Patron of Reading
Over the last 8 years, Julia has worked in six different schools as their Patron of Reading:
~ Winterbourne Earls Primary,
~ Wilton Primary School,
~ St. Andrew's Primary School in Laverstock,
~ Broad Chalke Primary School,
~ Bemerton St. John Primary School, and
~ St. John's Primary School in Warminster.
The Patron of Reading scheme is an extended partnership between an author and a school, usually a school year, during which time the author visits the school several times, so that the children feel that he or she is 'their' author.
The goal of the scheme is to encourage children to develop a love of reading, and it has been found to be very effective. After Julia worked at Winterbourne Earls, Wiltshire Library Service notified the school that more of their children had completed the Summer Reading Challenge than from any other school in the area.
Along the way, Julia also teaches the children how to write better. Julia offers workshops on all aspects of writing, from how characters create their own stories, through to inference and editing. If a school wishes to have a workshop on a subject not currently on Julia's lists, she will happily devise one (for no additional fee). This is how all the workshops she teaches originated!
As part of the scheme, Julia also offers the children the opportunity to follow the progress of whichever book she is currently writing, in real time, including research notes and early scribblings, drafting and editing, and the head-scratching task of coming up with a title.
Children at Julia's previous Patron of Reading schools enjoyed regular updates on the writing of the last four of the Scar Gatherer books, and they also had the chance to read and give feedback on the later drafts before publication. Almost all of their comments were incorporated in the final edit of the book, so they were a very real part of the process.
World Book Day 2019: Julia as Helena Calvina from The Leopard in the Golden Cage, (complete with very Roman mobile phone!)
While Patron of Reading partnerships are usually between schools and authors that are located fairly close together, Julia is more than happy to travel further afield. If you think you might like Julia to work with your school as Patron of Reading in the 2023/24 academic year, please do get in touch.