I'm interested in all types of events including library and bookshop appearances, speaking at book festivals, giving talks to writers's groups, and book group visits. I am happy to speak on my own or as part of a panel.
I am also available for radio broadcasts, newspaper and magazine articles etc, having already participated in a number of these. Amongst others, I've spoken on a SCBWI panel at the Edinburgh Book Festival, the Wigtown Open Book and the first UKYA Extravaganza in Birmingham, England.
I’d be happy to discuss why I gave up a successful, secure career to become a published writer. I’d be delighted to get involved in discussions about Friends/Friendship, Parents and Families, Bereavement, The Afterlife, Childhood/Coming of Age, Young Adult Fiction, Children’s Fiction, and Sibling Relationships.
I'm based in Fife, Scotland, but am willing to travel.
I have considerable teaching experience, having worked in a number of schools (as a teacher, Assistant Head, Deputy Head and Head Teacher) for over 26 years.
I offer author talks to ages 9+ about my writing journey/process and what inspires me to write my books. In addition, I offer workshops in all aspects of writing for children, young adults and adults. The good news is that I'm part of the Scottish Book Trust's Live Literature Funding scheme, which can help with your costs. For more information about fees and travel please click here to see my page on the Scottish Book Trust website, or to discuss any particular requirements you thnk I can help with, please contact me directly. My usual rate is £175 per session, plus expenses. I am a member of NAWE (National Association of Writers in Education) and have public liability insurance.
I was the 2017-2018 Scottish Book Trust Author in Residence at Knightsridge Primary School, West Lothian. I began my tenure with two successful seminars, offered to schools across the region, on how to promote a reading and writing culture. My Powerpoint presentation is now available on the local education authority intranet. I then developed a creative writing programme for Primary 4 and 5 which included ideas and inspiration, character, setting, description, plot and structure, and an understanding of the editing process.
Using a multi-faceted approach to learning and teaching, and employing various appropriate materials, I worked alongside the class teachers and the Deputy Head to deliver this content over a number of weeks. We put great emphasis on encouraging the children to think of themselves as authors. During this time we witnessed their growing excitement and sheer enthusiasm for stories and the writing process. As they grasped each aspect of the craft we also saw them gain confidence and begin to produce work of which they could be proud. The venture was backed up by hard evidence as the children completed numerous attitudinal before and after questionnaires, the outcome of which demonstrated its success.
My work with Knightsridge Primary School was utterly joyful and the Big Celebration that officially marked the end of my residency was a truly memorable occasion. The pupils had created their own books and showed these, their associated dioramas and 3D characters to their parents and various invited guests (including representatives from West Lothian Council and Education Scotland). Each adult was encouraged to question the children on how they produced their books and various aspects of the writing craft, and my goodness these young people were very impressive!
When my residency came to an end the school asked me to continue working with them as a friend of KPS. I was delighted to agree to this and was pleased to learn that the DHT has been seconded by the local authority to disseminate my programme and methodology throughout West Lothian, using my materials. I'm thrilled to report too that the school has since won a number of writing awards. What a wonderful outcome!
I offer masterclasses on plot and structure, or seminars/workshops on any aspects of the writing process. Click here to read a SCWBI report on my London Masterclass, and here for one I ran in Edinburgh.
"Thank you very much for your visit today - the feedback is very positive from all of the pupils...thank you very much for your time and efforts."
"We really valued your visit and the pupils were most certainly inspired and engaged with what you had to offer them."
"It was really enjoyable and very relaxed. I feel like I learned a lot."
"Having Christina talk to us about books and writing helped me realise that I definitely want to study English Literature at university."
"I'd always been curious about the process of writing a book. Seeing all of the notes, drafts and plans made me understand just how much work and effort goes into writing. This was helpful and also reassuring that I don't have to produce a masterpiece with my first draft!"
"It was great to have someone to be able to answer my questions about writing and share their own experiences with us."
"It was nice that Christina trusted us to show her early drafts, her writing process and even her rejection letters. It was very encouraging and inspiring."
"Christina's visit really inspired me to want to write my own novel - she made me feel like it was possible and achievable."
"I got a lot out of Christina's visit - lots of writing tips and ideas to help me with my own writing. I liked the visual aspect where she shared the mood boards and told us about listening to music to help capture particular moods and feelings."