I am a children’s writer, storyteller and a popular and experienced “Book Week Visitor” in schools, libraries and at other events. My books range from early readers like “Red Riding Hood Rap” (Watts) through to “The Third Elephant” for 7-9 years (Walker) and on to “A Boy Called Mouse”, my novel for 9-12 year olds. (Bloomsbury) which means I am happy talking to children from Reception up to Year 6 and Year 7 pupils.
My home is in Yorkshire, midway between Leeds and York, so visits are usually around that region but, depending on work commitments, I do travel further, including places outside the UK, and have worked in Cyprus, France and Delhi.
Although I have plenty of things to talk about, I do not have set sessions. I prefer to adapt my talks, stories and readings to the responses and interests of each group and school, which helps to keep my sessions varied, informative, friendly and fun.
However, here is a general guide to the kind of things I might include in a session:
A lively joining-in storytelling session, introduced through small objects from my story-basket, as well as reading along with my picture books, and occasional rhymes and songs. Older nursery children enjoy a short version of this session.
35 mins approx. Usually one or two classes.
For these classes, I use a range of my enlarged picture book texts to give simple information about writing & illustrating processes, usually including a traditionally told story as well.
45 mins approx. Usually one or two classes.
KS2/ Years 3&4/Years 5&6/Yr 7.
My talks vary with the interest level of each group. In general, I talk about being a writer, choosing and using ideas, structuring a story, imagining characters and places, and borrowing from other stories. I often use a picture book as my starting point before moving on to the kind of writing that “creates pictures with words” I use in my chapter books and children’s novels. If required, these sessions can include a “story starter idea” or a traditionally told story, although sometimes I make up a story with the audience anyway.
50 mins approx. Usually two classes, but three can be possible.
Writing workshops and story-telling workshops can be arranged for single class sized groups. Other options include Writing Days suitable for a single all-day G&T group or three year-group classes. Please call me and we can talk about your ideas.
My writing experiences include fiction, poetry, script writing for drama and animation and writing to commission.
I also give talks to parents and other grown-up groups, including writers’ circles.
I do about four sessions a day, depending on travel and school timetables. My fee is £300.00 for a full day or £200.00 for a half-day, plus travel & any overnight expenses. CRB checked through NAWE & Artforms Leeds.
Library services I have worked for include Bradford, Cumbria, Denbighshire, Dudley, Durham, Doncaster, East Riding, Halifax, Huddersfield, Hull, Lancashire, Leeds, Lincolnshire, Manchester, Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire, Redcar & Cleveland, Rotherham, Sandwell, Sheffield, Staffordshire, Wakefield, Wiltshire & York.
You can contact me
on 01423 563561 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
or by writing to
Penny Dolan, 10 Woodside, Harrogate,
North Yorkshire, HG1 5NG
"Thank you so much for visiting us. The feedback from the children of all ages has been very positive. They found it stimulating, interesting and very enjoyable. I do hope you will be able to join us again soon." - Literacy Co-ordinator
"I would like to thank you so much for the wonderful storytelling sessions you held in Hull libraries. They were a great success. There has been a lot of positive feedback from parents and it was obvious from the children's faces that they were having a great time. I had such a lovely time as well. It was a real treat." - Bookstart Project Officer
"Thank you for visiting our school. The expression
when you read is lovely. It really inspired me to be a writer when I'm older.
The story you told us was brilliant." - Year 4 Pupil.
"Yesterday Penny Dolan came to school. She writes stories. We read Roly Poly Rice Ball and then we read Red Riding Hood Rap. She talked about her ideas. It was good." - Year 1 Pupil.
"I did not know an author could be funny." - Year 2 pupil.
10 WOODSIDE, HARROGATE,
NORTH YORKSHIRE HG1 5NG.
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