One of the best things about writing for younger readers is the opportunity to engage with those readers and spread my enthusiasm for stories and reading.
After visiting many schools around the country, teachers and librarians have told me it has helped to promote reading for pleasure, it has motivated pupils into doing some creative writing of their own, and it has given them a better understanding of who authors are, and what we do.
Research from the Society of Authors shows that 99.4% of all schools who host an author event consider it an invaluable experience that encouraged wider reading, creative writing, and reading for pleasure - and the benefits of reading for pleasure are many and varied! It builds better vocab, broadens horizons, heightens creativity, heightens empathy, it teaches us new things, it relieves stress, it helps us focus and concentrate, it improves memory, it builds new skills and . . . so much more!
I have enjoyed visiting and speaking at many schools and literary festivals around the UK, and I am happy to talk to large or small groups. I can tailor my visit to suit your needs.
My books are best suited for boys and girls aged 9 and up, so Year 5 upwards is ideal.
Some of the things a visit might include are:
• Explaining how I became an author
• Discussing where inspiration comes from
• An insight into my books and writing
• Why books are so important
• Question and Answer session
• Book signing session
If you are reading and discussing my books in the classroom, have a look here to find some notes and suggested activities.
If you would like me to visit your school, or would like to discuss this further please contact me here.
'His presentation was very engaging and Dan’s open and honest style of speaking and interacting with the pupils meant that three hundred children went away brimming with enthusiasm for writing!' King’s Priory, Tynemouth.
'I have had brilliant feedback from the schools and our pupils. Our S1 said you were really good and the number of pupils saying 'Can I read the Dan Smith books?' is incredible.' Ross High School, East Lothian.
'. . . you also seemed to strike a chord with some of our more reluctant readers; one of them told me that she’d only ever read one book and she said “I don’t do books, but this looks really interesting…..I’m a big fan now…I think he’s awesome…I loved it, I actually did!"' David Young Community Academy, Leeds.
'Dan was a great guy, he went down well with the kids keeping them engaged and interested throughout.' Norham High School, Sunderland.
'Dan also told us how important reading is for all sorts of reasons and, in Dan's case, as a source of ideas for his stories. I am delighted that he was able to inspire so many students to try his books.' Broxbourne School, Herts.
'Thanks so much for your visit. The girls loved it as you can tell from the stream of questions and the autographs.' Westfield School, Newcastle.
'Dan talked about his unusual childhood living abroad, his adventures living in a jungle, climbing volcanoes and fishing for piranhas. The students were keen to investigate where story ideas come from, and gained a unique insight the inspiration behind his books.' Lord Lawson Academy, Beamish.
I am currently Patron of Reading at Northcote Lodge in West London