Socially distanced Author visits – In school

By Sarah Oliver

Are you looking to invite an author into your school for a visit? There is no reason why not as long as safety procedures are put in place.

I have tweaked what I offer so that every class still gets to experience the excitement of my visit and the assembly talks are now pre-recorded so the children can find out more about me, before I actually visit.

I am happy to make any changes you wish, but here are my suggestions:


Juniors – ‘How I became an author talk‘ pre-recorded video children can watch in class before my visit.

Foundation/KS1 – ‘The Best World Book Week Ever picture book’, pre-recorded video children can watch in class and interact with.

Included in my price is one copy of Pollyanne and one copy of The Best World Book Week Ever or Lionel Messi A-Z for your school library.

On the day itself

I recommend my talks take place in the school hall or outside on the playground (or on the field). It can be more exciting to have it outside (weather permitting). If you did plan on having me outside and the weather was terrible, you could postpone my visit (free of charge).

I would use hand sanitizer between sessions and I am happy to bring my own lunch and eat in my car – I would just need access to the staff toilets during the day. I can wear a face shield during the sessions/moving around school if you would like me to (or a face mask).

For the sessions themselves, as class bubbles can’t mix, you would need to choose which classes you wanted to take part in the live workshops. The sessions can range in length from 30mins – 1 hour.  For the classes who aren’t chosen, they would still be able to experience my workshops by watching pre-recorded videos.

E.g. in a 3 form entry school, I might have a 45 min Writing Biographies workshop with Y5 class 1. Y5 class 2 and Y5 class 3 would watch the Writing Biographies pre-recorded video and do the activity as a class. Alternatively, you could choose for all 3 classes to watch the pre-recorded video and just have 15 mins each with me answering questions and reviewing the work they have produced.

The sessions I usually offer include:

Pollyanne the amazing donkey – we act out the story and the children write their own blurb/design a front cover for their own amazing animal books. This is a huge hit with Foundation/KS1 and Y3/4 classes. Normally the actors dress up in costumes that I provide. I will order new costumes specifically for your school and that you can keep – my price includes one set (donkey headband/tail, flat cap, carrot, bowtie and a story sheet). If you wanted more than one set of costumes there would be an extra charge of £20 per set.

Writing biographies – I talk about being a journalist and writing biographies, we hold our own press conference and write a non-fiction book as a class. This is for Y5 and Y6 classes.

Christmas story – We talk about our favourite Christmas stories, create convincing characters before planning and writing our story as a class. This is suitable for Y1 – Y6 children.


If any children wanted signed copies of my books I could drop off signed copies that could be kept boxed up for three days before being distributed. If you didn’t want to allow books to be bought that would be completely fine.



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