction book workshops alone. You can book Howard alone to lead workshops on refugee and asylum issues. Sessions include: Interactive workshop for Y2-Y6. Through group activities, children will discover all the aspects of creating a non-fiction book, including deciding the contents, writing the text and selecting the photographs. (45 to 90 mins). Make your own non-fiction book (half day).

Tel: 01273 208741 (Brighton)



Will visit: South-east England; London


Photographer/author: Children's non-fiction

Books include: How to Make a Book, Living In... series (Watts); Global Cities series, People Who Help Us series (Evans); Helping Hands series (Wayland); Reading Roundabout series (Watts); Look Around You series (Wayland). Over 800 titles written or contributed to.

School visits: Talk in the form of instant question and answer format that takes children all around the world on a journey seeking out the materials and the people that are needed to actually make a book. Time permitting, I finish with stories and questions about my travels to any one of the 60 countries that I have visited over the past 30 years. Allow 60 to 90 minutes per session. Suitable for upper KS1 and KS2.

Tel: 01428 713090 / 07768 735771 (near Petersfield, Hampshire)



Will visit: All UK, including Northern Ireland


Writes: Children's non-fiction
(Winner of the Blue Peter Book Award 2009 for Best Book with Facts)

Books include: Horrible Geography series: Violent Volcanoes, Odious Oceans, Bloomin Rainforests, Planet in Peril, Perishing Poles and others (Scholastic Children's Books); Alive (Dorling Kindersley); The Explorer's Handbook (Buster Books); Prayer and Worship: Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Jewish (Franklin Watts); Sacred Texts 6-book series (Evans Brothers); Hopscotch Stories from Religion 6-book series (Franklin Watts); Who's Who series - in Exploration, World Religion, Ancient History (A & C Black). More than 400 titles, mostly as author.

School visits: Horrible Geography: an interactive talk for Y3-Y9, based on the best-selling book, with readings, quizzes and inflatable rainforest insects; World religions: a bespoke talk for Y3-Y9, based on the study of world religions with readings and artefacts; Creative non-fiction: an hands-on workshop for Y6-Y9 and teachers where participants learn how to craft a piece of creative non-fiction writing from a set of research notes; Courses for KS1/2 teachers: aiming to introduce non-specialists to the basics of teaching Hinduism, Buddhism or Sikhism.

Tel: 01943 816790 (Ilkley, West Yorkshire)



Will visit: Mostly Northern England and the Midlands but will consider other areas, particularly if several schools can club together.


Writes and illustrates: Children's fiction and non-fiction, adult non-fiction

Books include: Art in History: Prehistoric, Ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman, Tudor and Victorian; Biographies: Leonardo, Monet, Picasso; Medieval history, ancient history, the Forbidden City; Israel; How to Draw and Paint; Art Attack; Design and Make puppets, picture frames and masks; creative crafts; animals; Extreme Science: Celebrity Snappers and Toxic! Plus Latin and Ballroom Dance.

School visits: National Curriculum-linked Creative Workshops for KS1, 2 and 3; Communicating through Work Journals and sketchbooks for GCSE, AS and A2 (am happy to adapt these to fit in with ongoing school projects).

Tel: 01702 344117 (Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex)



Will visit: Essex, London, Kent, Hertfordshire, Surrey, Sussex, Suffolk, Norfolk


Writes: Children's non-fiction
(a National Literacy Trust Reading Champion, recognised for engaging reluctant readers, particularly boys)

Books include: KS1 biographies: Florence Nightingale, Queen Elizabeth II, Vincent van Gogh, and others; KS2 popular histories: You Wouldn't Want to be a Victorian Schoolchild, You Wouldn't Want to be a Roman Gladiator, You Wouldn't Want to be a Worker in a Victorian Mill; KS2/KS3 narrative non-fiction: Titanic - Shipwrecks and Sunken Treasure, Battle of Hastings, Gunpowder Plot, First Man on the Moon; KS1/KS2 Oxford University Press 'Project X' guided readers designed primarily to appeal to boys.

School visits: Fiction reading for Reception; biography reading for Y1-Y2; talks for Y3-Y9 on 'The Journey of a Non-Fiction Book'; hands-on role-play workshop for Y5-Y9 where children work in teams to create their own non-fiction books (focus on co-operative learning and teamwork). Experienced at working with children of all abilities, including SEN, MLD, and G&T. Workshops suitable for transition events (Y6 to Y7), G&T clustering, and mentoring (eg Y9 working with Y7).

Tel: 01606 863540 (Winsford, Cheshire)


Website (with bookings diary and evidence of children's work):

Will visit: North-West (Cheshire, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside; Tameside); Midlands (Derbyshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, West Midlands); West Yorkshire, North Wales, and will consider other areas

John Malam images


Writes: Children's non-fiction and adult non-fiction

Books include: Winston Churchill (biography for KS2), 100 Things You Should Know about Gladiators (KS2/KS3), Triceratops (KS1). Also The Battle of Thermopylae (adult) and Haunted Places of England (adult). Plus over 100 other books. Regular contributor to BBC History magazine.

School visits: Talks on most historic subjects, some in character; Toys of the Past (R/KS1) with 1920s train set, 1950s doll, 1970s walking dog, etc. Romans in Your Area (KS1/KS2/KS3) workshops and activities, including archaeological artifacts for children to handle. Also, in-character presentations: Victorian Careers and Life in World War 2 (KS1/KS2/KS3) with objects to handle. Educational Funsheets available (see website for details).

