Ciaran Murtagh
Ciaran Murtagh
"One of our favourite authors. Ciaran's school events are some of the best we've seen, prepare to be inspired!" Waterstones, Southampton

All About Ciaran Murtagh

Ciaran is a Bafta Award winning screenwriter and an award winning author of over thirty five books for children. His latest four book series – The Fincredible Diary of Fin Spencer – has been translated into many languages, is published all over the world and won the Leicester Best Book Award in 2016. Ciaran is also in demand as a writer of educational fiction and you can find his titles in the Treetops, Project X, Big Cat and Rising Stars series of books.

In addition to books, Ciaran writes for some of the world’s best loved children’s programmes including Danger Mouse, The Amazing World of Gumball, Mr Bean, Shaun the Sheep, Sesame Street, Dennis and Gnasher, PJ Masks, Diddy TV, Topsy and Tim, Justin’s House, Geronimo Stilton, Henry Hugglemonster and Casper’s Scare School.

Ciaran has lead workshops in schools, bookshops and festivals all around the world, including recent trips to Oman, China, Vietnam and Kuala Lumpur. He has appeared at the Hay Literary Festival, the Bath Children’s Book Festival, the Cheltenham Literary Festival, the Edinburgh International Book Festival and the Imagine Children’s Festival at London’s South Bank Centre. His sessions are fun filled, laughter fuelled affairs that quickly get children generating ideas and characters that they can’t wait to work on. Ciaran teaches children how to come up with ideas quickly, how to plot a story and to consider the reader while writing. He is happy to work with both large groups – up to 500 – and smaller class size sessions. He is also happy to work across the whole school or to focus on a particular year group over the course of the day.

Ciaran’s School Visits

Primary
Ciaran’s workshops use the techniques of improvised comedy to create laughter fuelled events that get your children creating their own stories quickly and with a smile on their face. Ciaran takes the children through the process of choosing a title, deciding on a genre, picking characters, considering your reader and looking at plot in a way that guarantees children will never be able to say they can’t think of anything to write again!

By the end of the workshop each child will have had a hand in creating a brand new story and will be well on the way to transferring their ideas to the page.

Depending on your objectives Ciaran can then repeat this process throughout the school working with different year groups to get them thinking creatively or if you would like Ciaran to spend the day focussing on a particular year group he can spend the rest of the day working with them in a series of supplementary workshops that look in detail at character and narrative. He will then encourage and support them in transferring their ideas to the page.

If required Ciaran can also conduct a full school assembly at the start of the day to introduce himself and the ideas he will be discussing.

Secondary
Ciaran is happy to work with secondary age children and can tailor his workshop on creativity and creative writing to suit English students up to GCSE to help them get the best out of their work.

In addition to his books, Ciaran has written for Da Ali-G Show, Trigger Happy TV, Bearded Ladies, Recorded for Training Purposes and Newsjack. He is happy to run sessions on screen writing and the key differences between writing for TV and writing books, and also  – using examples of his own work – on the transition from page to screen.

What the children will achieve:

Each child will leave each workshop with a ‘story tree’ that they can use as a route map for their own new stories. They will also be thinking positively about the process of reading and writing and feel empowered to go away and create something for themselves.

If Ciaran is working with one group for the whole day they will end the day with a brand new story of their own, written up and shared with the class.

What age ranges:

Ciaran’s primary workshops are best suited to children aged 6 and above. However, he is happy to provide ‘story telling’ sessions to younger age groups should you want them to be included in the visit. Ciaran’s secondary workshops are best suited for year 7 to year 9.

How long does each session take:

Ciaran’s workshops last an hour and he is happy run up to four sessions per school visit. He is also happy to include a full school assembly/presentation at the start of the day if required.

Materials required:

Whiteboard/flip chart with pens and board rubber to be available in space the workshops are to be run in.

Ciaran’s Books

The Fincredible Diary of Fin Spencer Stuntboy

stuntboy

Finn Spencer is not the sort of boy who writes in a diary. But when he’s given one by a batty old fortune teller, he writes in it anyway. He’s going to be famous one day, and then hopefully he can sell it and make loads of money! He soon realises it’s not a normal kind of diary – it can change the past! So when Finn writes what he should have done that day, rather than what he actually did do – what he should have done is what everyone remembers. To start with, it’s great! By changing what he did, Finn stands up to the school bully, is given a fiver by Gran, and ends up winning the school Talent Show! But he gets into lots of scrapes while he works out exactly what the diary is capable of changing and what it’s not. And even then things backfire – so Finn falls out with his best friend and ends up at a Charlie Dimples concert with a load of six-year-old girls listening to My Swishy Wishy! This is the first in a hilarious new series by rising star, Ciaran Murtagh.

Megastar: The Fincredible Diary of Fin Spencer

megastar

A boy, a book and a bucket of trouble . . .

Fin has promised never to use his diary again. A little old lady gave it to him at a funfair and it turned out to be magic – it let him change what happened during the day as long as he made a wish that evening. But it was more trouble than it was worth and got him into all sorts of scrapes at school and at home. But he needs help. A newish boy, Cliff Sharpnel, is stepping on his toes. Not only does he play the guitar, but he’s interested in Claudia Ronson – the most beautiful girl at school.

