I am happy to arrange to visit your school, library, reading group or writing group. I will also participate in Skype or on-line visits if it is too difficult to arrange a visit in person.
I have worked with children, teenagers and adults. I can talk to your group about my books, or I can run a writing workshop tailored to the needs and interests of participants.
My last two books, A Dangerous Crossing and Chalkline are very suitable for discussion groups and workshops around the area of Developmental Education. I have used them as a base around which to build a programme of lessons on multicultural education.
If you are interested in arranging a visit, please feel welcome to contact me.
I am on the Writers-in-Schools Scheme. This is one of the longest running arts-in-education programmes in the country and is run by Poetry Ireland. Writers-in-Schools is funded by the Arts Council/ An Chomhairle Ealaíon and part-funds visits by writers and storytellers to primary and post primary schools throughout the Republic of Ireland.
I also visit schools, libraries and events independently of Writers-in-Schools.
Once I have agreed a visit date and time with you, I will be in touch to find out about the number and age of participants, the location and its facilities, and what type of talk you are anticipating. This is to make sure that I deliver what you are expecting. I might ask for access to audio-visual equipment, a white board, flip-chart and pens and paper for the participants.
I appreciate it when hosting schools, libraries and event organisers prepare participants so they know who to expect and what I will be doing. I do not expect everyone to have read my books, but I do expect some preparation, and that students and participants are expecting me.
When I visit schools, libraries or writing groups, I do not work alone with any group of children. This is in line with my Child Protection Policy. Please ensure that there is always a supervising adult from the organising group present.
I am happy to sign books and answer questions during and after any visit or presentation. I do not sign loose pages torn from notebooks, scraps of paper, hands or foreheads.
I am happy for young people or adults to contact me after an event in relation to reading, writing and/or activities undertaken during my visit and will reply to any emails I receive.
Sometimes, an entire group of children will send me their response to my visit, including samples of their creative writing or some questions. I welcome a follow-up with young people I have met and will respond in kind by writing back or emailing the event organiser.
As a writer who works closely with children and young people in a variety of settings in relation to reading, writing and books, I have a personal responsibility to ensure the protection of children and young people participating in workshops and activities that I run.
With this in mind, I have developed my Child Protection Policy. If I am visiting your school, library or writing group where children and young people will be taking part, please feel welcome to download this policy so that you will understand something of the principles that guide my work.
I have developed this document in accordance the key principles of best practice from Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children, published in 2011 by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.
I have also been Garda-vetted by the Writers in Schools Scheme for working in schools, and by some County Councils for work in local libraries.