All About Samira Osman
Samira was born in London of mixed Sudanese/British parentage and is keen to promote diversity in children’s writing. After reading modern languages at University she joined the BBC where she spent twenty years travelling the world directing documentaries, meeting extraordinary people, discovering bizarre facts and visiting strange places. She lives in London with her husband and three children.
Writing as Sam Hepburn she is writing a series of stand alone Crime Mysteries for Chicken House. First in the series, Chasing the Dark won the teen category of the Stockport Mad about Books Award 2014 and was shortlisted for Bolton, Hampshire, Wirral and NE Book Awards. Her new title If You Were Me was published in April 2015.
“An excellent page-turning adventure . . .” – Julia Eccleshare, Love Reading for Kids
Writing as Samira Osman her critically acclaimed adventure fantasies Quicksilver and Serpent’s Gold were longlisted for the Waterstones and Branford Boase Awards and shortlisted for the Lincolnshire Young People’s Book Award. The film rights for Quicksilver have been optioned by Gold Circle films in LA.
“Dan Brown for younger readers. . . Smart entertainment, deftly done” – Financial Times
Samira’s School Visits
Sam is happy to tailor her visit to your needs and to any size and age of group. As well as visiting schools she runs family writing sessions for Croydon, Lambeth and Newham libraries and after school writing events.
Some of the events she offers include:
An illustrated PowerPoint presentation which explores the inspiration behind her thriller Chasing the Dark, from her personal experience of growing up as a mixed race child in 1960’s London to news stories and interesting facts she stumbled across when researching documentaries for the BBC. She encourages the children to draw their own inspiration from their own lives and experiences by looking at the world with ‘author’s eyes’. The talk also explores the genre of crime fiction and incorporates a plotting element in which the children are invited to come up with their own clever twists.
She offers a variety of workshops from one hour to one day sessions including:
There’s a Riot Going On – creating mood atmosphere and drama in descriptions (good for reluctant readers and writers!)
Spot the Plot – how to devise great plots
Mad Moody and Murky – exploring feelings through description
I am Innocent – retelling of the story of Little Red Riding Hood from the wolf’s point of view
Making a Myth – creating a myth from a fragment of a lost story.
Chasing the Dark – Samira’s new book written under the name “Sam Hepburn”.
Winner of the Stockport Mad about Books Award 2014.
Shortlisted for the Bolton, Hampshire, Wirral and NE Book Awards.
Joe’s mum is dead. Killed in a hit-and-run car crash, along with someone he’s never heard of. Angry and alone, Joe takes his dog for a late night walk. He finds himself at the gates of an empty mansion: a house of glass belonging to an old movie star. And it’s here that Joe unlocks the dangerous mystery of what happened that night …
Read some great reviews of Chasing the Dark posted on the Love Reading for Kids website www.lovereading4kids.co.uk
Watch this fabulous trailer for it, made by 15 year old George O’Regan
Extract from Chapter One of Quicksilver
Like a silent river bursting a dam, a quicksilver flow of primal energy trickled, then streamed, then surged across space and time and earth and sky, through oceans and forests, caverns and car parks, boulevards and bus stops, until it reached the ancient place of power once known as Thornham Magna, on the outskirts of London. With a tremor that rocked the gasworks, the deluge branched into three streams. Two flowed down the high street, past the dry cleaner’s, and on through Norwood, Penge and Bromley in search of pyramids and deserts, cataracts and mountains. The third cascaded down Blackthorn Drive and swept across the common to the sweet shop, pouring up the drainpipes and through the plugholes in search of Wolfie Brown.
Extract from Chapter One of Serpent’s Gold
Feverishly Wolfie cast around the cluttered yard. The lid had been knocked off the dustbin, and over by the outhouse a large terracotta planter lay broken in a pool of compost. Wolfie froze. Slowly his eyes travelled upwards from the mess. A black bin liner flapped eerily from the outhouse roof. He stood there straining his ears for the swish of wind-blown plastic, but the undulating darkness made no sound. The air stilled. Out of the pool of black appeared two slanted, amber eyes. They stared at him, unblinking and defiant. A long, pendulous tail uncoiled, twitching lazily. Wolfie laid down his bike and edged backwards. This was not a bin bag. It was a panther. The lustrous creature was beautiful, yet Wolfie’s flesh crawled as if he were looking at something foul and rotting. A rancid smell of earth and blood and stagnant water floated on the breeze. He held his breath to keep from retching. The back door flew open. Barking loudly, his dog Elvis bounded out, massive and supple as a wolf; in a flash of grizzled fur he leapt on to the outhouse roof. The panther swung its savage stare from Wolfie and faced the great mongrel without fear, merely dropping its blunt head below its shoulders and flexing one razor-clawed paw. Elvis moved closer, his lean body tensed. For a moment the two beasts eyed each other, as though across a deep divide that neither was able to bridge. And then, in one sinuous movement, the panther turned and sprang into the air, soaring high over the wall into Stoneygate Street.
To purchase Sam’s books, click here.
Reviews and Recommendations
“Your visit was fabulous and we all really enjoyed the activities.” – Maddy, Year 6 pupil, Temple Grafton School, Warwickshire
“Sam inspired every single student in the room to write. She held them enthralled with her presentation which was very interactive. Samira removed effortlessly the barriers and fears students, particularly boys, can have about writing creatively. They could not wait to start writing!” – Zoe Burton, Eastlea School
“The children were thoroughly engaged in the session and loved the images that inspired your writing. They followed the session with their own myth writing, the standard was exceptional. The group that were especially engaged and inspired were some of my more reluctant boy writers. This is what literacy in the classroom should be about!” – Louise Stead, Year 6 teacher, Lauriston School Hackney
“The teachers found it an inspiring event; the children were all engaged and at least one teacher came away with writing ambitions of her own. Boys do not often express themselves in the way they were able to with Samira’s input. They do not often take the time to describe events and scenes in such detail and from such an imaginative perspective.” – Mavis Taylor, Teacher, Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School
“I just wanted to say how much we enjoyed having Sam come to our school. I first saw her at an event in Birmingham. We were hoping to come away with ideas for encouraging a love of reading in reluctant readers. Instead we came away with a plan to host a whole day literary festival – modelled on Hay – for the entire year group, all 300 of them! This was inspired by Samira’s talk about ‘Chasing the dark’ and where she found her inspiration. I have seen a number of authors and enjoyed many of their talks but I found her to be really engaging and I knew our students would too. The book trailer is fantastic and I knew they would want to make their own when they found out the ages of the creators. I would ask her to come back again and intend to. The pleasure of hearing students talk about how much they enjoyed the talk and the memory of them completely absorbed, despite it being the 2pm dead zone, will stay for a very long time. She had them totally enraptured.” –Louise Lea, Senior Librarian, Swanshurst school
To Make a Booking
To make an enquiry about Samira Osman, or any of the other authors, poets & illustrators listed on this website, please phone Trevor Wilson on +44 (0) 1535 656015, or email on firstname.lastname@example.org