ITEM: Author event + signed and dedicated hardback copy of Looking at the Stars (pub Feb 2014).
DETAILS: School/bookshop visit or other author event to comprise no more than three hours. Can be a combination of:
Creative writing workshop (age 10 – adult, any ability)
Author talk (on the creative process. I talk about how a book gets from idea to publication, with all the editing and jacket cover discussions along the way. This is a fun visual presentation using PowerPoint and a photostory!)
Workshop for adults on writing for young people (or for inspiring young people to read or write, eg suited to teacher training or parents)
Interactive dramatic session aimed at low-ability KS4 pupils to get them engaging with characters and ideas.
My Sweet Hearts series of 6 books is aimed at 9-13 year olds (mainly girls). Looking at the Stars is a standalone novel for ages 10+ and covers the issues of family displacement due to war, the power of imagination during dark times, and finding something special about yourself. I have also published two novels for older teenagers (under the name Joanna Kenrick) and have also published ten books and plays for reluctant/dyslexic/struggling readers.
School must pay travel expenses from Oxford and offer accommodation if necessary.
BIO: Jo Cotterill (who also writes under the name Joanna Kenrick) started out as an actress but after five years treading the boards, gave it up for a more sensible job teaching English GCSE. Her first book for children (Moondance, a picture book) was published in 2004 and since then she has had another twenty books published. Red Tears, a novel for teens about a girl who self-harms, was shortlisted for the Lancashire Book Award, and Model Behaviour, from the Sweet Hearts series, was shortlisted for the Young Adult Romantic Novel of the Year. Jo lives in north Oxford and loves meeting enthusiastic readers. She also enjoys music, playing with her kids, and arts and crafts.