Starting new year the write way

Author visit for Birmingham schools.

Schoolchildren in Birmingham are preparing to welcome one of the most borrowed authors in UK libraries for a lesson in creative writing this month as part of the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour. Award winning author Vivian French will share her love of words and her vivid imagination with over 2,500 pupils when she visits ten primary schools in Birmingham and the surrounding area between 26th and 30th January.

Originally from Bedfordshire, Vivian is now a tutor in the Illustration Department at Edinburgh College of Art, and a co-founder of Picture Hooks, a mentoring scheme for young professional illustrators. She has written over 200 books including the hugely popular Tiara Club which sold over three million copies and non-fiction books such as Caterpillar Butterfly and Growing Frogs. Her books are regularly borrowed from UK libraries over half a million times a year.

The school visits will focus on Vivian’s award winning comic fantasy series, Tales from the Five Kingdoms, the sixth instalment of which, The Snarling of Wolves, was released in October 2014. The series features an array of colourful and mischievous characters, beautifully brought to life by illustrator Ross Collins, that have proved a hit with younger readers.

Vivian’s interactive school sessions will encourage children to come up with their own story ideas and characters through focusing on something that reading, writing and talking all have in common – words. Pupils will learn how to construct a story using interesting or unusual character or place names for inspiration.

Commenting on her upcoming tour, Vivian said: “I’m so looking forward to my week in Birmingham in January with the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour. I’ve been touring off and on all my life, and I love it – especially when it’s under the wing of a Scottish Friendly/Scottish Book Trust combination.”

Calum Bennie, Communications Manager at Scottish Friendly, sponsors of the tour, commented: “Vivian has proved a firm favourite on the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour over the years so it’s a real thrill to be able to bring her special magic to schoolchildren in Birmingham.”

Beth Bottery, Schools Events Manager at Scottish Book Trust, which is organising the tour, added: “We are really looking forward to visiting schools in Birmingham with Vivian. Her experience as an actress and an author enables her to create inspiring sessions that engage and entertain young readers in equal measure.”

The Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour is run by Scottish Book Trust, Scotland’s leading agency for the promotion of literature, reading and writing and is sponsored by Scottish Friendly, Scotland’s largest mut