Author Visits

  • Kenningtons School Author Visit (Essex)

    After several months of planning and preparation the author booking came along, Kennington Primary Academy. Mr Newland, the teacher organising the event, had been busy with lots of teacher things too, such as OFSTED, Moderation and planning. I am sure the event had been tricky to sort out but finally the day was here.

  • Lockdown author

    Rainbow bus

    World book day this year was certainly very different.

  • Patron of Reading

    POR seal 800x800 black

    Patron of Reading

    What is a Patron of Reading?

    The primary goal of the patron is to promote reading for pleasure, to encourage, inspire and develop a love of books, words and stories.

    A Patron of Reading is an author, poet, storyteller or illustrator who works closely with a school over a period of time. Everything the patron does is related to helping encourage and develop a reading for pleasure culture in the school: storytelling sessions, book quizzes, blogs, book recommendations, discussions, writing workshops, drama workshops, poetry bashes, blogs, book trailers and visits. The possibilities are virtually endless. The tenure can last from 1 - 3 years. First mooted by head teacher Tim Redgrave, the idea has now spread to almost 200 schools across the British Isles.

    What can a Patron of Reading offer?

    A few examples of Patron of Reading ideas and suggestions as well as a few ideas related to myself and my books:

    • An introduction author visit;
      • The background to the story books and the real Playbus.
      • Book reading
      • Question and answer session.
    • Visits to the school over the course of the academic year.
    • These visits could include read aloud sessions, storytelling sessions or other activities. (Bus design workshop both 2D and 3D; badgemaking)
    • Send a newsletter once per term.
    • Donate copies of books to the school library.
    • Work with specific groups to encourage reading.
    • Champion Reading challenges and present awards/certificates for such activities.
    • Tweet, blog and Facebook about the visits to the schools.
    • Recommend books for specific topics/themes.
    • Ask children and staff for their book recommendations.
    • Attend school events.
    • Encourage reading for pleasure across the school.

    I have undertaken many author visits and have found that the children are often inspired to read and write following the visit. Most of all children like knowing the author is real and that they can speak to them in person.

    Although a one-off author visit is great it is good to develop a relationship with a school staff, pupils and parents.


    Sue Wickstead - Patron of Reading .

    Sue Wickstead is a trained teacher and has written eight children’s story books to date. The books have all received 5-star awards from ‘Readers Favourite’. She was initially involved in a playbus charity and left full time teaching to write the photographic history book about the playbus itself. This led to many questions from the children that she met asking what the playbus did and how was it different to any other ordinary bus. This led to telling stories and eventually the fictional tale was written. JJK261 was the real bus and gave the bus the name Jay-Jay. Sue has written three other adventures for Jay-Jay as well as a Spooky Tale for younger readers. Sue has visited many schools across Sussex and Surrey, both as a cover teacher as well as an author. The children love knowing where the inspiration for the stories come from and are fascinated to hear both the factual and fictional background to her writing.  She would love to share her enthusiasm and become a patron in Sussex or Surrey.

      Buy my books here

    Reviews for each book can be found on each blog tour

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    Where to get my books

    Books are available from the following:   My Books

    Amazon.co.uk     Amazon.com     Waterstones    

    Barnes&Noble    Foyles (amongst others)

    Don't forget to look and ask in your local Museum, book shop or even buy on your Sainsburys on line shop!



  • Sonriendo (smiling)

    “Will you come and read your book to the children in our library?”

    “Of course, I would love to!” I replied.

    But this invitation was a little bit different.

  • Summer fun at the Library

    It was lovely to visit the calm and relaxed atmosphere of libraries in both Redhill and Horley over the summer holidays and to share the story of ‘Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus’.

  • Teacher and Author group visit

    Bus ear-rings and necklace

    I was invited to visit a Parent and Toddler Group in East Grinstead.

  • Visiting a Library

    Following a summer visit sharing my books in a library I was invited to come along and meet children from a local primary school.

  • Waterstones Horsham

    Waterstones Horsham is a lovely book shop situated in the Carfax, an old part of the market town.

    A book signing and badge making event would be a fantastic opportunity to meet and chat to the public, maybe sign a book or two or even share a story.Books and Badges

    Harrison a Young ReaderThe children’s section of the store was certainly a busy place and it was wonderful to see so many families coming in to browse through and buy the books. There was a real enjoyment of reading and discussion about authors which was good to hear.

    Visitors stopped to chat and children enjoyed being able to make their own personal badge to wear.A badge to wear

    Usually people recall or like to know about the original Bewbush Playbus, where the stories began.

    Sometimes you hear a new tale or two and learn about other bus journeys.

    One man talked about a Pizza bus in a Bar, in Galway, Ireland. While another lady recalled her youth working on a hospitality bus at Brands Hatch.

    A bit of research here maybe?

    With books signed and stories told it certainly was an interesting day despite the occasional downpour outside.

    The bus journey is always a fascinating one, with new stops along the way!

    Jay-Jay and his booksA further day will hopefully be in October with possibly Halloween Badges as well.

    Maybe the new book ‘A Spooky Tale’ might be out then too?

    Waterstones do have the book included in their on-line catalogue and now also available in-store Horsham.

    Where to get my books

    Books are available from the following:   My Books

    Amazon.co.uk     Amazon.com     Waterstones    

    Barnes&Noble    Foyles (amongst others)

    Don't forget to look and ask in your local Museum, book shop or even buy on your Sainsburys on line shop!

  • World Book Day 2016

    World Book Day

    It was lovely to be invited to Southgate School for World Book Day 2016.

  • Writing a Newspaper Report

    childrens newspapers articles

    I am constantly surprised at the children’s curiosity and interest in the Playbus and how much pleasure it still brings even though it is now only in book form. The children are as fascinated as ever about the Fact as well as the Fiction.