All About Harriet Goodwin
Harriet Goodwin is the author of a number of award-winning books for children aged 8-13, most notably The Boy Who Fell Down Exit 43, which was shortlisted for the Blue Peter “Book I Couldn’t Put Down” Award in 2010. She combines her passion for writing with an equal passion for inspiring children of all ages and abilities to read and write, and hugely enjoys visiting schools all over the UK and abroad. Harriet’s presentations and workshops are energetic and exciting and always leave her audience fired up and wanting more.
Harriet’s School Visits
Harriet visit all types of schools: primary, middle, secondary and special. A typical author visit consists of a mixture of presentations and creative writing workshops, and at the time of booking we can work out the best combination to suit the school’s needs. Presentations can be to any number of students (Harriet has spoken to 500+) and creative writing workshops are best kept to around 30.
If she’s at a primary school, Harriet tends to start with a presentation to all of KS2, though she is also happy to speak to the whole school if required. Typically, Harriet describes her journey to becoming an author (it all began with a very weird dream!), goes through the plots of some of her books using a box of props, takes questions and sometimes even plays a memory game. The ice is always well and truly broken in the first few minutes, when she reveals her other “hat” as a professional singer and gives the students a brief blast of opera! Harriet can also deliver a shorter presentation to KS1 and below. (She has a pretty convincing BFG voice!)
If Harriet is at a secondary school, she can deliver a similar presentation to Year 7s. If the school wishes her to speak to older year groups, she tends to chat to smaller groups in a more informal way: Harriet gives them a rough idea of her background and then invites them to quiz her, which always results in a great chat. Last time she did this, the group ended up covering topics as wide-ranging as books, the EU and student mental health. Fascinating.
Harriet’s creative writing workshops are suitable for all ages, from Year 3s through to sixth formers. She can focus on a range of subjects, including story-openings, plot, character and the art of getting writing to spring off the page/showing not telling. All the sessions are fun, interactive and involve student participation.
With KS4 Harriet specialises in helping them with the creative writing element of their GCSE English exam (creative writing now counts for 25% of the mark). Harriet divides the day into three longish (about an hour and a quarter/ hour and twenty mins) sessions, working with the same group throughout the day. She spend the first session on showing-not-telling and voice, the second on idea-generation and story structure, and the third on vocabulary-building, accuracy, grammar, presentation and proofing.
She also enjoys having individual, informal chats with students, either when she is signing books – or just anyway. She always gets back to messages left by students on her website and encourages them to keep in touch.
The Boy Who Fell Down Exit 43
The Boy Who Fell Down Exit 43 is about a boy called Finn who falls through the surface of the Earth and finds himself in the Underworld…the place where the Dead wake up. Together, Finn and spirit-girl Jessie must save the Underworld from destruction by releasing the ancient Firepearl from its elemental enchantments at the centre of the Earth. But can they reach it before their evil adversary does – and is the Firepearl quite what it seems?
Gravenhunger is a ghost story and an adventure story rolled into one. It was inspired by the Sutton Hoo Ship Burial.
The Hex Factor
The Hex Factor: Xanthe Fox can’t wait to turn thirteen, but as the big day arrives, her world starts to fall apart. With the school threatening to expel her, and mysterious glowing Xs appearing in front of her eyes, Xanthe turns to Grandma Alice for help. But what the old lady tells her will change Xanthe’s life forever…
The Hex Factor: Dark Tide
The Hex Factor: Dark Tide. Xanthe has survived her first test as a teenage witch, conjuring fire to defeat her Hexing Witch enemy…but the danger has only just begun.
Beneath the Waves
Beneath the Waves (Collins Big Cat series). Struggling to come to terms with his mother’s death, Joe finds himself drawn into a spooky legend that lies deep beneath the water.
The Black Dog
The Black Dog (Collins Big Cat series). Annie, George and Jed are on a school camping trip, and their team hasn’t been doing too well in the activities they’ve been set. There is one final task – an orienteering exercise in the nearby woods – and they’re determined to win. But will their differences in opinion hold them back, and what is the howl they’ve heard deep in the woods?
Reviews & Recommendations
“The workshop and assembly were fabulous. We have had other authors come into school and work with the children, but Harriet’s engagement with the children was far superior and therefore I’m confident that the impact will be greater.”
“Thank you so very much for such a terrific time yesterday. The children and staff were captivated by you.”
“A wealth of learning delivered in an accessible style – the children loved it!”
“Harriet was fantastic. Her assembly captivated the children from the outset.”
“Harriet is probably the best author we have ever had in school and certainly the most inspirational. She was remarkably adept at communicating her skills to our pupils in a very relevant and engaging way. She was so very articulate and passionate about her craft and was able to share her wealth of experience to great effect.”
“The workshop was inspiring for all the children – many of them asked to stay in over lunchtime and write stories! It would be lovely to have you again soon!”
“Your energy, enthusiasm and good humour made the sessions a real delight.”
“Harriet is cool. I didn’t know authors were just like real people.”
“Thanks for the visit – you really changed my future.”
“The children absolutely loved having you today and I think at the end they were bursting with questions- you really captured their imaginations. The feedback from the staff from other schools was so positive, I really feel like they will take those ideas and run with them now and that your ideas and techniques will be used with other children from the schools involved. Thank you for an inspirational day- we would definitely like to have you back … maybe in the Spring term? I will get the ball rolling on that ASAP, as I do believe these opportunities are not to be missed.”
To Make a Booking
To make an enquiry about Harriet, or any of the other authors, poets & illustrators listed on this website, please phone Trevor Wilson on +44 (0) 1535 656015, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org