Whether it's 100 kids in a woodland clearing or five in a lesiure centre the result is the same - unbridled inspiration, creativity, and a bit of mayhem.
"From the first second of the workshop the kids were entranced. James knew how to talk to them, how to listen to them and how to incite their creativity - they didn't even notice how much they were learning by making monsters! It was a pure joy to watch."
York Literature Festival
"James Harris was an absolute blast! His humour, enthusiasm and energy inspired so many children, and many left with ambitions of being an author. I can't recommend enough!"
Jack Gardner. Arts Leader Hotspur Primary
I have a background in performing and workshop-leading - 10 years of theatre in education, a (mercifully) brief stint doing stand up, a dabble in TV writing (I wrote for Shooting Stars) plus 15 years of running various writing and acting workshops for children and adults. I am a passionate advocate for imagination and creativity, both as a career path and as an end in itself.
So I'd love to visit your school and play a part in getting your kids hyped about reading and writing.
(Bear in mind that live visits will additionally be charged travel expenses - I live in Middlesbrough and charge petrol at 45p a mile, or train tickets at cost)
Also - I am fully DBS-checked so you don't even need to accompany me to the staff room.
"If you want the school session to end all school sessions you MUST get James in"
- Lisette Auton, author of The Secret of Haven Point
"You inspired a new generation of authors on Tuesday, James. Thank you."
- Levendale Primary School
Here's what I offer:
Half Day Visit
£200 (plus travel expenses)
I’ll do a 30 minute assembly about reading and writing, and why they are both mint, with a Powerpoint presentation packed with pictures of me and my sister as children in the 1970's, with moustaches drawn on us. I might do a song, unless you specifically ask me not to.
Then I’ll do one or two classroom workshops featuring Everyday Monsters, a collaborative session exploring the link between drawing and creative writing, done via the medium of MONSTERS. The workshop is designed so that even kids who habitually believe they "can't think of anything" will be fully engaged, and will produce a brand-new character. It will generally last about 45 mins, with the last 15 minutes devoted to a Q&A if you'd like.
Then I’ll do a book signing.
"You were a big hit with our children yesterday. Our y5 classes have made me promise to book you in for another visit next term!"
- Fairfield Primary School
Full Day Visit
£300 (plus travel expenses)
The same as a half day visit, but more so, with one or two assemblies, up to four monster-making workshops, then a signing.
Of course, I'm negotiable on the details so do please ask if there's anything specifically you'd like me to cover. I am very good on creating characters, and easy story structure if you'd like a more in-depth workshop.
20 min Remote Q&A – FREE!
Ideal for book clubs, reading groups or single classes. Ask me anything! For 20 minutes! Via Teams, Zoom, Skype or two cups and a really long bit of string. For free!
To book a visit or more information please contact me
Note: sadly I cannot guarantee a nosebleed for every pupil.
A selection of the creatures we created during an Everyday Monsters workshop at Seven Stories National Centre for Children's Books
I later apologised to South Ridge First School. I have no idea how a monster managed to get into my bag, which was clearly marked “there are definitely no monsters in this bag”. Lessons will be learned from this unfortunate and highly ironic incident.
Your pupils will gain amazing insights into what it was like to grow up during the 1970s. Not so much a golden age, more a brown and orange age.
Here I am running my Everyday Monsters workshop at Just So Festival in 2022