Website of children’s author Paeony Lewis
Key Stage 1 (5-7 years)
Main Session: On Being An Author
This usually takes 40 minutes and includes:
+ Chatting with the children and reading one or more of my books.
+ Talking about being an author and perseverance.
+ Unraveling the mystery of how a blank sheet of paper leads to the final book. I use real examples of original manuscripts, proofs and first illustrations.
+ Questions and Answers (if some advance questions have been planned then the session could be an hour)
I prefer to keep each session to a max of 35 children, but I can be flexible. Plus I’ve recently put together a PowerPoint presentation that can accompany the session and this makes it more accessible to larger audiences in halls.
Extended Sessions (an addition to the main session)
Colours (30 mins)
An add-on session on colours in which we discover how adding one extra descriptive word can bring a colour alive. All that is needed is imagination and a whiteboard or flipchart. This can be added to the main session to make a fun session of one hour.
Story Structure (15 mins)
Best for older KS1, this add-on session brings to life the structure of a simple story.
Characterisation (1 hour plus)
We stretch the imagination to create our own story characters and give them a problem to be solved. The characters can be used at a later time to write a story. Writing and drawing allows all children to participate and the session incorporates the colour activity (see above).
Alternatively... I’m also available for support with longer projects. In 2011 I worked with Year 2 at a School of Creativity in Norfolk and together we wrote and illustrated a story about Scorcher the Dragon. Their excitement and pride in their final ‘books’ was inspiring.
Website of Children’s Author, Paeony Lewis www.paeonylewis.com © Paeony Lewis 2005
Last updated 2013
Key Stage 2 (7-10 years)
Increasingly, I’ve been asked to work on writing skills with Years 3-6 and I really enjoy this. There’s so much we can do, including stimulating the imagination, story structure (oops, that sounds boring, but it’s not!), experimenting with writing, extending descriptive writing skills and developing empathy through characterisation.
Although my books are best suited to younger children, I’m currently writing a novel for 8-11 year olds. I’ve found that older primary school students still enjoy hearing stories and discovering how an idea and rough drafts become a book. I’m particularly keen to inspire all abilities because as a child I was terrified of writing.
I was the ‘author in residence’ for a primary school in Essex. Working with Years 2 and 5, we wrote fairytales to a set structure and each child was given an illustrated printed book containing the work we did together. We were all delighted with the the project.
Since then I’ve done this with other classes and although all years benefit, I’ve found Years 5 and 6 gain the most from working with an author on an extended project.
“’Thank you’ hardly seems strong enough to express how I feel about the wonderful work you did in school today. You have inspired so many of our pupils and they were thrilled to meet a ‘proper, live author’, as one pupil told me.”
- Deputy Head, Ravenswood Primary School, Suffolk
I enjoy visiting schools, libraries, bookshops, festivals...
I’m often invited to visit children aged 4-7 years and that’s great fun as I write for this age group.
Plus I find it stimulating to work with Key Stage 2 on writing. I’ve found they can get a lot from working with an author. I’ve had particularly rewarding times working with classes on their own printed books of fairytales.
For many years I’ve also enjoyed tutoring adult courses in Norwich on writing children’s fiction. I’ve also tutored a summer university course in London for teens.
Listed on this page are some of the sessions I can provide. There are more available, but I hope this gives you a feel for my visits and I’m always happy to discuss specific needs.
Sessions of 30 mins seem to work well.
The focus is on enjoyment and storytelling. Although it’s kept simple, I tell the children where I found the idea for each picture book story.
I can also chat with the children about making a book and being an author. I try to interact with the children as much as possible so they’re not only sitting and listening.
(Some children remember I’ll Always Love You from an episode of the BBC Tweenies and the BBC Messy Time DVD/video.)
“I just wanted to thank you for two marvellous days at our school. The children were talking about their story ideas this afternoon and are excited to start writing.”
- Deputy Head, Thomas Bullock Primary School, Norfolk
“We so enjoyed your visit and the enthusiasm that you instilled into our pupils.”
- Heltwate Special School
(for 5-15 yrs), Peterborough
“Thank you so much for traveling so far and giving us such a wonderful day.
...All of the staff caught me throughout the day to say how much the children, and themselves, enjoyed it. So thank you, thank you!”
- Eagle House Pre-Prep School, Berkshire
"Paeony worked with Years 2 and 5 in one of our primary schools in a ‘writer in schools’ project. She developed great relationships with both teachers and children, inspiring both to write. We found her to be thoughtful and enthusiastic, often going beyond the call of duty to make the project the huge success it became. All the children saw themselves as writers by the end and they produced some wonderful writing. The project exceeded our expectations and this was all down to Paeony."
- Jonathan Bond, Harlow Education Consortium
“Paeony worked with our Year 2 children on our School of Creativity Project. The core purpose was to support the children in expressing their school values through story. Paeony quickly developed a positive relationship with the teacher and the children. The children were excited and engaged throughout. The quality of the story they produced was fantastic. Because of the way Paeony worked with them, they were highly motivated and they felt total ownership of their illustrated story. This was a very successful project - thank you, Paeony!”
- Sue Eagles, Creative Agent for Surlingham Primary School, Norfolk
“Thank you also for all the time you spent book signing - the children are over the moon!”
- Eagle House Pre-Prep School, Berkshire
Some children like a book to celebrate an author’s visit. It adds to the excitement. I’m always delighted to sign books at the end of the day; albeit the sale of books is not essential. My priority is inspiring an interest in books, writing and words.
Adult and teen courses on writing for children
I’ve tutored various courses in Norwich with Adult Education and also some Continuing Education classes at the University of East Anglia and a summer school for teens at the University of Middlesex.
I enjoy teaching and put the emphasis on fun and increasing confidence.
For current courses please click On Writing.
The National Association
of Writers in Education (NAWE)
The Scattered Authors’ Society
CRB checked/certificated. Public liability insurance.
As a young child I adored stories but struggled to write. I tell this to primary school children because self confidence can soon be squashed if writing feels like an insurmountable battle.
I’m mildly dyslexic and I hope that knowing this will inspire those who struggle not to give up.
Contact Paeony, venues and rates
I live in Norwich and enjoy visiting libraries and schools in the Eastern region. With longer distances it is harder to fit schools into my schedule, but I’ll do my best.
Norfolk schools are currently not charged travel expenses because they’re nearer and I don’t have to get up before dawn!
Please contact me for bookings, more information and rates at:
I try to reply within 24 hrs and look forward to hearing from you,