When their teacher, Mrs Johnson, announces that she has written a musical called HOT RODS Fin thinks he’s too cool to audition. Until he discovers that the hero gets to kiss the girl at the end – mostly likely to be Claudia – and that Cliff has put himself up for the part! Fin has some serious backtracking to do. The diary HAS to come out again. And in his fight to become the Oscar-winning megastar Fin has to scramble to ‘do’ and ‘undo’ the havoc that ensues . . .

Action Hero: The Fincredible Diary of Fin Spencer

action-hero

Fin Spencer is in BIG trouble. He upset Mrs Johnson, and now he’s not going on the class trip. But he has to, after all he’s a born action hero! Stevie Knuckles Action Camp is where Fin belongs. So it’s time to use the diary again – if he can just tweak what happened today, he’ll be on his way to fame, fortune and fearlessness once again. But the diary has a naughty habit of backfiring . . . Can Fin turn things around before he officially becomes an ‘Action Zero’?

Prom King: The Fincredible Diary of Fin Spencer

prom-king

Can Fin make prom night unforgettable (in a good way), dazzle Claudia and win the crown?

When Blake – a US exchange student – suggests a Prom Night for the end of term, everyone is buzzing about it. But to be in the running for Prom King Fin has to be on the committee and help organise a BIG party in only two weeks. He already has extra chores at home to help Mum during her pregnancy and save up for the key ingredients to his success: the tux, the limo and a ticket for Claudia, the Prom Queen of his dreams. Fin’s going to use the diary again to help him, but on the night will he remember what’s really important?

trainingtroubletrap

Genie in Training, Genie in Trouble, Genie in a Trap – when Jamie finds a genie in a battered old teapot and accidentally wishes he could be a genie too his life is changed forever. Magic carpets, killer snakes and evil headmasters are the least of his worries – will he ever get out alive?

dinopants dinopoodinoburpsdinoball

Dinpants, Dinopoo, Dinoburps and Dinoball – four books about clever childhood inventor Charlie Flint and his two best friends Billy and Jamie. Together they try to make the stone age a better place coming up with inventions that are meant to make everybody’s life easier but have a habit of going spectacularly wrong!

To purchase Ciaran’s books, click here.

Reviews and Recommendations

Ciaran helps pupils at Addington School to produce a book of stories. Please click on link to see full story: http://www.getreading.co.uk/news/writer-actor-ciaran-murtagh-works-7641415

“Hi, I have spoken to the boys who have just returned from Ciaran’s writing day. They really had a fantastic time and the TA who went with them was very impressed with how Ciaran ran the day. Do pass on our thanks. Kind regards” – Jan

“Thank you so much for visiting our school, we all thought you were amazing and very inspiring. It was a real pleasure, all the children and staff had only high praise for you. We hope one day you could make a return visit. Many thanks” – Mark, Deputy Head

“Ciaran was incredible, the feedback from the other schools has been fantastic and our pupils loved it! Looking forward to the next one. ” Lisa Black, Central Junior School, Chichester

“I wanted to let you know how excited my class were after your assembly and your activity session with them… My class retold your story this afternoon and my colleague and I decided to change our plan for a writing assessment tomorrow and we’re going to try your planning ideas for their story. So a HUGE thank you from me as a teacher, but much more importantly, as a Mum! My son Robbie (who is very tricky to choose books for) is currently upstairs still awake reading your book when he is supposed to be asleep!!”
“My son, from Hempsted Primary, attended your ‘Able Writers Day’ today. My son is primarily maths & science oriented but he has come home today full of enthusiasm about story writing & the one he wrote today is fantastic thanks to your inspiration as he hasn’t stopped talking about
today’s event! Kind Regards” – Steph Ward

“Ciaran is one of the funniest people I know!” Andy Stanton, author of Mr Gum

“Wildly inventive! A lot of fun!” The Telegraph

“He creates stories that defy gravity!” The Times

“One of our favourite authors. Ciaran’s school events are some of the best we’ve seen, prepare to be inspired!” Waterstones Southampton

“Wow. He was BRILLIANT. In just 45 minutes he managed to get the whole school producing quantities of ideas, levitated a 3rd year on his magic carpet and made everyone, teachers included, weep with laughter. He generated enough infectious energy to power a light house. Most importantly he made the business of writing and generating stories seem accessible to all and FUN.” Little Wooden Horse Blog

“Many people in the school – not to mention the teachers! – had a breath taking time. As Mr Allen, our headmaster, said, ‘I haven’t laughed that much in ages!’ Maple Grove Primary School have had many authors that just ramble on about their book, but I’d pay to see you again!” Siobhan A, Year 5 Maple Grove Primary

“Thank you very much for coming in to talk to the children this morning. They enjoyed it very much and were thrilled to meet you. I had very positive comments about your workshop from one of our less able Y5 boys – quite an achievement!” Mrs Turner, Headmistress Stapleford Primary

“Pupils at Crackley Hall School wrote their very own story book inspired by Ciaran’s visit. ‘Tall Tales’ comprises of one hundred and twenty seven stories; one written by every single child from Reception through to Year 6 as a result of creative writing workshops run by Ciaran.” Anne O’Brien, Literacy Co-ordinator, Crackley Hall School

To Make a Booking

To make an enquiry about Ciaran Murtagh, or any of the other authors, poets & illustrators listed on this website, please call +44 (0) 1535 656015 or email Trevor Wilson at trevor@caboodlebooks.co.uk