UK and International School Specialists
Working with over 5000 schools in the UK
Over 800 International Schools in more than 65 countries.
Lauren St John
Lauren St John

All About Lauren St John

Lauren St John was born in Zimbabwe. At the age of eleven she and her family moved to Rainbow’s End farm in Gadzema, which later became the subject of her memoir. After studying journalism in Harare, she relocated to England, where she was for nearly a decade golf correspondent to The Sunday Times.

She is the author of several books on sports and music, including Hardcore Troubadour: The Life & Near Death of Steve Earle; and the multi award-winning children’s series, The White Giraffe, Dolphin Song, The Last Leopard and The Elephant’s Tale. Dead Man’s Cove, the first in her mystery series featuring 11-year-old detective, Laura Marlin, who lives in St Ives, Cornwall, won the 2011 Blue Peter Book of the Year Award and was shortlisted for Children’s Book of the Year at the Galaxy National Book Awards. Her One Dollar Horse series books have all been bestsellers.

Lauren’s School Visits

Lauren runs both talks and creative writing workshops, so please specify which you’d prefer. Her talks are 30-40 minute PowerPoint sessions, in which Lauren will show beautiful photos of Africa, Cornwall, horses and wild animals and tell stories about her childhood growing up on a farm and game reserve in Zimbabwe, her adventures rescuing dolphins and leopards with Born Free. Lauren will also describe how she researches her books and talk about where she gets her ideas. Afterwards, Lauren will undertake a Q&A session and sign books. Generally these sessions last one hour.

Creative writing sessions also last one hour. Ideally, Lauren will need a white board or a flip chart and the children need a notebook or two or three pieces of paper and a pen. Lauren will show them how to tell a story by getting the whole class involved in making up a story and it’s quite extraordinary how even very shy children become animated and involved. These sessions are great fun. Lauren will then do a series of what She thinks of as “writing warm-ups”, which teach children to have confidence in their imagination and ideas. Lauren is also more than happy to work with teenagers or adults on creative writing or writing projects.

Lauren’s My White Giraffe and Laura Marlin book series are aimed at children aged eight to twelve and her new book, The One Dollar Horse, is aimed at young teenagers but the content is suitable for anyone over nine. Lauren is also happy to talk to adult book groups, libraries, creative writing courses, etc.

Lauren is happy to address assemblies of 300 plus. Creative writing sessions work best with groups of around 30 or less.

Resources needed

Lauren will need PowerPoint facilities, including a good screen and a laptop. She will bring a USB stick containing her presentation. If Lauren is doing a creative writing session rather than a talk, all you’ll need is a whiteboard or flip chart. The children will need paper and a pen.

Lauren’s Books

Dean Mans cover

Deadman’s Cove – Winner of the 2011 Blue Peter Book of the Year Award

‘What I want,’ Laura declared, ‘is to have a life packed with excitement like some of the characters in my books.’

When orphaned Laura Marlin is sent to live with her uncle in St Ives, Cornwall, she is convinced that a life of adventure is hers at last. But everywhere she turns she is confronted with mysteries. Is Tariq, the shopkeeper’s silent son, a friend or an enemy? Why does her uncle seem intent on erasing his own past? And why is everyone so afraid of Dead Man’s Cove?

Kidnap in the caribbean

Kidnap in the Caribbean

Laura Marlin has no idea that her dream holiday to the Caribbean might cost her and everyone she loves their lives. But almost as soon as they board the luxury cruise ship mysteries begin to pile up and sinister events spiral out of control. When her uncle disappears, Laura, her best friend Tariq, and beloved husky Skye must play a deadly game with their enemies. Thousands of miles from home, face to face with pirates, a volcano and hungry sharks, their best hope of survival is the advice of a fictional detective and the help of disaster-prone Jimmy Gannet!

kentucky thriller

Kentucky Thriller

Laura Marlin’s two greatest loves in life are detective novels and animals, so she is ecstatic when her uncle agrees to let her keep a horse after they rescue it, crazed with fear, from an overturned horsebox.

But he has a condition. Before he will allow her to adopt it they have to find its former owner, just to ensure that it hasn’t been stolen. When an American visitor reveals the thoroughbred’s origins, Laura and her best friend, Tariq, find themselves on a journey to Kentucky and deep into the murky world of race-fixing.

rendezvous in russia

Rendezvous in Russia

When Laura Marlin’s Siberian husky, Skye, saves an actress’s life, she and her best friend, Tariq, receive a surprise invitation to spend time working on a film set in St Petersburg in Russia. But what promises to be the coolest holiday ever quickly turns deadly as a series of accidents threaten both cast and crew. As the action moves to the Hermitage Gallery, one of the greatest treasure houses on earth, Laura finds herself at the centre of a lethal game. Could art be about to imitate life?

Shumba's big adventure

Shumba’s Big Adventure

Shumba is the naughtiest lion cub in Africa. When he decides to go adventuring one night, against his mum’s wishes, he gets a lot more than he bargained for. Kidnapped and put on a ship bound for a zoo in England, Shumba is afraid he might never see his parents again. But help is at hand!

The White Giraffe Series:

Thrilling African adventure series with Martine and Ben

The white giraffe the last leopard dolphin song the elephants tale

The One Dollar Horse Series:

The One Dollar Horse

The one dollar horse

Fifteen year old Casey Blue lives in East London’s grimmest tower block and volunteers at a local riding school, but her dream is to win the world’s greatest Three Day Event: the Badminton Horse Trials.

When she rescues a starving, half-wild horse, she’s convinced that the impossible can be made possible. But she has reckoned without the consequences of her father’s criminal record, or the distraction of a boy with melty, dark eyes, with whom she refuses to fall in love.

Casey learns the hard way that no matter how high you jump, or how fast you gallop, you can never outrun the past.

Race the wind

Race the Wind

When Casey Blue’s victory at the Badminton Horse Trials earns her and Storm an invitation to the prestigious Kentucky Three Day Event, it is a dream come true. But that dream is about to turn into a nightmare.

After her father is arrested for a crime Casey is convinced he didn’t commit, she finds herself the victim of a vicious blackmailer. To make matters worse, Storm is behaving like the wild horse he once was. Faced with losing everything she loves, she needs the help of her farrier boyfriend, Peter, to win in Kentucky, one of the most challenging riding competitions there is. But is he for her or against her?

Fire storm

Fire Storm

Teenage eventing star Casey Blue has it all – fame, her champion horse Storm and a boyfriend who loves her.

Then Kyle West walks into her life. The country’s hottest equestrian coach is also drop dead gorgeous and Casey knows right away that she’s in trouble. But who is Kyle and why are there so many unanswered questions about his past? And what is his connection to Anna Sparks, Casey’s old rival?

As the Burghley Horse Trials approaches, it becomes clear that what is at stake is not just the Grand Slam but Casey’s life.

To Make a Booking

To make an enquiry about Lauren St John, 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