All About Julie Edwards
Julia Edwards lives in Salisbury. She has three children, a very patient husband and a rather impatient dog. She started writing about ten years ago, mostly short stories and was selected as a finalist in a competition called “End of Story” run by the BBC which received over 5000 entries. When she started to think about writing for children, she knew straight away that she would write about time-travel, because she’d always wanted to go back in time.
Julia Edwards hasn’t yet actually managed to get into the past, like Joe does in her books, but writing about his adventures has been the next best thing.
Julia’s School Visits
Julia works mainly with children aged between 8 and 12 (key stage 2). However, she has also done workshops with year 2 and is happy to create new material for sessions with younger children according to the needs of the school, given enough notice.
A typical day starts with a general introduction to story-telling for the whole school (or all of either key stage 1 or 2, depending on practicalities from the school’s point of view), including a Q&A session on being an author. There is no limit to the number of children for this session.
The remainder of the day breaks down into class-sized interactive sessions lasting about 1 hour 15 mins (no more than three, usually one in the morning and one or two in the afternoon) which focus on:
– Literacy – the importance of either reading or writing – with some history thrown in, currently either Romans or Vikings, since these are the periods covered by the books published so far in her Scar Gatherer series – or storytelling. – Dramatic tension, point of view, or how to plot a story.
The class-sized sessions include a short reading from one of Julia’s books and activities for the children to do relating to whichever subject is the focus of the sessions. Julia may send activity sheets to the school to be photocopied in advance of her visit, but she doesn’t otherwise need any particular equipment, except for periodic cups of tea to revive her. Julia aims to show children how important reading and writing continue to be in this internet-driven age. Her sessions will encourage them to read more and inspire them to try their hand at making up stories.
Julia is the author of The Scar Gatherer Series, a sequence of seven time-travel adventures for children. “The Leopard in the Golden Cage” is the first book in the series, followed by “Saving the Unicorn’s Horn”.
The Leopard in the Golden Cage
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to travel back in time? Joe Hopkins isn’t expecting to go anywhere. It’s the first day of the summer holidays and he’s fed up. His dad has moved out, and he doesn’t know what he’s going to do with himself for the next six weeks. But while visiting Fishbourne Roman Palace, he slips through time by mistake and finds himself in a world where nothing is quite as he expects. He meets Lucy, the daughter of the most important man in Britannia, who soon becomes his friend and protector. But as he quickly discovers, there is someone else who wants to get rid of him at any cost. Can Joe survive in Lucy’s world for long enough to outwit his enemy and save his new friend from a terrible fate?
Saving the Unicorn’s Horn
What can you do when your closest friend lives hundreds of years away? Joe Hopkins is staying in York for October half-term. He hasn’t seen Lucy since the beginning of September and he’s really missing her. But when at last he slips through time again, he’s alarmed to find himself in a different world altogether. This isn’t Roman Britain. It’s Jorvik, in the age of the Vikings. Joe is relieved to discover that Lucy is here, but dismayed that his former enemy seems to be in this new world too. Can Joe protect Lucy from harm this time, and stop the prophecy of the unicorn’s horn from coming true?
Reviews and Recommendations
“I really liked this book … the emotions of the characters were intriguing … can’t wait to learn more about the Vikings from the next book this summer.” Iris, aged 10
“I’d say you’re on track to being a big author … the descriptions are amazing … please carry on writing as I’d love to hear more.” Erin, aged 10
“I really like the way it ends … I can’t wait till the next one comes out. Have you written it yet?” Iona, aged 8
“Julia Edwards came to spend the morning at our school on Wednesday 16th 2014. I was keen to have a writer in school that would promote the process of creative writing and engage and inspire the children to read. Julia’s visit certainly achieved this. Working with a Yr 4 and then a Yr 5 class she began by doing some group activities on writing, followed by some discussion of the Romans and then read some extracts from her book – The Leopard in the Golden Cage. The children then did a quiz and crossword which got them to explore the book in greater detail. Julia was good at involving the children in discussion and had also planned for the needs of less able children. The children were enthusiastic about the idea of the book and how the whole series of books would develop. Many of the children bought copies of the book and really enjoyed reading it. Julia was flexible in making preparations for the day so that it fitted with the organisation of the school. She was very professional in dealing with the school and the children engaged very well with her. I would wholeheartedly recommend Julia as a writer to visit schools.” – Alan Blake, Subject Leader for English, St. Andrew’s Primary School, Laverstock, Salisbury
“Julia visited my Year 3 class to talk about her first book in the Scar Gatherer series, “The Leopard in the Golden Cage”. Her session was a fabulous mixture; both hugely informative from a historical perspective and engaging from a literacy perspective. The subject matter was a perfect link to the new History Curriculum and the activities she planned were extremely well-conceived. I will definitely be using the book for our class reader and in Guided Reading sessions this academic year as I have had such positive feedback from the children in my class who bought the book. Having read it to my own children, I thoroughly recommend it, and we are really looking forward to starting the next one in the series!” Rebecca Reid Christ Church Primary School, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire.
“Julia did an interactive lesson on narrative writing with our Year 5 group (about 90 children). The session had three objectives: firstly, to engage the children’s thinking about the interaction of characters and the effect this had on the reader; secondly, to provide them with the tools to enhance their own story writing; and thirdly, to introduce her Scar Gatherer series to the children. During her session, Julia drew on the children’s experience of antagonists and protagonists in fiction, using role play in which she selected a group of children to re-enact the story of Little Red Riding Hood. The role play was handled well by Julia to maintain the focus of the activity and the children were very absorbed by the interactive talk and enjoyed the reading from Julia’s first book, “The Leopard and the Golden Cage”. (Over a third of the year group bought the book.) Julia presented herself well, spoke clearly and with good pace, and encouraged as many children as possible to engage with her talk. The lesson ended with a question and answer session and book signing in the library. In follow up lessons, the children recalled and developed several key points from Julia’s talk. The session certainly had a positive influence in deepening their understanding of the structure andcomposition of story writing. Some very good story writing resulted from the unit of work. Many of the children are looking forward to the next book in the series.” – Jonathan Howard, History subject leader and Yr 5 teacher, Bartley Junior School, Hampshire
One of Julia’s sessions was also mentioned in the Ofsted report for Old Sarum Primary School in Wiltshire, as “compelling”.
To Make a Booking
To make an enquiry about Julia Edwards, 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