Tel: 01737 356197 (Epsom, Surrey)



Will visit: Surrey, Kent, Sussex, London, Berkshire, Hampshire, plus other areas on request


Writes: Non-fiction, mainly sciences including life sciences and technology

Books include: Planet Ape (as co-writer with renowned author Desmond Morris, Mitchell Beazley); How It Works - Ships, Cars, Aircraft, etc. 6-title see-inside series (Miles Kelly), Robots 8-title series (Watts/Creative); Changes In ... and Planet Earth, two 4-title series, one 'green' and one on habitats, for mid-KS2 (QED); Children's Cool Technology Encyclopedia (Parragon); The Encyclopedia of Sharks (A&C Black); Building Wembley (OUP); Ultimate CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (DK); 100 Facts About ... T Rex, Endangered Animals, Fossils, Sharks, Whales and other titles (Miles Kelly); The Brain Book and The Human Body Book (DK); Eyewitness Skeleton, Electricity plus about 20 other Eyewitness titles (DK). More than 250 titles as author, editor or contributor.

School visits: Interactive workshops on science and nature, from dinosaurs to the future of conservation, human body, machines, space, etc. weaving in book or website production skills as arranged, from first idea to finished product.

Tel: 01379 678991 (Diss, Norfolk)



Will visit: Most of UK, especially if several schools coordinate a visit


Writes: Award-winning children's fiction and non-fiction, mostly history-based

Books include: Moon (OUP), Pirates, Plants and Plunder, Greed, Seeds and Slavery (both Random House); Coming Alive!, Start Up History and Flashbacks series (all Evans Brothers); Survivors series (Hodder); Tales of the Dead series (Dorling Kindersley), etc.

School visits: Lively talks and interactive workshops to any requirement, any number, any age, including INSET. A term's notice much appreciated.

Tel: 01227 784617 (Canterbury, Kent)
initial contact by email preferred



Will visit: Anywhere south of, say, Preston (Lancs) but will go further if several schools are able to co-ordinate visits


Writes: Children's non-fiction science

Books include: Wild Weather Hurricanes and Tornadoes (QED); Animals Under Threat and other titles in Headline Issues (Heinemann); Does it stay warm? in All About Materials (Franklin Watts); Sustainable Energy (Wayland); My Body Why do I sleep? (QED); Living in Space; My World of Science series (Heinemann); My World of Geography (Heinemann); Eye Openers (Dorling Kindersley) and many more.

School visits: Talks and workshop on how books are created; creative science-writing workshops - different topics for Y2-Y6, including materials used in printing a book, friction, living in space with no gravity, desert habitat, and global warming.

Tel: 0207 263 8600 (London, N7)



Will visit: London and places easily accessible from London


Writes: Children's non-fiction

Books include: Wild Predators series, Why Science Matters series (KS2/3); Your Body Inside Out (KS2); Energy for the Future series (KS2); World of Music and World of Dance (KS2); Rome (ill. Stephen Beisty); titles in Oxford Reds and Fireflies series (OUP early readers).

School visits: Interactive talks/workshops for KS2/KS3 on writing and creating non-fiction books. Examples of topics that can be covered include 'The Science of Making Bread', 'How Scientists Make Discoveries', 'You are Home to a Billion Bugs', 'Can we Produce no Carbon for a Day?' and 'Dance Pioneers'.

Tel: 01981 570663 (Hereford)
initial contact by email preferred


Will visit: Wales, West Midlands, Oxfordshire, West Country


Writes: Children's non-fiction and fiction

Books include: Adventures in Literacy (24 titles about writing fiction and non-fiction for Y1-Y4); Adventures in Art (KS2); Reusing and Recycling (KS2); A Victorian Childhood at School, Work, Home and Play (KS2).

School visits: 'Storywriting Secrets and Surprises' - improving writing and telling stories, particularly effective for boys (KS1 and 2); 'The Recycling Roadshow' - an interactive exploration of materials with recycled object handling (KS1 and 2); 'Inspiration Africa' - making workshops: choice of masks, patterns and prints, musical instruments, toys and games; Rich and poor Victorian children - an interactive session, using contemporary images and modern photographs to compare the very different lives of rich and poor Victorian children; Recreate - inspiring workshops making jewellery, badges, masks and moving toys from junk materials.

Tel: 0207 607 4623 (London, N1)



Will visit: All UK, including Northern Ireland


Writes: Children's non-fiction and fiction
(a National Literacy Trust Reading Champion, recognised for engaging reluctant readers, particularly boys)

Books include: Painful History of Medicine / Childhood / Crime / Science (series); the story 'Deadline' has been selected by the Schools Library Association for Boys Into Books; The Big Book of Baddies: A wicked history of villainy

School visits: Talks/workshops for KS2/KS3 on story-writing or strange but true stories. Presentations feature 'Yucky Yarns to Make You Squirm' or the 'Weird, Wacky and Wonderful'. Pupils can choose from 'No Snoring in The Library', 'Don't Have Nightmares" or 'You Won't Believe This But...' about books on crime, mysteries, incredible creatures and more.

Tel: 01886 884397 (Worcestershire)
initial contact by email preferred


Website: John Townsend at

Will visit: Midlands, south central, East Anglia (sometimes)